Built in 1825, this neoclassical, loyalist style building expanded several times. Its orange roof and unique have coupola become the focal point of L'Orignal, now apart of the Township of Champlain.
In 1998, Ontario's oldest prison closed its doors. It was also the only francophone jail in Ontario. However, the second floor is still occupied by the oldest courthouse in Ontario. To this day, the courthouse is still in function.
Open to the public since 2007, this historical site now under the Ontario Heritage Act invites you to soak in the atmosphere of what used to be prison life in L’Orignal.
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
CARCERAL & JUDICIAL History
An exhibition on the legal world, including information on the OPP, local lawyers, known inmates as well as anecdotes told by former jail employees. There are also observations made by paranormal investigators.
FREDERICK MANN (1883)
Friday October 12th 1883, Mann was hanged for the murders of 4 members of the Cook family near Little Rideau (Hawkesbury East, Chute-à-Blondeau).
narcisse larocque (1891)
June 4th 1891, Narcisse Larocque was hanged for the rape and murder of two little girls aged 12 and 13 years-old, Mary and Eliza McGonigal, the children of Julia Sauvé and James McGonigal from Cumberland.
CLÉMENT GOYETTE (1904)
On April 28th 1904, Clément Goyette was hanged for the murder of Daniel Colligan and his son Thomas, from Alfred (lot 35 between 3rd and 4th concession)
EMMANUEL LAVICTOIRE AND WILLIAM LAROCQUE (1933)
March 15th 1933, William Larocque and Emmanuel Lavictoire from Cumberland were hanged for the murder of Léo Bergeron, aged 27, from Rockland
The L'Orignal Old Jail is renting its tent for special events. The tent can accommodate over 90 people. Available from mid-May to mid-September. Accessible for people with limited mobility. Certain conditions apply.
Our conference room can accommodate up to approximately 25 people. Certain conditions apply.