Over its long history, the House of Industry at different times offered services to seniors, homeless people, unemployed people, orphaned and abandoned children, recent immigrants, and the families of servicemen.
As the government began taking more responsibility for social services, it phased many of these programs out, and in 1947, under the name Laughlen Lodge, it became exclusively a residence for seniors.
This building was designed by architect William Thomas. Thomas was born in Suffolk, England . In 1843, during a depression in the British building industry, he came to Canada. He emigrated with his wife and 10 children to what is now Toronto, in 1843, where his career flourished. He designed some of the finest Decorated Gothic Revival-style buildings in Ontario. He was also city engineer in Toronto and across Canada. Two of his sons, William Tutin Thomas and Cyrus Pole Thomas, also became architects. William Thomas senior died in Toronto. Thomas also was the architect who designed Brocks Monument in Queenston, the Don Jail in Toronto and St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Ontario.
Men breaking stone in return for a bed and a meal at the House of Industry
Notes by House of Industry staff about people requesting help