Escape the Cornwall Jail

8.8 Overall
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Escape the Cornwall Jail

  • Played July 2017
  • Cornwall, ON

  • 60 minutes
  • 2-8 players. If your group is less than 8 others may join you.
  • $27 Fri/Sat, $25 Sun
  • Intended for all ages, but participants 16 and under require written parental permission

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On our trip to Ottawa, the Escape Room Addict crew ended up in jail… and then escaped thanks to a few friends at Escape the Cornwall Jail! This is not your traditional escape room, but rather a theatrical performance where you take centre stage, interact with the actors, and determine your fate.

Located about an hour from Ottawa, the historic jail was built in 1883 and closed in 2002. Since then, the jail has been maintained in its final conditions and the public has had the opportunity to tour the cells as well as the staff residences. Escape Manor utilizes the space in the evenings to offer a more immersive experience where you become an inmate who is making a daring escape.

Naturally the setting is perfect: a real jail can’t be any more authentic for a jail-themed escape, and you are constantly reminded of how real it is at every step. After registering you can take mugshots as if you’re in a police lineup and then wait in a holding cell, which is also used as their staging area for an explanation of the rules and the setting. And then you’re off. It’s a whirlwind of fast-paced puzzles in ever-changing surroundings with a large cast of humorous characters that take you all around the jail while developing the story. The problems are varied and offer a good challenge, but they are also very linear and the actors push you along from one task to the next, making sure that the group doesn’t stay in one area for too long. Thankfully a majority of the problems involve teamwork and will keep most of the group engaged, but there are times when only a few can work on a puzzle at once, leaving others waiting on the sidelines.

Escape Manor has done an excellent job of using the entire jail to create an outing that differs from an escape room, giving customers an intellectual and exciting excursion that makes you feel like you are part of a movie. It’s definitely worth the trip to experience this event that might also open your eyes to how prison life is, albeit in a fun, lighthearted manner.

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