Oct 02, 2013
By Andy Johnson
For the first time in decades, Kingston Penitentiary, once home to Canada’s most notorious criminals, is open and welcoming tourists instead of inmates. The prison, which which opened in 1835 and had been one of the oldest continuously used prisons in the world, shut down last week with the last inmates being transferred elsewhere. Today, it welcomed another kind of visitor; about two dozen people, touring the facility as a fund raiser for the Kingston United Way. The prison will be open for the fundraising tours for the next three weeks but eager visitors, some from across the country, have already snapped up all the available tickets. The federal government opted to close “KP” on the grounds that it was outdated and too expensive to maintain. Correctional Service Canada said the facility’s future is uncertain, but the plan is to fully decommission it by 2015.