11.13.2007

Kennedy Dentention Centre

The Kennedy Dentention Centre, also known previously as the St. John's Training School for Boys is located just outside the quaint, sleepy town of Uxbridge, Ontario. It's peaceful, pastoral setting sits in stark contrast to the horrors which took place within its walls.



This place may be somewhat spooky to the Urban Explorer who may have researched the history of the facility before the physical exploration. To this end, we present an entertaining and somewhat spooky video . . .






The St. John's Training School for Boys opened in 1956 and was operated by the (Catholic) lay order of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, which also operated a similar facility in Alfred (known as 'St. Joseph's, just outside of Ottawa).




Funded in large part by the province of Ontario, this facility housed orphans, truants, Children’s Aid Society referrals, juvenile delinquents, physically and perceptually challenged children, "incorrigibles" from reservation schools, and children of broken or poor homes which could not adequately support them. Both the Alfred and Uxbridge facilities were supervised by the Province.


In the late 1970's, St. Jospeh's closed its doors but the Province took over operation of the Uxbridge location making it a highly secure facility for young offenders until it was privatized under the Mike Harris regime. The Kennedy House Youth Services was awarded the contract in July, 2000.


More than 1,200 former residents of St. John's and St. Joseph's, suffered neglect and in some cases physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers from the 1940s to the 1970s. A sweeping OPP investigation resulted in more than 200 charges against more than 30 people. The Catholic Church and the Christian Brothers later signed a $23-million reconciliation agreement and in 2004 the Ontario government formally apologized to the sexually and physically abused former residents. Charges ranged from "assault causing bodily harm" to "indecent assault" and "sodomy".

The Chapel within the main building was almost devoid of light (read: black as Hades). The empty and overturn pews, the large crucifix, and the facility history made this area of the abandonment a bit creepy.


The Exploration

As most of the windows are tightly boarded, headlamps, flashlights and camera tripods are a necessity. The very low lighting conditions found within the interior also require cameras capable of taking longer exposures.

I was not altogether happy with the results of my photographic endeavours which simply means another return trip to this massive facility.

To say the secure lockup areas and spartan cells were less than cheery would be a gross overstatement. Although I am certain that you would have to be quite the bad-a$$ to find oneself a resident of such a facility as this, I am not convinced that every '
incorrigible' warranted a cell such as these.








The main building has an abundance of seemingly endless corridors flanked by countless rooms. I would suggest to the novice explorer that you take pains not to get turned around and possibly miss some of the more interesting rooms during your tour.











A large number of the rooms and workshops / classrooms exhibit a distressing lack of any decent taste in interior decorating. I strongly suspect that most of the wall paper and floor rugs (yes - even some shag carpeting) were 'end-of-the-roll' and discontinued product. Fugly-a$$ cr@p like this is discontinued for a reason you know . . .


Prior to this excursion, I touched base with respected fellow-explorer 'Boffo', who had just visited a month earlier. He had captured a very nice image of these clothes dryers which I found was a hard act to follow . . . Here is my attempt.


The industrial-sized kitchens at the Centre is appropriate to nature and scale of a 100-bed detention facility. I imagine that every meal prepared here was made with love. I also imagine that staff ensured that all cutlery were accounted for after each meal.









If washrooms happen to be thing, make haste to this place. One cannot swing a cat and not hit one (not that I believe cat swinging is an acceptable activity). Within the open-custody areas, each room was equipped with a sink and shared a toilet and shower with the adjacent room. In the secure detention areas, occupants of each of the nine cells were allowed out by the guard to the common washroom.










Washrooms and shower rooms in other parts of the facility were equipped with strange and rare accoutrement and fixtures such as 'ball-and-socket' clothing hooks (?wtf?) and these very cool wash basins. I am not certain what possessed staff to box in the drains under the urinals - perhaps the residents were scavenging piping for some evil purpose.









And the reason you scrolled all the way down here . . .
the 'Money Shot'
. . . no exploration is quite complete without one.

74 comments:

phrenzee said...

Awesome work C6! Great video as always.

neX said...

great choice of music! dark ambient is pretty approprate for a place like this.

Rob said...

Excellent as always!

jannx said...

everything was good until the "money shot" ... yikes!

Snake556 said...

Hey there. Can I get a little bit more info on this place? Is it known who owns it, and who should be contacted in regards to the facility? If you could help me out with this info, that would be great! Thanks all!

Btw, I love what you UrbEx folks do! I love checking out abandoned facilities. I may have to accompany you one of these days! =D

CopySix said...

Hey Mr. Snake,
The former facility is owned by the Province of Ontario. The Ontario Realty Corporation has immediate responsibility for the property and will not likely offer any tour or access . . . Good Luck.

CopySix said...

As a Canadian, I always think it of the utmost importance to be able to hear all sides of any story and then attempt to develop an unbiased opinion. To this end, I have been contacted by a former resident of St. John's school who wishes to share this very important story.

~

I was a resident of St. John's in the early 80's, originally from the bad end of Hamilton. People say how St. John's was so terrible , I am here to say the exact opposite. People have lost sight of the whole picture - The Brothers opened it selflessly in 1956 - remember back then there wasn't the social programs we have today , if a kid was homeless all he had to do was go knock on the door and he was safe , think about being that kid or that being one of your kids ?

I am going to hit some topics;

> Physical Abuse - I was and other kids were treated fairly, I did see some roughness but remember what type of kids you were dealing with, we weren't normal happy go lucky children, there were very dangerous, unhappy and mad at the world kids - I can't say I saw anything uncalled for.

