3 weeks in Kingston

I have been promising you photos from my time in Kingston, so without further adieu…

I’m certain that my parents took my sister and I to Kingston when we were children, as my mom had family in Brockville at that time. However, I don’t remember it, nor our boat cruise through the 1000 Islands. So when I moved to Kingston for 3 weeks in August to teach in Queen’s School of English, it was all new to me. And what a pleasant surprise it was! Kingston oozes charm with its beautiful architecture and interesting shops, restaurants and pubs. It is also chalk-full of history.

You can’t spend any amount of time in Kingston without seeing reference to Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald.

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Sir John and his wife lived in this house for a couple of years, and their second son was born here.

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This isn’t exactly historic, but a good segue into the beautiful architecture and interesting shops, pubs and restaurants.

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I don’t normally post photos of food, but I have to give a shout-out to Cacao 70! I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this restaurant, and anyone who is addicted to chocolate as much as I am  will do the same. This is not unique to Kingston; they also have locations in Ottawa and Toronto. There are some “regular” food items on their menu but you really want to go here to try one of the decadent chocolate dishes like this crepe concoction that I had. It tasted as heavenly as it looks!

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There is also much to seen and do in Kingston for those who enjoy the arts.

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Martello Alley in particular is a great spot for art fans.

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While I was in Kingston, I noticed lots of hat tips to hometown heroes, The Tragically Hip. I ended up traveling back to my hometown of London (Ontario) to watch the final concert of their most recent tour, which was in Kingston, but aired live – commercial free – on CBC television. Many Canadians fondly remember listening to the Tragically Hip’s music during the nearly 30-year span of their career. And of course, this particular tour became news after the announcement that front-man Gord Downie is battling brain cancer. Seeing the thousands of people who gathered in Kingston’s Market Square, I was relieved that I hadn’t stayed in Kingston. I would have found that crowd overwhelming. However, I am glad that I was in Kingston this summer in particular. Downie’s brain cancer diagnosis hits close to home for me, as I lost my dad to cancer and brain tumours in the fall of 2002. However, I also grew up listening to the Tragically Hip and for me they are quintessential Canada (Canadian summers in particular!). I have a newspaper clipping from a local publication advertising the concert, and photos of banners and shop windows downtown welcoming them home. Here’s one photo of a more lasting tribute.

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Finally, here are a few photos of the heart of Kingston’s downtown, which is located on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Historic City Hall

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Next time we’ll head out onto Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to see the 1000 Islands!

All images by me; copyright Tina Beynen, 2016.

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