1915 Burden: Stanley Barracks, Toronto

German POWs in CNE Compound. Taken between 1914 and 1916.
William James Family fonds. Image courtesy City of Toronto Archives.
During World War I, many “enemy aliens” were interned in camps across Canada, a chapter of our nation’s history that is sometimes glossed over.

The West Block of Stanley Barracks was allocated as a Receiving Station, acting as a transit centre for internees prior to their eventual camp assignment, with an approximate capacity of 90 men. It served this function from December 1914 through to October 1916.

Lieutenant H.J. Burden’s 1915 plan indicates the Prison Block as well as the Prisoner’s Yard—shown in the photo, right. Canada’s internment operations were supervised by Major-General William Otter.

For more on the role of Stanley Barracks during World War I, see Ch.3 of Stanley Barracks: Toronto’s Military Legacy by Aldona Sendzikas.

Click the map to view a full-size version.

Map: Stanley Barracks, Toronto, May 7, 1915 by Lieutenant H.J. Burden

Stanley Barracks, Toronto, May 7, 1915
by Lieutenant H.J. Burden, 9th M.H.
Credit: City of Toronto, Museum Services, 1989.31.35.2

A historical plaque regarding the internment of enemy aliens may be found on the north side of the modern Stanley Barracks. It was placed there in 1998 by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association. This article by David Wencer provides a summary of the internment.

Next map: 2011 NORR Architects/Stephen B Jacobs Group: Hotel X Ground Floor Plan
Back to: The ‘New’ Fort (Stanley Barracks)