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We've submitted an expression of interest application for additional funding from the government’s Future High Streets Funds to help transform, town centre. Read the full story >>




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I lived in and around , Suffolk for 45 years. I read with horror Belle Vue building and surrounding park is earmarked for demolition to make way for a hotel. I have so many very personal memories of Belle Vue. Not everything is about money.




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When you replace your furnace filter, have you ever wondered what exactly a MERV rating is or why it’s important?




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Your Councillor’s were out with who were doing a deep clean on the Harrow Road removing stains, gum and Jet washing. The area is looking very nice and clean and the planters enhance the area.

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If you are interested in joining a dynamic and innovative Northern Ontario company, then reach out to us #CarriereIndustrial at the #Sudbury Job Fair on March 20th, 2019 at the #LexingtonHotel between 1–3 pm.

“Gets Two Years in Pen For Break From Burwash,” Ottawa Citizen. July 21, 1938. Page 21.

Canadian Press.
SUDBURY, Ont., July 20. - Joseph Walker, 27, of Hamilton, was sentenced today to two years in Kingston Penitentiary when he pleaded guilty to a charge of breaking out of the Burwash Industrial Farm July 4 and assisting Patrick McKenzie in an attempt to break jail.

Walker will serve the Kingston term and then return to Burwash to complete 18 months of a term he was serving when he broke jail. Walker was in the bush for seven days before black flies and lack of food forced him to give himself up. McKenzie, who could not escape through the hole Walker used because he was too big, started a two-year sentence earlier this month for attempting to break jail.

“A Five Year Sentence,” Sudbury Star. March 30, 1918. Page 08.

Five years in Kingston penitentiary was the sentence meted out to Oscar Joki, Finlander, found guilty of shooting with intent to kill, by the Hon. Mr. Justice Masten at the Tuesday sittings of the Spring Assizes. It was shown that the victim of the shooting had been separated from his wife and that Joki was keeping company with her. One night the husband returned to his home in Mond, Joki hiding around the corner of the house fired three shots at him, one of which passed through the his arm. J. A. Mulligan, Sudbury, defended the prisoner, and G.T.L. Bull, North Bay, prosecuted.

“Escaped Burwash Convict Given 10 Years in Kingston,” The Globe and Mail. October 24, 1938. Page 07.

Sudbury, Oct. 24 (Special). - Convicted by a Supreme Court jury last week on a charge of committing a serious offense on July 18, the day he escaped from Burwash Industrial Farm, Clifford Montgomery, 23, was sentenced to ten years in Portsmouth Penitentiary by Mr. justice J. McTague today. Crown Attorney E. D. Wilkins preferred not to press other charges, including assault charges arising from a disturbance at Sudbury district jail last month when Montgomery ran amok and assaulted three guards. Sudbury city police had to be summoned before Montgomery could be brought under control and returned to his cell.

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“Attack On Woman Draws Ten Years,” Toronto Star. October 24, 1938. Page 02.

Assault Attempted Few Hours After Prison Escape

Sudbury, Oct. 24 - Cliff Montgomery, escaped convict, convicted of a serious offence at the fall assizes, was sentenced to 10 years in Kingston Penitentiary by Mr. Justice Charles P. McTague today. Six other charges were set over for hearing at the next assizes.

The 21-year-old convict was accused of attacking the mother of a four-year-old boy in a sectionman’s home at Waterfall, four miles from Burwash reformatory, a few hours after his escape.

Other charges facing Montgomery are those of assaulting Governor W. H. O’Leary and two guards in Sudbury district jail, Sept. 30, and of escaping from Burwash.

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“Youth Is Convicted On Serious Charge,” Toronto Star. October 21, 1938. Page 25.

Used Knife as Threat in Attack, Says Woman

Special to The Star
Sudbury, Oct. 21. - On a serious charge, Clifford Montgomery, 20-year-old former Burwash industrial farm inmate, was convicted yestersay. The wife of a section man at Waterfall told the court that she found Montgomery in her home, and he attacked her. Montgomery, she said, held her by the throat and threatened her with the butcher knife. He said that if she told anyone he would kill her.

Montgomery pleaded temporary insanity and complete loss of memory, but Justice C. P. McTague cautioned the jury that Montgomery had not been found insane.

