This stately gray-stone building has served many purposes, from imprisoning and executing criminals to storing the national archives. Built between 1808 and 1813, it was the first modern prison in Canada. Two blocks of half a dozen cells remain intact and are open to visitors. The scaffold used to hang criminals is long gone.
When the jail closed in 1868, the building was converted into Morrin College, one of the city's first private schools, and the Literary and Historical Society of Québec moved in. Founded in 1824, this forerunner of Canada's National Archives operates an active lending library and has a superb collection that includes some of the first books printed in North America. The college is no longer in operation, but historical and cultural talks are held in English, and tours of the building are available. Don't miss the Victorian-era library and College Hall.
44 rue Chaussée des Ecossais, Québec City, Québec, G1R 4H3, Canada