The First SSJD Convent

By the time that the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine operated their dispensary in Seaton Village, in the parish of St. Cyprian’s, their convent was located on Major Street, just north of College. However the very first SSJD convent was located in this house, on Robinson Street, between Euclid and Manning, just north of Queen. When Mother Hannah, the Mother-Foundress of the order, returned to Toronto to begin the Sisterhood in 1884 (after having completed her novitiate at St. Mary’s, Peekskill in New York state) a committee of supporters had arranged to rent this house. Originally a semi-detached structure, the two halves were joined and the nascent sisterhood began its ministry.

Their first hospital was located next door, on the south-west corner of Robinson and Euclid. There was a covered walkway which joined the convent and the hospital. This photograph shows the house and the corner where the hospital stood.

A few years later, the hospital, and then the convent, moved to the site on Major Street, just north of College. When the sisters moved to North York in the 1950s, the buildings became Doctor’s Hospital. The only building now extant from the Sister’s era is the chapel, which after years of sitting derelict is now a hospice.

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