Thursday, December 22, 2011

Downtown Kingston Gets Festive

The ice rink at Springer Market Square has officially opened. The rink appears to be a great spot to spend a Saturday night with some friends. A lively mix of Christmas tunes and the top forty hits are played over speakers so that everyone can enjoy
some music while they skate.

The rink is located just behind City Hall, and outdoor lighting as been set up. Holiday cheer surrounds the rink as several of the trees have been decorated with festive lights – including a very large evergreen! Bleachers have also been placed right next to the ice for those wishing to watch the activity on the ice.

Change rooms are available for those looking to store their belongings. The city asks that people bring their own locks for the lockers that are provided. They would also recommend that large groups call ahead to, “get the maximum enjoyment from their outing."

Looking to warm up? Plenty of coffee shops, including Starbucks and Coffee & Company, are just a short walk away. Downtown Kingston also offers many restaurants, so dinner and skating is always an option.

I definitely recommend checking out Morrison’s, which is directly across the street from City Hall, if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or are out for brunch. Ontario Street is lined with restaurants for a more formal meal.

My friends and I enjoyed the meals we had at The Raging Bull. The chicken parmesan plates were huge, and the staff were incredibly nice. Several Italian restaurants are available, such as Frankie Pestos (also on Ontario Street), Atomica and Olivea on Brock Street. Those looking for steak can hit up The Keg, located across from the ice rink, while a more casual dinner atmosphere is available at Lonestar on Ontario Street.

The rink is open from 8AM to 10PM, seven days a week. Springer Market Square is one of Kingston’s most popular outdoor ice rinks. In addition to this rink, skating is also available at Victoria Park, City Park, and Polson Park. Details can be found here.

Springer Market Square is located at Brock Street and King Street. This location is often used during the year for the Farmers Market, or the always popular Movies in the Square event.

Submitted By: Christina Hewitt

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Panthers of Notre Dame Brings Broadway to Kingston

The holiday season in Kingston takes on a bit of a different meaning to me each year. When some people are hanging up lights and out at malls, I can only think about one thing – high school production season.

Monday, I got the chance to preview Regiopolis-Notre Dame’s production of Hairspray, and if I could borrow a line from Tracy Turnblad herself, the show is “afrotastic”!

While this is the school’s most vibrant show in a few years (Les Miserables was put on in 2009 and Fiddler on the Roof in 2008), it also takes on the role of Kingston’s first production of Hairspray.

Although I wasn’t around back then, the show is exactly what I feel like the sixties was all about: fun, vibrant, and had wicked dancing and music. It was easy to see just how much the cast loved what they were doing up there, which in my opinion, helps the show be so much better (because who really wants to see a show when the heroine isn’t enjoying herself).

Hairspray, which was both a movie (released in 1988 and 2009) and a Broadway musical, is set in 1960’s Baltimore, a time of values, and a time for change. Overnight a plus-sized girl, Tracy Turnblad, becomes a teen sensation when she appears on the local “Corny Collins Show”, but can she take out the show’s reigning princess and fight for equality while maintaining her hair?

Hairspray runs Wednesday, December 14th to Saturday, December 17th at 7:00 pm with a Saturday matinee at 2 pm at Regiopolis-Notre Dame, 130 Russell Street. You can visit for more information.

- submitted by Kylie Allport

Friday, December 9, 2011

Showvember in Kingston

Kingston's K-Rock Centre was on a roll in November announcing no fewer then seven upcoming events including:

Gigantour Feat. Megadeth – February 5th, 2012
Deep Purple – February 9th, 2012
Hedley w. Karl Wolf & Kay Mines – February 23rd, 2012
Jann Arden – March 13th, 2012
Harlem Globetrotters – April 4th, 2012
Johnny Reid – May 11th, 2012
Mamma Mia – July 9th – 10th, 2012

Great gift ideas! Click here for ticket info.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gift Giving Show @Fort Henry

It's That Time of Year Again 
You know it is almost Christmas when the Gift Giving Show at Fort Henry comes around! This year the annual event lasts for three weeks in December, allowing you amble time to find that unique gift. Last weekend kicked off the annual historic event with over 20 vendors, all ranging in products, from jewellery, wood-crafting, quilts, sweaters, fine art, food  to wine. The participating artists offer truly one-of-a-kind items, making the Gift Giving Show the place to shop this holiday season. 

Skip the Mall before Christmas
Fort Henry is not just a museum but also a spectacular historic site, get the true feeling of 19th century military life as you walk room to room shopping, soaking in the atmosphere! This year marks the first ever Victorian Holiday Festival, which runs in conjunction with the well-established Gift Giving Show.

Event Details
The Gift Giving Show runs Friday 5:00PM - 9:00PM | Saturday 10:00AM – 7:00PM | Sunday 12:00PM - 5:00PM | from December 2 -18, 2011.  Don't miss out!

Check out more information on the Gift Giving Show and Fort Henry click here 

Shop & Stay!
Make a weekend out of it in, look up convenient Kingston accommodations that work for you and plan your unique shopping spree.

Click here for a full accommodations breakdown

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Q in Kingston

Where will it be? Hamilton? Guelph? London? Kingstonians want it most of all. CBC Radio’s Jian Ghomeshi has invited cities across Ontario to put together the best invitation for him to come to their city and broadcast ‘Q’ live. The winning location will be announced on ‘Q’ on Thursday, December 8 and Kingstonians are warming up the Grand Theatre in the hope of welcoming “Q to K-town.”

The contest began organically on Twitter, with friendly jabs between London and Kingston residents, arguing about who would do a better job hosting the popular show and iconic host. Upon seeing the tweets, Ghomeshi made it official, and announced he would pick a city in Ontario on December 8th, based on who made the best case for their town on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.

The campaign has gone viral with Kingstonians posting pictures of a miniature cut-out Jian having adventures across the city, and tweets reminding Ghomeshi of all the incredible artists, writers and musicians who call Kingston home, and the incredible history of the city.

