THE LIMESTONE CITY
Kingston is well-known for its several historic buildings made from limestone collected locally. This is why it is dubbed as the Limestone City. This city is located between Canada's two largest cities, Montreal and Toronto. This city is where the St. Lawrence River flows out from Lake Ontario. The presence of amazing bodies of water around the city has led to its being a major port to cruise. You can visit the Thousand Islands or attend the annual CORK or Canadian Olympic Training Regatta, held every August. This water event is what made Kingston as the freshwater sailing capital f North America. You will definitely enjoy many other tourist spots. If you are finished with the water events, you can head on to any of the city's 17 museums that feature several woodworking equipments, military facilities and technological advances. This city highlights many of their historical pride. In fact, these are the very things that made Kingston city a major attraction that wants to experience history during modern times.
HOW IT BEGAN
For a city that lives by the motto, "A Civil and Creative Community with a Proud Past," Kingston has history to offer. Before it became a freshwater sailing phenomenon, Kingston was known as an important trading post by the First Nations. The city was the original home for the French and in 1673, when the famous Fort Frontenac (before, Fort Cataraqui) was founded. The Fort was unfortunately destroyed by the British during the Seven Years' War in 1758. It then became a settlement for refugees during the American Revolution. Years after, the Fort was restored to become the new military garrison protecting the community. After the war of 1812, the Fort Henry and the Martello Towers (Shoal Tower, Fort Frederick and Cathcart Tower) were built to defend the entry point at Rideau Canal, which was constructed as prevention against attack from the United States. The establishment of the Canal made Kingston the primary economic and military center of the northern Canada.
Aside from the military and war facts that created many of Kingston's tourist destinations, it was also the first capital of the United Canadas and home to Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT...
╣Bellevue House. This is one of many heritage sites that will make you feel as if you lived during the 1800s. This place is the home of and the only national park that commemorates Sir John A. MacDonald as the first Prime Minister. The house is open for public viewing from April to October. You will witness interpretative acts that will take you through time and let you experience what life was like for the Prime Minister and his family. You are encouraged to watch informational videos and to view artifacts related to the first Prime Minister. You will be welcomed and guided by interpreters donned as maids and gentlemen from the 1840s. The house also has a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs or take photos with the life-size Sir John A. MacDonald. Visiting Bellevue House lets you experience history as if you have always been a part of it.
╣Fort Henry. The fort was once a garrison that protects the community of upper Canada. Now, you can visit it and learn about military life. You will be guided staff in uniforms known as the Fort Henry Guard. Your day at this tourist spot will be filled with activities including reenactments of drills and battle tactics used during the war period. You get to watch the Garrison Parade and the Muster Parade. The latter encourages young visitors to dress up and to learn marches from qualified Guards. There is also the Victorian School Room. The Fort is famous for its Sunset Ceremony during Wednesdays in July and August. Here you will witness a spectacular program filled with military drills, canon fires, fireworks and music. If you are eager to see how the ancestors fought reenacted with a modern twist, Fort Henry is the place to go.
╣Rideau Canal. It is one of one of the fifteen World Heritage Sites in Canada. The site has been a wonder now and then. It still operates as a waterway but for recreation instead of trading and military issues. The site was recognized as a human marvel by the UNESCO and inscribed it as World Heritage in 2007. The Canal was established for the fight against colonization of the Northern American Continent but now you can visit the waterway and enjoy a relaxing cruise. Recreational boaters can pass through the Canal to travel between Kingston and Ottawa. You can visit the locks in May and travel through several available locks that can accommodate boats about 90 feet long. Visit the canal during winter and see the largest ice skating rink in the world, equivalent to 90 Olympic size hockey rinks! You can also join in the fun during the Rideau Canal Festival in August where you can learn about the Canal, join in festive activities and celebrate Heritage and Environment. you can bring the whole family and have a joyful day touring the canal and viewing several arts and photo exhibits dedicated to the Rideau Canal.
TOURISTS SHOULD KNOW
Kingston is a great city that offers its visitors fascinating attractions. Because there are many places to see in Kingston, you will need a place to stay. Here are some hotels in Kingston that are highly recommended by your fellow tourists. Courtyard by Marriott Kingston at Dalton Avenue is an excellent place to stay in. The hotel is near the airport. With the usual amenities found in other hotels, Courtyard will exceed your expectations. The building looks new but the ambiance is really cozy and warm because of the décor. Average nightly rate is about $125 to $149. However, the charge is non-refundable so reserve a room once you have completely decided. The Radisson Plaza Hotel at Johnson Street is located at the Confederation Harbor. This boutique-style hotel provides guests with indoor rooftop pools, business centers, fitness centers and on-site dining. The rooms are spacious and have a complimentary hi-speed internet connection. You will be sleeping on a Sleep Number® bed so you are guaranteed a good night sleep. The price range is less than $200 for the average daily rate. The Residence Inn at Earl Street is close to the Queen’s University and Fort Henry. They also offer additional amenities like barbecue grills and picnic area. Room rates range from $149 to $169, which can be canceled forfree.
Kingston is located between two very large cities so expect a great number of visitors any time of the year. The cost of living might be higher than in the rural areas. It might also be better to use public transportation so you would not worry about parking. Accommodations and restaurants are plenty. Prepare ahead of time so you can fully enjoy Kingston.