Last May my husband and I moved to his childhood hometown of Kingston, Ontario located on lake Ontario where the St Lawrence River and the Rideau canal meet. Kingston is a beautiful historic town full of beautiful limestone buildings, amazing views, and tons of restaurants and shops. It’s a real tourist spot for folks coming over the border from New York state an easy 30 minute drive away. Being incredibly new to town I decided that today, I’d be a tourist. Now, winter is not Kingston’s best season, but I was able to capture a few of the prime spots around downtown.
This is the Kingston court-house and the lovely fountain. It’s practically in my back yard. I love the fountain in the summer time when it is full of beautiful billowing water. Lately I have been able to watch the media scurry around out there as there as there is a big murder trail happening in town.
A stones throw away from my back door and just on the other side of City Park is Lake Ontario. Here we are looking down the coast towards downtown. You can almost see the red roofed Martello tower over at Fort Henry. I’ve heard that technically what we are looking at is actually the St. Lawrence river and that the lake doesn’t start till just on the other side of Wolf Island, which is to the right, but not shown. This is one of my favorite spots for reading in the summer time, basking in the quietly lapping waves and the warm reflections of the sun on the lake.
I continued walking down the water front trail towards downtown which leads me straight to the Marine Museum. This is the CCGS Alexander Henry. The Alexander Henry is a retired ice breaker from the Canadian Coast Guard. It is gigantic. I couldn’t even fit the back half in the photo.
Walking on down the path turns to sidewalk and suddenly we are on Ontario Street, one of the main Kingston arteries. Looking down we can see restaurant after restaurant. As well you can see a tidily bit of the Prince George Hotel, built in 1909, and of course City Hall at the end there.
Down a hop skip and a jump and straight across from City Hall we are looking out over the Kingston harbor, a close up of one of the Martello Towers and the ferry that runs between Kingston and Wolf Island. Just behind the ferry across the water is the Royal Canadian Military College.
Here is the Kingston City Hall standing tall. Kingston was originally to be the national capital of Canada, but it was later decided that Ottawa, being further up the St. Lawrence was a safer location, so it’s almost famous. Although Kingston was the home town to the very first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. MacDonald, known as just Sir John A. in these parts. Notice a theme with all the limestone? Kingston is called the “limestone city” because of all the limestone buildings and because there is so much limestone quarried locally.
Just behind City Hall is Market square. In the summer and fall The Market sets up camp 4 days a week, with lovely fresh produce, local breads, soaps, and even art. On Sundays it’s antiques. I love love, love, The Market and in the summer time it is glorious. In the winter they set up an ice skating rink open to the public. Not but a handful of skaters today. It’s a little warm I think, see the melting in the middle.
Along my walk I encountered one of Kingston’s finest. An ice sculptor and his beautiful ground hog sculpture in front of the city Christmas Tree.
It’s on these quiet walks, even though I sometimes feel like a spectator and a visitor, that I really feel a connection to the city. Not the landmark buildings you see above, but being that person, walking purposely just to enjoy it. I can’t wait to explore, get to know the seasons here, and to truly become acquainted with the town I live in and make it my home. It’s like a secret adventure.
And with that I leave you with the icy ground hog in all it’s glory.
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