Welcome to Walk Liberty!
Walk Liberty is an interactive, online portal that showcases the rich history, public spaces, and dynamic and eclectic businesses of Liberty Village. Get outside, explore the neighbourhood and support your local businesses.
This is one of ten stops along a walking tour of Liberty Village.
Immediately to the south of this point is Lamport Stadium, which hosts amateur and professional soccer, football, rugby, and lacrosse matches. It is home to the Toronto Argonauts’ practice facility, and a hub for Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival (Caribana). Lamport Stadium opened in 1975, on the grounds of the Andrew Mercer Reformatory, a notorious women’s prison that operated from 1872 to 1969. The nearby LVBIA art bench, “The smell of fresh bread” by Brad Emsley, depicts the neo-Gothic archecture of the Mercer Reformatory, with the industrial smokestacks behind.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, women could be sent to the Mercer Reformatory for violating Victorian and Edwardian ideals, including “promiscuousness,” having children out of wedlock, or being in interracial relationships. Abuses were common. Women released from the prison would be let out the back, to a roadway that became known as Liberty Street. With the opening of a modern women’s jail in Brampton – the Vanier Institute – the Mercer Reformatory was closed and demolished in 1969. Only the superintendent’s house, at the corner of King Street and Fraser Avenue, still stands.
Joe Shuster Way is named for the Toronto-born artist, who with Jerry Siegel, created Superman, one of the most famous comic book superheroes. Before his family moved to the United States, Joe Shuster worked as a newspaper boy for the Toronto Star.