Now the City of Kingston Cultural Services department - which manages the Grand Theatre, the most likely venue for a live airing of ‘Q’ - is upping the ante, asking Kingstonians to write a short open letter to Jian explaining what he’ll love about Kingston and why he should bring his show to the Grand Theatre. Letters will be sent directly to Ghomeshi at CBC headquarters. Letters should be emailed to no later than Tuesday, December 6 at 9:00 a.m. They can also be faxed to 613-542-4633.

Kingstonians are also invited to film a video appeal to Jian at 1 pm on Saturday December 3rd outside the Grand Theatre.

Miniature Jian cut-outs are available for download on the Grand Theatre website at

If the campaign is successful and ‘Q’ comes to Kingston, a winner will be randomly selected from all letters received to win two tickets to Jian’s Grand Theatre show! No matter the outcome, four lucky winners will receive two tickets to a Grand Theatre Presents show.

- Steph Earp, Communications Officer City of Kingston

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Need to get into the Holiday Spirit?

Kingston has just the event
Gather at Springer Market Square to light up City Park at the Jingle Bell Walk on Friday, December 2, 2011. The fun begins at 6:00 p.m. at Market Square, with the walk to City Park starting at 6:30 p.m. sharp. 

Fun for the kids!
Children (6-10 years old) have the chance to win a sleigh ride with Santa from Springer Market Square to City Park, helping Santa flip the switch to 'light up' over 45 trees with energy-saving LED lights. The lucky winner will be drawn on Friday November 25th, 2011. 

Music, Skating & More
The City's Jingle Bell Walk event will feature live music by the Open Voices Community Choir as well as free public skating in Market Square and opportunities to give back to The Partners in Mission Food Bank and P.R.O. Kids. Join Santa in the Square following the walk to receive a FREE candy cane. 

Join Us this Holiday Season...
The 10 minute tobacco-free walk in support of KFL&A's Play, Live, Be, Tobacco-Free! Initiative gets underway at 6:45 p.m., lead by Kingston's own Town Crier, Chris Whyman, and Mayor Mark Gerretsen.

For more Jingle Bell Walk and City Park Tree Lighting details  
click here 

Perfect Gift Ideas for the Confused Shopper

Stumped on what to buy everyone this year? Visit Kingston can help with our convenient packages, including events/festival tickets and accommodation booking.

Exciting upcoming event by Cirque du Soleil, Dralion is on from January 11th to 15th, 2012 

Story: “Fusing the 3000 year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil, Dralion draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature. The show's name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West.”

Accommodations Made Easy 

Rosemount Inn & Spa | Starting From $162.50

The Queen's Inn | Starting from $133.00 

All Packages Include
  • 1 Night Stay  
  • 15% OFF - Restaurant Coupon
  • For 2 - Cirque du Soleil, DRALION. Best Seats

For full details on Visit Kingston package's and other gift ideas click here

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shout Out for Kingston Art

The Ottawa Citizen wrote a great article about spending a day exploring Kingston's diverse art scene, article highlights include:

"We hit the jackpot at Sydenham Street Studios (178 Sydenham), a collective where each of seven artists has a wee studio around a common display space. We chatted with two long-standing members. Gillian Little takes photographs of both nature (turkey feathers, milkweed pods) and engineering marvels (Avro jet engines, boat propellers). And Deborah Brown, who studied fibre arts at Concordia University, now paints. Some of her canvases are colourfully impressionistic; others are finely-honed geometric designs."

"Kingston Glass Studio, where we watched glass-maker Mariel Waddell create some of the intricate pieces, both decorative and functional, on sale there. And at ZEALmetal (190 Sydenham), jeweller Nicole Horlor crafts stunning work in platinum, 18 Karat gold and stainless steel. Her jewelry is modern and clean with “a bit of Zenness,” as she puts it."

Full article HERE

Friday, November 11, 2011

Great Day Trip Idea!

Prince Edward County - WASSAIL

- Prince Edward County wineries, cidery and brewery holiday open house
- Visit over 20 locations for mulled wines, cider, ale, tasty treats and Christmas Gifts
- Self -guided or register for a bus tour
- Carol Cavalcade each weekend (download songbooks here)

Great Prizes
- Overnight getaway at the Merrill Inn, including breakfast
- Overnight getaway at the Devonshire Inn, including breakfast
- One basket of winery and county products
- Dinner for two at East and Main in Wellington
- Currahs $50 gift certificate
- and many more!

November 19th & 20th / 26th & 27th
December 3rd & 4th
11am - 5pm

All details HERE

Thursday, November 3, 2011

St. Lawrence War of 1812

Festivals and Re-Enactments

Battle of Ogdensburg • Third weekend in February, 2012-2014 •
Prescott & Ogdensburg

Fort Wellington 1812 Garrison Weekend & Unveiling of New
Visitor’s Centre • May 19-21, 2012 • Prescott

Bicentennial Heritage Fair • June 1-3, 2012 • Spencerville Mill

1000 Islands Wine & Food Festival • June 22-23, 2012 • Brockville

Bicentennial Homecoming • June 29 - July 1, 2012 • Williamstown

World Town Crier Competition - 1812 • July 27 - August 6, 2012
Kingston & Ottawa

Raid on Gananoque • August 25-26, 2012 • Gananoque

Battle of Hoople’s Creek: Saving Our Stores Wagon Train •
November 10, 2013 • Cornwall to Martintown

From a Bank to An Inn in 165 Years

By Katherine McIntyre

KINGSTON, ON—If it hadn’t been for a snowstorm on Highway 401, the building might now be derelict or torn down.

Weatherup Beare and Susan Shaw, a husband and wife team, were driving the 401 on a stormy night back in 2001. Alarmed by drifting snow, they took refuge in Kingston. And then says Shaw, “We bought a money pit.”

The couple had never been to Kingston, Ontario, knew nobody and nothing about its history. But when a for sale sign on the lonely building beckoned, something inside them clicked.