> Sexual Abuse - This I just don't believe, the Brothers got a bad rap, just like Priests - because they are different - I am sure none of them got into the brotherhood because they wanted to "do" kids, if it did happen, its too bad, but sexual abuse has happened everywhere; hospitals, police, schools. You don't "throw the baby out cause the bath water is cold". The worst thing about this is "money". When the shit hit the fan, all any former student had to do is come forward and say anything and they got 23,000.00 That alot of money to some people , maybe they feel they haven't had alot of breaks in their life's and that would be owed to them , I am sure I could have come up with a story and got the 23K also , if bad happened there, there was also good. In everyone's life we compare 'goods to bads". That's the way the world is. The Brothers paid the money but they wouldn't apologise. If they were guilty, I think they would have. They are all 99 years old, what would they have to lose ?

In closing I can honestly say without St. John's, the best I would have turned out is a "model prisoner". They saved my life and countless others.

Thank you, Kelly Cameron.

Anonymous said...

Kelly.... right on!!!

Perhaps some things did change subsequent to 1965 but my experience was a very big plus!!!

St. John's was like a boarding school ...... abuse ???? ...... personal experience was zero ...... unfounded rumours always ....... so many mentors were there that if you could not suceed through their examples good luck ....... the best 18 months of my teens ... stayed an extra 6 months just to finish grade 10 .......

FYI St. John/'s originally was located in Toronto at Vic Park and Kingston Road subsequently becoming Neil Mc Neil High School when St. John's relocated to Uxbridge ... so if you were a Toronto East Ender you knew very well that there were no fences etc ..... in fact anyone could play hockey on their flooded rinks in the winter ......

Knifes collected in Uxbridge ???? Blogger who are you kidding .... listen, there were no fences you could run away anytime ....... unless you were in the klink.

Trust me circa 1963 to 1965 a boarding school with great sports, schooling ....... if you can discuss with anyone who was there then, ask them what the routine/schedule was?????

Don't know about those alleged dorm pics ........ dorms were from recall about 30 to 50 kids ....... three dorms on our senior side and maybe two dorms on juniors ...... trust me facilities in the mid 60's were boarding school like!!

I grew up from grade one to 10 with priests, nuns and brothers and I have nothing but the greatest respect for their efforts and what wonderful mentors they were .... if only like minded and capable persons existed today, perhaps, society would be better....

For sure I am only one of a zillion that St. John's and the brothers had an incredibly positive impact on.

For those who suffered I am truly sorry; one only needs to look around to see in 2008 what an imperfect and unjust world we live in.

I owe a great deal of my success to those Catholic religious orders who taught discipline, respect, honesty and a work ethic........

CopySix said...

Jon D wirtes . . .
-
Hey Copysix!

I was at the St. Johns facility a couple of days ago. It looks as though youth have gone amuck with spray paint since your vist and the school building is now acsesible via XXXXXXX XXXXXX. I took 360 photos of the site and should have some of the interesting ones posted on flickr soon. The bathroom hooks with the swival ball are designed to prevent use for bodily harm or suicide via hanging and are comen in facilities modernized in the mid ninties. The same hooks could be found at the former mimico jail site if im not mistaken. Thanks for the video footage!

On a side note, I grew up in the Uxbridge area and remeber the the facility when it was operating under the name of St. John's. When I was in the nineth grade, i recall inmates being bussed to uxbridge secondary school to play our sports teams. That didn't last long if I remeber correctly...

Thanks for your exceptional work in the field of urban exploration!

JD

Megan said...

I definatly went there last night at 3 in the morning and it was the scariest thing I think I've ever done in my life.
it was cold and dark and just totally creepy.
i wanna go back in the daytime but man. it was efffed up.

CopySix said...

Here is an eMail I received from 'Mike'. It is horrific / disturbing and left me completely saddened . . .
+
I was in St John’s Catholic Training School for Boys from May 1963 to August 1965.
I was incarcerated in St John’s Catholic Training School for Boys because I had no mother and foster homes did not want teenagers.
When I was in St John’s Catholic Training School for Boys it was operated 100% by the Christian Brothers. Unlike in 1980, in 1963 through 1965 the Christian Brothers did not have inspectors from the government on the premises. When I was in St John’s Catholic Training School for Boys discipline was strict and enforced with physical brutality, a sawed off goalie stick, and the klink.
The web site shows photos of the segregation section. When I was in St John’s Catholic Training School for Boys it was called the klink. I was locked up in the klink four times and I escaped from the training school three times. The balcony in the Chapel is where the boys in the klink sat during Sunday mass.
I worked in the dish washing room where I maintained the dish washing machine. I worked in the kitchen. I was a Christian Brother server. I went to school. I can identify almost every inch of St Johns Training school.
Not all the Christian Brothers were bad, but the bad ones were really bad.
You posted a photo of one of the television room hallways. On the junior end many times I stood in that hallway with other boys waiting to get a punishment crack with the goalie stick paddle because Brother Mark did not catch the boy who talked in line. Brother Mark was the Junior End Prefect in 1963 and 1964 and he enjoyed inflicting pain on the boys in his charge. Brother Mark was a brutal human being. Prior to becoming a Christian Brother and after he left he was a pig farmer. I experienced and witnessed physical assaults almost on a daily basis by Brother Mark.
In 1965 I was physically and sexually assaulted by a Christian Brother in the Brothers television room. I sustained enough physical injury I required outside hospital treatment.
To cover it up in 1965 my medical file and records were sealed by the government in a twenty five year privacy act file.
In 1992 the file was unsealed and the Christian Brother was charged and I got partial closure with a day in court. I received a written apology from the Ontario Government and the Catholic Church.
When I turned sixteen years old in 1965 St John’s Catholic Training School for Boys had no more authority to incarcerate me. One evening, in August 1965, a Christian Brother drove me into Toronto and at the intersections of Lakeshore Blvd., and Royal York Rd dropped me off with a dollar, a streetcar ticket, and a wish of good luck.
My first night of freedom, I slept in a stranger’s parked car.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I would like to go to this place and check it out. Is it still closed down and accessible? I know a major road run right infront so are there any issues with cop callers? I stayed here for 1 month when I was 16 and I had a grand ole time which was weird as its suppose to reform you. Well I am going to see if I can in sometimes soon as I would love to take pictures here. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Whats a "money shot"?

