Ontario Abandoned Places
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Kingston Penitentiary

Location #9644
City: Kingston
Basic MemberPublic
Status: Closed
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Created By:gravehunter
Creation Date: 9/25/2013
Last Updated: 9/12/2019
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Info about the museum from gravehunter: The Kingston Penitentiary Museum is located across the Street from the Penitentiary in what was once the Wardens residence. This building was completed in 1873 and prior to that the Wardens and their families were housed within the Prison Walls. It holds many exhibits including various methods of rehabilitation which today would be classified as inhuman. The Rules where strict, anyone caught talking or making any unnecessary noise received the Lash. Their Cells were cold, dark and damp and measured 6 Ft. High, 2 1/2 Ft. Wide and 6 2/3 Ft. Long. They were given a mattress that completely covered the floor and in order to allow room to stand up the Mattress had to be hung on the wall. There are Exhibits of the two major Riots, 1954 and 1971, and many others that show the hardships of Prison life at that time.

The youngest female Convict was 9 Yr. old Sarah Pierce from Brockville who was sentenced to 7 years for House Breaking and Larceny. Among the items stolen were a Quilt, Ladies Hat, Towel, a Pitcher, some Beef, Raisins, Biscuits and Tea and Sugar. Her Mother received 6 Months for receiving stolen property.

The youngest Male Convict was 8 Yr. old Antoine Beache from Quebec, who, along with his two Brothers, aged 12 and 19 and a 12 Yr. old friend were given a 3 Year Sentence for their attempt to Pick a Pocket aboard the Steam Boat "Sydenham" on the St. Lawrence River. The Records show that he received the Lash within a week of his arrival and also on 47 other occasions for the Offences of staring, laughing, whistling, giggling, making a noise in his Cell, having tobacco and idling.

Commissioners were appointed to investigate Management in 1848 and they found this treatment of the Child to be inhuman resulting of the firing of the Penitentiary's first Warden, Henry Smith. Before this, in May of 1842 Author Charles Dickens visited the Kingston Penitentiary and said that he was impressed by the Facility, calling it an "admirable Jail, well and wisely governed".

Info about the tunnels by gravehunter: Description
Over the years there have been many Ghostly tales told about the Maze of Tunnels and Catacombs the run beneath the Kingston Penitentiary. Many of these Tunnels are now used by the City for running pipes for heating, sewer, water, steam and communication lines. When they refit the Prison in the 1990's the Workmen said they seen rats down there that were as big as cats. While the main North to South Tunnel is almost wide enough to drive a car through there are several smaller Tunnels branching off from it that are a mere 3' wide by 5' high. The Old Prison Morgue is located in one of these. From 1835 to 1915 605 Convicts died at the Prison and they would all have been brought down to this Morgue and held for 24 Hours and if their bodies hadn't been claimed at that time they would have been sent to the Medical College for the students to dissect. (See attached Link) All that is visible now is the outline on the walls where the cots were that held the bodies. There is also what they think was an old boiler room, now empty, but the iron ring in the floor that the Convict who fed the boiler was chained to is still there. There is another Tunnel that connected with the Woman's Prison across the road but this has since been sealed off.


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Address: 560 King Street West, Kingston, ON K7L 4V7, Canada

Motleykiwi 5/1/2017 12:12:56 PM

Tours are happening again this year but be warned they sell out almost immediately.

maple 9/11/2016 9:14:16 PM

I really need to get there! Nice galleries from everyone!

Northof49 7/22/2014 10:55:54 PM

Are they going to have any more tours in the future?

Northof49 7/22/2014 10:42:10 PM


rcouper 11/12/2013 6:51:17 PM

Look for many more Great Entries ~ as more gain entry. Trust they keep the Tours ongoing.

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