Burwash prison

Burwash Ontario is a ghost town with a creepy abandoned prison you can explore

Burwash was once a thriving community in Ontario, but it's now a forgotten village being slowly reclaimed by nature that attracts both ghost-hunters and adventure-seekers alike.

Located just south of Sudbury roughly 4 hours north of Toronto, Burwash was originally established in the early 20th century as a direct product of the Canadian penal system.

The Burwash Correctional Centre was constructed in 1914 to hold up to 1000 inmates. The prison, found in a remote area on over 14,000 hectares of land, was only accessible from a nearby station on the Canadian Northern Railway.

Due to its isolated location, a community had to be built surrounding the prison to house the staff working there, including a public school, church, post office, and barbershop.

At its peak, the correctional facility was the fourth-largest employer in the Sudbury area with an almost entirely self-sufficient community.

The institution was renamed Camp Bison Prison, and inmates farmed the land and sold bread, meat, and vegetables they harvested at the local grocer. They were also able to work in various trades while receiving an education.

However, the prison was eventually determined to be too costly to operate and shut down in 1975, marking the end of the village as well.

Today, almost all the buildings have since been levelled, except for the prison structure itself. Nature has taken over most of what's left, growing over roads and concealing buildings.

In March, Avalon Eco Resort purchased the old Camp Bison Jail Center and surrounding area and created a direct hiking trail extending 4.5 km to the prison.

While the land ruins are now within private property, you can still visit with permission of Avalon Eco Resort, the new property owner, after signing an associated safety waiver and paying a small fee.

Visitors can now walk through the abandoned prison halls and take a peek into its creepy history. However, keep in mind the structure is not maintained and make sure to prioritize safety and minimize disturbance to the recovering ecosystem when you visit.

Lead photo by

freaktography


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