Queen's University is an ideal starting point for students who want to explore Kingston's historical treasures, natural attractions, charming downtown area, and more.
Sir John A. Macdonald
Kingston was chosen as the first capital of Canada on February 15, 1841, and served in that role until 1844, when the capital was moved to Ottawa. Known as the "Limestone City," Kingston boasts many grand old buildings constructed from local limestone, including City Hall and the Frontenac County Court House, which was originally intended to house Canada's Parliament. Kingston was also the home of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, whose many triumphs included uniting Atlantic and Pacific with a railway across the nation.
To reach Kingston's downtown, students can either wander along the lake, which marks the southern border of campus, or stroll through a beautiful historic neighbourhood. The heart of downtown is the city's lively market square, just behind City Hall, where farmers offer local food, vendors sell jewelry, flowers and antiques, and shops and restaurants line the surrounding streets
Crowds take in the sights and sounds of a reenactment at historic Fort Henry
Twenty-one National Historic Sites of Canada are located in Kingston, including Fort Henry, built during the War of 1812 to protect Kingston from potential attacks from the United States.
The city's setting is appealing to visitors and residents alike, located on three bodies of water. Kingston sits on the shore of Lake Ontario, where visitors can enjoy blue waters and skies along lakeside paths, or rent sailboats and kayaks. It's also at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, and a departure point for boat cruises to Thousand Islands National Park. The Rideau Canal, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site, also begins in Kingston.
Other Key Destinations -
A Tale of Three Cities
Kingston is a central point for exploring three must-see Canadian cities: Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.
Toronto is Canada's largest city, capital of the province of Ontario. Attractions include the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western hemisphere; a lively performing arts scene; the Art Gallery of Ontario; and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Montreal is Canada's second-largest city, located in the province of Quebec. It's renowned for French culture; summer music festivals; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; historic Old Montreal; and the view from the top of Mont Royal at night.
Ottawa is Canada's capital and sixth-largest city, where visitors can explore history on Parliament Hill, the seat of Canada's federal government and the setting for national celebrations the year round. Other popular stops are the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Civilization.
Test your nerves at Toronto's CN Tower
Stroll the streets of Montreal
Tour Ottawa's Parliament Hill
Fun Outside the Classroom:
Extra-curriculars during the week
After dinner each evening, students have a wide variety of exciting activities to choose from.
On campus, they may decide to take a lesson in fencing; go star-gazing and learn about astronomy at the Queen's Observatory; or even take part in a modified game of Quidditch, the famous fictional sport of wizards, in the park. Off-campus activities might include learning to cook, making pottery, playing laser tag, or taking a tour.
Popular tours include City Hall, which has the largest known portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, and stained-glass windows that depict the many of battles of the First World War; the Museum of Health Care; and Kingston's famous haunted walk, which features tales and ghost stories from Kingston's past.
On weekends, students will participate in various guided excursions, such as a visit to Ottawa, Canada's national capital, or a trip to the forest to learn about the region's flora and fauna.
"Ottawa: the Capital Experience," depending on students' interests, might include the Parliament buildings; the Museum of Civilization; a light
show at night on Parliament Hill; a walk beside the Rideau Canal, which commences 202 kilometres away in Kingston; and a trip to the colourful Byward market.
"Nature Nearby" features a trip to the Queen's University Biological Station, one of the top scientific field stations in North America, or a similar facility. Guided hikes, swimming, camping, leadership games, geo-caching, learning about plants and animals, and paddling a canoe like a Canadian are the kinds of activities students can expect.
Traveling to and from Kingston
Kingston lies on the main railway line between Montreal and Toronto, and Ottawa and Toronto, so Canada's Via Rail service is a fast and easy way to travel.
Kingston has a small local airport, with several flights a day to and from Toronto.
From campus to the local bus station is about a 20-minute bus ride, or a 10-minute taxi ride.
Kingston lies about halfway between Toronto and Montreal along Highway 401. By car, Kingston is about 2.5 hours from each of these cities, or about 1.5 hours from Ottawa.