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Toronto Star: Owen Sound Jail for Sale
Tess Kalinowski, forwarded by Stephen Otto | December 13, 2017

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Jailhouse charm at a bargain basement price

https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/12/12/jailhouse-charm-at-a-bargain-basement-price.html

From Issue No. 264 | December 17, 2017

Owen Sound is looking for a developer to take up the challenge of its historic courthouse and prison.

 
A postcard shows the Owen Sound courthouse in 1910.
So what if the “courtyard” used to be a walled exercise yard and the ensuite bathrooms are incorporated into jail cells? 

In Toronto, those features might pass for the charm of a fixer-upper. In Owen Sound, they’re proving a tough sell even at the bargain price of $99,000.

The city of about 21,000 people, on the shore of Georgian Bay, has been trying to sell the original 1854 Grey County courthouse and jail since about 2014.

Owen Sound took over ownership from the county in the 1960s, when the court moved to a new building. It has since been used as offices and artists’ studios, but now sits empty. 

Were it in Toronto, it’s the kind of property that would probably have been snapped up by a developer. But when a retirement home chain looked at developing it a couple of years ago, the old courthouse proved unsuitable and was returned to the city, according to Owen Sound architect Grant Diemert, who has researched the property.

The courthouse has some designated heritage features, including the main courtroom with a Latin inscribed mural and a staircase.
The courthouse has some designated heritage features, including the main courtroom with a Latin inscribed mural and a staircase.  (CHRISTIE'S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE)  

He dates the jail to 1866 and the addition on the back of the courthouse to about 1875. 

The current real estate listing, posted in August, has generated lots of interest — it’s had about 50 showings so far — but no offers, said local Chestnut Park realtor Dave Moyer, who has a land development background.

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