Anonymous said...

rad place to check out a must see but i went there with a gropu of seven and we were out by the shipping area and we heard the crunchiong of glass like foot steps with human weight near the elevator theres no way in unless you go through the basment to get to where we heard the sounds. might have squattas be careful. it was definetly a human who didnt want us to know they were there might have been two people there were no other people on the site except for us.

Anonymous said...

I've read with distaste, some of the comments left on this blog, I only found the sight by chance looking to obtain my records from being there in 74", People have the right to believe what they want, but I can tell You horror stories from My time there. The only reason the was no apology, was to save face for all catholics, who choose to turn a blind eye to the truth. This shit is still happening today, so to You none believers, send Your kids to catholic schools, churches, and gatherings.

Anonymous said...

I was just here on the 28th of May and it was a fantastic place, very ominous and creepy but amazing none the less, it's a real shame it will be torn down this year...thanks for the pics.

keiran said...

I live in Uxbridge and go to the soccer fields many times and if your bored and got time it is so fun to go in there is a secret entrance on the back and i have gone in many times its great

Jason said...

Me and 2 friends went there today, creepy as hell, being in the chapel man freaked me out. I cant imagine what those kids went through there. I would lose my mind. so is it bieng torn down or what i read demo was supposed to start in june its now august, be a shame to lose it great pics im gonna get into more urban exploring its fun, and theres a rly easy way to get but im not gonna say i dont want anythign to happen to it

Anonymous said...

Just got back from here and decided to actually reasearch the history behind what we had just looked at. this was one of the first sites brought up and i believe explains a lot. we walked our way throught the whole main buliding and even got onto the roof, then got outselfs lost. oh well we got out. it was pretty awesome. not as creepy as people were saying however

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I used to work at St. John's/ Kennedy House and I must tell you that it was the greatest time I ever had. I would play football, ice hockey, floor hockey, basketball, etc. with the guys. Many of them became excellent ping pong players. There was a lot of camaraderie between the staff and the kids. It was a really great time.

There was a lot of talk about what happened, long before I started working there, and I believe that terrible things probably did occur. The thought of being in a room where a young boy may have been tortured always frightened me. The basement was the creepiest during night shift, when I would go down to get something to eat. The long hallway stretched from one end of the main building to the other felt like being in the movie "The Shining".

I never witnessed any mistreatment during my employment, nor did I ever see any documents to back up past allegations. If there were any such documents to exist they were no longer at the facility.

When I worked there, the staff actually cared about the guys who were there. We wanted them to go on to be great people and live productive lives. Unfortunately, once their sentence was up, they would go right back to where they came from. We couldn't do anything more for them. A lot of kids would come right back after just getting released.

Every now and again I will read a newspaper article and it will inform me of one of the young men whom I worked with. They have either been killed, wanted for armed robbery or murder. My heart just sinks because in a controlled and structured environment, 99 percent of the kids did so well and had so much potential.

The pictures shown here are a completely different perspective then of what I remember. No, it wasn't up to date and it didn't have the newest furniture etc. but you could tell that young men were there. The guys would decorate, write poems, songs, hang their stuff on the walls of their cells. They were able to make it their home. Unless of course they did something to get that privilege taken away like engage in a physical altercation, hide drugs or other types of contraband etc. Segregation was still called the 'klink' in the 90's. It was a cell with a mattress, a huge window, and no curtains, so it was really bright. There was always a staff keeping a close watch and someone always checked in on that staff. The door was never locked and was usually left wide open, so the kid could talk to the staff the entire time. We had to log into a book every 5 minutes on what the kid was doing when they were in the 'klink'.

There were on site medical professionals, clinical psychologists, social workers. There was a school, with actual teachers.

I have wanted to go back and take a look around. It has been something I have thought about for years. Thank you for doing it for me, so that I do not have to subject myself to physically going into the buildings, as I think it would break my heart to see what has become of it.

Anonymous said...

I live in Uxbridge as well as many of you, and have heard a few stories about "Kennedy House." I don't know much about it and am interested in finding out more history about it, preferably hauntings or the everyday life of a resident of this felicity. I am very interested in ghost stories so please if you have ever been there or heard any spooky stories about this place, as well as any other information, please comment. I drive by Kennedy House every day on my way to school and always wonder what it was for, how old it is, etc. Please comment with your most interesting stories ASAP. Thank you :)

Ry said...

I'd like to have a look at this place before it's gone but have no one to go with. I've been though a lot of places but most were homes, a place like this is bad new alone. Hit me up at urbanx2010@gmail.com

Mandy said...

This building has now been torn down. A ghost hunting friend and myself were there last weekend and it is not nothing more than a pile of rubble :(
I would love to know what happened to the huge crucifix that was in the chapel. I personally would have loved to take that thing home, sadly would have had no place to put it though LOL!

Taylor said...

I'm a local to Uxbridge and the Kennedy Center, I love it! I've been in it too many times to count. They tore it down this summer, sadly.

S Hughes said...

