BURWASH CORRECTIONAL CENTER WAS OPENED in 1914. Over the years, an entire community sprang up around it, built by inmates to house 1,000 or so residents who worked at the prison and its farm. But the prison was deemed too costly and was closed in 1975, leaving the red brick building to the elements.
Burwash Prison once housed anywhere between 180 and 820 inmates. When the initially isolated prison became more accessible following the construction of Highway 69, an entire community of prison workers and support staff developed around the facility. The inmates built a church and a post office, a tailor shop, and a shoe repair shop.
After further research, a lot of reports from former inmates considered Burwash Prison “a hellhole.”
Today, the dilapidated halls of the correctional center are marked by peeling paint and graffiti, broken glass, and creeping weeds. Moss, rust, and silence have long reclaimed this once-thriving prison and its surrounding community now left to crumble in the frigid Ontario air.
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