Back in 1846, this handsome limestone building at King and William Streets housed Kingston’s branch of the Bank of Montreal. Offices, tellers cages and the bank vault were located on its main floor, the manager’s family on its second floor and tellers on the third.

Since then the building has morphed from a bank to a men’s club with its own bowling alley and billiard room, to a private home, to an apartment.

Now the prestigious Frontenac Club Inn with fourteen bedrooms, a club-like great room, meeting rooms and a breakfast area, has replaced bowling alleys, tellers’ cages, a bank vault and tired apartments.

Their building was in its worn out apartment phase when Beare, with past experience as a full time school trustee, and Shaw in communications for a health care centre, took over. Their rationale, “It was time for a change, with their house paid off and two offspring in university.”

And a change it was! Three years in renovation, with everything needing upgrading or repair except their building’s solid limestone basement. They searched and found original architectural drawings in Ottawa’s archives and the name of its original architect, George Brown, who had also designed Kingston’s magnificent city hall. They tried to keep historical features such as a handsome walnut staircase and black and white tile floors in the entrance hall, golden hardwood floors and some interior limestone walls.

Capturing the essence of a men’s club, in their main lounge area, they included comfortable leather couches and in deep-set windows, chintz window seats. A bookcase with an eclectic choice of hard cover books has replaced a teller’s cage, and a coffee bar is in a former bank vault.

Shaw, with a deft hand at decorating, combines her sense of colour with historical features, travellers’ comfort and all the myriad details of running an inn. “It can be fun but a lot of work,” she comments.

Beare, in a navy apron, serves up a gourmet breakfast seven days a week and he adds, “Late arrivals, late for breakfast, staffing 365 days a year can be a drain on energy.

“Building a reputation is one way of attracting guests,” he adds. “We are lucky in Kingston being in the historic downtown on a quiet street, near Queen’s University, Royal Military College and one block from our waterfront. We get plenty of repeat customers. Word of mouth is a good but slow way to develop our type of business. Being included in a travel guide is an asset. Small weddings and meetings are an additional source of business and add to our reputation.”

And how do most new guests discover Frontenac Club Inn? “They find us through the Internet.”

But both agree that doing something different with their lives has been a big adventure and most of the time they are grateful for that snowstorm.

Free Museum of Health Care Events

You’re invited to a free public lecture this autumn which will explore current research into the history of prosthetics.

November 9th, this year’s Margaret Angus Research Fellow Jeff Sobil will explore the history of prosthetic limbs and the unique role they have played within rehabilitation medicine, national identity and discourse on economics, morality, gender, art and science. “Spare Parts: How Crippled Masculinity Got Hamstringed & Got a Leg-Up” takes place at 7pm at the Louise D. Acton Building (31 George Street), and refreshments will follow.

To help Canadians better understand the history of health and health care, the Museum preserves and promotes the rich material legacy of Canada’s medical and health care past. The Museum serves the general public, practitioners, students, and historians through exhibitions, interpretive programs, and special events throughout the year. This year the Museum of Health Care celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The Museum of Health Care is open year-round from Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 4pm (open weekends during the summer), and admission is by donation. Drop in to see our seven onsite exhibitions, or visit us online at for online activities and exhibits.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Be Part of the History

Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada
By Patricia Henderson

Imagine spending a whole night inside the walls of an ancient fort while your imagination turns every echo into the whisper of soldiers long gone. Fort Henry, the largest fortification west of Quebec City, was built in the 1830s to replace an existing fort from the War of 1812. Restored in 1936, the fort embraces 19th century military life and has become a living museum populated by schoolteachers, soldier’s wives and the Fort Henry Guard – students trained as 1867 British soldiers.
Will Baird, the Special Events, Promotions and Sponsorship Officer for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, says, “There are not too many UNESCO World Heritage Sites where you can spend the night just like a Victorian officer on an 1860s foldout soldiers cot. Imagine waking up in a castle with a view of the water and the entire city of Kingston!” But that is only one of a myriad of special events unique to Fort Henry.
Baird says, “In our Sunset Ceremony, the Fort Henry Guard performs a mock battle, and you get a glimpse into a British soldier’s life - a complete recreation of what history would have been like in the 1800s. This Wednesday night ceremony has been one of the top 100 events in Ontario for nearly a decade.”
On July 16 the Last Night at the Prom recreates an old British tradition and features BrassWerks and a 100-person choir. Baird says, “Once a year, in the mid-1800s in the British Empire, everyone was invited to see great bands and choirs perform in various locations – especially the Promenade.” The best part of the tradition is that everyone can sing along with the performers!
Just a week later, the famous Tattoo hosts different military bands and at the end of the evening, there is a 100-person finale in the parade square. Baird explains. “Tattoo is a Dutch word meaning ‘turn off the tap.’ Years ago, the band would march through the town playing so the bar keepers would know when it was time to shut off the taps and encourage the soldiers to return to their barracks.”
In August the US Marine Corps visits Fort Henry. “This is a co-performance that has been happening since 1954, and one of the only places that the full Battle Colour Detachment of the US Marine Corps (including the Silent Drill Platoon that executes a routine with no verbal commands) performs outside of the states.” It is fitting that a fort once built during the War of 1812 to defend Canada from the States, now delights in hosting this extraordinary event with our military neighbours to the south.
The tone of this historic fort, apparently one of the most haunted places in Canada, takes a turn for the ghostly when it is transformed from Fort Henry to Fort Fright in the fall. “This massive scare attraction showcases animatronics and ‘scare’ actors who jump out of spooky corners. One of the largest special events in the province, it won Best New Special Event in Ontario a few years ago. And last year it was nominated as one of the top 100 “must-see” festivals in the province.” It is followed by the new Victorian Holiday Festival in the winter.
Paul Fortier, a trained historian and owner of Jessup Foods and Heritage, has been at Fort Henry since 1994 and loves both history and food. He says, “There is no equivalent program of heritage dining linked to a National Historic Site anywhere in Canada. We take people back in time as though they were dining in the Officer’s Mess in the middle of the 19th century. Guests are served by soldier servants in an historic setting and because guests know they are in a unique dining setting, they can really let their hair down.”
Fortier says, “We don’t even need all the ghost stories at the fort, because the real stories are hugely entertaining. Once a Scotsman in the 89th Regiment was dining in his residence during the War of 1812 when a knock came at the door. When he opened it, a Yankee was standing there. (Keep in mind this was in the middle of the war!) Turns out he had heard that the British army paid top dollar for beef so he had herded 200 head of cattle all the way from Vermont, across the St Lawrence River, to Kingston. He had heard right though, and the two sealed the deal with a glass of wine and some gold coins.”
Today the fort and food and history and music are still deliciously intertwined. Fortier says, “Groups from across Canada say their evening at Fort Henry was the most enjoyable and entertaining they have ever had, not just because of the fun, but because they learn about Canada’s past.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Haunted Halloween Walk

