The Toronto South Detention Centre
The Toronto South Detention Centre is a private-public partnership (P3) – that includes designing, building, financing and a 30 year maintenance contract.
Construction is now complete at the Toronto South Detention Centre. Work will continue in the coming months to fully commission the site to prepare for staff and inmates.
Click here for a photo tour of the building.
Construction of the Toronto South Detention Centre, announced May 9, 2008 by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, supports the Ontario government's commitment to safe, strong communities.
This new facility is part of Ontario’s ongoing modernization of correctional services. The Toronto South Detention Centre will replace the aging Toronto Jail, the Toronto West Detention Centre and will also address capacity issues. The Toronto South Detention Centre is on the site of the former Mimico Correctional Centre, which officially closed on December 5, 2011.
The construction of the Toronto South Detention Centre (TSDC) was completed in two phases. The first phase was the opening of the Toronto Intermittent Centre (TIC), a 320 bed facility housing inmates serving weekend intermittent sentences, which began accepting inmates into custody on December 9, 2011.
The second phase was the construction of a 1,650 bed facility for remanded and sentenced inmates and will offer a number of specialized programs for offenders, including a mental health assessment unit, special needs unit and an Aboriginal program area. The TSDC is anticipated to begin accepting inmates in late 2013.
Toronto South Detention Centre will:
- reflect sound correctional practices in a functional, maximum security working environment
- address Ontario’s current and future inmate capacity needs
- maintain the highest of security standards, with state-of-the-art technology to provide for public safety, internal safety and security
- uphold sound environmental standards as the building is designed and built to LEED Silver standards
- has a design that lends itself to the community, an open concept public reception area, and uses bricks from the former Mimico bricks works company in the lobby of the institution.
A number of activities are currently underway to prepare the building for opening:
- the development of all policies and procedures for the building, with public safety and security being of paramount importance
- development of training initiatives
- development of inmate programming considerations
- continued partnership with a variety of social service agencies who provide valuable supports and services to inmates while they are in custody and following their release into their home community
- development of plans to assist inmates preparing for release, including assistance with establishing linkages with outside agencies to continue to provide access to any needed supports
- continued engagement with community partners as occupancy nears.
Our goal is to ensure that the province has an efficient and effective correctional infrastructure plan that keeps Ontario’s communities safe and to ensure that individuals in our custody are held in safe, secure and humane conditions.
The new facility has had and will continue to generate benefits to the local economy, including construction sector jobs and revenue for local businesses.
Anyone interested in working at the Toronto South Detention Centre is encouraged to check the Government of Ontario careers page regularly for any available job postings.
Background on the Location
Construction of the Toronto South Detention Centre supports the Ontario government's commitment to safe, strong communities.
The Toronto South Detention Centre site has a correctional history dating back to 1887 and is best suited for the new facility as:
- It is accessible by major city and provincial highways and public transit.
- The site is government owned and can accommodate ministry needs.
- Intermittent sentenced offenders will continue to occupy part of the site.
- It is located in an industrial and commercial area.
- It is a permitted land use under the City of Toronto's Official Plan and zoning bylaws and therefore required no change in zoning from the city.
A New Design
Ontario is continuing to build new, state-of-the-art facilities with ultra modern features and advanced technology that enhance public safety and internal safety and security.
Some of the new design and technological features of the TSDC include:
- Video remand uses videoconferencing for routine bail and remand hearings.
- A judge and the accused connect through a video link between the law court and the facility.
- Routine court appearances within shorter time frames.
- The program effectively reduces security risks as well as the costs associated with transporting inmates, as approximately 300,000 inmates travel to and from court each year.
Inmate living units are designed to limit the amount of movement within the institution. Each living unit is equipped with:
- a contained, enclosed, exercise yard;
- an interview room;
- a program room;
- showers, washrooms; and,
- video visitation booths.
- TSDC is constructed using pre-fabricated cells
- Most cells are furnished with one bunk bed, two stools, a shelf, a sink, a toilet and are secured to the floor or wall.
- Showers are outside the cells in the common area.
X-Ray Scanning Imagery and Metal Detectors
- To restrict the flow of contraband into the facility, all visitors are subject to search and scanning.
- At the Toronto South Detention Centre there are seventy (70) video visit terminals for public use and five (5) video privacy booths for use for other approved purposes.
- Video visits will be available for all inmates, both sentenced and remanded.
- Visitors will attend TSDC to use video visitation units at the facility.
Toronto South Detention Centre
- March to July 2008 - Defining specifications for Toronto South DC
- May to September 2008 - Environmental Assessment process, including public consultation
- October 2009 – Contract awarded for construction
- November 2009 - Demolition / construction began
- Fall 2012 – Construction completed and is followed by a period of commissioning activities
- Late 2013 – Anticipated start of staff and inmate occupancy
- Late 2013 – Anticipated start of Toronto Jail and Toronto West Detention Centre decommissioning
Toronto Intermittent Centre
- July 2008 - Release RFP for architectural services for TIC
- November 2009 – Demolition/construction began
- December 2011 – Occupancy
- Currently a separate building complex which will become a part the Toronto South Detention Centre
How can I provide comment?
The Toronto South Detention Centre is a new chapter in Etobicoke's correctional history that dates back to 1887. The new facility will be state-of-the-art based on leading architectural design and security features and provide benefits to the local economy.
As construction and commissioning proceeds, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services will keep you informed of progress both through news releases and this website. We encourage you to visit this site on a regular basis to read about Toronto South Detention Centre updates or to provide any feedback or comments you may have.
You can also call the toll free number for more information or to leave a comment: 1-866-599-2526.
Toronto South Detention Centre
160 Horner Avenue
Etobicoke ON M8Z 0C2