Kingston, Ontario is a city of elegance and charm. Its 19th century limestone homes and its red brick Victorian style architecture lend appeal to vacationers and prospective residents alike. Kingston is ideally located at the point where Lake Ontario enters the St. Lawrence River. For over three hundred years, marine traffic has passed through Kingston enroute to the Great Lakes. For most of those years, Kingston was a major shipbuilding center. Schooners and steamers built in the area have traveled all over the world.
Beyond Kingston’s sedate, well-ordered existence lies a fascinating secret. Not every vessel that set out for the Great Lakes successfully navigated the difficult course. Shipwrecks of all shapes and sizes stretch out in every direction far below the surface of the clear blue waters, preserved by the consistently cold temperatures of their final resting place. Amateur and professional scuba divers find Kingston the perfect place for a holiday filled with adventure and the prospect of “finding the big one.”
The city of Kingston features the amenities of an urban centre with the allure of a small city. Kingston has two universities and a community college which is highly unusual for its size, giving it an intellectual strength that touches all aspects of the community. The city’s military and naval history are captured and celebrated in area museums, galleries and theatres. From its geological beginnings to the vibrant contemporary arts scene, there is an eclectic range of experiences offered by these historic sites and cultural venues.
As an orientation, visitors can enjoy an historic
one-hour tour of the "Limestone City" aboard the Confederation Tour Trolley.
The tour includes an overview of the celebrated campus of Queen's University,
one of Canada's oldest and finest institutions of learning.
Fort Henry, a majestic 19th Century British Military Fortress, features performances by the famous Fort Henry Guard, complete with canon fire, guns, and the music of the fife and drum. It is one of Kingston's greatest historical treasures. Bellevue House, deemed a National Historic Site, has guides in period costume who welcome visitors to the home of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
In the summer months, Kingston hosts many festivals including the Annual Buskers Rendezvous, which is held in July and brings in over a 100 street performers from all over the world, including musicians, magicians, jugglers and mimes throughout the Downtown area. Every August the city is a hub of activity when hundreds of sailors converge for C.O.R.K., the annual Canadian Olympic Training Regatta.
Kingston is known as the fresh-water capital of North America, and is a major port from which to cruise the Thousand Islands. A pleasant jaunt to New York State can easily be arranged aboard the Wolfe Island Ferry, which connects with Watertown New York via the summer vacation paradise of the same name, the largest of the Thousand Islands. The ferry runs frequently each day year round. Kingston is also convenient Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal by car or by rail.
From professional services to specialty boutiques and shops, dining and cultural experiences, Kingston has been ranked along with Halifax and Victoria as having one of the top three most vibrant downtowns of Canada. Populated by historic neighbourhoods, the ivy-covered buildings of Queen’s University, and a spectacular stretch of waterfront parkland, Kingston is perfect anytime. It is the place for a family vacation, for the pursuit of higher education at a leading university, for diving for long buried treasure, and for just enjoying time away in a storybook setting.