travelgrove Travel Guides

Kingston History, Ontario

The History of Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Kingston is a Canadian city situated on the east end of Lake Ontario, the place where Thousand Islands start and where the lake falls into St. Lawrence River. It is a county seat for Frontenac County and has been nicknamed as ‘Limestone City’ for its historical buildings made of local limestone.

Kingston is well-known for being one of the oldest Canadian communities. The city’s history begins back in 1673 when Cataraqui was selected as a building for the fortified trading post named as Fort Frontenac. A war took place between Iroquois and French during 1687 and after 2 years, the Fort was abandoned for Iroquois and was destroyed. By 1695, the two communities made friendly relations and the French reoccupied and rebuilt the fort. Again, in 1758, the British destroyed the fort during the Battle of Fort Frontenac and the city became a primary community for south-east Upper Canada.

After the war of 1812, British built Fort Henry along with a series of Martello Towers for guarding the Rideau Canal entrance. Now, the fort is one of the most popular tourist attractions and the Fortifications of Kingston and Rideau Canal had been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2007. Kingston was declares a town in 1838 and its first mayor was Thomas Kirkpatrick, but it was named a city during the year 1846. From the period of 1841 to 1844, the city was selected as the capital of united Canadas and the first Parliament meeting took place on 13 June 1841. As Kingston was so small and lacked in amenities, Ottawa was made the capital in 1857, after Toronto and Montreal. Importantly, the city was also the home of Sir John A Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city remained a significant port and centre for locomotive and shipbuilding manufacturing. But now, most of the heavy industry has moved out of the city and employment is primarily served by military, retail, service and institutional sectors.

Kingston has a history of cutting edge culture, waterfront, new start-ups and leading research. The mixture of business and art gives it a landscape for healthy lifestyles and breakthrough ideas. It is one of the best three sustainable cities, one of the 6 best places to reside in, one of the 3 best downtowns and one of the best 5 cities for the golfers. The charms of Kingston are setting international standards for quite a few years.

Ask our travel experts a question about Kingston

Things about Kingston you may be interested in


Read our members' reviews about Kingston

  • traveladdictVisit Kingston in every season
    review by traveladdict posted more then 30 days ago
    The city of Kingston is situated in the proximity of Ontario Lake and is part of Ontario Province, Canada. The city of Kingston is also the county seat for County of Frontenac which is actually an upper tier municipality for Ontario. You will love the historical buildings which are mostly built...
  • lindamuraThings to know about Kingston, Ontario
    review by lindamura posted more then 30 days ago
    Located 3 hours from Toronto and easily reachable on the scenic Route 2 if you want to drive there, Kingston is a city that offers a beautiful insight to history and architecture. From the imposing buildings you can see that it’s been an important residence in the past and it really was as...
view all

Read our members' travel tips about Kingston

No travel tips have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.


Members Who Have Been to Kingston

See who has been to Kingston and ask them a question (membership required)
the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$282Spirit Airlines flightSpirit Airlines
    Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)  Kingston, JM (KIN)
    05/07/2024 10:25 am
    Kingston, JM (KIN)  Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)
    05/15/2024 12:26 pm
  •$293Spirit Airlines flightSpirit Airlines
    Atlanta, GA (ATL)  Kingston, JM (KIN)
    04/10/2024 05:25 am
    Kingston, JM (KIN)  Atlanta, GA (ATL)
    04/16/2024 12:26 pm
  •$317Spirit Airlines flightSpirit Airlines
    Chicago, IL (ORD)  Kingston, JM (KIN)
    05/01/2024 09:25 pm
    Kingston, JM (KIN)  Chicago, IL (ORD)
    05/15/2024 12:26 pm

Kingston City Ratings

  • Ratingunrated
    City Rankunrated
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: not rated
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it