Mandy Rennehan is giving away a historic jail… for free

Find out how you can unlock the keys to this one-of-a-kind property!

How To Apply

  1. Contest opens June 30, 2020 at 12:00AM Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Make a Video
    Tell us your idea for the jail. This is your chance to shine and show us your personality. Get creative!
  3. Upload it to YouTube & send us the URL
    If you’re not sure how to do that, here’s a link that will show you how!
    Video Upload Instructions

Video Rules

Your video must be no longer than 3 minutes long and answer the following questions:

  1. Who you are and what you ‘do’?
  2. Why will your idea be the best business plan to get the keys to the jail?
  3. How will you execute your plan?

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Must submit a video proposal with supporting 250 words essay by August 14, 2020, 11:59:59pm, Eastern Standard Time (EST) as per instructions.
  2. Must be able to start project within 36 months of proposal award.
  3. Must be able to travel at own expense to property as part of the proposal selection process.
  4. Must be able to set up commercial enterprise in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada

Submit Your Application

Why is your business dream a historic jail revitalization?

Please fill out all fields.

Fun Fact #5


Babe Ruth

In the autumn of 1936, Babe Ruth, who was a regular fishing and hunting guest in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, was introduced to the toller on a duck hunting trip. He was so impressed with the unique retriever, that he brought one back to the United States.

Own a Part of Canada’s History

Your chance to be part of Canada’s history dating back to 1761.

Ground Floor Blueprints of Yarmouth Jail. Additional blueprints are available in the Information Package. 

Develop Your Dream!

Most businesses run up against zoning by-laws that set them back from developing their ideas. Below you will see, Yarmouth encourages creativity of entrepreneurs and companies alike and the possibilities are endless on this big beautiful lot on the Main Street of Yarmouth that has amazing views of the harbor from the upper floors!

City Yarmouth, NS
Date 1864-1865
Assessment $84,600
Lot Size 21978 sq.ft


Download The Possibilities

Click the button to download a zip file containing information like zoning information, history, and development options.

Fun Fact #23


Magic on Main Street

Harry Houdini had his first international tour in Yarmouth in 1896. When he and his wife Bessiewoutred through Nova Scotia don New Brunswick.

They arrived sea-sick and were scheduled to play two nights.

Historical Articles

Read About the Storied History of the Jail

About Mandy Rennehan

Mandy Rennehan (a.k.a. Bear) is called the Blue-Collar CEO™ for her ability to seamlessly navigate between the white- and blue-collar worlds, and to respectfully ‘tell it like it is’. Mandy is a sought-after speaker, multiple award-winning entrepreneur, philanthropist, and trade industry ambassador. and Mandy have received countless business awards including:
Canada’s Most Admired CEO.
Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top CEO for the Atlantic Provinces.
Toronto Region Board of Trade Business Leader of the Year,
Top 25 Women of Influence.
The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur “Momentum” Award.
Growth 500 Excellence in Innovation
(WXN’s) Top 100 Most Powerful Women – Hall of Fame,
CGLCC LGBT Business of the Year
Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs.

Mandy’s vision goes well beyond building successful businesses. She is redefining the collar, blue™ to help solve the massive skilled trade shortage in North America. It is a profound economic and social issue that affects everyone. Consumers are paying more and waiting longer for services, companies aren’t able to scale, and important infrastructure projects, like roads, transit and hospitals are being delayed. Mandy is challenging the misconception that white-collar jobs are “better” or “more desirable” than blue-collar ones. Society needs both collars, and if we do not change this, the crippling effects of the skilled labour shortage will only get worse.

Bear is also a lead advisor to the Federal Governments national campaign encouraging apprenticeships and promoting the skilled trades as a career.

Mandy defies labels. The description she often gets is “refreshing.” Her (respectfully) uncensored honesty is matched by her quick wit, East Coast humour, and big heart. It is impossible to remain unchanged after coming into contact with this authentic, self-taught and self-made powerhouse.

About Yarmouth, NS

The Town of Yarmouth is the regional centre of southwestern Nova Scotia. The Town’s population of nearly 7,000 people doubles on weekdays with the influx of workers and students from surrounding areas. Yarmouth is the financial, business, education, and lifestyle centre for the 70,000 people who live in the tri-counties of Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne.

The port of Yarmouth, located in the heart of the world’s largest lobster fishing grounds, is central to Yarmouth’s history and development. With Canada’s most lucrative fishing industry, Yarmouth and the Acadian Shores have a culture and economy historically tied to fishing and related industries.

Source: Town of Yarmouth 

Why Invest in Nova Scotia

Fun Fact #12


Printing Money

The Bank of Yarmouth was one of two banks in Yarmouth that issued paper money.  This institution was open from 1859 until it failed in 1905.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I participate in the Jail for Free Contest?

The website holds all the eligibility criteria.

How and where do I submit my proposal?

Proposals are submitted via the contact form on

What is the deadline to submit my proposal?

August 14, 2020 at 11:59:59pm EST

What are the video requirements to submit my proposal?

3 minutes in length. All instructions are under VIDEO REQUIREMENTS on the website.

If I am not a resident of Nova Scotia can I still submit a proposal?

Yes. Residents of Canada (Excluding Quebec) and the United States are allowed to apply.

Are there any restrictions in submitting a proposal?

Yes, please read the terms and conditions and this site before submitted your proposal.

How long will it take before I know whether I am a finalist?

We will be announcing the finalist shortly after the contest closes. Stay tuned!

Will I be notified if my proposal is not accepted as a finalist?

Unfortunately, no, we will not be notifying everyone. Only the finalists.

What is the next step(s) once my proposal is accepted as a finalist?

An interview with Mandy Rennehan via Zoom, followed by a visit to the jail in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

If my proposal is selected as the winner, when will I take ownership?

Fall 2020.

What are the property tax implications should my proposal be selected?

$2400 a year, Canadian Dollars, as of July 2020.

Do you pay for my travel and accommodation if selected to visit the property?
No. Finalists will have to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements and fund their entire trip to Yarmouth.
How do I find out more information about the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and local government requirements?

There is an information package here, plus links to owning a business in Nova Scotia above.

Does the property have to be accepted “as is”?

Yes, the jail is being given away ‘as, is” or commonly known as, broom swept.

What is Freshco? is Canada’s leading retail facilities company.

Who is Mandy Rennahan?

Glad you asked!

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have inquiries about the jail, fill out the contact form.
For media inquiries:

Fun Fact #31


Amelia Earhart

Ms. Earhart visited Yarmouth in the summer of 1934 during the tuna fishing competition. She was visiting a private club in argyle with her sister.

Submit Your Application

Why is your business dream a historic jail revitalization?