I was here for a couple of years in the 80's...although I heard about some of the abuse prior to the government of ontario taking over this place was great for me...training school? more like sports camp...the staff were great & the whole reason I came across this site is I have been trying to find some of the staff to thank them for great years...I must admit...I wasn't a fan of the bathrooms, open showers.....but honestly this place was NOT a dump when it was being ran in the 80's...our day consisted of sports, school, sports, even working at the local resturant in town, canadian tire etc..we were required to attend mass,,,,I believe the priest's name was Mr.Joesph* these pictures do look creepy...but it wasn't like that in the 80's...oddly enough i'm sad its gone

sandum said...

wow, i was just thinking of that place, was going to take a drive out there.I spent 2yrs there in the late 80,s, well after the abuse.The Goverment ran it but there was still a few priest still there, we had service there every sunday and then a huge all you can eat brunch, really good food too,lol.The only guy or thing to be scared of was Mr.Car, if you tried to escape when he was working,watch out, he will catch you on the atv's,while they would look for you , we would all be in the t.v. room with no power till the where caught and when they did,they paid,like one time Mr.Car slammed his keys off someones head and told us ran and this will be you,lol, i remember that like it was yesterday,lo.There was no fences but i heard before it closed they put some up, which you can see in the video.I do have to say though it was like a camp, we had school there during the day,with a seperate building for school by the outdoor rink, we had an outdoor pool,fields and fields to run around.It made me a better person for sure,id have to thank all the staff and its sad to see how it was left,wish it was still there,would have loved to see it again.

sandum { steve } said...

I dont see the outdoor pool and did anyone go down the path behind the school building? Down the path is an old house where the priest stayed, there was a small pond down there too.Its kinda in the woods.Also if the court van guys ever read this from the late 80's, thanks for all the rides and loud music, you made going to court alot of fun, really loved the back dirt road they took on our way back from Toronto, cheers

S Hughes said...

LOL @ Mean Mr. Car, his brother...the other Mr. Car was nice (Mike) I'm trying to remember all the staff...Mr. Resor, Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Novack, Mr. Dunn, the guy who taught lacrosse was awesome don't remember his name, (2) Mr. Scotts, I forget the guy who ran the place...but his daughter worked there, a soccer player who was SMOKIN' hot, Mr. Fisher (basketball player) help out ppl.....

sandum {steve{ said...

Hey S Hughes, do you renember the outdoor pool?,, i was there 88-90, the staff were awesome!!

S Hughes said...

Yes...the pool was to the left of the front doors with a fence around it..I was there twice between 87 & 90

Anonymous said...

hello out there.I was in St.Johns in the 80,s.Probably 4 years in total 5 differt times JDA and YOA.Any abuse was done by other kids.lots of sports,summer camp,swimming pool, winter carnival,pool tabels,awards banquets,yeah it was real rough.thatplace taught me manners respect .How to fight to cook to weld to work.I would like to say hi and thanks toany staff from the 80,s.MrCARR,MrFISHER,MR ASHENHURST,MR BOOTH MS BURR MR JAGLAHL MR BURNET. SINCERLY Martin Carrier. I can be contacted at lisa.clapp@rocketmail.com

Monkapotamus said...

Ha! I was also there in the 80's I always said that place changed my life.. I still think about the friends I met there, staff, and inmates. The staff because, as Martin said, they taught me respect, and manners... don't fight in school, or the dining room, anywhere else...good to go, stop when you were told, and don't swear. (I had a tough time with that one.. 8) ten minutes standing... not hard huh? Well is was a pretty harsh punishment at times, if you didn't listen, threw a fit, or if you were foolish enough threw a punch at a counselor..it was off to the quiet room with you...
From my fellow inmates I think we all learned fair play and teamwork, and my Olympians did pretty darn good at the winter carnival.
No fence, but nowhere to go, any farmer within 25km new that some punk kid in a grey track suit... was a runner...and we knew it.

Locker room trips, if I had an issue with somebody, we'd dawn hockey helmets and hockey gloves... and go at it... then it was expected that all was to be forgotten, as well as forgiven. and it was better than going at it in the games room, and losing my right to go and play hockey at the local arena, (also a GREAT TIME) Working on the garbage truck in town, huh..yeah, Great place concidering that most, if not all of us were far from being, or deserving of Greatness, try a tour of SylApps in Oakville or the Don Jail.... Not a pretty picture, St. Johns... A lucky break for any kid who was sent there.

Michael Richter..

Ciao Fellas

Anonymous said...

As a person who was doing time in this place in the mid 80's while the renovations of cells was going on and before. I am dismayed that you would even try to put some sort of humor into this. although some were stripped of there innocence, I was stripped of my talents. This place took my life from me, by making a cold, emotionlesss criminal. I am sure had I not had children some 10 years later I would be spending the rest of my days in prison. I am just offended you can make jokes.

Lenny eddy said...

I ment the 2 Bartons not Burns...........lol what memory gets bad with the smoking of chronic over the years.....lol

Lenny Eddy said...

Well It seems as though my other comment didn't make it up. I just want to say this place was THE best place I ever did juvinille time. The staff were amazing, Both Carrs, both Bartons, Mr Anderson, Mr Thomas, Mrs Beach. And to the teachers I remember Mr Hotner, Mr Benny Benson,Mr Barton, as well as the woodworking and welding teachers, sorry I do not remember their names. All I ever remember from this place is sports and school. There was no bullshit going on while I was there, unless you were one of the servers for the brothers, then purhaps you suffered while doing your time. Was just a great place to do time and a great place to learn. They made men out of boys, like Mike said (whom I remember being the other goalie and got mad when I won the trophie for best goalie.lol) they tought us respect and manners for our elders. All I know is it was goodtimes, real goodtimes.......... So to any staff member who may read this, thank you for teaching me sportsmanship, comamotery( not sure if it is spelled right, but I know what it means.lol)and to any of my friends that I made there. Hope you stayed free hit me up on fb Lenny Eddy...............

ernie tahgaiwenene said...

not sure if my other post went through.but I was there in 1977-79.i still have the scar on my back because a unnamed councillor's threw there keys at you and there where a lot of keys on those rings.i never even heard of a settlement or an apology for us kids who where there.oh the stories I can tell.the school at night was very eerie.

