Public Archives- MIKAN 3318778 —Smallpox tents on Porter Island, circa 1895-1911. William James Topley Small Pox Shack served as the hospital
There was a time was when the Ottawa’s facilities for cases of smallpox were poorly inadequate, and when the only ‘pest house” was a decrepit, rat-ridden shack unfit for human habitation. The outbreak of smallpox was a very real menace and those inflicted slept three to a bed inside, and outside, 10 patients shared one tent on Porter Island.
April 25, 1894
In February of 1911 a Water Street mother spoke to the Ottawa media and said she was not going to send any child of hers “to that Isolation Hospital” which was situated on Porter’s Islandon the Rideau River just south of Edinburgh Park. The distraught woman said she had read in the newspapers about the inhabitable conditions, and even if some city councillors defended it, no…
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