moncton-prison

Photo: Kijiji listing

People are willing to live in former churches, breweries, factories and even army barracks — so why not a prison?

For Canadians so inclined, a century-old provincial jailhouse in Dorchester, New Brunswick, is on the market. And with a list price of $159,000, it’s a steal.

The price, roughly a third of what Toronto and Vancouver condos go for on average, shouldn’t come as a total shock. Dorchester is part of Moncton’s census metro area, recently named Canada’s most affordable housing market, after all.

moncton-prison-exterior

Photo: Kijiji listing

But geography isn’t the only thing that makes this one-time penal institution a potential bargain.

Someone has already gone to the trouble of converting the slammer’s second floor into a two-bedroom residential unit, complete with a washroom and powder room, kitchen and office.

Currently, a fitness centre is being run out of the back of the structure, and while its owner will consider offers, it’s not included in the current list price. The rest of the 12,500-square-foot structure, however, is open to a buyer’s interpretation. Or, as the listing puts it: “The possibilities are endless!” The jail could serve as a bed and breakfast, or maybe a restaurant. “The choice is yours!”

jail-moncton-cell

Photo: Property Guys

For now, the bones of the red-brick building remain, down to its most Kafkaesque touches: 12 original jail cells and three segregation cells remain, though the penitentiary was shut down decades ago.

So some indoor facilities are obviously a little cramped. But the outdoor space makes up for it. The jailhouse sits on a 2.5-acre lot and includes a “fenced in recreational area.” A future off-leash dog park, maybe?

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