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Overview

A trading post that developed into a naval base in the War of 1812, Kingston sits almost at the confluence of the Rideau Canal, the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Briefly the first capital of 19th-century Canada, many of its lovely old limestone buildings – including the neo-classical City Hall – have been handsomely restored. Kingston’s various claims to fame include being home to the country’s oldest degree-granting institution (Queen’s University), the oldest daily newspaper (The Kingston Whig Standard), and to a sizeable number of penitentiaries (hence one of the must-see attractions, the Correctional Service Museum of Kingston). ...

A trading post that developed into a naval base in the War of 1812, Kingston sits almost at the confluence of the Rideau Canal, the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Briefly the first capital of 19th-century Canada, many of its lovely old limestone buildings – including the neo-classical City Hall – have been handsomely restored. Kingston’s various claims to fame include being home to the country’s oldest degree-granting institution (Queen’s University), the oldest daily newspaper (The Kingston Whig Standard), and to a sizeable number of penitentiaries (hence one of the must-see attractions, the Correctional Service Museum of Kingston). The city abounds with historic homes, art galleries, museums and performing arts activities. It is perfect for self-guided walking tours, or explorations on water – by kayak, canoe, sailboat or paddle steamer. It also offers easy access to Thousand Islands (an archipelago of some 1,700 islands), including Wolfe Island, where locals like to head for lunch or dinner.

Joanna Ebbutt
About the Expert

Joanna Ebbutt is the author or editor of three Insight Guides to Toronto and Canada, and coauthor of Off the Beaten Track: Western Canada. She has been writing about travel for three decades, including chasing the aurora borealis in Northern Ontario.

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Joanna Ebbutt for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Kingston is a Canadian city located in eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario.
  • Language: English, French
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Kingston Ontario | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, late spring, early fall, Christmas and New Year