Get into the Halloween spirit while in Kingston this month with the Original Haunted Walk of Kingston - Halloween Edition. The Haunted Walk is an evening walking tour through the quiet streets of the limestone city by lantern-light. This tour features the hangings at the old Courthouse, the Organist's ghost and the haunted student ghetto house. This tour shows Kingston as it was meant to be seen, up close and on foot.

Not for the faint of heart!

This fall, dare visit Eastern Ontario's largest haunted fortress - Fort Fright! This award-winning event will have you looking over your shoulder as screams emanate from dark casemates, dead things come to life, and ghouls stalk your every move...

Join us for what has been described as Ontario's Best Haunted Experience as historic and haunted Fort Henry is once again transformed into the terrifying Fort Fright. The Fort comes to life each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with ghostly apparitions and spooky creatures who will scare you right out of our Citadel!

New this year, let haunted hypnotist Buzz Collins pick your brain in his nightly hypnotism show! Step into a realm where anything can happen! Come face to face with your greatest fears! Where is this place you wonder? In your own mind! Witness the bizarre, the freakish and the absurd - after all, they are your friends! See the show or be the show! Show starts at 8:15 p.m. every night of Fort Fright!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Canada’s 1000 Islands are magical at the best of times, but never so much as when you are sailing among them. To make this dream come true, the 1000 Islands Cruise Lines have commandeered some of the best river captains around to drive their prize vessels – The Island Belle, The Star and The Island Queen III. Captain Stephen Steeles has been involved with the company since 1980 and has an ever growing passion for these waterways.
During his almost 30 years on the water, Steeles has handled all of the 1000 Island Cruise Line boats in and around the islands and has taken longer voyages to Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec. “I have seen every channel and every one of the 1,871 islands as well as thousands of sunsets, sunrises and rainbows. On a map people just see a tiny sliver of a waterway, but when they get here, they realize it is so much bigger than they thought. One of my favourite sections is the Admiralty Islands and the Bateau Channel. It is just so magical on these waters and people can’t believe we have something this beautiful so close to home.”
So passengers will be delighted not only by the stunning scenery but by the knowledge that they are in the hands of a passionate, seasoned captain. As Steeles says, “This is a one-of- a- kind, eye-catching vessel and we treat everyone as if they are coming into our home. I take it personally if they don’t have a good time. After all, we are the food, fun and entertainment industry, and everyone from the owners to the crew are committed to that!” And so, the magic continues…

Hotel Highlight - Comfort Inn 401

The Comfort Inn Hwy. 401 is conveniently situated within minutes of major points of interest in the Kingston 1000 Islands region. Named for its position near Highway 401, the hotel provides easy access off the highway at exit 617, Division Street and to all area attractions.
All guests will appreciate the many amenities offered at this Kingston hotel, including:
Free continental breakfast
Free wireless high-speed Internet access
Free weekday newspaper
Free local calls
Pet-friendly hotel
Picnic Area
Your stay will be most enjoyable in the tastefully appointed guest rooms. The best in convenience and relaxation combined with amenities, including cable television, hair dryers, irons, ironing boards and coffee makers.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Picking up the Pen

Kingston is always a book lover’s paradise, but never so much as in September when the annual WritersFest comes to town! Only a few years old, this festival showcases some of the biggest literary names around, and over 4,000 people attend to bask in the readings and workshops offered over four days.
his year WritersFest (September 22-25) has another spectacular line-up of nearly seventy writers – a combination of prize-winning authors and exciting new voices of tomorrow. One highlight will be the South African-born Nobel Laureate J.M.Coetzee in conversation with American novelist, screenwriter and translator, Paul Auster.
And if you are wondering if it is ever too late to start writing, this year’s festival has a new event called In Praise of Older Women which discusses creativity and aging, and there is a debut memoir by a woman who is over 80. As well, the Kingston WritersFest Writers Studio offers Master classes led by writers at the top of their game. So of course it is never too late!
Readers and writers alike are welcome. Come with a pen and paper or come with just your curiosity. Take a workshop or just take a listen. As the Artistic Director says, “For every avid reader in the audience, we simply want to put on the best show possible – an hour and a half of reading or discussion that will make them leave seeing the world in a slightly different way.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hotel Highlight - Best Western Plus

Best Western Fireside Inn is conveniently located at the city centre, only minutes from Highway 401, and shopping. It is renowned for its fireplace guest rooms, incredible fantasy suites, gourmet dining inBistro Stefan and the cozy ambiance of the wood burning fireplace in the lounge, Tom's Place. Although, centrally located, you feel as if you are walking into another world once you've stepped through the doors. Excellent guest service and attention to detail will ensure your stay is pleasant and comfortable

Kingston Poetry Project

The Kingston Poetry Project launches with a celebration of local talent

Kingston is filled with so many talented and enthusiastic citizens who follow their passion as poets and writers. Find out how you can express yourself creatively as well. No experience required! Kingston’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Eric Folsom, welcomes his friends and colleagues – David Helwig, Joanne Page, Carolyn Smart and Daniel David Moses to read selections of their works and encourage the audience to write their own poems to share.

