My mother has many catch phrases, but one that recently stuck with me is that “we need to learn to like our own company.” During the beginning of the pandemic, I learned to do just that. I went for walks by myself each day for about an hour. I explored my neighbourhood and became acquainted with some of the historical architecture within Kingston. Before I knew it, I found myself in a state of peace and tranquility. On my walks, using only the camera on my phone, I took photographs of old grand buildings, Victorian homes, gothic churches, and bed & breakfasts. These photographs represent our precious city and all the wonderful sights we are lucky enough to pass by every day. Especially during this time, I thought it might be a good idea to inspire each other to find happiness in the little things. 

Since Kingston is such a small town, I feel it does not receive the recognition it deserves. It is often overlooked as a university town with absolutely nothing else to offer. But it is so much more than that. It is right by the water, and much of its historic architecture is well preserved. Evidently, there is a lot more to Kingston than meets the eye. As a Queen’s student, I felt I only ever went to Metro, LCBO, Stages, and Stauffer. Between the workload, parties, and extracurriculars, I never had the time to explore the city and I have a feeling many others feel the same way. As a result of the changes brought by COVID-19, (i.e. online classes, the reduction in socializing, cancelling parties, events, gatherings, etc.) some of us may have slightly more free time, and what better way to spend that time than touring around Kingston?! Typically, most of us would walk to class or walk to our friends’ houses, and since that is no longer possible, it is imperative for us to continue to find our own ways to spend time outside, especially while the weather is still reasonably warm. After all, it isn’t healthy to stay inside all day long. We need fresh air! Besides, walking outside is rejuvenating, and can make it easier to be productive, which is something a lot of students are currently struggling with, myself included.

I hesitated posting these photos at first because I was afraid of their simplicity. I wasn’t quite sure how a deeper issue could possibly be projected or conveyed through my photos. They don’t speak for themselves, so I’ll speak for them. The truth is that lately, our priorities have shifted. Within the last decade, society has fixated on posting photos of themselves. Don’t get me wrong, it is so important for individuals to feel confident and happy, and I understand how posting a picture of yourself can be incredibly empowering; however, I feel as though we often get carried away with it. Almost as if we forget to balance. Suddenly, every event turns into a photo of ourselves that we must post, and that becomes our main priority and concern. I am just as guilty of this as the next person, but on my walks, when the world seemed larger than life and my troubles seemed so minuscule, I experienced a revelation: I no longer felt satisfied posting myself. Rather, I was motivated to post more about our precious city and all the sights we are lucky enough to stumble across. And for that reason, I hope these photos inspire readers to not only do the same but also to learn about the past, to explore, to seek adventure, and to look within and find that childlike wonder in themselves again, because it is a remarkable way of living. 

These photos represent walks that are a maximum of 15-30 minutes away from the student ghetto, so they are extremely doable. The sights I’ve posted below are only the tip of the iceberg. From Fort Henry, to the Kingston Penitentiary, the Kingston Yacht Club, the Haunted Walk of Kingston, the Kingston Pump House, Confederation park, the Isabel Bader Center, and the Bergeron Estate Winery, there are plenty of other landmarks and places to explore that I have not included that are only a drive away. Truly, the possibilities are endless!

Chalmers United Church – Architect John Wells, built in 1853. Gothic Revival design.


St. George’s Cathedral – Architect William Coverdale, finished in 1842, and declared a cathedral in 1862.


The South side of St. George’s Cathedral.


Frontenac County Court House – Architect Edward Horsey, the dome was redone in 1874 after a fire, redesignated a National Historic Site by the city of Kingston under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1980.


The Katherine Bermingham Macklem House was built by Thomas Rogers in 1830. Sarah and Cornelius Bermingham purchased the house in 1905, and it was later expanded by architect Frank Lent. Their daughter, Katherine, donated the house to Queen’s University after both her sons graduated in 1952. Her son Peter Macklem went on to contribute to the understanding of early pulmonary damage as a result of smoking and became a prolific scientist in the field of respiratory medicine. Today, it is occupied by Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences. It is known for its Classical Revival portico and single-story verandah (Mainhood, 2018).


A lovely yellow brick home on King Street.


The Common Market (unfortunately, no longer in business after the devastating effects of COVID).


One of the many antique homes that Queen’s students have the opportunity to live in. – Bagot Street.


A beautiful house in Kingston with a turret.


Hotel Belvedere – In the 1940’s, Vogue called the Chateau Belvedere, “the only reasonable place to stay between Montreal and Toronto”.  Built in 1880 by Joseph Power, it was the preferred hotel for dukes and duchesses, politicians and royalty from around the world. Remodelled in 1987, and it became Hotel Belvedere.


The Goreview – Architect: John Power. A three-storey, three bay brick house with a central French window on the second storey.


A magnificent, yet ominous Gothic home located on King Street East.


McIntosh Castle – Architect John Power. Finished in 1878, Gothic Revival village.


The Rosemount Inn – Architect William Coverdale, built in 1849.


Wellington Street School – Architect John Power, built in 1874.


The Hochelaga Inn – built in 1879 for John McIntyre – French Victorian style mansion.


Elizabeth Cottage – designed by architect Edward Horsey in 1843 for his family and enlarged by William Newlands in the 1880s. Gothic Revival Style.

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