Anonymous said...

I was a resident of St. Johns when I was a young teenager. I was subject to physical abuse by the prefects, the Brothers, and even one of the teachers. There was a school on the grounds when I was there and this guy was a sadist.
I was not a bad kid. I pretty well kept to myself and tried to stay in line to avoid trouble but that didn't matter. One of the prefects used to use us for kicking practice because he was taking some form of martial arts. He thought it was funny to kick us in the back of the head or in the ass while standing in line. I saw him kick a guy in the gut who mouthed off to him once. I believe he was waiting for someone he could really kick hard and this guy went to the infirmary afterwards.
I'm 60 in a few months and when I was at this school they loved to intimidate, abuse and molest. I came out of there a killer.
If it wasn't for the kindness of a gentle man in a foster home I would have progressed to a serial killer. I studied different psychologies and pathologies of the rage I carried for years and it was by the grace of God and this gentleman I didn't escalate into a monster.
When I was interviewed by the OPP I asked him how many kids (now adults) he had interviewed and so far it was around 350 or so. I asked how they were doing and he said I was the only one so far that wasn't in jail or on drugs. That was a sad day for me to hear that. I'm glad to hear some were able to say they benefited from their stay there, maybe it changed later. I glad they weren't there when I was.

Anonymous said...

My name is Bill Muise. I can say I only have a few nice memories of that TRAINING SCHOOL. Lets keep it simple and to the point. That's what it was. A place for unwanted boy's because we were un-perfect. I got sent there for scoffing a frigin 10 speed and later after being schooled by another boy graduated to cars from the TD Center in TO. Shit,I was stupud.
Anyway,I remember you Kelly. Cameron. You were in the honour dorm on the main floor across from the movie room. Hope your doing good.
I spent about 6 years there for punishment for my crime. I took abuse by the brothers, Brother Bernard and Brother Joseph. Staff were bad at times and I had black eyes due to lack of controlled punishment and sodomized by the doctor on the exam table you have seen photos of. That was called a physical exam. But after having
children of my own I know kids don't get they're anus reamed by doctors ever! Thats nothing more than sexual assult and the nurse was not blind to it either.
So far I've shown 3 examples. Want more? Ask the thousand's of other boys that were there. If you explorers think the building is creepy and scarry empty,it was worse when we were there. These guys telling stories about good times and coming out better from they're time there are on the cronic,coke or crack!!
Mr.Fisher,Mr.Carr,Miss Burr(ceramics),Miss Noble(you had a great ass,sure you saw me admiring it a few times,lol) and the great Mr.Hotner(fantastic artist) ,these were great staff with the best of intensions. Most staff were just pricks and didnt care about nothing but a pay cheque. Oh ya,I almost forgot about Mr. Ian Taylor. The Scotish guy who ran the AA. What a sence of humor. !!! Always sat beside the TV on the fake fireplace and would be sure to have lot's of guys standing doing time durring Toronto Rocks. Remember that show?
I worked the garbage truck for months and at The Uxbridge Times also,never saw a dime. Free child labour. Its here in Canada too. Yep!

I think there was abour 25 guys to a dorm-jr and senior and 6 guys in the honour dorm which was near impossible to get into. I tried many times. Guess I wasnt pleasing the right Brothers or something. Yes I was a Brother Server also. Yes things went on and ni I havnt been to court to clean up things that happened to me there. Im recently in the last 7 years starting to bring things out to my common law wife that have been killing me inside from my life there. Other people I've spoke to professionally think I need other professional help. This is a bad thing to carry for 30 plus years. It's affecting my life every day in one form or another.
So for those of you that read this blog as a joke ar hobby, this place and its stories are true. The abuse and assults are true. These things happened and it never leaves a mans mind. Ni amount of cash will take those memories away. And no i didn't get no cash. Im sure there was a time limit to that anyway.
If anyone wants to mail me, my email is BillsMaintenanceAndMoving@live.com. if you were there and want to shoot the shit or if your just a blogger or what ever. If you have photos, send some. Thats why I'm checking out this blog. I wanted to show the wife where I was as a kid.
To those guys I knew and remember me or those who were just there, I'm one of yourbrothers. I know where you come from and what you feel inside every day. It don't go away.
Thanks,Bill

Anonymous said...

I was at St. John's in 1971 and that place was a horrorshow. Any of the Brothers and staff that are still alive should be hung from the neck until they are dead.

Anonymous said...

Hello - Is anyone able to give me the exact location of where the St. Johns Residential School in Uxbridge, Ontario once stood? I understand it was torn down in 2011. I want to visit in the next few weeks, and would appreciate if someone can give me directions.

Also, if anyone has any interesting information they are willing to share. I am researching for a University class project (and for personal interst)and will potentially have this information put on an app so other like-minded people, who are interested in the injustices of Residential Schools, can gain insightful information.

I can be reached at:
kate1986@yorku.ca.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I just have come back from visiting the(former) site of the St. John's Residential School. There are now only soccer pitches and a shed...oh yes, and a couple of cement blocks to prevent people from driving up the gravel road to to where the school stood.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, I was in St John's in the early 80's also.I personally suffered no abuse, nor did I witness any that was uncalled for. Does anyone remember a guy they called wolfman that was dorm supervisor that smoked Drum cigarette tobacco, hand rolled. I remember like 10 of us kids just laying there in bed waiting for Wolfman to do his rounds so we could steal his butts from the ashtray. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff that I had the priveledge of learning from back then. Oh and to Kelly Cameron, I think you were there when I was,good to hear you are well. Peace, John Smallwood, St John's survivor

Anonymous said...