This free event takes place at Kingston City Hall, Memorial Hall from 5 to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, September 20. Light refreshments will be served and the event is open to all ages. Immediately following this event, Folsom will attend the City Council meeting starting at 7:30 pm where he will be introduced to the community by Mayor Gerretsen and read a poem that will become part of the official minutes of the meeting.

This event kicks off the In your own words | Kingston Poetry Project that invites Kingston residents to write about their city through poetry. Join us and help make Kingston a true city of words!

Eric Folsom was selected as Kingston’s inaugural Poet Laureate by a Nominating Committee appointed by the Arts Advisory Committee and approved by Council in January 2011. This appointment was made based on the high quality of Folsom’s writing, his deep familiarity with Kingston's history, his enduring interest in new literary voices, and his demonstrated ability to showcase Kingston as a centre of writing and artistic distinction. Serving a four-year term, Folsom will be the spokesperson for the literary arts in this city - home to Kingston Writersfest and a prodigious number of celebrated poets, authors and playwrights.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall Tradition

The 181st Annual Kingston Fall Fair, Thursday Sept. 15th to Sunday Sept. 18th, is a community tradition. This year there are concerts every night, horse shows, dairy shows, lawn tractor racing, celebrity pie baking auction, demolition derby and of course the midway!

How do I say that in Urdu?

I'm going to find out how to say/spell my name in Urdu next weekend. Where you ask? The Kingston Multicultural Arts Festival. Part of the Festival is a Language Village, there will be 8 languages offered including Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Tagalog, Kiswahili, Portuguese and Spanish. You can learn phrases or even get your name written out.

The main event, on Saturday Sept. 17 is of course the music and dance groups featured on the two main stages set up at Confederation Park with international and local talent. Should be a great family activity!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kingston Weekend

I wanted to share a great note from a couple who decided to spend their weekend in Kingston...

"We had a wonderful weekend in Kingston- from the moment we arrived on Saturday morning till we left Monday morning. The clerk at First Canada Inns was extremely friendly and helpful. She was a please to see each morning.

We took the Trolley Ride and Boat Cruise on Saturday plus took in the 'Sir John Eh? The Musical' on Saturday evening. The cast of the musical is very talented and I hop the show is a success.

We had lunch both days at Tango and Supper at East Side Marios.

On Sunday we toured the Kingston Penitentiary Museum, Bellevue House and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. We also shopped at the Antique Market at City Hall. In the evening we took the Haunted Walk Tour of Kingston. As we both work for New York State Dept. of Corrections the Penitentiary Museum was very interesting.

Kingston is a very Friendly and Clean City. All the people we met were helpful and informative. We had a great time.

Lottie and Patricia
NY State

Monday, July 25, 2011

Macdonald Festival 2011

The Festival’s showpiece is a musical-comedy entitled, “Sir John, Eh?”, performed daily at St. Andrews Church. Visitors can also enjoy special galleries at the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery and Bellevue House, a national short film and mural exhibition, and special presentations by Theatre Kingston’s Barefoot Players. With art, history and heritage, the Macdonald Festival is Kingston’s tribute to our favourite son -- an annual series of summer entertainments building toward Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th birthday celebrations in 2015.

More info here

Kingston By Fork: Homegrown Eats Walking Tour


Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Start time: 12:00 pm

This 2-hour walking tour begins at the historic Kingston Public Market in Springer square and highlights the vibrant local food community in the downtown area. We will be stopping in the Farmer's Market, as well as local stores and restaurants. You will learn about the many local farmers and producers in and around Kingston, as well as the agricultural initiatives in the city, and the restaurants and establishments that support local food.

The tour will conclude with a full lunch made with all local ingredients at one of Kingston's top gourmet restaurants, Aqua Terra Restaubistro at the Radisson.

$35 for adults; $30 for students/seniors

Lunch is included in the price

All tours will begin in Spinger Square, on the West side of City Hall. We will meet at the South end of the square, across from the Tir Nan Og Irish pub.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Capital Discovery

Start your visit with a ride on the Confederation Tour Trolley, highlighting the long history of Kingston and some facts about Sir John A. MacDonald that you probably have never heard before! After the tour, you’ll know what you want a closer second look at.

Then visit Fort Henry, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Sentries guard the entrance to this 19th century British military fortress, only to let you in if you are ready to enter British garrison life during the year of Canada's confederation.
You will also visit Bellevue House, once the home of Sir John A. Macdonald. Restored to the 1840s period, and staffed by costumed interpreters, the house and gardens are kept much as they would have been during the time that Macdonald lived here with his wife and infant son.
In the evening, take the Haunted Walk, an evening tour of local ghost stories and darker history. The tour takes place when the lights are low and the atmosphere is just right for a good ghost story. The Haunted Walk tour presents the city

More details here

Fanfayr in Confederation Park

This year Fanfayr falls on Canada Day weekend and Kingston is only second to Ottawa as the place to be on Canada Day... stick around for the whole weekend and check out what else there is to do.

Fanfayr is the Outdoor Juried Art and Crafts Show held annually since 1982, and is one of the Special Events of the summer. Admission is free!

Exhibitors come from across Ontario and Québec to display and sell their art and crafts in a beautiful setting by Lake Ontario.

A wide range of art and crafts will be on view. There will be over 90 artists and craftspeople working in wood, glass, tie dye, stone sculptures, jewellery, oils, acrylics, watercolour, pottery, small furniture, leather, metal, designer clothing, hats for children and adults, rug hooking, fretwork and more. All articles are handmade and unique!

Many favourites will return, and they will be joined by equally exciting new exhibitors.

Summer Movies in Kingston

It's that time of year again, Movies in the Square are back. Springer Market Square in Downtown Kingston will play host for the big screen again. Movies start at dusk every Thursday, don't forget your lawn chair.

