Whether it’s sweater weather, parka season, or the sunny days of summer, Kingston has some beautiful places to go for a stroll. If you’re looking for a break from your workday or need a weekend adventure for you and the family, here are some unique places to explore Kingston’s spectacular natural assets and the city’s rich history.
Looking for a scenic view of Kingston’s waterfront? Kingston’s Waterfront Pathway is a picturesque 8 km walk from Lake Ontario Park to the downtown core. Along this path you will have the opportunity to see Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, Kingston Penitentiary, the Tett Centre, Fort Frontenac, and many other historic locations in the Kingston area. Accessible parking and pathway access are available. For more information on the path and access to a digital map, please visit this link.
Barriefield Village was established near the Naval Shipyards and prospered for many decades as an important part in the boatbuilding industry. Did you know that in 1980, Barriefield became the first village in Ontario to become a Heritage Conservation District? It is no secret that Barriefield is filled with rich history and you can explore it on a self-guided walking tour of the area. On this self-guided tour, you will be able to relive the history of the village – see where the blacksmith lived and where Peters Grocery resided. For more information on the tour and for a detailed map, please visit this link.
Known for its beautiful architecture and historic setting, Sydenham Ward is home to some of the finest 19th-century architecture in Canada. Old Sydenham was designated a historic district in 2015. On your walk through Sydenham Ward, you will stop by some notable buildings including Frontenac County Court House, a building originally designed to house the Parliament of Canada when Kingston was Canada’s capital city; the Spire, a notable 160-year-old landmark that is now a community hub for the arts and not for profit; and Chalmers United Church, which sits on a unique triangular lot where Clergy, Barrie and Earl Street meet. Lace up your sneakers and go take in the beauty of Sydenham Ward today!
Queen’s University was established in 1841 by a Royal Charter signed by Queen Victoria. Queen’s main campus is located on roughly 100 acres of land on the southwestern edge of downtown Kingston. Its approximate boundaries are King Street in the south, Earl Street in the north, Collingwood Street in the west, and Barrie Street in the east. The campus is home to many beautiful limestone buildings and, given its age, a history full of interesting anecdotes. Did you know that Queen’s landmark building, Grant Hall, was a military hospital during the First World War and used as an entertainment centre for troops and a meal hall during WWII?
LAKE ONTARIO PARK
Providing a natural landscape that draws both visitors and locals, Lake Ontario Park is the largest urban waterfront park in Kingston. Lake Ontario is great for picnicking and scenic walks along the waterfront, including access to the Waterfront Pathway. The park was extensively renovated in recent years and includes accessible walkways to the lakeshore, a cobblestone beach, playground equipment and a sandy beach area.
Portsmouth Village was founded in 1784 and grew alongside the Kingston Penitentiary, which was located nearby. In its early years, the area included tanneries, breweries and shipyards. The village is also home to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, which hosted the yachting and boating events for the 1976 Summer Olympics. In present day, the area retains a quaint historic charm with stone and brick homes. A walk through this area will take you along the lakeshore marina and through charming side streets dotted historic homes, ultimately connecting with the Waterfront Pathway.