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Forgotten OPP detachment in Woodstock

September 2021

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), formed on 13 October 1909, are one of North America’s largest deployed police services. The service has around 5,500 uniformed officers and 2,500 civilians, deployed to 165 detachments (stations), five regional headquarters, one divisional headquarters and one General Headquarters.

Their primary mandate is to patrol provincial highways, waterways, and areas of the province without a municipal police service, along with providing protective services to provincial government officials and property.

Over the past 112 years, older detachments and headquarters buildings have been replaced by new ones, along with additional detachments when the OPP take over areas previously policed by disbanded municipal services. Like all former government buildings, some are sold and repurposed for other uses; others are simply left to deteriorate.

The building once housed the Oxford County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Woodstock, is one of the obsolete detachments that got left behind. The detachment was vacated in 2004, after a modern building was built in Tilsonburg. It was put up for sale, but apparently there were no takers for this 1950s-era government building.

The inside of the detachment has been entirely gutted by vandals and scrappers. Large holes have been knocked in the old walls, painted surfaces are peeling, and ceiling tiles have fallen to the debris-cluttered floor. The jail cells in the lower level are still intact, but the paint is pealing and the bars are rusting. The windows that aren’t boarded-up, are devoid of glass, letting in the elements. The basement is flooded half-way up the walls.

If the building is ever sold, it’s likely the new owners would just demolish it and build new.

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/forgotten-opp-detachment-in-woodstock/

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