Take a cruise around the 1000...
Take a cruise around the 1000 Islands. There are many different boat charter companies in Kingston and the surrounding towns and they are the main attraction of the area. Kingston is in a beautiful part of Ontario and part of the geological area called the Canadian Shield. I love driving out that way and just wandering around seeing the scenery. It's especially lovely in the fall/autumn when the leaves are changing colour.
Rideau Heritage Route
Instead of taking the main highways if you are going from Kingston to Ottawa, you might be interested in what is referred to as the Rideau Heritage Route that follow the Rideau River towards Ottawa. You can find a map as well as suggested stops and activities on the website below. But basically you take route 15 north and follow the river. Some nice towns you have to take small detours to visit others like Merrickville and Manotick are on the main road.
The Pump House Museum
The Pump House and steam Museum is very close to the Marine museum, close to the west end marina. It's worth a visit. Interesting machinery is displayed to the public showing how local people handled water with primitive, yet motorized engines.
The Pump House Steam Museum was abandoned for a long time before it was restored in 1973 by the City of Kingston.
The original Fort Henry was built near this site during the War of 1812 between Canada (at that time a British Colony) and the United States of America. It is located at a very strategic location at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. In 1832, a larger fortified structure was deemed necessary and it is this fort that remains today.
At Fort Henry, uniformed soldiers recreate 19th century military life within the fortified walls. You can view the Changing of the Guard every hour on the half hour and the daily Garrison Parade at 3pm. There are also three artillery firings that take place each day.
See the website for hours of operation and admission fees.
Canada's First Capital....Kingston
"The Thousand Islands"
No visit to Kingston would be complete without a cruise of The Thousand Islands. A highlight of your cruise will certainly be the beautiful Boldt Castle. This photo is not of the castle, but merely the power house from which electricity for the castle was to be generated back in the 1890's. By the ornate beauty of this utilitarian structure, you can imagine the grandeur of Boldt Castle itself.
Did you know that Thousand Island Dressing was created here by a chef from the Waldorf Astoria? He had spent time here at the summer home of his employer, and came up with the new concoction at the request of Mr. Boldt.
"The Oldest City in Ontario"
Kingston is a city full of historical significance. It was built at a very strategic location where the St.Lawrence River enters Lake Ontario and served as Canada's first Capital City from 1841 to 1844. It didn't take long for someone to realize that it's location was far too close to the American border and so the city lost it's Capital Status after only three short years.
Kingston is also considered the home of Canada's First Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, eventhough he was born in Glasgow, Scotland and immigrated here with his parents at age 5. You can see many tributes to Sir John throughout Kingston including a statue at City Park, a freeway named in his honour, several of his homes and the graves of himself and his family.
"The Limestone City"
Kingston is known for it's impressive 19th century limestone homes and buildings. You will find examples of these everywhere, at the Royal Military College, Queens University and throughout the downtown core.
Kingston is located a 250 kms east of Toronto on the 401 at the eastern shores of Lake Ontario.