Courthouses of Canada: Huron County Court House

Downtown Goderich, Ont., including the Huron County Court House and legal offices, are looking pretty good these days despite the 2011 tornado and rains that ravaged the scenic southwestern Ontario community.

While the storm had damaged the courthouse and temporarily disrupted operations at local firms like the Ross Firm PC, both looked back to normal during a recent weekend visit. Locals say while the town has mostly recovered, the Courthouse Square has lost many of the trees that once surrounded the downtown landmark.

At the Ross Firm, the offices survived the Aug. 21, 2011, tornado but suffered significant damage during the subsequent rains. As a result, staff had to relocate for a period of time.

At the courthouse, operations moved temporarily to Walkerton, Ont., while staff looked to repair the building. Regular operations had resumed by February 2012.

It’s a building with a storied past. Cases there include the infamous conviction of Steven Truscott for the murder of Lynne Harper. A few years ago, of course, the Ontario Court of Appeal acquitted Truscott.

The original courthouse, “an Italianate brick building of imposing scale, massing and elegance, served as a landmark and important symbol for the town and county administration for almost 100 years” before it was destroyed by fire, according to Canada’s Historic Places. It was replaced in the 1950s by a modern Art Deco-inspired courthouse.

Read more about the courthouse fire here.

This is another in our occasional photographic series of the courthouses of Canada. If you have a photo and story of the courthouse in your city or town that you’d like to share, e-mail it to editor Gail J. Cohen.

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