John Smallwood , I remember you well , kellycameron493@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I was there in January of 1979 on the senior boys side in Leach House for 6 months. It wasn't run by the brothers then and I can't recall seeing any sexual abuse at all. One thing that is not talked about and happened was that the way they got a lot of us to participate in events was to give us cigarettes. It was usually half a deck of Export "A" Green. We would go into Uxbridge or off site and we could chain smoke for hours. We also went to some retreat in King City that was run by the brothers. Some of the boys broke into the wine stocks and got drunk and during a rap session(meaning a talking session whereby we expressed our feelings about things)they puked in front of us.They also used this cigarette trick at the House of Concord in London Ontario. The year that Terry Fox ran through London on his way across Canada, the way they got us to jog behind him was by bribing us with a full pack of cigarettes as our reward. It was a clever use of manipulation. If it wasn't for cigarettes I really didn't have any reason to comply. St Johns was overall an experience I needed. My father had just died a couple of weeks before I entered the school and my mother was in no condition to take care of a son that was already out of control. One of the first days there, another boy stabbed me in the hand with a fork and I jumped up on the table and kicked him in the face and was put in the klink for a week.It was really not that much different than hanging out at a Boy's Club, except that we slept on the premises at night. There was no fences back then but they did lock the doors and every dorm had a guy that stayed there with the 30 boys each night. He read his book and smoked at his desk. We would go into the small dorm bathroom to smoke or even smoke under the covers. The guard never did anything, it was secretly allowed to smoke--nudge nudge, at 15 years old, I didn't argue. I was addicted to nicotine.

Anonymous said...

It's been 35 years since I was there so I don't remember names so well but I can say that all the staff seemed to be decent men. James Cabel was my social worker there and he seemed like a guy just doing his job. Some of the most intense emotional moments of my life happened at St Johns in 1979 and my stay there prepared me for the real world. The year I was there I remember watching the video Scared Straight. And the big movie that year was The Boys from Brazil. They brought girls over from some other training school and we all watched it in silence nervously glancing over at them. I never understood why they tortured us with girls that we could not talk to? A couple of the guys in my dorm went to school in Uxbridge and brought back cigarettes, matches, LSD or had it hidden by friends from school for them close to the property boundary.Mostly it seemed like we went to school and devised ways to smoke in the hallway and buying,selling or sharing cigarettes. Back then teachers still smoked around kids.I stayed in the games room most times and rarely watched TV and ended up winning a trophy for all round games room award for the senior boys. I'd like to hear from anyone that was there in 1979 that say they were abused by any staff.

Erich Rock said...

I was there from 1963-1967, it was not a fun place to be. I remember Mr. White and his kicking cowboy boots. Mr. White held the whistle during a game of murder ball. When he blew the whistle, standing beside the ball, 100 seniors converged on him and he felt 100 kicks. Mr. White went to the hospital, many parts of him were broken. Mr. white never came back. He lived to regret his physical abuse. For as long as I was there after that incident there were no more abuses that I saw. I can't attest to what happened after I left
blessings to the survivors
The ROeCK.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel I spent a long time after St johns doing time and the cycle didn't end until I had kids of my own I wouldn't except their blood money or their apology and it affects me everyday what the brothers and civilian staff did to me especially bob cherry and brother Joseph The kids who went there in the 80's don't know what they just missed

Anonymous said...

My name is Rob Mckend and the guy doing all the kicking was bob cherry or mr Adams I wound up doing a lot of time and a lot of drugs for many years after St johns I'm 58 now and still fight a drinking problem I'm married with kids but IT took a long time for me to straitened out and calm down the hate I carried Funny thing was I was sent to St johns because I skipped school I wasn't a thief or a crook until I left

Anonymous said...

Coach cabel was a beater like the rest but not a sexual abuser I know because he beat me

Anonymous said...

You were there and you think that the doors were locked? Not true at all. They were push bar fire doors. All of them.
Yes we tried to smoke in the dorm bathroom,and we got caught,not allowed and you were made to stand under the tv at the front of the dorm until lights out.
Each dorm had a night guy,true. After lights out,one main man,Mr,Scott or Mr,booth,Mr.Scott the tallest of the two brothers were usually the walk around guys,relieving the night guys from time to time to go for a smoke,don't know what the hell your talking about man. Were you ever there? I think your writing shit man. You either were never there or just someone trying to cloud the truth,cause your full of shit.
No locked doors,no fence,no smoking in the dorm by the night guy,if you want to run,run,and I did. Twice,maybe3 times. The cells every time.
So man,me as well as other guys wonder,if you weren't there,what are you writing for? I spent better part of my life there and lived plenty of shit. What happened behind Brother Bernard bedroom door,when Brother Joseph took you out of class during the day back to the building? Buddy,you were a lucky one not everyone got the abuse,I did and many others did. So your bullshit story,don't jive.
I played hockey in town,Mr.Fisher was like my best friend,took me out many times for outings,super at his home,made mix tapes on his bitching JVC getto blaster, I was a brother server,worked in the kitchen,was trusted everywhere,but never made it to that honor dorm.
You were a short timer,basically a friggin visitor. Either that or your afraid to tell the truth. Suck it up man,nobody,any boy at any age should have been there. That building was made for kids that were treated like adults and abuse happened.
It did,it did,it did. Don't say it was a good place,that's crazy,are you mentally blocking it? Grrrr,so many lives ruined,still today,pay me off for things that I had happen, no money will change the life I lost there. Nothing will bring me back!!!!!
And to Kate1986@york,did you ever finish that book you wanted information from me about? Never did get back to me,or is the questions you asked just garbage also. Learning you can't trust anyone. Lol,same thing all my life. Can't trust anyone.
And my own mother told me she didn't even know I was there not to long ago,she,ah fuk it,that's another story. I should write my own book,any one out there want to give me some direction about that?
Kelly,I still have your email,just wanted to show my own kids about this,but after reading your garbage,I'm a little pissy.
Glad nothing happened to you,if your real, hope your life is great.
Cheers,happy 2015;Bill Muise

Anonymous said...

