Ontario’s small towns always end up surprising us, whether that be through their history, their local offerings, or the fascinating facts they’re known for. Creemore just so happens to be home to one of the smallest jails in all of North America. And if you look at the size of the building, you’ll agree it’s on the fascinating side.
Creemore, Ontario is part of the Clearview Township, located in Simcoe County. Just about an hour and a half north of Toronto, this town is known for its hidden gems, local shops, small-town vibe, and weekly farmers markets.
Oh, and of course, it is home to the smallest jail in North America.
According to South Georgian Bay Tourism, this jail was built in 1892 and has a three-cell structure that is the smallest in Ontario and possibly all of North America.
This jail nook served for about 50 years, according to the tourism page. “For offences like drunkenness or disturbing the peace, inmates were lodged here overnight. Those charged with more serious crimes were held here until transported to the County Sheriff in Barrie.”
View this post on Instagram
Back in the 1940s, the new provincial police regulations closed the building but it wasn’t until the 1960s that it re-opened as a tourist attraction. It was then promoted as “North America’s Smallest Jail.”
But, it just so happens that Ontario actually has a few small jails – which also claim to be the smallest. One of them is located in Tweed, a small town in the central-eastern Ontario county of Hastings. Although it’s no longer housing any prisoners, you can still pop by and snap some photos behind the bars.
“Although other communities may contest the claim, Creemore continues to affirm its title as a village with “a big heart and the smallest jail.'” states the tourist site.
You can actually visit the jail up until some point in October.
Swing by this fall before it closes to the public for the rest of the year. It’s definitely day trip-worthy.