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Vaughan Street Jail – Doors Open

Walk around this 140 year old foreboding former gaol (jail) with a turnkey from yesteryear and he’ll surely shock and surprise you into improved attendance at work or school. O.k, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the improvement will definitely be noticed during the tour as you listen to tales of famous Canadians from both sides of the bars, inmate treatment, 19th century law, hold a ball and chain, wear an inmates uniform, and see photo images of criminals. 

(Building NOT entered on walking tour)

Contact us to book a custom tour.

Three main points of discovery:

  1. it is the oldest provincially owned building still standing in Western Canada,
  2. there are significant local & Canadian historical figures connected to this site,
  3. and there is still no heritage designation on this 140 year old site.

Canadian historical figures connected to the jail:
1st Juvenile Court Judge in Canada; Thomas Mayne Daly
1st public health nurse in Canada; Margaret Scott
1st Eastern Judicial District Sheriff; Colin Inkster
1st Provincial Architect; Samuel Hooper
1st Warden of Manitoba; Samuel Bedson

1st Provincial Corner; Dr. E Benson; jail surgeon
1st Official Dominion Executioner; Arthur English (A.K.A Ellis)
1st Jailor at this facility; Patrick Lawler of Wolseley Expedition
1st double hanging at this jail; May 27th, 1899
1st Flogging Oct 1884 for John McCormack
1st Serial killer of Manitoba hanged; Earl Nelson, January Friday 13th, 1928
1st Provincial Coroner, jail surgeon; Dr. E Benson
1st Licensed female Doctors in Mb: Dr. Amelia Yeomans & Dr. Lillian Yeomans

Winnipeg General Strike Leaders consisting of: John Queen, William Ivens, RE Bray, Richard Johns, William Pritchard and RB Russell.
Wpg Gen. Strike Leader: Helen Armstrong
E. Cora Hind: Suffragist, journalist
James Dodds: Arsonist
J. S. Woodsworth; Founder of the All People’s Mission, Strike leader
Executioner John Radclive: 1890-1913
Manitoba Provincial Police Detective: Jacob Seel
Chicago Detective Allan Pinkerton (grandson of Founder of Pinkerton Det. Agency USA)

Albert Westgate: Murderer
Charles Tupper, grandson of Charles Tupper PM
William Luxton, founder of the Manitoba Free Press
Rev. Charles William Gordon (better known as the author Ralph Connor)
“Bloody Jack” Krafchenko: Notorious bank robber from Manitoba, hanged 1914
Big Bear & Poundmaker; allies of Louis Riel 1885

Hugh John MacDonald, son of 1st Prime Minister & Premier of Manitoba 1900
Ken Leishman: the “Flying Bandit”; stole gold bouillon 1960s

Research covers era between 1881-1930

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Tour Dates

Contact us to book a custom tour.

Call Kristen at ​204-898-4678 at or email at to book a date.

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