Prison tour tickets go on sale Monday

Tickets go on sale Monday for tours of Kingston Penitentiary. This is the second year for the tours. (Whig-Standard file photo)

Tickets for Kingston Penitentiary tours will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. and this time visitors have two tours to choose from.

In addition to the 90-minute Standard Tour of Canada’s oldest and most notorious maximum security prison for $35, visitors can choose the two-and-a-half-hour Premium Tour for $95. The tours begin May 9 and continue all summer and into the fall. On Tuesdays Kingston residents can save $5 off the standard tour by submitting their postal code as a promotional code.

Last summer the tickets for the tours sold out. In an effort to make them more accessible, walk-up tickets will be available in limited amounts for two tours — at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day. They will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis when the box office opens in the morning. Tourism Kingston’s Visitor Information Centre in Confederation Park (209 Ontario St.) will also have tickets for the 2 p.m. tour each day.

In total, more than 180,000 tickets will be available this season.

The Standard Tour has been updated and modified and will now include: reinstalled furniture in the cell and segregation ranges, re-authentication of the indigenous grounds with the aid of indigenous offenders on work releases, and the Regional Treatment Centre’s gymnasium, previously unseen by any public tours.

The Premium Tour will consist of groups of 10 or less and will only run twice daily. In addition to what is shown on the Standard Tour, the Premium Tour “will bring historic, architectural and criminological components to the tours to create an overall more in-depth and immersive experience,” says a news release.

Those on the Premium Tour will be able to experience: the canvas and upholstery shops, the school, the recreational yard, the Regional Treatment Centre gymnasium, the Regional Treatment Centre, the cell range, the hospital, the main gymnasium and the laundry room.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to