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Toronto man buys notorious Dorchester, N.B. jail

Click to play video 'Toronto man buys notorious Dorchester, N.B. jail' Toronto man buys notorious Dorchester, N.B. jail
WATCH: The historic and notorious jail in Dorchester, N.B. is officially off the market. Global’s Shelley Steeves reports on who the lucky new owner is.

The historic and notorious former jail in Dorchester, N.B. is officially off the market.

Bill Steele from the Toronto area drove to New Brunswick this week to seal the deal and shake hands with owner Andrew Partridge.

READ MORE: ‘Notorious’ New Brunswick jail up for sale

“I always wanted something really neat to retire in and Ghostbuster headquarters was not available, so you buy a jail, right?” joked Steele, when asked why he chose to live in a jail as his new retirement home.

The more than 100 year old jail held its last inmates about 20 years ago and is the site of last double hanging ever to take place in New Brunswick back in 1936.

Andrew Partridge bought the jail 16 years ago and had it on the market for more than three years before the right buyer came along.

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He said he is sad to see it go but there is a benefit.

“We are trying to grow and re-establish Dorchester as a community to come and work in and live in,” Partridge said.

Former Dorchester County Jail for sale
Former Dorchester County Jail for sale. Shelley Steeves/Global News

He said he is happy it is going to someone from away who appreciates its notorious history.

For many people, living in a jail where prisoners were put to death might be a morbid thought, but not for Steele who is an avid collector. He said he has has a passion for all things dark and unusual.

This week he arrived at the jail with a load of odd collectibles, like skulls and masks, he’s gathered from old movie sets over the years.

“It’s odd and unusual just like the jail so it’s a great place to house my collection,” Steele said.

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He said the jail is also the perfect place to break out from under some recent hard times.

“I recently lost my son on March 1st at 25 years old. He had a heart transplant and it rejected and I was going to kind of surprise him with this, ‘hey look at what dad got’ and go out there and it didn’t kind of happen,” Steele said after he lost his son, he knew he needed a fresh start.

He hopes the community will welcome him and the plans he has for the heritage building.

A jail cell in the Dorchester, N.B. jail.
A jail cell in the Dorchester, N.B. jail. Shelley Steeves/Global News

“Maybe some accommodations, maybe an antique shop, maybe a curiosity museum type thing.”

He said he already has dozens of people willing to pay for a chance to spend a night in one of the cells.

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Steele said the property sale will close in about two months, after which he will move in permanently.

“I am going to jail for the rest of my life and I love it and am looking forward to it.”