In The Governor's Mansion on the site of the old BC Pen 604.544.5020 New Westminster BC

About The Castle

The Castle Neighbourhood Grill is the perfect South-coast destination dining experience; nestled between the Port Mann and Pattullo Bridges, in New Westminster’s Brewery District. The Castle Neighbourhood Grill offers unquestionably, the best patio east of Main Street and with breathtaking views of the mighty Fraser River basin, the eastern communities to as far south as Mount Baker. These incredible views can only be topped by the outstanding food and dining experience.

The Castle Neighbourhood Grill is truly what casual dining should be; great food, friendly service, and one of a kind atmosphere.

Young and the young at heart love the Castle Neighbourhood Grill and have made it the community’s meeting place.

We appreciate our neighbours and respect their right to quiet enjoyment. Please help us do so by being mindful of the community when you are driving down Governors.

History

British Columbia Penitentiary, After British Columbia joined confederation in 1871 and with the population of Western Canada increasing, the need for a federal prison in Western Canada became apparent. The fact that the Trans-Continental Railroad had not yet been constructed made transporting prisoners long distances east to other federal institutions costly and difficult.

Planning and construction for the BC Penitentiary began in 1874. The site selected was a hillside overlooking the Fraser River in the Sapperton neighbourhood of New Westminster. The prison received its first inmates in 1878 and opened without fanfare.

The buildings and structures that made up the BC Penitentiary site were added gradually. The original complex comprised the main gate house and a few brick and wooden buildings. The large cell blocks, which housed most of the inmates, were constructed between 1904 and 1914.

On March 12th, 1979, Correctional Service of Canada announced that British Columbia Penitentiary would close. Inmates were gradually transferred to Kent Institution, with the last inmate leaving on February 15th, 1980.

For two weeks in May, 1980, the prison was opened to the public for the first time; over 80,000 attended the open house. Although BC Penitentiary had opened with no ceremony or fanfare whatever 102 years earlier, a formal ceremony, attended by various dignitaries, was held to mark its closing on May 10th, 1980.

Did you know?

The BC Penitentiary site included a prison cemetery called Boot Hill. The remains of most inmates who died at BC Penitentiary were claimed by their families; those that were not were buried at Boot Hill.

All work relating to the cemetery such as digging graves, site maintenance, and the construction of grave markers and coffins, was performed by inmates. The cemetery officially opened in 1913, but was probably in use in 1912.

The remains of approximately 50 inmates are still buried there. During the cemetery’s early years, records were not carefully taken or preserved, and are unreliable. Most graves are marked by small concrete gravestones engraved only with the inmate’s prison number. Some inmates are buried in unmarked graves.

Although most of the prison has since been demolished, the cemetery still remains in what is now Glenbrook Ravine Park. After BC Penitentiary closed, the federal government ceded the cemetery to the City of New Westminster.

Very few people know that the cemetery is there; it is unmarked, overgrown and not well maintained.

 

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