POLITICS

Kingston Penitentiary: Some key dates in history of notorious prison

09/26/2013 10:12 EDT | Updated 11/26/2013 05:12 EST
Canada's most notorious prison, Kingston Penitentiary, formally ceases to be a correctional facility on Sept. 30, 2013. Some notable events:

June 1, 1835: Kingston Penitentiary opens as the Provincial Penitentiary of the Province of Upper Canada with six inmates.

1849: The Brown Commission releases a stinging indictment of inhumane treatment of prisoners which leads to the dismissal of warden Henry Smith.

Oct. 17, 1932: The first major riot erupts. The six-day disturbance leads to calls for prison reform.

August 15, 1954: A two-hour riot involving 900 inmates erupts, resulting in extensive damage. The army and RCMP help quell it.

April 14, 1971: A four-day riot breaks out. Six guards are taken hostage and two inmates killed. The army helps restore control.

1971 to 1981: The penitentiary acts as the Regional Reception Centre, receiving and assessing all newly admitted inmates in Ontario and classifying them for transfer to a parent institution.

Feb. 23, 1990: The penitentiary is recognized as a national historic site of Canada.

May 1999: Bank robber Ty Conn stages the first successful escape in more than four decades. He is found dead in Toronto two weeks later after apparently committing suicide during a standoff with police.

April 19, 2012: The government announces plans to close the penitentiary.

Sept. 30: 2013: Kingston Penitentiary formally ceases to be a federal prison.

SOURCE: Kingston Penitentiary; Kingston Penitentiary National Historic Site of Canada