The Gem of St. Thomas

For over 150 years, the Elgin County Courthouse has stood as a landmark in St. Thomas. It was just as many years ago that St. Thomas was designated as the county town, where the courthouse and jail, necessary for separate municipal status, were built in 1852-1853.

100_97254The Elgin County Courthouse is one of the earliest pre-confederation county courthouses in Ontario. Designed by John Turner, with influence from architects John Tully and William Thomas, the building dominates the neighbourhood in St. Thomas known as the Courthouse district and is known as the "gem of St. Thomas".

Over the years the building has undergone changes and updates and in 2014, its largest restoration and renovation to date was opened to the public, accommodating both the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice in one single facility. A new addition combines the existing restored heritage courthouse and what was once the Land Registry Office Building into one modern complex.

This exhibit will examine the history, use and expansion of the Courthouse, Registry Office and Jail.