Premium Kingston Pen Tours back by popular demand

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

KINGSTON – Garth Amey is now a tour guide at Kingston Penitentiary, but he’s been behind the walls of Canada’s most notorious prison many times before. For 20 years, Amey was a recreation officer at KP.
Garth Amey/KP Tour Guide & Former Recreation Officer:
“But it’s nice now because there’s no inmates here. There’s no guard staff here and it’s much more relaxed. We don’t get any unruly tours so everyone gets along better than when we had the inmate population here.”
Amey is posted in a spot he visited daily as an officer — the Shop Dome — part of which you can now see with St.
Lawrence Parks Commission’s popular, premium tour. Due to demand, more than 7 thousand new 2.5 hour extended tour tickets have been released.
Geoff Waycik/Manager of Heritage Sites:
“The original premium tours sold out within hours of release so that’s why we re-released more.
The customer demand was there. People wanted to see more of the prison.”
Places you won’t see with the shorter tours — like the cell range at the Regional Treatment Centre. Many visitors from out of town are glad they dished out the extra 20 dollars for premium tickets.
“I looked at both of that and the premium because it involved more. It’s well worth the money.
I would definitely come back.”
“So we thought, we’d come down this year. Took the premium took and yeah awesome.”
Both the premium and regular tours have generated more than 1.4 million dollars in revenue. Heather Senora/Videographer:
“Kingston Penitentiary tour goers can even take a step inside some of these historic cells that have been staged with original desks and beds that inmates used before it was closed back in 2013.”
As far as the future of KP — that’s still up in the air, but earlier this month the city endorsed a heritage and housing vision for the prized waterfront property. An official with St.
Lawrence Parks Commission put forward some long-term ideas to council, including an overnight stay program, haunted walks, and movie nights in the pen. However, it’s not yet clear whether or not the parks commission will be managing tourism aspects in the future.
As for Amey, he’s in the for the long haul. While he’s been retired from his 3 decade long career in corrections, he loves his job now and hopes to continue doing tours.
Amey: “This is how I like to spend my mornings.”

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