In his own testimony the prisoner told of being brought up from four years of age in St. Thomas Childrens’ shelter. At 12 he was transferred to the Bowmanville Corrective School for Boys. He remained there for two years when ‘because they said I was too tough, they sent me to the mental hospital at Orillia. I don’t see why.’ At 16 he escaped and spent most of the next four years at Burwash. On July 18, he escaped Burwash and reached the section man’s house.

“To Hang Today For Murdering Police Officer,” The Globe and Mail. January 22, 1938. Page 04.

Tom Pornomarenko to Drop Through Trap Early in Morning 

First In Sudbury Jail

Sudbury, Jan. 21 (CP). - Tom Pornomarenko will hang for murder early tomorrow.

His drop through a trapdoor in the floor of Sudbury Jail will be the first hanging in the new jail building and the first in Sudbury since 1929.

It was expected the hanging will take place shortly after midnight, as the jury to witness it has been called for 12:15 a.m. Saturday. Officials refused to release any other information.

Death sentence was passed by Mr. Justice G. F. McFarland Oct. 21,  Pornomarenko was the companion of Victory Gray [Victor Sizmonski], killed by police bullets, all the time Police-Sergeant Fred Davidson was riddled by bullets here. Sergeant Davidson identified photographs of both men on his deathbed. 

Shooting of the officer started the most intense manhunt Northern Ontario has seen for many years. District roads were patrolled to block escape of the murderers and eleven days after the Sudbury officer was killed Gray and  Pornomarenko were surrounded in a rocky pass near the Spanish River.

Shots were exchanged in the misty morning light and Gray fell, a victim of police sharpshooters. Pornomarenko continued the battle then was seriously wounded by brother officers of Davidson. He was captured July 22.

For weeks Pornomarenko lingered between life and death in hospital at Espanola, forty miles west of here, a bullet lodged in his lung. Finally, he was sufficiently recovered to be brought here and face trial.

Police records revealed eighteen of  Pornomarenko’s forty-seven years were spent in prison. Awaiting hanging, he appeared calm and divided his day into rest periods, reading and playing cards and checkers with his guards.

“Man At Burwash Flogged While Hanging Tied Up,” Sudbury Star. November 1, 1917. Page 01 & 18.

Men Can’t Change Wet Garments

Ontario Prison Farm Inmates Sleep in Three Tiers of Berths.

Special to The Star by a Staff Reporter.
Burwash, Ont., Nov. 1. - Astonishing revelations were made at the Ontario Prison Farm yesterday during a visit of Hon. W. D. McPherson, C. McCrea, M.P.P., and a representative of The Toronto Star, which indicate that radical changes will be made in the near future in the conditions of the inmates. The Provincial institution is situated about eighteen miles before reaching Sudbury, on the C.P.R. main western line. It is safe to indicate that if the evidence received yesterday is further corroborated, heroic measures will be taken to eliminate conditions which can only be regarded as deplorable in such an institution. 

During the last few days many complaints reached The Star about the conditions under which the inmates lived. On Monday a representative of The Star asked permission of Hon. W. D. McPherson to go through the institution, and see if the allegations were true. Mr. McPherson said he was about to visit Burwash. The Star asked to accompany him, and was readily granted permission. Mr. McPherson stated there was nothing to hide or conceal. He not only allowed freedom to get the information, but himself opened the avenue whereby it could be obtained.

May Appoint Commissioner.
After the strenuous day was over the Provincial Secretary expressed surprise at some of the revelations and said he did not see anything which could not be remedied. He would follow the matter further every way and also indicated that he might appoint a commissioner to sift the matter to the very bottom.

From the statements of the prisoners themselves it seemed to be established that inmates sleep in three tiers of steel construction beds in their underwear, and that often after working in pouring rain they return and sleep in their wet underwear and have no change of clothing. Many men working out in the open yesterday were working with wet feet, due to being badly shod, and their think socks in many cases had holes in them. A thin coating of snow covered the ground.

A Flogging Machine.
There is at the farm a steel machine to which men are fastened to be flogged. This flogging has ceased since the beginning of September. One man said he was fastened to the machine and flogged hanging by his wrists as he was not tal enough to reach for the floor with his feet.

