1. Kingston Trolley Tours
If you are new to the area of Kingston, the best way to familiarize yourself is by using Kingston Trolley Tours. With their bright red design, they aren’t easy to miss, taking riders on a 75-minute loop throughout the city. But what’s best is that you can hop on and off at any time during your ride. You’ll go by all of the best highlights of Kingston, running May through October.
2. 1000 Island Boat Tour
Yes, the salad dressing actually gets its name from these islands, but that’s not their only draw. Located to the west of Lake Ontario, they sit right between Kingston and the border to the state of New York. These tours offering great views of Fort Henry, Kingston Penitentiary and the harbor are run by the Kingston 1000 Island Cruises company. For that extra-special event, you can also opt for a lunch or dinner cruise, along with private charters.
3. Royal Military College of Canada Museum
You’ll definitely want to visit the Royal Military College of Canada Museum if you’re interested in military history. It is located right on the Royal Military College of Canada’s campus, and it is led by the college. Here you can find a nice collection full of research records, artifacts and the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard. Some of the over 7,000 items even date back to the WWI era.
4. Kingston Penitentiary
Closing in 2013, this was a maximum security prison that detained quite a few of Canada’s most notorious criminals. Now that the prison is open to the public, you can take a tour of what it might have been like to be a prisoner in this infamous place. Tours are 90 minutes long, and you should definitely bring your camera.
5. The Grand Theatre
This historical building houses one of the best theatres in Kingston. Opening in 1902, it has 776 seats, along with the stage and the orchestra pit. A smaller, more intimate theatre holds 105 people. Since 1964, the Kingston Symphony has held its performances here. It has also been home to special performances by Nellie Melba, Sandra Bernhardt and Eddie Palmieri.
1. Canada Day!
Since Kingston was Canada’s first capital, it throws one of the largest parties, which is great for students living in Kingston. You can expect to enjoy activities like the People Parade, the Limestone Mile marathon and waterfront fireworks. Also keep a lookout for new events, often including exhibitions at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
2. Music in the Park
For the upcoming year, events take place all throughout the summer in this vibrant city. If you like music, be sure to check out the numerous concerts that pop up all over Kingston.
3. Taste of Kingston
Drawing over 5,000 attendees at the last event, the annual Taste of Kingston is one of the most popular on the city’s calendar. The area’s best food vendors support Diabetes Canada by selling small bites of their best menu items. There’s even a voting competition!
1. The Brooklyn
When it’s a Friday night, grab your new classmates and head to this ever-popular locale, right on the edge of the downtown area. You can imbibe on craft beer from Ontario, while also enjoying live music and special events like trivia nights. Most of the crowd includes post-grad students from Queen’s University’s law faculty, and it’s all-in-all a welcoming spot, ideal for larger groups.
2. Stone City Ales
This is most definitely the spot for you if you enjoy visiting microbreweries. Stone City Ales create their own special brews with the main line of four. However, they are always releasing special brews, especially for the season.
3. The Grad Club
Since 1963, this has been a local institution for Queen’s University’s graduate students. It offers a great selection of ciders and beers, and many say that it’s the best place to see live indie music in the entire city.
1. Chez Piggy
If you want to have a special dinner out with friends, then Chez Piggy is an excellent choice for an upscale eatery in Kingston. Right behind Springer Market Square, you can expect fresh food with a French twist.
If you’re in the mood for gourmet pizza, Woodenheads is the best choice. This hip Italian restaurant serves up wood-fired pizza that is made to your liking on a thin crispy crust. It can get very busy, so call ahead or make a reservation.
3. Kame Sushi
While Kingston is known for its tasty sushi, Kame consistently comes out on top. It may not look like much by its interior, and it’s a tiny space, but you’ll find that the food is delicious. Other than sushi, you can also enjoy bento, noodle and donburi selections as well.