The City of Kingston partners with the governments of Canada and Ontario to open Kingston Penitentiary for 2016 tourism season - The City of Kingston partners with the governments of Canada and Ontario to open Kingston Penitentiary for 2016 tourism season

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null The City of Kingston partners with the governments of Canada and Ontario to open Kingston Penitentiary for 2016 tourism season

May 13, 2016 -

The City of Kingston in partnership with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) will open Kingston Penitentiary (KP) for public tours this summer.

In response to tremendous interest in KP, all three levels of government are working together to temporarily open the site to the public for the 2016 tourism season as part of the City's larger visioning exercise. SLPC will be the official operator of the public tours which start late June and run to October 29, 2016. Tickets will be available mid-June only online at

Net proceeds of these tours will support tourism and destination marketing initiatives, as well as to support youth programs through the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington.

More information on the temporary tours and the KP visioning process is available at under the May 17 report to Kingston City Council. SLPC will also be releasing more details to the public in the next few weeks as preparations for the season begin.


"This is an amazing opportunity for our city, the region and the country. Opening KP for temporary summer tourism builds on the great partnership we have with the federal government and compliments the visioning we're doing on the future of KP. We know there is tremendous interest in this site and our hope is to get even more people from across the country and internationally to come to Kingston to see this historic site and get involved in the visioning."
Bryan Paterson, Mayor of Kingston

"I am very excited about the upcoming partnership for the Kingston Penitentiary (KP) property. KP holds immense historical significance for both our city and our country, as the institution existed long before Canada formed. As someone who was born and raised in Kingston, places like KP are important for telling the storied history of our community. I have no doubt this new partnership will generate further interest in the larger vision for KP and the inner harbour. This initiative is a great opportunity to highlight Kingston and our history on a national scale."
Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands

"It is a rare and unique opportunity for residents and tourists alike to get a public tour of the oldest penitentiary in Canada. Such an attraction will help boost our summer tourism, showcase part of our Canadian heritage, and support local project through the United Way of KFLA. This exciting project would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of agencies of all three levels of government."
Sophie Kiwala, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kingston and the Islands

"I am pleased that the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has this opportunity to celebrate the longstanding and supportive relationship with the City of Kingston and the Province of Ontario for over 180 years. This is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate our distinguished history and to generate public interest in Kingston Penitentiary and our exemplary staff who work for CSC and who live in this community."
Don Head, Commissioner Correctional Service Canada

"As Eastern Ontario's largest tourism operator, St. Lawrence Parks Commission will enhance our value proposition by adding Kingston Penitentiary tours to our portfolio this season. We are thrilled to work with the City of Kingston, Correctional Service Canada, and Tourism Kingston to deliver this unique experience in 2016. Tourism has a substantial economic multiplier effect on a community, and with robust visitation expected this venture is likely to drive an estimated economic impact of over $6 million* in the Kingston area."
Darren Dalgleish, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, St. Lawrence Parks Commission

*Based on the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport – TREIM (Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model) 2016


For more information, contact:

City of Kingston
Christina Thomson, Assistant to the Mayor
City of Kingston
Tel: 613-546-4291 ext. 1405

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 125,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. In 2014, it was named a Top 7 Smart Community by the Intelligent Community Forum. Kingston is focusing on being smart and livable as it pursues its vision to become Canada's most sustainable city. We focus on environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality - ensuring that today's decisions don't compromise our future. Please visit and join the conversation on social media.

Correctional Service Canada (CSC)
Stephen Hogan, Regional Administrator Communications and Executive Services
Correctional Service of Canada
RHQ Ontario, Kingston, Ontario
Tel: 613-545-8311

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is the federal government agency responsible for administering sentences of a term of two years or more, as imposed by the courts. As part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, CSC contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.

Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament, Kingston and the Islands
841 Princess Street (Main Office)
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1G7
Tel: 613-542-3243

St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC)
Susan Le Clair
Manager, Customer Service & Corporate Communications
St. Lawrence Parks Commission
Tel: 613-543-3704 ext. 2496

The St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an agency of the Government of Ontario, operates facilities in 16 municipalities stretching from Kingston to the Quebec border, including Upper Canada Village, Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Crysler Park Marina, Upper Canada Golf Course, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and 12 campgrounds and beach day-use picnic areas including the Long Sault and 1000 Islands Parkway.

Sophie Kiwala, Member of Provincial Parliament, Kingston and the Islands
303 Bagot Street Suite 2
Kingston, Ontario K7K 5W7
Tel: 613-547-2385