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Kingston Penitentiary to Close

May 8, 2012

Grace Marks alias Mary Whitney (Toronto Public Library - click to go to CBC article)

Grace Marks alias Mary Whitney (Toronto Public Library – click for CBC article)

Kingston Penitentiary, with its long history of famous/notorious inmates, has been in the news recently. As Canada’s oldest prison it has housed men, women, and also children. It was, for about 30 years, the home of Grace Marks thanks to her part in the murders of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery before she was released and never heard from again. And now Kingston Penitentiary is set to close “sometime in the next two years”.

I’d heard that it was in poor shape and might be re-opened as a museum of some sort. Along with its brutal history of violent punishments, daring escapes, and “celebrity” prisoners I do hope that it would include Grace Marks. Seeing the coarse prison garments sewn by the women inmates, the cells they were kept in, and the experimental medical instruments they were forced to endure procedures with would certainly be enlightening.

Here’s an extremely interesting CBC article on the more notorious Kingston Pen inmates (including a section about Grace Marks):


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