Until last August 1st, there was no permanent medical officer at the camp, and since then he has been away a week out west. There is no real hospital at the camp, and a room was opened yesterday, in which three beds were placed as a temporary hospital. Several men with ugly diseases and others with serious ailments are living with the inmates all the time in the same rooms, eating with them, sleeping with them, and washing at the same toilets. Apparently the medical officer was unaware of this.

Tells Revolting Story.
Men have been fastened to posts in the dormitory, with their arms around the post and wrists handcuffed, and left there for many hours. According to the testimony of an old Scotchman one man was beaten brutally by an official. The old man’s story of it is a revolting one. This case is to be investigated thoroughly by the Provincial Secretary.

When the prisoners were asked if the old man’s tale was true many said: yes, they had witnessed it. After the man was brutally treated and bleeding he was put on the ‘machine,’ it is stated. One prisoner, a printer by trade, said ‘We don’t mind work, but surely we ought to be treated as human beings.’ He stated that the work in the bush was too heavy for him, as he was brought up to other work. He did his best, but could not do as much as an experienced man, and this got him into trouble.

Checker Boards for Visitors.
Many of the prisoners stated that they knew a party of visitors were coming. Everything had been scrubbed. Thirty-five bunks, they said, had been taken out of the crowded dormitory at main camp No. 2 and taken to camp 1 the night before. The little hospital with three beds was opened yesterday. An official appeared and placed three checker boards with the checkers in the dormitory at the main camp ten minutes before the party entered the room. This was the first time the men had ever seen games. Men at main camp 1 had been given fresh footwear during the last two days, but the men at camp 1 had not got any.

When many of the men were asked if they knew a party of visitors were coming a great number replied ‘yes’ and laughed, one man stating that last night the officials were painting by lantern light to fix things up.

At the main camp No. 2 the new building is a good one. The toilet room is a good one. A prisoner who was formerly a civil engineer stated that the water in the toilet room was only running for about three to four hours a day.

Three Tiers of Bunks.
There was a general complaint that the food was not good and insufficient, the eating utensils dirty, the work heavy to men unaccustomed to it. They work ten hours a day, six days a week, and at Sunday they are confined in the dormitories, which are crowded. The only religious services they heard were when a Salvation Army captain visited them. Many of the prisoners are Catholics, and asked that a priest be allowed to conduct service for them.

There is no furniture in the dormitory. Down each side of the dormitory there is a row of steel bunks, another row above this, and a third still higher. When filled there are three rows of inmates on each side of the dormitory, each row above the other.

Three Camps in Operation.
Burwash Prison Farm consists of about 55 quare miles in area. There are three camps in operation at present. At No. 1 there are 142 inmates, and at the main camp No. 2 about 152. These were the two camnps visited by the party. As before stated, there are about 322 inmates altogether in the prison. Nearly all were seen, as 294 out of the 322 are at these two camps. Most of the prisoners were engaged clearing the land, making roads, doing concrete work, or cultivating land and ripping out the stumps. The inmates of the prison are men who have been sent for terms of from one to three months or not exceeding two years. Camp 1 was the first place visited, and lies about a mile and a half from Burwash station, on the C.P.R. The visitors inspected the big dormitory, with its 143 steel bunks, contained in a frame building heated with two big stoves.

Stories Told by Prisoners.
The first gang of prisoners at Camp 1 were found at work about half a mile from the dormitory. They were digging and clearing the land. Hon. W. D. McPherson asked the guards and officials to retire. He then told the men that they could talk freely without fear of being penalized for what they said. Complaints had been heard, and the visitors wanted to know if the prisoners had any complaints to make about their treatment. Four or five told about being put on the ‘machine.’ One man said he was digging in a ditch. He was wet and sweating. He climbed out for a moment, and was told get back. He did so. Another prisoner informed the guard he had got out again when he had not permission and so he was given the ‘machine.’

A great proportion of the men said their feet were wet, and had been all day. Two took their shoes off to show their wet socks and holes in them. Several of the men said they were ill and could not do the heavy work, but had to stick at it. The men said they got a change of underclothes every week, but that the underwear they pulled off was washed at the laundry at the main camp and was not half washed. They stated they slept in their underwear.

