Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Trip Start Aug 09, 2012
8Trip End Aug 18, 2012
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Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the Saint Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement, growing European exploration in the 17th century made it an important trading post. In order to control the fur trade, French explorer LaSalle founded Fort Frontenac in 1673.
Located midway between Toronto and Montreal, Kingston was named the first capital of the Province of Canada on February 15, 1841, by Governor Lord Sydenham. While its time as a political centre was short, Kingston has remained an important military installation. Kingston was the county seat of Frontenac County until 1998. Kingston is a separated municipality from the County of Frontenac. According to the 2011 Canadian census, the population of the city proper was 123,363, while the population of the census metropolitan area (CMA) was 159,561.Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many heritage buildings constructed using local limestone.
Origins, settlement, and growth
The French originally settled upon a traditional Mississaugas First Nation site called Katarokwi (Cataraqui in the common transliteration, and according to French pronunciation rules should be said "kah-tah-RAH-kee," although it is generally pronounced "kah-tah-ROCK-way") in 1673 and established Fort Cataraqui, later to be called Fort Frontenac. The fort was captured and destroyed by the British in the Battle of Fort Frontenac during the Seven Years' War in 1758. A receiving centre for fleeing refugees from the American Revolution some years later, Kingston became the primary community of southeastern Upper Canada.United Empire Loyalists formed a significant part of an expanding population in the area at the end of the 18th century. Loyalists who had originally sought refuge at Carleton Island during the Revolutionary War arrived at Cataraqui after the area was surveyed in 1783. One of these Loyalists was Molly Brant (the sister of Six Nations leader Joseph Brant). A large group of Loyalists led by Captain Michael Grass arrived in 1784, having sailed from New York and up the Saint Lawrence River. Fort Frontenac was restored to accommodate a military garrison that would defend the new community.
Cataraqui was referred to as "the King's Town" or "King's Town" by 1787 in honour of King George III. The name was shortened to "Kingston" in 1788.
During the War of 1812, Kingston was the base for the Lake Ontario division of the Great Lakes British naval fleet which engaged in a vigorous arms race with the American fleet based at Sackets Harbor, New York for control of Lake Ontario. After the war, Britain built Fort Henry and a series of distinctive Martello towers to guard the entrance to the Rideau Canal. All still exist, and Fort Henry is a popular tourist attraction.
Kingston's location at the Rideau Canal entrance to Lake Ontario, after canal construction was completed in 1832, made it the primary military and economic centre of Upper Canada. Incorporated as a town in 1838, the first mayor of Kingston was Thomas Kirkpatrick. Kingston had the largest population of any centre in Upper Canada until the 1840s. Kingston was incorporated as a city in 1846.
A municipal police force was established on December 20, 1841.
Kingston was chosen as the first capital of the united Canadas and served in that role from 1841 to 1844. The first meeting of the Parliament of the United Canadas on June 13, 1841, was held on the site of what is now Kingston General Hospital. The city was considered too small and lacking in amenities, however, and its location made it vulnerable to American attack. Consequently, the capital was moved to alternating locations in Montreal and Toronto, and then later to Ottawa in 1857. Subsequently, Kingston's growth slowed considerably and its national importance declined.
The Kingston General Hospital site also held the remains of 1,400 Irish immigrants who had died in Kingston in fever sheds along the waterfront, during the typhus epidemic of 1847, while fleeing the Great Famine. Their remains were re-interred at the city's St. Mary's Cemetery in 1966.Kingston was the home of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. One of his residences in Kingston, Bellevue House, is now a popular National Historic Site of Canada open to the public and depicting the house as it would have been in the 1840s when he lived there.During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Kingston remained an important Great Lakes port and a centre for shipbuilding and locomotive manufacturing, including the Canadian Locomotive Company, at one time the largest locomotive works in the British Empire. Most heavy industry has now left the city, and employment is now primarily in the institutional, military, and service/retail sectors.
Kingston grew moderately through the 20th century through a series of annexations of lands in adjacent Kingston Township, including a 1952 annexation of some 5,500 acres (22 km2) which encompassed areas west to the Little Cataraqui Creek (including the village of Portsmouth), where a number of large residential subdivisions were built in the late 1950s and early '60s.
Municipal governance had been a topic of discussion since the mid-1970s due to financial imbalance between the city and the surrounding townships, which now had large residential areas and a population approaching that of the city proper. On January 1, 1998, the City was amalgamated with Kingston Township and Pittsburgh Township to form a new City of Kingston. The city's boundaries now encompass large rural areas north of Highway 401 and east of the Cataraqui River.
The term "Cataraqui", from the original native name for Kingston, today refers to an area around the intersection of Princess Street and Sydenham Road where a village that later took the name was located. Cataraqui is also the name of a municipal electoral district....