Start the long weekend right with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then come back for more:

Thursday July 7 Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Thursday July 21 Iron Man
Thursday July 28 Rudy
Thursday Aug 4 Father of the Bride
Thursday Aug 11 An Affair to Remember
Thursday Aug 18 Toy Story
Thursday Aug 25 Driving Miss Daisy
Thursday Sept 1 Night at the Museum

Monday, June 20, 2011

Downtown Jazz

The Grand Theatre, The Kingston Jazz Society and The Kingston Arts Council are proud to present the Kingston Jazz Festival from June 23 to June 25. This three day festival will feature a selection of the world’s best musicians performing at the Grand Theatre, a late-night series at the Mansion, live music on porches and a free afternoon of music and family fun at Confederation Park.

The Grand Theatre Back to BASSics Series will feature three of the industry’s top bass players in an unprecedented line-up. The opening night of the festival, Thursday, June 23, will feature The Dave Holland Quintet with Robin Eubanks, Chris Potter, Steve Nelson and Nate Smith. This jazz bassist, composer and bandleader has been a forceful presence on the jazz scene for more than five decades and is a multi Grammy Award winner.

Many Kingston hotels offer a Kingston Jazz weekend packages.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Doors Open

If you're anything like me you love knowing what's going on behind closed doors, and now we can be nosy neighbours together on June 18th for Doors Open Kingston.

Some participating sites include: The Grand Theatre, Kingston City Hall, Kingston Police Headquarters, Sydenham Street United Church and many others. The full list is on the Doors Open Website.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Perfect Weekend in Kingston as reported in the Toronto Star

Perfect Weekend in Kingston: Markets, history and relaxation
Toronto Star
Military, markets and more Canadian history than you can imagine

KINGSTON, ONT. — The first capital of Canada is rich with history, as you know. These days, it’s also well stocked with credible restaurants, thanks to the efforts of the culinary forces in Prince Edward County, and also boasts unique experiences that are educational, reasonably priced and easy to reach. With some of the most beautiful scenery you can find within a short drive, a visit to Kingston and its surrounding area is always a temptation for Torontonians in summer. When you visit next time, take in some of the old and new.


6 p.m.


About 70 years ago, Vogue called the Hotel Belvedere “the only reasonable place to stay between Montreal and Toronto.” A lot has happened to the 19th-century mansion since then. For many years, it was a boarding house until Ian Walsh purchased and renovated it in 1986, turning the Belvedere into a 20-room boutique-style accommodation. In the past quarter-century, the Belvedere has returned to prominence. Its rooms feature immaculate hardwood floors (the ground-floor suite that was once the apartment of former owner Greta Webb has original pine), fine Victorian touches and comfortable beds. Your stay in Kingston should start here. Even though you will miss some modern amenities, such as room-darkening curtains, the Belvedere oozes history — and anglo-Canadian history at that — and that makes it worth the visit.

The hotel has antiques everywhere and was once site of a séance involving William Lyon Mackenzie King. It’s a 10-minute walk to Market Square, has complimentary WiFi and nightly room rates starting at $119 for a double bed, which includes breakfast of tea, coffee and English muffins. 141 King St. E.; 800-559-0584

8 p.m.


The menu at Casa was changed last year with more menu items added — including several pasta dishes — and prices reduced. The food is delicious, among the best Italian you’ll find in Ontario. Order the Gamberi Fra Diavolo (shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce) for $18 and you’ll be...

click her for full Toronto Star story

For more from Adrian Brijbassi, visit his blog ( and follow on Twitter: @AdrianBrijbassi.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weekly Spotlight: Ambassador Conference Resort

Extensively renovated, the Ambassador boasts new Business and Comfort Class guestrooms. Treat yourself to a retreat from the ordinary in one of our Executive King guestrooms which feature whirlpool tubs, upgraded bedding and spa bath amenities. Experience the excitement of the Indoor Water Park - 100" waterslide, pool, interactive splash pad and electronic games room. Relax and rejuvenate in the eucalyptus steam room, European dry sauna and whirlpool tub spas. Stay in shape in the cardio fitness centre.

The Ambassador Conference Resort - experience the outstanding hospitality and dedicated service of this family owned and operated property.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kingston Spring Art Tour 2011

April 30th, 2011 to May 1st, 2011 from 10:00am to 5:00pm 

Don't miss Kingston's premier artists all in one great spot 

 Admission: Free 

Explore local art in Kingston, which offers a large, diverse art community from local talents. This marks the 19th annual art tour, displaying a wide range of artwork. Ranging from pottery, jewelery, photography, painting and much more.

Spend the weekend soaking up the art in Kingston. The Tymparon Inn, a lovely restored heritage accommodations, offers a “Leap into Spring” package special with $99 to $120 per night. Find out more details on staying in Kingston Click here.

Embrace the artistic vibe of Kingston this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Visit: Kingston Artists for more information

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Burton Cummings... to Kingston

Catch this rock and roll veteran live Friday, May 13th, 2011 @ 8:00pm

 The K-Rock will open its doors to Canadian native and national legend, Burton Cummings, who is touring by himself for the first time in ten years. The 64 year old musician will perform a variety of his work, ranging from his classics to his latest musical accomplishments.

This highly celebrated rockstar is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canadian Walk of fame and the list goes on and on!

Burton has not slowed down since he was the lead singer and songwriter with the Guess Who back in the 1960s since then he has been busy writing, recording, and touring. In 2008 Burton relased a critically-acclaimed album called Above the Ground, proving that he still has the magic touch. The album received both fan and critically recognition, saying it was his best work in decades.

Expect to hear Burton's classics such as;

“These Eyes”
“No Time,”
“American Woman”
“Share The Land”
“Hang On To Your Life”
“Stand Tall”

Don't miss out on this opportunity, book your tickets today!

