Earlier this week I was thrilled to announce, after an incredibly successful 2016 season, Kingston Penitentiary tours will continue for 2017! The KP tours this past summer were a huge catalyst for tourism in Kingston, helping to make this the biggest year for tourism in our city’s history.
In total, the KP tours welcomed over 60,000 visitors, brought over $5 million in economic benefit, and more than $300,000 for our local United Way. Next year promises to be even bigger and better, with tours running 7 days a week from May to October. This means even more visitors coming to Kingston and an even bigger boost to our tourism sector.
I cannot say enough about the amazing partnership that the City of Kingston has formed with both the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) to make these tours a reality. With CSC opening the doors of the KP site and SLPC taking care of running the tours, both of these great organizations have demonstrated their incredible vision and commitment to our community.
Looking ahead to 2017, we can anticipate not only a great season of KP tours, but also the results of the current visioning process that will lay the foundation for the future of the Kingston Penitentiary and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour sites. There is tremendous potential for some exciting redevelopment on these properties and, in my view, there is no doubt that tourism should be a key part of the future for Kingston Penitentiary.