List of prisons in Canada
Canada has a complex network of correctional facilities at the federal, provincial/territorial, and military levels. This article provides an overview of key prisons across the country.
Federal Correctional Facilities
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) runs federal penitentiaries for inmates serving 2 or more years. These range from minimum to maximum security levels and include special rehabilitation centers and Indigenous healing lodges.
Regional Rehabilitation Centres
CSC manages 5 regional centers for offenders with mental health needs requiring specialized care. These provide stabilization and psychiatric treatment programs.
Healing lodges use Indigenous culture and traditions to heal and rehabilitate Indigenous inmates. CSC runs or funds 10 healing lodges nationwide, while others are managed by Indigenous communities.
Provincial and Territorial Correctional Facilities
Those serving under 2 year sentences reside in provincial/territorial correctional centers. Each region maintains its own network of facilities by security type and population.
BC houses offenders in minimum, medium, and maximum security institutions plus forensic psychiatric centers. Main facilities include Surrey Pretrial Services Centre, Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, and Alouette Correctional Centre for Women.
Major Alberta correctional facilities include the Calgary Remand Centre, Edmonton Remand Centre, and Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre. The province manages minimum, medium, and maximum security sites.
Saskatchewan penitentiaries include Saskatoon Correctional Centre, Regina Correctional Centre, and Prince Albert Correctional Centre for sentenced custody. The province also has a healing lodge called Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge.
Notable Manitoba prisons include Headingley Correctional Centre, Milner Ridge Correctional Centre, and Winnipeg Remand Centre. Manitoba has maximum, medium, and minimum security sites plus a women’s correctional center.
Major Ontario facilities house nearly 8,000 adult inmates per day. These include Toronto South Detention Centre, Maplehurst Correctional Complex, and Vanier Centre for Women. The province manages maximum and medium security sites.
Quebec’s network includes detention facilities (prisons for sentenced inmates) and correctional facilities (for accused detainees awaiting trial). Notables include the Rivière-des-Prairies Detention Facility and Leclerc Institution.
New Brunswick has adult correctional facilities in Saint John, Dalhousie, and Miramichi. These house sentenced and remanded provincial offenders in minimum, medium, and maximum security settings.
Main Nova Scotia adult correctional facilities include Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, Cape Breton Correctional Facility, and Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. The sites hold minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates.
Prince Edward Island
PEI maintains 4 main correctional facilities – Summerside Correctional Centre, Charlottetown Correctional Centre, Prince County Correctional Centre, and Provincial Correctional Centre. These serve both sentenced and remanded offenders.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Major Newfoundland prisons include Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s, which houses maximum and medium security inmates. The province also has minimum security facilities and a women’s correctional center.
Yukon manages one main correctional center for territorial sentenced offenders and those awaiting trial, the Whitehorse Correctional Centre. This houses minimum, medium, and maximum security inmates.
The Northwest Territories correctional system includes the North Slave Correctional Complex and Fort Smith Correctional Complex. These facilities operate minimum security units.
Nunavut has one main facility, Baffin Correctional Centre, which acts as a combined remand and corrections center. It houses minimum and medium security inmates.
Department of National Defence Facilities
Canadian Forces members sentenced to incarceration serve time in detention barracks run by the Department of National Defence. These function similarly to civil prisons.
Canada maintains federal, provincial/territorial, and military correctional systems to incarcerate sentenced inmates and those awaiting trial. Facilities range from minimum to maximum security levels with special centers for populations like women, Indigenous peoples, and psychiatric patients.
- How many prisons are there in Canada?
As of 2021, there were 50 federal penitentiaries, 244 provincial/territorial correctional facilities, and 5 military detention barracks in Canada.
- What is the largest prison in Canada?
The largest federal prison in Canada is Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, Ontario which houses up to 649 inmates. Among provincial facilities, the largest is the Toronto South Detention Centre.
- Are there only male or female prisons?
No – most provincial systems have at least one women’s correctional facility, while federal prisons maintain separate male and female inmate housing within shared complexes. Some sites house both genders.
- Do the territories have their own prisons?
Yes – Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut each operate their own territorial correctional facilities for sentenced territorial inmates and those awaiting trial.
- Where are mentally ill offenders incarcerated?
Those with psychiatric disorders may be held in treatment units of mainstream prisons or sent to one of CSC’s 5 regional mental health centers located across Canada.