Kingston Penitentiary Tours

Tours of Kingston Penitentiary are offered through the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, NOT through Canada's Penitentiary Museum.

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Warden's Residence

Cedarhedge

In 1870, the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. Macdonald, authorized the construction of the official Warden's residence of Kingston Penitentiary. On August 28 1873, Warden John Creighton and his 5 children became the first family to live in the house.

Before the residence was built, the Wardens of Kingston Penitentiary and their families lived in apartments provided within the walls of the penitentiary. This wing also housed the administration offices of the facility.

 

Built entirely by convict labour under the supervision of staff Trade Instructors, the house took nearly 3 years to build. The cost? Approximately $ 9,000.00 (in 1873 dollars). Designed in the Italianate Vernacular style by Acting Penitentiary Architect, Henry H. Horsey, it was constructed using a combination of local Kingston limestone quarried on the penitentiary reserve, with Ohio Sandstone accents. In the late 19th century, the residence became known as "Cedarhedge" in reference to the extensively manicured cedar hedges that once lined the driveway.

 

By all accounts, life at Cedarhedge was a luxurious one. At its peak, the property boasted apple orchards, greenhouses, a grape-vinery, and a conservatory. Inmate gardeners tended to the extensive terraced grounds each day, and some of the resident families are known to have had their own non-inmate servants within the home. The importance of the house is exemplified by at least two postcards that were produced for sale to the general public around 1900.

August 28, 1871 – January 31, 1885
John Creighton
February 5, 1885 – May 1896
Dr. Michael Lavell
May 22, 1896 – May 1899
James Metcalfe, M.P.P., M.P.
May 17, 1899 – March 1913
Dr. James Milton Platt, M.D., M.P.
March 1913 – August 1914
Lt.-Col. Acheson Gosford Irvine
August 1, 1914 – July 1919
Robert Creighton
April 27, 1920 – c.1932
Capt. John Charles Ponsford
Acting Warden - January 1932 – October 22, 1932
Inspector Gilbert Smith
October 24, 1932 – June 14, 1934
Lt.-Col. William Blight Megloughlin
Acting Warden - c. November 1932 – c. January 1933
Superintendent Brig.-Gen. Daniel Mowat Ormond