Canada on Monday has finally closed down the Kingston Penitentiary Correctional Facility, its version of the U.S.' Alcatraz as part of the federal government's cost-cutting measures. In October, the facility will open yet again this time as a tourist spot, complete with guided tour packages.
On Wednesday, and lasting for three weeks in October, the facility will open its gates to accommodate the 9,000 people who bought tickets for $20 a piece just to see what lies inside the correctional facility, which housed Canada's notorious inmates such as Steven Truscott, child killer Clifford Olson, Susan Turner and John O'Rourke, among others.
Officially opened on June 1, 1835, the Kingston Penitentiary Correctional Facility is regarded as the "Provincial Penitentiary of the Province of Upper Canada." It is one of the world's oldest prisons having existed for 178 years.
Built on land, the site had "perfect salubrity, ready access to the water, and abundant quantities of fine limestone." Six inmates were accepted when the penitentiary was opened.
But in April 2012, the Canadian government announced that despite the facility's storied past and infamous inmates, it had to close it down as well as the Leclerc Institution in Laval, Quebec, to save on expenses.
Sept 30 marked the last day of the facility's operations. It still remains uncertain what will happen to the site, located on Kingston's picturesque waterfront and designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990, according to CTV News.
But for the meantime, it will reopen its doors to the public, from Oct. 2-13, under hour-and-a-half long tours guided by Correctional Services employees.
Local media reported some of the tours have sold out.
Tour proceeds will go to United Way in Kingston. The tours will "provide a glimpse into life behind the prison's historic walls."
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