Amanda over at Lilahability has this week's honour of picking our list. She says "tell us about your hometown."

I have lived in my current little town for near 7 years now....but am suddenly fiercely homesick for the little city I was raised in.    I give you, the once upon a time capital of The Province of Canada (declared on February 15, 1841-1844):  Kingston, Ontario.

 1.  nuff said, I think

City Hall, marina (1 of many) in front)
2.    You might notice this building if you viewed my wedding album.

I could wander around looking at old buildings forevah!

3.   Just the facts?  Okay.


Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario.  Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," (Ga-ta-row-key), growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post.  Located midway between Toronto and Montreal:  choose your hockey team wisely!

The current population is around 117,000.   Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many historic buildings built from the local limestone.


4.  I wish I could tell you some information about this building, aside from it's incredible architecture...but unfortunately I don't recall many details from the frequent visits of my youth.  There was music, there was sand on the floor, and pretty drinks in blenders.    But here is some interesting history about the hotel.



5.   I could however tell you many stories about This Place, but I would be in danger of losing my Security Clearance: even though I no longer work there.   Yes, it is a prison.  Yes, on the beautiful waterfront - how's that for cruel punishment?   Yes, there is a hospital inside for the criminally insane - and yes, I've worked there.  The only Federal Woman's prison used to be directly located across the street.  Another form of torture perhaps?   It is now a museum on the Correctional Service of Canada, and I do highly recommend touring it if you are ever in K-Town.

There have been some pretty infamous guests:  one of the "Black Donnely's", Roger Caron, Clifford Olson, Paul Bernado, and the most recent addition of the former Colonel, Russell Williams.  (I won't link to any of these sick twisted souls....feel free to look them up yourself.)  I have been face to face with 2 of them.   Eyes?  Yep...windows to the souls people.

Kingston Penitentiary: nice view.....but you wouldn't want to stay here
6.   And if one prison isn't enough for you - there are 8 others in the surrounding area.    Kind of puts a damper on the lovely water views - you think?   Not really.   IF, or when an inmate escapes -- they LEAVE town.   We are actually quite safe -- everyone else should worry.

7.  So speaking of those water views.   Kingston is world famous for it's fresh water sailing: it actually hosted the sailing event for the 1976 Summer Olympics.  Canadian Olympic-Training Regatta (CORK) is still held here every year.    You will see many sailboats, fishing boats, old fashioned paddle-wheel boats, ferries to the 1000 islands, and even the odd tall ship out cruising Lake Ontario.

Due to its' military history, it is also a very popular spot for wreck diving.  There are about 100 ships sunk in the various waters; including some old warships that were deliberately decommissioned and sunk.   The cool waters keep everything well preserved.


The St. Lawrence II - teaching vessel
Yes - do the dinner/sunset cruise!!

8.   You can get a pretty good education here too.   That is, if you like the colours blue, gold and red. I'm Purple and Proud myself, but I appreciate the history.  It's hard to show one image, since Queen's University is scattered throughout the downtown core.   You can find a little more about it at good ole Wiki.

There is also the Royal Military College of Canada for those interested in a more military education.  


9.  To say my hometown is culturally diverse has to be the biggest understatement.   Aside from it's rich history, architecture, sport, prisons versus university versus military colleges and an actual working military fort, Old Fort Henry:

The Sunset Ceremonies and Drum Tattoo are a must see!

In addition to this, Kingston hosts several festivals during the year, including the Limestone City Blues Festival, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Fanfayr, the Kingston Buskers' Rendezvous, Kingston Jazz Festival, Reelout Film Festival, Feb Fest, Kingston WritersFest, and the Wolfe Island Music Festival.   There is the Grand Theatre,  the Kingston Symphony, and the K Rock centre offers not only hockey, but live music acts.

10.   If, although it's not likely, you get bored of sight-seeing, well, you can celebrity watch in Kingston too.  We've got more than few around the area.  

First Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. MacDonald - you can visit his house.   Other politicians include: Peter Milliken, former Speaker of the House,  and Flora MacDonald.  I remember her house had a helicopter pad in the backyard. 

Kingston is the birth place of Bryan Adams.
The first winner of the television series Canadian Idol was Kingston native Ryan Malcolm.
Some pretty great bands have also come out of Kingston, members of The Tragically Hip The Headstones, although Canadian followers probably know Hugh Dillion from his latest gig

As Ed Lane on Flashpoint
Hockey stars?  Yeah, we got them too:  Don Cherry, Jim Dorey, Doug Gilmour, Kirk Muller, Jayna Hefford, Sean Avery.....and many more.

Okay, so you probably don't know most of these Canadian celebs.  But surely, you must have heard of our most famous resident.   He was on a very popular Saturday night TV show.

He had owned a bar in Kingston that was very popular (or so I hear, ahem).  This was what the outside looked like:


Need another hint as to who our most famous resident is?  Ah, don't get the blues -- I mean, who ya gonna call??  Okay, give up then....




I can remember Dan Aykroyd jumping on stage at the Blues Festival and singing with the Hip, or looking over your shoulder at a local pub and there he'd be, or driving down Princess Street on his bike.  I gotta say, since we are a long way from sunny LA -- it was kind of neat. 

That's just a little bit of what you might see walking around in my beautiful hometown on Lake Ontario, the Limestone Jewel, Kingston.    This is the 2nd Listicle post that has been way, way on the longish side!  I promise to shorten them.

It's just so hard..once you start a list, it's hard to stop!   Go make yours, you'll see.



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