Living in Kingston

Founded in 1673, Kingston is a small city with big charm.  In many ways, it is an ideal city in which to study medicine: its two hospitals are centrally located in Kingston’s downtown and are only a short walk apart through the beautiful City Park.  Kingston itself is situated between Toronto and Montreal, and is well connected to  these cities by road, rail and air.  Within Kingston are a breadth of natural, cultural, culinary, historic, and other attractions, all within walking distance of the hospitals and downtown core.

Kingston was the first capital of Canada; it’s City Hall being the former seat of government.  Kingston played a prominent role in the American Revolution.  Today, Kingston’s four Martello Towers still stand, strategically situated along Kingston’s waterfront.  Fort Henry, constructed during the war of 1812, is now a National Historic Site of Canada, and is open for tours and hosts many events.

Recommended historic attractions:

  • Fort Henry
  • Murney Tower Military Museum
  • Kingston City Hall
  • The Prison Museum

Kingston experiences four true seasons and has year-round natural beauty.  During the warm summer months, Kingston’s waterfront is bustling and many people take advantage of the ideal conditions for sailing.   Nearby, there are lovely lakes or sandy beaches.  In the winter, outdoor skating rinks pop up across the city and  trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are plentiful.

Recommended natural attractions:

  • The Quarry (local swimming hole)
  • Dog Lake or Gould Lake (swimming, kayaking, canoeing)
  • Sandbanks provincial park (classic sandy beach, swimming, sunbathing)
  • Little Cataraqui park (summer hiking and running trails, winter snowshoeing or cross country skiing)

For a small city, Kingston has an impressive number and variety of excellent restaurants.  There are also a vast number of local food producers who sell their products and the farmer’s market, held three times per week in the City Square; there, you can find seasonal locally grown fruits and vegetables, local cheeses, meats,  jams, baked goods, and other delicious treats.  There is an annual food festival entitled ‘Fare in the Square’ where local chefs work with local producers to offer samples of their work inexpensively out of stalls in the outdoor City Square.  A short drive outside of Kingston can take you to Prince Edward County which is known for its  wineries and orchards.  In the spring, maple syrup farms just outside of Kingston make for a fun and delicious day trip.

Recommended restaurants:

  • Woodenheads (pizza)
  • Harper’s (gourmet burgers)
  • Atomica (Italian)
  • Red House (Pub)
  • Kingston Brewing Co (Pub)
  • Curry Original (Indian)
  • Phnom Penh or Cambodiana (Cambodian)
  • Pan Chanco or Chien Noir or Chez Piggy (fine dining)
  • Aquaterra (fine dining – spectacular Sunday brunch buffet!)
  • Stuff’d (salads and wraps)
  • Sima Sushi (Japanese)
  • Grekos (Greek)

Kingston also has ample opportunities for those interested in sport. The Kingston waterfront path is a convenient and beautiful running route.  Other popular summer activities include swimming, sailing, soccer, and cycling on Kingston’s picturesque country back roads.  In the winter, rinks for outdoor ice skating and hockey are  abundant (the City Square rink with it’s charming setting and festive music being a favourite).  Local trails offer the chance to do snowshoeing or cross country skiing amidst the forest.  Year round, there are indoor athletic activities galore associated with the Queen’s University Athletic Centre.  There is also indoor rock-climbing.  Many students, residents and faculty take advantage of the hospital’s discount at local gyms for weight-lifting, cardio equipment, and fitness classes.

Recommended sport and fitness activities:

  • Queen’s Athletics and Recreation Centre
  • Goodlife Fitness
  • Little Cataraqui Park
  • Ahoy Sailing and Biking Rentals

So, Kingston is definitely charming and a wonderful city to live and work!