Toronto Orphanages and Day Nurseries

Matron with three orphans

The Children's Aid Society, Toronto

The Toronto Children's Aid Society was established in 1891 by a group of citizens headed by J. J. Kelso, Ontario's first Superintendent of Neglected and Dependent Children. The Children's Protection Act (1893) gave the CAS powers to apprehend neglected children and collect funds for their supervision in municipal shelters. The following notice cautions parents and draws attention to legislation prohibiting the procurement of children for begging.

Image - Notice to Parents
Notice to Parents. Ephemera. 189--. Notice

In the early twentieth century, the use of orphanages declined dramatically. The Children's Aid Society's efforts to board children out to families in the community reflected a shift in public sentiment away from institutionalizing children. The CAS form, Application for a Child, demonstrates the Society's expectation that all of their children would be guaranteed an education. Foster families were also expected to treat the children as members of the family, rather than the family help.

Image - Application for Child
Application for a Child. Blakey Shuttleworth Family Fonds, 1900-1920. S143