For ticket information visit: K-Rock Centre Events 

Need a place to Stay In Kingston? Click here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Spotlight: Best Western Fireside Inn

Best Western Fireside Inn is conveniently located at the city centre, just minutes away from Highway 401, and shopping. This Inn is known well for their fireplace guest rooms and incredible suites for any occasion.Best Western prides itself on excellent customer service and attention to detail. All guestrooms have been outfitted with beautiful ceramic tile and marble bathrooms that include unique European double shower heads, backlit make-up mirrors and pedestal sinks. 

Each room is equipped with a 37″ Flat Screen TV, free high-speed Internet access, electronic safe, complimentary in room coffee, iron and ironing board, and an un-stocked mini fridge.

Experience gourmet dining with the Inns very own Bistro Stefan... Take it easy and have dinner prepared from a gourmet menu, complimented with a large selection of the finest wines locally as well as from around the world.

Check out one of Best Western's packages:

Deluxe Dinner For Two

includes choice of any two; 
  • Appetizers, Entrees, and Desserts, Specialty Coffees, Champagne Chocolate Covered Strawberries,
  • Perfect night in one of our cozy fireplace guestrooms.
  • Choose your room type then for an additional $99.50, include this package (based on double occupancy)

Visit Stay In Kingston for more details on the Best Western in Kingston, Ontario and plan your outing today!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Time for Kingston's Farmer's Market

Experience Kingston by checking out the Farmer's Market....

Located directly behind City Hall. This market has been in operation since 1801, changing over the years to cater to the needs of the community. The City of Kingston and its citizens are committed to maintaining the Market Square as the focal point for the thriving community all year round.

Vendors offer such items as;
  • Fresh produce
  • Flowers/Plants
  • Baked Goods
  • Maple syrup
  • Arts/Crafts
  • Sunday Antique show
  • And much more!
Visit Kingston's Farmer's Market this summer and experience the history.

Open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Holiday Mondays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

1000 Islands 3 Hour Sunset Dinner Cruise

Take a Cruise this summer without breaking the bank
Available May 7th th
rough October 10th, 2011

Cruise around the 1000 Islands on an evening of great food, music, laughter, dancing and of course the spectacular view. This cruise tours into the small cottage islands of the Admiralty group featuring Napoleon's Hat, Wanderer's Channel, the Bateau Channel, Mandalay Mansion and the historic sights of Kingston.

Green Woods Inn offers The Sunset Cruise Package,
which includes;
  • One night luxurious accommodation

  • 1000 Islands 3 hour Dinner Cruise tickets

  • Two gourmet breakfast meals

  • Package cost $295 (based on double occupancy)

Find out more at 1000 Islands Sunset Dinner Cruise and plan your adventure today!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Easter Bunny is coming late

Easter lands on April 24th this year

The last time Easter fell on this date was back in 1859 and the next time will be 2095! Late Easter means more time planning the fun festivities.

What are you doing this Easter weekend?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekly Spotlight: The Queen's Inn

Visit one of Canada's oldest operating Inns located
in the heart of
downtown Kingston, Ontario.

This charming Inn is central to all the action whether you are catching a musical at the Grand Theatre, going to see a K-Rock concert, exploring the unique shopping boutiques or enjoying some savory downtown dining. Everything is right at your fingertips when you stay at The Queen's Inn.

If you feel like staying in to eat Queen' Inn offers Coppers, a full service restaurant and pub for your traveling convenience.

Coppers Pub
  • Offers a authentic 19th century dining experience
  • Side patio in summer months
  • Menu features many items such as burgers, steaks, wings, and a great selection of appetizers

The Sport Tap and Grill
  • 42" flat screens – sporting events shown live!
  • Pool Table
  • 10 brands of the coldest beer

Spring Specials
  • Rooms starting at $85.00
  • Call or Book Online
  • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Visit The Queen's Inn for more details and book your Kingston trip!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Times Are A Changin'

Remember when you had to type in "www." in order to view a website? Well now all you need is a cell phone with a camera or a bar code reader. They are called QR codes (for Quick Response). The bar code acts as a portal to your Website and they are very easy to generate!

Have a QR code reader? Use it to visit Stay in Kingston to be kept informed on latest events, attractions, accommodations and much more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Be Spontaneous...In Kingston!


1. The act of a natural impulse or tendency; without effort or premeditation; natural and unconstrained; unplanned

Be spontaneous this weekend and get out of your winter rut! Kingston is located midway between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, creating the perfect destination for people looking to escape the big city for a night or two. Surprise your loved one with a getaway to Canada's most charming city this weekend.

Whether you make it a spa weekend, hockey game, Fort Henry excursion, concert at the K-Rock Centre, or other various events, you will be coming back for more. Kingston has many accommodations that fit your needs. In the mood for a historical inn experience? How about a bed and breakfast? What ever you want Kingston has got it all.

Take a look at these featured accommodations;

Green Acres Inn
Two Night Pamper Package:
  • One of our Whirlpool Rooms for two nights
  • Room Service Continental Breakfast for two one of the mornings
  • $279.00 - $439.00
  • $289.00 - $459.00

Secret Garden Inn
Sense-Sational Escape includes:
  • Two nights accommodation in the room of your choice
  • Gourmet Style breakfast each morning
  • A gastronomical adventure for two at the critically acclaimed Luke's Gastronomy (3 course dinner)
  • A full body massage for two with a perfect finale of Champagne in the Serenity Spa fireplace lounge
  • $240 - $270 per person depending on room choice

Visit Stay in Kingston and getaway this weekend!

Fun Attractions. Nightlife. Fine Dining. Historical Accommodations. Kingston, Ontario.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Fool's Comedy Festival

Time for Kingston to LOL

Starting Thursday, April 7th and ending Sunday, April 10th 2011

Find your funny bone this weekend at the first ever April Fool's Comedy Festival presented by Downtown Kingston! The festival will feature Large Laugh shows each night plus many other hilarious comedians in participating downtown locations. Purchasing a ticket to one of the Large Laughs performances, “giggle getters” will receive a bracelet to see the various comedians at the downtown locations.

