Skip to main content

Introducing Kingston, Ontario

A Vibrant City Rich in History and Culture

Kingston, known as the “Limestone City” due to its grand 19th-century limestone architecture, is located at the strategic meeting point of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. It is renowned for its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and as a gateway to the picturesque Thousand Islands. Home to Queen’s University, the Royal Military College, and St. Lawrence College – Kingston Campus, Kingston is a hub of education and culture, offering a dynamic mix of modern vitality and historic charm.

Kingston, Ontario Statistics

Population: 137,987 residents (per 2024 census)

Average Sold Price for Home: $610,000

Table of Contents

Municipalities and Governance

Kingston prides itself on its efficient municipal services and governance, ensuring a high quality of life for its residents. The city is known for its responsive local government, robust infrastructure, and community-oriented services. Residents can engage with the city council through regular public meetings, online platforms, and community outreach programs.

School Boards in Kingston

Kingston is served by several school boards that cater to a diverse student population:

Limestone District School Board (LDSB):

Oversees public schooling in Kingston, offering programs from kindergarten through Grade 12, with a focus on inclusive education and community engagement.

Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB):

Provides Catholic education from elementary to secondary levels, emphasizing values-based educational experiences.

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO):

Serves Francophone students, offering instruction from kindergarten to Grade 12 in a French-speaking environment.

Bus and Transportation Services

Kingston offers comprehensive transportation options designed to meet the needs of its residents and visitors:

  • Kingston Transit:

    Provides extensive bus services throughout the city, with modern and efficient public buses that connect all major neighborhoods, schools, and business areas.

  • Taxi Services

    Several reliable taxi companies operate in Kingston, offering convenient and safe rides throughout the city and beyond. Taxis can be easily hailed on the street, booked by phone, or through mobile apps, providing a flexible option for personal transportation at any hour.

  • Via Rail:

    Offers convenient rail services to other major Canadian cities, making travel easy for both personal and professional needs.

  • Coach Canada:

    Known for its reliability and comfort, Coach Canada connects Kingston to major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, making it a popular choice for both locals and tourists.

  • Cycling and Walking Paths:

    Committed to sustainability, Kingston boasts numerous cycling lanes and scenic walking paths that encourage eco-friendly transportation.

Major Attractions in Kingston

Kingston, Ontario, is rich in history and culture, boasting numerous tourist attractions that highlight its heritage and natural beauty. Here are some major tourist attractions in Kingston:

  • Fort Henry National Historic Site:

    A key part of Canada’s military history, Fort Henry offers a glimpse into the 19th century with reenactments, guided tours, and spectacular views of Lake Ontario. It’s also the venue for various events, including the renowned Fort Henry Guard Drills.

  • Kingston Waterfront:

    The waterfront area provides scenic views and a relaxing environment with walking paths, boat tours, and cruises that explore the nearby Thousand Islands.

  • Kingston Penitentiary Tours:

    This former maximum-security prison offers guided tours that provide a look into the lives of inmates and the history of penitentiary in Canada, making it a unique and educational experience.

  • Bellevue House National Historic Site:

    The home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, Bellevue House offers a historical insight into the mid-19th century with costumed interpreters and well-preserved grounds.

  • Royal Military College of Canada Museum:

    Situated on the grounds of the Royal Military College, this museum showcases military artifacts and the history of the college, which is one of Canada’s national historic sites.

  • Thousand Islands:

    While technically just beyond Kingston, the gateway to the Thousand Islands starts here, with numerous boat tours available. This stunning archipelago offers breathtaking natural beauty, historic sites, and luxurious cottages.

  • The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning:

    Located on Kingston’s waterfront, this community arts hub houses artists’ studios, galleries, and workshops where visitors can view or participate in creative processes.

  • Kingston City Hall:

    An architectural gem in the heart of downtown, Kingston City Hall is open for tours that reveal its historic significance and role in the city’s development.

  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes:

    This museum provides insights into the rich maritime history of Kingston and the Great Lakes, with exhibits on ships, shipwrecks, and the naval history of the area.

These attractions make Kingston a compelling destination for tourists looking to explore Canadian history, enjoy natural beauty, and experience a lively cultural scene.

Old Fort Henry

Kingston Waterfront

Kingston Penitentiary Tours

Bellevue House National Historic Site

Royal Military College of Canada Museum

Thousand Islands

The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning

Kingston City Hall

Marine Museum of the Great Lakes

Annual Events in Kingston

Kingston, Ontario, hosts a variety of annual attractions that celebrate its rich cultural heritage, vibrant community, and scenic location. Here are some of the major events that take place each year:

  • Kingston Buskers Rendezvous:

    Typically held in July, this festival brings together street performers from around the world, offering an array of entertainment from juggling to fire-eating and acrobatics, all set against the backdrop of downtown Kingston.

  • Limestone City Blues Festival:

    This event fills the streets of downtown Kingston with the sounds of blues every August. The festival features performances by both national and international blues musicians, attracting music lovers from across the region.

  • Feb Fest:

    Kingston’s annual winter festival, Feb Fest features a variety of activities like public skating, ice sculptures, a snow maze, and hockey events. It brings a festive atmosphere to the historic downtown area during the colder months.

  • Kingston WritersFest:

    A celebration of the literary arts, this festival occurs in late September and brings authors and readers together through a series of readings, discussions, and workshops. It’s a must-attend for book lovers and aspiring writers.

  • The Kingston Canadian Film Festival:

    Held annually in March, this is the largest festival in the world dedicated exclusively to Canadian film. It showcases feature films, shorts, documentaries, and animations, providing a platform for Canadian filmmakers and offering unique cultural insights.

  • Kingston Pride:

    Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, Kingston Pride features a variety of events including a parade, festival, and community gatherings throughout June, promoting diversity and inclusion within the city.

  • Artfest Kingston:

    Taking place over the Canada Day weekend, Artfest transforms City Park into an outdoor art and craft gallery. Artists and craftspersons from across Canada display and sell original art and handmade crafts in a lovely park setting.

  • PumpHouse Steam Museum Ghost Walks:

    This seasonal event offers a ghostly walk through Kingston’s old industrial area, telling spooky tales intertwined with the city’s history.

  • Kingston Sheep Dog Trials:

    One of the top sheep dog trials in North America, this event, held in August, features dogs and their handlers competing in herding events, along with other family-friendly activities.

  • Taste of Kingston:

    This food festival showcases local restaurants, food trucks, and vendors, offering a taste of what Kingston’s culinary scene has to offer. It’s a celebration of food, live music, and community.

  • Kingston Fall Fair:

    Held annually in September, the Kingston Fall Fair is a traditional agricultural exhibition complete with livestock shows, crafts, food stalls, rides, and games. It’s a beloved event that brings together families and community members to celebrate the harvest season and rural traditions of the area.

These events not only provide entertainment and enjoyment for residents and visitors but also help to foster a strong sense of community and celebrate the diverse culture that Kingston has to offer.

Kingston Buskers Rendezvous

Limestone City Blues Festival

Feb Fest

Kingston WritersFest

The Kingston Canadian Film Festival

Kingston Pride

Artfest Kingston

PumpHouse Steam Museum Ghost Walks

Kingston Sheep Dog Trials

Taste of Kingston

Kingston Fall Fair

Kingston Real Estate Listings

[rps-listings view=map]