The Oakalla Prison Farm opened in 1912 and was hailed as the most modern facility of its kind. Initially designed to hold 150 men and 50 women, by the 1950s, the population was well over 1000. A working farm, the prison had its own dairy, vegetable gardens and livestock. From the beginning, the location of Oakalla on 185 acres of scenic land next to Burnaby's Deer Lake was the source of contention with residents petitioning the government to relocate the prison and by 1979 it was decided to close the farm and 64 acres of land were transferred to Burnaby for inclusion on the Deer Lake Park. In 1991, Oakalla closed forever and the buildings were demolished to make way for a new residential housing development and an expansion of the park.