The festival kicks into high gear with the Just for Laughs Road Show performance at The Grand Theatre on Saturday evening. Don't miss your host Tim Nutt along with Ryan Hamilton, Ralph Harris and Orny Adams for the biggest night of the festival!

Large Laugh Event Schedule

Thursday, April 7th:
Time to Laugh Comedy Club – 7:30pm ($25)
Featuring: Elvira Kurt (MC), Derek Edwards, Glen Foster (That Canadian Guy) & Doug Funk

Friday, April 8th:
Time to Laugh Comedy Club – 7:30pm ($25)
Featuring: Mike Bullard (MC), Glen Foster (That Canadian Guy) & Doug Funk.

Saturday, April 9th: The Grand Theatre – 7:30pm ($45)
Just for Laughs Road Show featuring: Tim Nutt (MC), Ryan Hamilton, Ralph Harris & Orny Adams.

For more details visit April Fool's Comedy Festival

Get the last laugh this weekend!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Love Kingston on Facebook!

Follow us on Facebook @ Stay in Kingston! Stay up to date with Kingston's latest events, attractions, accomodations, packages and much more! For even more information on visiting Kingston click here

Don't be an April's Fool!

Check out what is going down at The Grand Theatre this month in Kingston!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Evening with Jackson Browne

Friday April 8th, 2011 @ The K-Rock Centre (Doors open at 7:00pm)

This Rock and Roll Hall of Famer got his start in the 1970s and went on to write such classics as “Somebody's Baby”, “These Days” and “The Pretender.” Browne is very involved in protecting the environment, since 2008 his tours have been plastic-free onstage as well as backstage. Browne is a member of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, encouraging other touring bands to do the same in order to save harmful plastic products from going into landfills.

Here is your chance to see him live at the K-Rock Centre performing his latest acoustic tracks as well as the classics. The Grammy nominated musician just released Love Is Strange, a two disc live album that includes some of his best work!

New songs such as

“Off Of Wonderland”

“Going Down to Cuba”

“The Drums of War”

For more details and ticket information visit Jackson Browne Live

Why not make a weekend out of it and enjoy what else Kingston has to offer. Stay right on the water at The Holiday Inn located directly in Kingston's historical downtown. Your visit will include a two night stay with two full buffet breakfasts each morning to start your day off right. (Package starting at $159.95) Find out more at Holiday Inn Breakfast Package

Plan your perfect getaway in Kingston!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Music Man is on his way to Kingston!

Don't miss it the classic musical Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at The Grand Theatre (Starts at 7:30)

Follow the life of fast-talking salesman Harold Hill as he cons the naive people of River City, Iowa into believing he is a band organizer, selling them musical instruments and costumes. What starts out as an easy cash grab quickly becomes more complex when Harold falls for the town librarian who sees right through his scheme in this Tony Award Winning Musical. For event details visit The Music Man.

Includes classic numbers such as

  • “Ya Got Trouble”
  • “Goodnight My Someone"
  • “Till There Was You”
  • And many more!

    Don't know where to stay in Kingston? Look no further, Kingston has many great accommodations to choose from that will complete any trip. Rest your head at one of these locations;

    Radisson Hotel Kingston Harbourfront

    Peachtree Inn

    Hotel Belvedere

    Frontenac Club Inn

    Don't get conned out of seeing this performance. Purchase tickets today!

  • Kingston Unplugged Concert nearly doubles in size!

    The 4th Annual Kingston Unplugged Concert went off without a hitch over the weekend on Saturday. The concert corresponded with Earth Hour and encouraged the public to turn their lights off between 8:30 p.m. And 9:30 p.m. This global event is to acknowledge the impact we as a society have on climate change. The event packed a great sized crowd with over 1000 people in attendance, making this concert the best yet. It is reported the province achieved a four per cent drop in electrical consumption over an average Saturday in March. No matter what the decrease, this event acts as a global gesture for everyone to get involved. For ways to go beyond the hour and get involved visit Earth Hour

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Just For Laughs Road Show

    Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at The Grand Theatre (starts at 7:30 p.m.)

    Need a great laugh after a long winter?

    Just for Laughs is back and highlighting their best comedy at The Grand Theatre. The show features four of the best stand-up talents from the world's most famous comedy road tour. This marks the 8th tour across Canada for these comedy alumni.

    Comedians including;
    • Ryan Hamilton
    • Orny Adams
    • Ralph Harris
    • Tim Nutt

    Visit Just For Laughs Road Show for more information

    After your humorous night on the town, kick back and enjoy one of Kingston's most charming Bed and Breakfasts, The Tymparon Inn. Your stay will include;

    • A delicious hot breakfast for two
    • Grand Theatre tickets (price depends on choice of event)
    • Starting at only $185 a night (two day packages are also available

    Check out package details at The Tymparon Inn

    Book today and you'll get the last laugh!

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    K-ROCK Centre Presents Wizard of Oz: The Musical

    Are you off to see the Wizard? Well you should be!

    Thursday, March 31st, 2011 (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

    Take a walk on the yellow brick road with the cast of Wizard of Oz: The Musical, based on the 1939 MGM classic. The production includes spectacular music and special features that will have you dancing in your seat. Join Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the rest of your favourites on an epic journey over the rainbow.

    Features classic songs from composer Harold Arlen, including;

    • "Over the Rainbow"
    • "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead"
    • "If I Only Had a Brain"

    Find out more details at Wizard of Oz: The Musical

    Stay in the heart of all the action right on the water with Holiday Inn. Enjoy Kingston's historic downtown core with Holiday Inn's Waterfront Best-4-Breakfast Package, which includes two full buffet breakfasts each morning of your stay starting at only $159.95.

    Visit the Holiday Inn - Waterfront Package site for details

    You'll be saying there's no place like...Kingston!