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Bible camp in Grey County was originally a provincial jail

March 2024

When the Government of Ontario was looking for a location for a new super-jail for the central Ontario region, in mid-1990s, the small town of Durham, in Grey County, was on the list of proposed locations. In the end, the provincial government chose another location, but this wouldn’t have been the first time that Durham had provincial jail.

In 1968, a minimum security work camp was established in Glenelg Township, just to the east of Durham, located in a tranquil, country environment, surrounded by forests and farm fields.

Camp Oliver was named in honour of Farquhar Oliver, a member of the Ontario Legislature for the riding of Grey South from 1926-1967, leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario from 1945-1950, 1954-1958 and acting leader from 1963-1964, the latter two of which he also served as the Leader of the Official Opposition.

However, Camp Oliver had a brief life, as it was shut down in 1977, after just nine years of operation. The property was sold to a group of Baptist churches, who established New Life Camp, a year-round bible camp and Christian weekend retreat.

Sources: https://newlifecamp.ca/who-we-are/, https://rhodyfamily.com/life_story/john-sinclair/, Farquhar Oliver – Wikipedia.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/bible-camp-in-grey-county-was-originally-a-provincial-jail/

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