My name is Ray Boivin and I was there in 76-77

Anonymous said...

Seeing as you are speaking of your times there from when the place first opened anything you have to say about what this place was is extremely dated. I was there in 1995 in the high security youth detention run by the province. The fences were there and all security measures such as cutlery counts were in place. This place housed extremely violent young offenders not that you would have any idea seeing as by the sounds of it you went there voluntarily.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the exact address of the school/facility? My grandparent's farm was close to it and I am trying to find it, but don't remember exactly where it was. St. John's was close by and it would help me find the farm if I could find the school's address. I remember in the 60's we were told "that's where bad boys went", how haunting and disturbing to hear what was going on there!

Mike Ferenczi said...

My name is Mike Ferenczi, I was in St.John's in 81-83 as a Junior and 83-85 as a Senior. What a flashback, reading these comments and watching the video, I must say brought back some memories, both good and bad. I remember some of the name's mention throughout this blog. Kelly (cheers bro hope life treated you well) Bill (miss ya bud), some of the anonymous folks although your not named your stories resonate with me I feel that I know you.

I was one of the young men who experience abuse at this place, however, I try not to focus on that part anymore, it held space in my head for many years and caused me enough pain through addiction, prison, and violence.

I try to remember the good times now, putting on that hockey gear and rough housing with (Donnie and Shuster). Building an Ice castle during the winter carnival, winning the curling match at during the same carnival. or wrapping a twist-tie around comb to lit a cigarette that someone smuggled in through the hem of their shirt. Went AWOL 5 times, have to say there is nothing like running away from that place in the middle of winter without proper gear lol.

I am 49 now, been clean and sober 5 years, I went back to school 4 years ago to get my high school equivalency, which allowed me to go to George Brown College last April i successfully graduated with honers from the Social Service Worker program. In September 2015 I started at Ryerson University in advanced standing for Under Graduate of Social Work.

My time at St. John's set the wheels in motion that perpetuated a cycle in my life that nearly killed me. However, my time at St. John is what perpetuates my new cycle to help someone else avoid it.


Best regard

Mike Ferenczi

P.S. I would love to hear from any of folks who attended St. John's from 1981-1985.

Email me @ Mikeferenczi@hotmail.com

don leblanc said...

I was t5here in the 80s also for 81 to 84 when the yoa act came into effect sat us in the dining room and explained it to us... I remember mr fisher really well could run and play soccer all day long... mr barton the auto teacher who could lift a moter and move it .... the cermic teacher I still have some cemermics at my parents place to this date.... field trip to smoke cigeretts our team built the A-team van for the winter carnival... flooding the outdoor ring at night time to play hochey and getting a few smokes from mr fisher .... my email is donleblanc155@hotmail.com if anyone remembers me

don leblanc said...

ps can anyone tell me how to get my files from there

Anonymous said...

I was a visitor to St John's many times in the late 60's and early's 70's,because two different brothers at different times served time for "truancy".Unbelievable that they would put a fifteen year old boy in the same place as assaulting thugs,car thieves,armed robbers,and the like for the crime of truancy!!!This would never happen today.Both brothers spent about six months there and it has affected them even today.The older brother says he learned what fear was during his term,and the younger brother has mental health issues which I blame partly on his time at St John's.I thought St John's was a neat place,what with a swimming pool and lots of sports for the kids,but I only seen the very surface of this institution.I am very thankful that I stayed out of trouble with the law.

Anonymous said...

This person sure as hell didn't meet brother Hugh, or for that matter brother Norman! !! He would be singing a different tune if he had.
So here I am almost 70 years old,never had a relationship AND was never contacted by anyone ever who would acknowledge how badly hurt we were

Anonymous said...

I was there from "72-73" as I read some of the post I can't imagine anyone becoming a better person by having spent time at this place, it was a very intimidating place for a 12 year old who was sent there for skipping school. I'm having a hard time remembering names but the one Mr. Lomgard when he spoke his breath wreaked of coffee and cigarettes, does anyone remember him or what about the wooden nature trail that was built in the wooded area.I remember my father coming to visit and taking me into town to shoot pool, I can recall staff taking a school bus of boys to watch the movie Play Misty For Me starring Clint Eastwood and later that summer we went canoeing in the trent/severn system, all in all it was an experience and time in my life I'd rather forget. I wish everyone that spent time there (PEACE)
Thanks,
Rick from Windsor

Eddy lip said...

I remember miss beach and a sort of staff supervisor named "champ" i attended in late 79/80 at least i turned 16 in 1980.... I remember mr meleady was the shop/woodworking teacher mr skula was a teacher who i think died at his desk and rather than check on him we smoked what butts we had ..... In the field we were generally only alllwed in groups of 3 in order to smoke you would have to be "cut in or cut on" but you needed three things a cigarette or halfer.... A match ( which we would split in two and a striker most of the time you got cut in by having one or more of the above ..... When i was there we called the solitary cells " the digger" and they were locked othewise i was always in a big dorm room .... A guy named "red" would usually be they night watchman ..... There was no pool but hockey rinks yes and an obstacle course the school was seperate from the detention area. I remember the principal being an incredibly kind and envolved man. Does anyone remember ... Roy stills, gord downey, steven sills, or a kid with the last name of davies (lifer) we played pboosball and ping pong and to this day i can still remember how good some of the kids got me too. I was a tall skinny kid and everyone called me eddy my initials are E.L. I was never abused at st johns. Anyone can reach me eddylip2420@gmail.com I sometimes wonder about sills and stills regent park kids who never deserved the lives that they inhierited, or a tiny kid from the junior side named tommy landry ..... All i can say is if you have kids dont neglect them, support and understand them love them if you ever learned how ..... Peace to all who entered there and much love to my brothers and staff who did their best with what or where the province sent them....... Eddy lip

Eddy lip said...

