Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel
Happy people go to jail! That was the impression I got the first time I saw the commercial for touring inside a building downtown Ottawa of what once was a functioning prison (for real!); the tourists shown in the commercial of course smiling, laughing, and seemed to have a good time, but hey, that is what commercials do, so I got intimidated to really go on for the tour. It cost me less than 25 CAD (back in 2005, I heard the entrance ticket has changed today, so you better ask first for it) and I got to stay overnight. Yes, this jail is open as a hostel now, you can choose to share your cell/room or you can spend the night alone. What so funny about the night my husband and I stayed there was we actually lived in Ottawa but since I wanted to try the hostel out, we spent the night there. Called as Hi-Ottawa Jail Hostel, it is only steps away from the Parliament Building of Ottawa (Parliament Hill), central downtown such as Byward Market (fresh fruits and vegetables market), Rideau Center, and Rideau Canal, and it is easy to reach by public transport. Guests are provided with Wi-Fi Internet connection and self catering for the kitchen and dining room. Each room is authentically jail life (with bunker beds!) although obviously they make it neater, cleaner, and more attractive. If you are young and backpacking in Ottawa area, this is a cheap place yet comfortable to stay at.