Kingston Penitentiary Museum (Ontario Photo Spot)

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Kingston Penitentiary - Photo by Shawn M. Kent
Kingston Penitentiary - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

About Kingston Penitentiary

Closed as a prison in 2013, the Kingston Penitentiary Museum now hosts a sometimes eery, sometimes unsettling, and always fascinating glimpse into life in prison. Initially opened in 1835, it was one of the oldest continuously operating prisons in North America. Tours of the facility tell the tale of the evolution of prison life from punishment, to penance, to rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the Kingston Penitentiary was the site of a massive prison riot in 1971 that lasted four days. Two inmates were killed during the riot, and much of the prison’s interior was destroyed.

Kingston Penitentiary Tours

Tours of the Kingston Penitentiary are offered at certain times of the day. The tours guide and move groups through the prison’s halls, recounting the facility’s history. Photographers will have to shoot quickly and hang near the back to get good pictures of the facility. But, there are numerous photo ops as you follow the tour guide. In particular, the domed ceiling area, grounds and double staircase provide fantastic photo opportunities.

Kingston Penitentiary Ticket Costs

Standard Tours are about 1.5 hours long and will set you back about $40 for a ticket. The extended tours are 2.5 hours long, explore more of the prison grounds and are smaller groups. It may be worth the $80 for a ticket for photographers, as there are also more opportunities to take pictures. For the true fans of old prisons, there are plans to let guests stay the night for the real  Kingston prison experience.

Buy your tickets in advance and get more information including hours of operation on the Kingston Penitentiary website:

(Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

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