According to the 2006 census, there were 152,358 people residing in the Kingston Census Metropolitan Area, of whom 48.7% were male and 51.3% were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 4.8% of the resident population of Kingston. This compares with 5.5% in Ontario.
In 2001, 14.1% of the resident population in Kingston were of retirement age (65 and over) compared with 13.2% in Canada. As a result, the average age is 38.1 years of age as compared to 37.6 years of age for all of Canada. Kingston has a reputation as a suitable place for retirees to settle.
Kingston 2006 senior population in Central Kingston - source 2006 Census
In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Kingston grew by 1.6%, compared with an increase of 6.1% for Ontario as a whole. Population density of Kingston averaged 77.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (199 /sq mi), compared with an average of 12.6 /km2 (33 /sq mi) for Ontario altogether.
The population of Kingston shows significant turnover because of its relatively large student population (about 10%) and the number of military residents associated with Canadian Forces Base Kingston.
According to the Government of Canada 2006 census, 94.2% of the population were Caucasian; of the visible minorities, 1.7% were Chinese, 1.2% were South Asian, and 0.8% were black.
Detailed socio-demographic analysis and information about Kingston can be found in the Kingston Religion
Christianity represents the largest major religion of Kingston, with 114,145 of all residents (79.9%) claiming affiliation. Protestant faiths represent the largest denomination with 58% of the Christian population, while Catholics comprise the second largest denomination, representing 38% of Kingston's Christian community.
Second to Christianity, 25,480 residents (17.8%) claim no religious affiliation.
Other religious affiliations include Judaism (855 individuals, or .59%), Islam (850 individuals, or .59%), and Buddhism (475 individuals, or .33%).
Quality of life
Kingston was recognized as one of the "best places to live and work in Canada for young professionals" The city ranked # 4 on a list of 27 Canadian cities with a population of 100,000 or more in a study of the likes and dislikes of professionals between the ages of 20-40. The study, by Next Generation Consulting, considered factors such as: earning potential (things like employment opportunities and household incomes), cost of lifestyle (the cost of food, clothing and housing), vitality (air and water quality and green space) and after hours activities (things to do during week nights and on the weekend).
A persistently low rental housing vacancy rate has had a negative effect on housing affordability in Kingston. Average two bedroom rents are expected to exceed $1,000.00 per month by early 2013.
Kingston, being strategically located at the head of the Saint Lawrence River and at the mouth of the Cataraqui River near the border with the United States, has been a site of military importance since Fort Frontenac was built in 1673. The French, and later, the British established military garrisons. Several defensive fortifications were constructed in the 19th century, including Fort Henry, four Martello towers, and the Market Battery. Military ships were built at the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard at Point Frederick from 1788 to 1853.
After the British army withdrew from most locations in Canada in 1870-71, two batteries of garrison artillery were formed by the Dominion Government - one in Kingston; the other in Quebec City. The batteries were also schools of gunnery. The Kingston battery was garrisoned at Fort Henry and TÍte du Pont Barracks (Fort Frontenac). Designated as the Regiment of Canadian Artillery, the regular component evolved into the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, with most of its battery housed at TÍte du Pont Barracks until 1939.
The withdrawal of imperial troops required a Canadian location for the training of military officers. Because of Kingston's military tradition and the fact that several military buildings already existed at the old naval dockyard, Point Frederick was chosen as the location for Canada's first military college, the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). The college opened in 1876.
Located east of Kingston's downtown, the army's Camp Barriefield, now McNaughton Barracks, was constructed at the beginning of the First World War and expanded during the Second World War. Camp Barriefield was named in honour of Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Barrie (May 5, 1774 – June 7, 1841), a British naval officer noted for his service in the War of 1812. It was later named McNaughton Barracks after Andrew George Latta McNaughton, a former minister of national defence. Nearby Vimy Barracks was established in 1937 for the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (later the Royal Canadian School of Signals). Vimy and McNaughton Barracks house the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics (CFSCE), the Canadian Forces' military communications training centre and several other units. McNaughton Barracks and Vimy Barracks make up most of Canadian Forces Base Kingston (CFB Kingston). Major military facilities supported by CFB Kingston include Fort Frontenac, located on the site of the original fort, and the Royal Military College of Canada.
A military aerodrome, RCAF Station Kingston, was constructed to the west of Kingston to support flying training during the Second World War.
Kingston is known for its historic properties, as reflected in the city's motto of "where history and innovation thrive". The municipality has nearly 700 properties listed in the heritage register it maintains pursuant to the Ontario Heritage Act. In 2007, the Rideau Canal, along with the fortifications at Kingston, was designated a World Heritage Site, one of only 15 such sites in Canada.
There are 21 National Historic Sites of Canada located in Kingston. Kingston has the third largest number of National Historic Sites within its boundaries of any city in Ontario, after Ottawa and Toronto.
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