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Eerie Photos Explore A Remote Prison That Has Been Abandoned Since The 1970s

A remote, abandoned prison in Canada’s outback has become the focal point for photographer, Mike Palmer’s latest collection. Ontario’s Burwash Correctional Facility was abandoned in the 1970s and is so remote that to get there you have to travel up a river by canoe.

Mike Palmer braved the river and weather conditions along with his camera in order to capture some eerie photographs of the current state of the facility and its ruins.

Mike says that he loves being a photographer, but says that he has to constantly look for new, interesting and innovative subject matters. Otherwise he says his work would get stuck in a rut. Mike says he has to push himself and go and explore the countryside and region to see what might make a new subject for his camera. When Mike found the abandoned prison, which is located on the shore of the river he had rowed up and is in the middle of nowhere, he says that he couldn’t resist the adventure that lay before him.

At the time it was November, and in Canada temperatures can plunge to minus 15 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless Mike and a team of adventurous Canadians made their way up the Wanapetei River in canoes and Mike’s photography equipment.

Mike remembers how it had started snowing and the cold got to the entire group. He says it took a lot of energy and effort just to even row up the river in their canoes, let alone then take on a photo shoot. The team had to focus on surviving the conditions, rather than making the photo shoot the priority.


Once they arrived at the abandoned prison, they set up camp and made sure everyone got warm and dry from their journey. Mike says that although the prison is eerie and unwelcoming, it kept them dry and made a great shelter for them. (The Huffington Post)

Mike’s images range from flooded, dimly lit prison corridors, stairwells and rotting paintwork, to the outside of the prison with no windows and decaying brick work.

50 years ago the facility would have been full of convicts and inmates serving their time for breaking the law. Now the building has become part of the landscape and Mike has captured this beautifully.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News