So you are saying you beat me in ping pong lol ? ....i could beat davies when no one could and he was the best...but he could kick me ass in phoosball, do you remember the obstacle course ? Us against the staff in the spring.

Eddy lip said...

I was sent to the digger one time for about 18 hours i had a fight with a kid named McCorkindale in the dining room. (i remember because it was such a rare last name and only one time for me in being sent to the ("klink/digger) there was a very thick heavy duty screen on the window you were given a sheet and blanket possibly a pillow) and the door was definatley LOCKED. I remember feeling so incredibly lonely and sad it was no picnic just day to day there were some big very tough inner city kids that one on one with certain staff members would lose a fight (again some of these kids had been in so many street fights family fights or had even taken boxing at jimmy simpson community centre in regent so the staff had to becareful) but Locking you in was part of the segregation and punishment,the door on the digger cells lock echoed through those rooms ( all cinder block) and i remember the type of key too it was large and oddley shappened to reflect a very secure locking mechanism that deadbolted. They also left the ceiling light on all night so they could see you but it was dimmed. I remember too that boys that were returning after being discharged would spend their first night there to basically say welcome back ....and chill the f out. The other thing was that again during my time there those cells were used very sparingly the day/night i was there i was the only one. We were also counted often at least 8 or 10 times a day.

ernie tahgaiwenene said...

I remember all the boys from that time frame I was there in 77-80 ish.Ernie Lacroix.I was the best long distance runner.davies I remember roy sills last time I seen him didn't look so good sick I think.Dave weeden lives here in toronto.vince maggio and his buddy who was really good at pool.marciello? gord d. I haven't seen ina while.ray b. is on facebook.

Joseph Ethier said...

i was there in the late 70/erly 80s''shit happed and made us stronger//yours truly Joseph Ethier

Liquid Loud said...

My name is Gigi Trudel. My father was an orphan left at the doors of St. John's training school for boys. How dare many of you minimize and criminalize these youth, some were innocent orphans you should taste your words before you spit them out. My father was raped, beat with bricks, hockey sticks, seen kids brutally punished for speaking out. He ran away at the age of twelve and when the"settlement" was stolen by the trustee, he was tired, exhausted, embarrassed, traumatized and he killed himself, apparently. I still find this hard to believe bc he loved me so much, he spent everyday with me feeding squirrels in the park and taking me out for bubblegum sodas and watched Star Wars. How dare you take away his innocence and how dare you deny that this place was home to abuse and they are the reason many of these kids committed suicide or became addicted to drugs. Shame on you. You disgust me. Really. His name is Nelson Mikael Trudel and I hope he haunts you for being so presumptuous and ignorant. You should be ashamed of yourself. My father died at 45 and he was a very decent man. Never raised his voice and he respected women in a very high degree unlike most of you ugly patriarchs. How dare you overlook that. May karma be upon you.

Gigi G. Trudel said...

How dare you minimize the atrocities that were committed. My name is Gigi Trudel. My father Nelson Mikael Trudel was an orphan sent here at a tender age in the sixths, just for being orphaned. How dare you criminalize these ppl IDs if they were committing crimes either they did not deserve "pick a brick" they did not deserve to be ass raped and my father killed himself after the "settlement" was stolen by the trustee which the crown attorney appointed. The crown attorney should be held responsible for this and the death of my father. The class action lawsuit brought all these terrible memories back to my father. And when the trustee took off with what he thought would finally be his break, he committed suicide. Tired. Exhausted. And never compensated or given an apology. May karma be upon all those who hide the truth. May karma be upon all those who ever put my father in a negative light. He was a gentle,an. He never raised his voice. He respected women unlike most of you ugly patriarchs. He loved animals. He was a beautiful person. You should feel terrible and ashamed of yourself for even opening your mouth when you know nothing of what happened. My dad will never come back to me. You DISGUST me.

Big Tee said...

Car was a goof. I threw the telephone at him for cutting my call off but other than that it was a goid place and they did try to help us kids straighten out. You must have been there in the 90s I remember all those staff and Mr Santos if I am correct the older black gentleman I always liked him he was a hardass but for the right reasons. It changed me for the better and I hope it did you as well.

Big Tee said...

It wasn't that bad. I was there in the 90s and yes sometimes you'd have to deal with some idiot fellow inmates possibly throw your fists up but other than that the place was good.

Big Tee said...

Sorry to hear that. I was there in the 90s and it was very different from those times in fact alot of us looked forward to getting pinched just so we could go back.

Big Tee said...

Hey bill when were u there? 90s for me I think it changed alot in the later years oh I know things happened there in the past and if it was going on during my time I honestly didn't see it the most I dealt with was that goofball Mr Car who I threw a phone and clipped in the face because he thought it would be funny to provoke me by cutting my call off and calling me a dopehead

Eddie Santini said...

Man I was at this place in 92 this brings backs so many weird memories .... I would love to go with someone one day and explaine how things worked

Anonymous said...

I was there u described it well

Anonymous said...

Churned up some bad memories -well done friend

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across your site and had some horrific flash backs to 1971 when I was a resident there for the 1st of three stints. I first got taken from my home for breaking windows, the second time was for truancy and the third was for fighting. My life changed the moment I was forced through the doors of St. Johns Uxbridge and I suffered the abuse that I did for breaking a window. You think an apology and a few bucks fixed what was taken from an innocent boy? I just repeat "forgive them Father for they do not know what they are doing.