L’Orignal Old Jail (1825-1998)
From detention to interpretation centre
Opening Hours and Entry fees
Opened Daily 10am to 4pm from June to August / Guided visits upon request between September and May.
Seniors and students: $5
Children 4 to 12: $3
Family Rate (2 adults, 2 children): $15
L'Orignal Old Jail
1023 Queen Street, P.O.Box 121
L'Orignal ON K0B 1K0
613-675-4661 x8107 / 1-800-667-6307 x8107
For more information www.lorignalprison.com
In 1823, discussions were held in order to build a court and a prison at L’Orignal for the Ottawa District. Jacob Marston, a prominent local citizen, offered two acres of land to erect such a building. In 1825, a beautiful stone construction designed in the Neo-Loyalist style was inaugurated. This building was added to a number times, one being the West wing in 1850 and another the East wing in 1862. The administrative offices of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell were added in 1962. Even though the oldest prison in Ontario was decommissioned in 1998, the second story was taken over by the Court. Topped by a distinctive orange roof and a remarkable dome or cupola, this unique building remains the most significant in L’Orignal, which is now part of the Township of Champlain.
The importance of this heritage building reaches far beyond the territory of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell. Indeed, this is the oldest judiciary building still in operation in Ontario and one of the few existing buildings used as government offices before the enactment of the Municipal Act of 1849. This building stands as a witness to every step in the development of the regional government and in the evolution of the judiciary system in Ontario since 1825, thus spanning nearly two centuries
In addition to being the oldest building in the United Counties, this complex remains one of the most significant in Ontario, particularly for the Franco-Ontarian Community. When this institution was closed, it was the only Francophone correctional centre in Ontario. L’Orignal Prison was recognized for the excellence of the educational, spiritual and health programs and services it offered in French. In short, this place is a testament to a strong Francophone presence in Ontario
About some inmates
The jail was used as such for more than 170 years and close to xxxx prisonners passed through its doors. Of these, 5 prisonners were executed in the Old Jail at L'Orignal. They were Frederick Mann, Narcisse Larocque, Clement Goyette, William Larocque and Emmanuel Lavictoire. All were hanged. For more details on the prisonners and their case consult "The condemned of L'Orignal" or visit the Website of Library and archives Canada.