Orillia’s underground tunnels discovered
For many years there have been rumours about possible underground tunnels in Orillia.
Two years ago some local filmmakers set their cameras to record as they investigated what may lie beneath Orillia’s surface.
“It was kind of a mystery,” said filmmaker Olivia Duck. “Were they there or were they not there? We didn’t really know what we were getting into.”
The film Underground Orillia proves that there were, in fact, tunnels, and a lot of them. Some led to and from the Orillia Opera House, which is the original Orillia City Hall.
“This was city hall during prohibition,” says Wendy Fairbairn with the Orillia Opera House. “It was a great opportunity to take tunnels to different locations within the city.”
Some of the rumours suggest illegal liquor was brought through the tunnels, while others believe prisoners were moved through the tunnels by authorities. The basement of the Opera House is home to some old jail cells.
The filmmakers also discovered a large underground bomb shelter and evidence of a much larger underground living space.
The film, Underground Orillia, has archival footage of tunnels being filled in, leaving some to wonder if there is anything still behind what was covered.
The movie premieres at the Aqua Theatre in Couchiching Beach Park at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.