Status: Former Minimum Security Jail; Abandoned; Private Property
Investigations Can Be Booked
This facility was opened in 1914 as a working prison farm.
It was built to house 1,000 prisoners but the population never exceeded 825.
There was 35,000 acres of land surrounding it and, in the beginning, it was very isolated with no road access.
As well as farming, the inmates built an entire town including a school and post office for the staff to live in as there was no existing place for them to live nearby.
When Highway 69 – part of the Trans-Canada Highway – was built the prison was no longer completely isolated from the rest of the world. Signs were put up along the highway where it was near the prison telling people not to pick up hitchhikers as they might be escaped prisoners.
Being minimum security conditions were not very harsh in the prison. There is one story though of fire hoses being used on those that broke the rules.
There was only one successful escape where the inmates stole a car and made it all the way to Toronto before being caught. They were moved to a higher security prison.
In 1975 it was decided by the Provincial Government the facility was too costly to maintain. The inmates were all relocated and the 1,000 people in Burwash the townsite were all told to move. The entire site was bulldozed under except the main prison building and the prison cemetery by the 1990’s.
The Federal Government bought the land for 1.8 million dollars and Department of National Defense took over most of it for training use. It was also used by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for gravel reserves.
As of 2020 the land is owned by Avalon Eco Resort and it can be explored but you must contact the resort and pay a small fee to access it.
The resort cannot be accessed by vehicle. Unless you have a motorcycle or ATV you’re in for a 45 to 60 min walk to the site.
Do Not Trespass
Avalon Contact Info
Perhaps just due to the isolation, the entire site has been described as having an eerie energy.
People have reported seeing faces looking out of the barred windows when there’s no else around for miles.
Other reported activity: apparitions of former prisoners; shadow figures; unexplained mists; cold spots; disembodied voices; unexplained noises including loud bangs; objects moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of being watched and not being alone.