Two of them were returned soldiers. One had been at the front with the 2nd Battalion. He was in the prison for ‘joy riding.’ They said the bread was often sour. Their clothes were insufficient. One man said he was half paralyzed and showed his limbs to prove it, declaring that he was out in the open on heavy work. It meant a five-mile jaunt on wagons and horseback for the party to reach main camp No. 2.

Mr. McPherson, Investigates. 
Mr. McPherson addressed the prisoners after dismissing the guards and told them to speak frankly. They did. One man stated plainly that the whole place had been fixed up ready for the visitors. Everything had been scrubbed, the men’s hair cut, and some new clothes given to them and an issue of shoes in anticipation of the visit. The men showed their wet underwear. They had just come in from working out in the bush, and stated they had to sleep in that, and did so regularly. In answer to Mr. McPherson, the men stated that they had asked for fresh clothing and that it had been refused. Others said that after the doctor had told them to stay inside when they were ill the guard would turn them out. They said the doctor was a good fellow, but what he said ‘didn’t go.’

The Star asked the prisoners questions and inspected their clothing. Men told of being ill but being forced to continue to work. They told of contracting rheumatism, although they had never had it before. One man said he would rather put in two years at Kingston than a week in Burwash. The men who had been flogged in some cases stated it was for trying to run away. Asked why they tried to escape they replied, ‘Bad food, heavy work, and the general treatment. Couldn’t stand it.’ Quite a number of those who had been punished stated they were in for having ‘a bottle of booze.’

Flogging Before August 1st.
The whole story was an astonishing one. All idea of trying to fit these men as future citizens or their social regeneration seems to have been lost sight of. Everything is in favor of the prison being a splendid one for reclaiming men. There is a abundant country, the new building and equipment are good, but the treatment of the men as human beings seems to be secondary. The officials at the institution state that the men are only flogged for serious offences such as insolence to an officer, laziness and refusing to work, and trying to escape. The officials have a card index system showing every man’s record. The flogging evidently ceased on September 1st, but the officials state it was not because of complaints made. They state that a man never was flogged without medical authority since the camps have had a medical officer. But almost all the flogging took place before the arrival of this officer on August 1st. The officials showed the food the men had and said the bread was of the best. 

There is a vast difference of opinion between the official’s statement and that of the prisoners. It was denied that any man had been beaten up by an official.

Man Shot by Guard.
One man was shot by a guard with a revolver. He was trying to escape. The inquest was held at the camp without a jury as the district is unorganized.

The camp came into use when Guelph and Whitby institutions were turned over to the Military Hospitals Commission for returned soldiers, officials vigorously defend the Burwash Prison as excellent under all the circumstances.

Mr. McPherson, in addressing the prisoners after the investigation stated that there was not the slightest idea of interfering with the discipline of the institution. He would see that every man had a square deal. Everything would be fixed and the officials would do their duty. The law had placed them there and that had to be recognized. The men applauded the Provincial Secretary. Officials are confident that when the matter is followed up further the treatment will be justified.

“Bulgarian In Jail Suspected Of Espionage,” Sudbury Star. December 1, 1917. Page 07.

Authorities at Ottawa Order Arrest of Foreigners.

On the nominal charge of being an alien enemy and suspected of committing acts of espionage under the War Measures Act, P. V. Stocff, a Bulgarian, was brought to Sudbury on Friday by Levack by Constable Sykes. With the prisoner was brought a suit containing books, hundreds of letters, and newspapers which have come from many parts of the United States and Canada addressed to the accused, and these were sent to Ottawa on Friday to be examined by the authorities. Stocff is a bright and intelligent foreigner, can speak the best of English, and is apparently well educated. His acts recently have aroused the suspicion of the authorities at the Mine with the result that he has been taken in hand. It is thought that the letters and newspapers contain references and information concerning the district mining industries, as it is alleged that he threatened to send information to the U.S. regarding the Canadian Copper Company’s works. The paper of which numerous copies were found in his possession is printed in the Bulgarian language and published at Garden City, Illinois. The prisoner has been remanded to the District Jail pending the examination of the articles found in his possession. Two other Bulgarians have also been taken into camp at Levack on instructions from Ottawa and are also in the District Jail.