Sunday, 15 July 2018

Kingston Penitentiary Tour, Kingston Ontario, Canada

In 2013, after 178 years of operation, Canada's most notorious maximum security prison closed for good.  Almost immediately the site turned from a place people wanted to get out of, into a place people were lining up to get into. 

Stories of its famous prisoners, deadly riots and its classical limestone sourced architecture with its imposing grand main gate are luring curiosity seekers to its guided tours at a staggering pace.

This July, on a family outing, I finally got a chance to look inside the walls as we had secured some highly sought after Kingston Pen Extended Tour tickets.  I didn't end up taking my full camera rig as this was a guided tour, with more time and focus given to learning and education from the guides and retired guards on premise, and less time given to wandering around setting up shots.  Nonetheless, with a capable cell phone camera in hand I did manage to document some of the site.  Obviously, if you want more, Google has tons to offer, and I'll link some highlight articles at the bottom that are worth checking out.
Once past the main gate, a look at the side of the main block wth center tower

Looking up the center tower of the main block. This needs to be seen in person for its scope and size!

 The guard turret in the middle of the main block floor.

Checking out a wing of cells

Typical cell layout.  Desk, bunk, toilet. All meals were eaten in the cells.

Even prisoners need their Nintendo

The building that housed the work shops

Main floor shop space. The arching ceiling was necessary to hold the wait of the industrial shop equipment used a floor above 

Instructions left from the upholstery shop

Turnstiles remain from the access to the exercise yard

X-Ray room in the infirmary 

uh oh

Gymnasium with guard bunkers

Work out area

The black mats on the walls were ricochet cushions, a spot where guards could fire warning shots into

What was the laundry room. Prisoner artwork on walls. Good home for the Leafs

For more information check out:
Kingston Pen: 7 things to know about Canada's notorious prison

And of course, find my first hand recount in our podcast, STCPod!

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