The Town of Kingstown in 'Mayor of Kingstown' Is Home to Seven Prisons — Is It Real?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Nov. 30 2023, Updated 1:16 p.m. ET

Jeremy Renner walking in the street in 'Mayor of Kingstown'.
Source: Paramount+

The Gist:

  • Mayor of Kingstown centers on the McLusky family, key players in Kingstown, Mich., where the dominant industry revolves around incarceration.
  • The city of Kingstown, Mich. is home to seven prisons in the show.
  • Kingstown, Mich. may be a fictionalized town in Mayor of Kingstown but it is based on a real city — Kingston, Ontario in Canada.
Article continues below advertisement

L.M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables, once said in The Blue Castle, "That's all the freedom we can hope for — the freedom to choose our prison." In Kingstown, Mich. where Mayor of Kingstown takes place, you certainly have options in that regard.

In the show, there are seven prisons in the town, a town that needs them to survive. Is Kingstown, Mich. real or is it just another Hollywood fabrication? Here's the scoop!

Article continues below advertisement
Prisoners in 'Mayor of Kingstown'
Source: Paramount+

Is Kingstown, Mich. real?

While Kingstown, Mich. is a fictional city, it's actually based on a real town in Ontario, Canada. Taylor Sheridan, who is best known for Yellowstone, is focusing on something different with Mayor of Kingstown. While Yellowstone allows the viewers to drink in the gorgeous Montana mountains, Mayor of Kingstown does the opposite. In Kingstown, the sky is not limitless, but the prison sentences are.

Article continues below advertisement

Terry created the show with Hugh Dillon, who grew up in Kingston, Ontario. Kingston is called the prison capital of Canada, and it has certainly earned that title. There are nine prisons in the area, seven of which are located within the city's municipal boundaries. In September 2013, its most famous prison shuttered its doors forever.

Kingston Penitentiary opened in 1835 and was even once on the receiving end of a touring Charles Dickens. This prison, much like the prisons in Mayor of Kingstown, is most known for the role its inmates played in building the city itself.

Article continues below advertisement

It was their job to toil in the nearby limestone quarry, breaking apart rocks that would eventually become buildings. Within its walls, men learned admirable trades such as furniture making.

Jeremy Renner as Mike McLusky and Hamish Allan-Headley as Robert in Season 2 of 'Mayor of Kingstown'.
Source: Paramount+
Article continues below advertisement

Before we wax poetic about the prison, it was also an unkind place. In 1847, prisoners were subjected to a slew of cruel punishments, like The Box. The Box looked like a coffin, except it stood upright, as did the prisoner inside of it anywhere from six to nine hours.

The men were also beaten using cat-o'-nine-tails. Having this many prisons in one place really does something to a city, and you see that in Mayor of Kingstown.

Where is 'Mayor of Kingstown' filmed?

Believe it or not, Mayor of Kingstown is filmed all over Canada, and of course one of the locations is Kingston. They also shot in Brantford, and if you only learn one thing about this town, let it be that Alexander Graham Bell actually invented the telephone there, not in Boston. In a 1906 speech, he said, "the telephone problem was solved, and it was solved at my father's home," which was in Brantford.

Article continues below advertisement
Source: Twitter/@MrsStinkFingers

You obviously cannot film in Canada without spending at least a little time in Toronto. Hamilton, Ontario was also a setting for the show. It's most likely due to the fact that the local economy thrives under steel and heavy manufacturing industries, a perfect backdrop for the fictional working-class town of Kingstown, Mich.

The series is also a testament to the versatility of Canada and the ways in which it can lend itself to a project that doesn't even take place there.

Article continues below advertisement

Will there be a Season 3 of 'Mayor of Kingstown'?

Season 3 of Mayor of Kingstown is happening, though an exact release date has not yet been set. Although the WGA and SAG-AFTRA union strikes halted prepping and production for many films and TV shows, they ended in November 2023, meaning the show can now resume with its plans.

While we can't say for sure, it's being reported that Jeremey Renner will return for the third season of the show (fingers crossed!).

For now, you can stream Season 1 and 2 of Mayor of Kingstown on Paramount+ and other streaming platforms.

More from Distractify

Latest Television News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.