The road trip to Toronto or Montreal is so overdone for Ottawa students looking for a weekend getaway. But what if there was another destination to explore? Ranked third in MoneySense magazine’s 2012 list of the Top 35 Best Places to Live in Canada, Kingston remains one of the most desirable cities in the country to live, work and play. Why go?
Food & Drink
The food scene in Kingston is heavily influenced by the city’s vibrant ethnic communities. Kingston has the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada (over 250), the bulk of which are in the city’s thriving downtown core. With everything from casual and fine dining to pubs and cafes, there’s something to suit every palette. Tir Nan Óg, which is Gaelic for “Land of Youth,” is a staple in Kingston’s downtown nightlife. The typical pub fare and nightly live music make it the perfect hangout spot for students.
Arts & Culture
The city has the Kingston Grand Theatre, the third largest art collection in Ontario at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, a symphony orchestra, art schools and more. The City of Kingston, in partnership with the Kingston Arts Council, funds non-profit arts organizations and collectives within the Kingston arts community.
Small town/big city
One of the nicest things about Kingston is its size. It is big enough that it can attract and support a variety of businesses, sports teams, and large entertainment venues, but small enough to maintain a sense of community. With less traffic and congestion it’s easier to get around and you are always close to some form of green space.
As a Kingstonian, you get used to seeing the same people around town. City councillor Jim Neill originally moved to Kingston for one year and has now been in the city for 46, and he attributes this to the friendly people that make you feel so welcome that you never want to leave. You’re able to smile, dance, drink, eat and learn about local life with people around town.
For a brief time in the 1840s, Kingston was Canada’s capital city and home to Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald. Kingston has 24 museums, galleries and national historic sites to proudly display this deep history that every Canadian should see. Fort Henry is a National Historic site, built from 1832 to 1837 in an effort to restore the area from the War of 1812. The site holds a variety of events, activities and historical re-enactments.