The former prison in Trois-Rivières, Que., reopened in 2002. But unlike other jails, everyone who enters through its gates does so quite willingly. Welcome to the slammer!
When our group got to “the hole,” the prison’s solitary-confinement cell, an elderly man asked the guide for a flashlight. After studying the wall closely, he extracted a crumpled piece of paper from one of the cracks. “Right,” he declared, “this is where the tour ends for me.” And he left the cell. It turned out that that long ago, the man had been an inmate in this very jail. Not only that, he had put in some time in the hole. Knowing that one of his pals was going to have a turn in the hole later on, he had left a note for the guy. But the friend was abruptly transferred to another prison, and never got the message. Forty years later, jammed into a crack in the wall, the note was still there.