The Parliament Buildings and Emigrant Sheds, City of Toronto Museums, 1978.41.30
Inset showing the Emigrant Shed (far left) on Front Street.

The massive wave of emigration from the British Isles in the 1830s that was inspired by an unstable European economy and the growing Atlantic shipping trade2. Unfortunately, this wave of emigrants brought cholera with them. Emigrant sheds provided a rudimentary quarantine for the large influx of cholera patients and temporary shelter for immigrants who arrived penniless in Canada.

2 Geoffrey Bilson. A Darkened House: Cholera in Nineteenth Century Canada. Pg 6.

Curiously, the only mention of cholera in Howard’s diary entries chronicling his arrival in Upper Canada is to note that “some of the passengers took cholera during the crossing and this made it difficult on arriving in the St. Lawrence to purchase provisions or to get water, as the inhabitants were terrified of the dread disease.”