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Originally built in 1961, The Ontario Hospital was a mental health facility. Fifteen years later it was renamed to Bluewater Centre for the Developmentally Handicapped & operated as such until 1983. Two years later the facility was given a face lift at a cost of $10 million to accommodate young offenders. The Facility reopened in 1985 as Bluewater Youth Detention Centre. In 1996, just one day into a public service strike against the Ontario government, a riot, then a fire broke out at the prison. The facility, located near Goderich could accommodate hundreds of youths however when it closed there was it was at a mere 26% capacity. In 2015 Bluewater closed putting nearly 200 people out of work.
Central Huron signed an agreement to buy the former Bluewater Youth Detention Centre from Infrastructure Ontario in 2021. Central Huron has plans to remediate the site to “pristine condition,” and then lease it back to prospective developers. Ideas floated in the past for the sprawling property include manufacturing, housing and even a shoreline resort.