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Steeped In History, Yet Constantly Evolving

On the picturesque shores of the St. Lawrence River lies the historic city of Kingston. Home to impassioned curators and creators, a place that embraces new ideas – it’s authentic, vibrant and never stops surprising. The waterfront is brimming with activities, festivals, pathways and eateries. Kingston boasts more restaurants per capita than nearly any city in Canada, so make sure to come hungry. With an abundance of casual outdoor patios, fine dining restaurants, and pubs – you’ll find something delicious at every turn. The fun doesn’t slow down at night with a vibrant theatre, arts, and events scene.

  • 2.5 hrs from
    Toronto
  • 2 hrs from
    Ottawa
  • 3 hrs from
    Montreal

Kingston at its Best

Kingston Penitentiary Tours

Kingston Penitentiary Tours

History Is Very Much Alive
History Is Very Much Alive
Cruise The Waterway In Style
Cruise The Waterway In Style
Kingston Food Tours

Kingston Food Tours

Discover Kingston’s Local Haunts
Discover Kingston’s Local Haunts

Kingston Penitentiary Tours


The Kingston Penitentiary opened its doors in 1835. During it reign, this imposing prison has housed many infamous criminals, was visited by Charles Dickens and has seen prison escapes as well as rioting.

Today, the jail cells stand empty and the doors that were once locked are now open, welcoming tourists who want to catch a glimpse of what life inside a maximum security penitentiary.

Guided tours of Kingston Penitentiary are the result of a partnership between the Correctional Services of Canada, the City of Kingston and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, which operates and sells tour tickets. Tours regularly sell out, making this one of the most sought after travel activities in South Eastern Ontario.

Tickets for Kingston Penitentiary tours are available exclusively at kingstonpentour.com or by purchasing a K-Pass. Tour information can be found on their website or by following them on Facebook.

History Is Very Much Alive 

Kingston has a rich heritage and local pride that is showcased in the 24 museums and historic sites that you can enjoy and discover. Here are a few of the museums worth checking out:

Fort Henry National Historic Site

Fort Henry is one of Canada’s premiere historic attractions, along with the Rideau Canal and the Kingston Fortifications, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built from solid Kingston limestone and armed with an arsenal of cannons and Snider Enfield rifles, Fort Henry was constructed to guard Kingston against foreign invasion. Today, Fort Henry is both a museum and a spectacular historic site. Once inside the fortification’s wooden gates, visitors enter a marvellous reproduction of 19th century military life. Thousands of international guests are welcomed with hands-on programs for kids and adults, musical and sporting events, daily half-hour tours and live interpretations. Plus, summer evenings feature Fort Henry Guard music and artillery performances!

Bellevue House Natural Historic Site of Canada

Visit the 1840’s restored house and gardens of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister. Exhibits in the visitor centre commemorate his life and career, and costumed staff present the daily life of the Macdonald family. Located at 35 Centre Street, Kingston.

Canada’s Penitentiary Museum

Built in 1873 as the Kingston Penitentiary Warden’s residence, “Cedarhedge” now houses Canada’s Penitentiary Museum. Investigate the history of Canada’s federal penitentiaries. Located at 555 King Street West, Kingston.

Fairfield House and Park

Built in 1793, this house preserves the building skills of the Loyalist settlers. Visit for a guided tour. The park on the lakeshore is a pleasant picnic area. Located at 4574 Bath Road, Kingston.

MacLauchlan Woodwork Museum

This museum holds the most extensive, nationally significant collection of woodworking tools in Canada. The Museum is located 16km East of Kingston at the entrance of scenic Grass Creek Park.

PumpHouse

Entertainment and enrichment abound at the PumpHouse Museum. The historic building houses steam machinery that played and important part in building Canada’s success. The train room boasts a stunning collection of model trains. With a push of a button this room comes alive. Kid’s love the Discover Centre where learning through play is encourage and embraced. There are also may events and exhibits to capture your imagination. Located at 23 Ontario Street, Kingston.

Kingston, a 300 year old city is waiting for you.

Cruise The Waterway In Style

Take in the sights and sounds of the city’s waterfront by touring the 8km waterfront pathway that passes right along the popular downtown harbor. Hop aboard the free, 20-minute Wolfe Island Ferry and Explore Wolfe Island.

If you are looking for a new perspective the city takes on a different vista from the water – especially on a leisurely dinner or sunset cruise. At Kingston 1000 Island Cruises it’s all about food, fun and entertainment! They are committed to fine foodservices, interactive entertainment and first rate service aboard all of our vessels.

Island Queen
A 300-passenger paddle wheeler. With interior oak panels and antique tin, this beautifully restored triple-decker will remind you of those classic cruise ships on the Mississippi. Suitable for leisure cruises but perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Island Belle
This 150-passenger beauty is a regular site in and around the 1000 Islands. It’s a replica St. Lawrence Steamer with two decks that’s used for Discover Cruises and charters. It can accommodate 60 passengers for a sit down meal or 125 for an evening reception or informal barbecue.

Island Star
One of the most recognized 1000 Islands cruise ships, likely due to its unique translucent glass canopy. Similar to the Bateaux-Mouche style boats popular on the Seine in Paris, this 180-capacity model puts you closer to the water than any other type of cruise ship. With a full kitchen on board, the dining menu offers a choice of entrees cooked to order, making this ship a popular option for lunch, dinner and panorama cruises.

Choose between daily sightseeing cruises, private charters or a complete dining experience, departing from the wharf at 1 Brock Street, downtown Kingston.

 

Walk, Eat Repeat

Kingston Food Tours will take you on a stroll through Kingston’s hip and historic downtown with stops at some of the best, local restaurants. You’ll get an insider’s perspective on our city’s history and culture as the tours focus on unique shops, restaurants, artisans, and farmers who contribute to Kingston’s thriving local food movement. If you have a passion for food you’ll fall in love with Kingston on this fun, educational, and delicious tour!

Discover Kingston’s Local Haunts

Prepare to be spooked! The Haunted Walks of Kingston are back for another sinister summer, haunting newcomers and local. With the Original Haunted Walk of Kingston, tour guides tell of haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds, hangings, and Kington’s famous haunted courtyard. These secrets of Kingston’s past won’t be found in any history book!

Think you know Fort Henry? Think again! The Haunted Walk Experience at Fort Henry explores Kingston’s 19th century fortress with your guide focusing on its history. From hangings to authentic supernatural encounters, you’ll be talking about this trip for years to come. Psst! There are even late-night tours available on select evenings throughout the summer!

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