Most Anticipated Winter Events in Kingston

Best Winter Events in KingstonWith the Santa Claus Parade and Black Friday behind us, most Kingstonians are eagerly planning holiday parties, anticipating time away from the daily grind and officially celebrating the end of 2012. But of course, there’s much more going on in the Limestone City during the coming weeks and blustery months of Winter. Familiar pastimes such as skating on one of our community rinks, cross country skiing wherever you can find a suitable patch of snow or getting cozy by the fire and reading a local author/blog are all in order. For the days and nights you’re looking for a bit more stimulation, Kingston has many recurring festivals and events such as the Winter Wonderettes and Scotties Tournament of Hearts vying for your attention. Bundling up and staring down old man winter, this week’s poll asks:

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Perhaps I’ll be singing the same old familiar tune when it’s minus 30 in Kingston, but today’s balmy minus 10 has me determined to make the most out of what’s coming up over the course of winter in our fair city.  There’s currently no reason for me to remain curled up next to the crackling fire, cozily immobilized by 20 pounds of down-filled duvets, and fearful of what might happen to me if I expose a single toe to the cold, cruel world.  Then again, if you recall, winter 2012 wasn’t really winter at all.  Not that I’m complaining, but I can count on one hand the number of times I actually had to shovel our sidewalk last year.  This extremely mild winter had a detrimental effect on events such as Feb Fest, which had to forgo snow sculptures and mazes due to an inadequate supply of the white stuff.  So on behalf of cross country skiers and dependent tourism, here’s hoping we get just enough snow to satisfy those who truly make the most of it.

With all of our upcoming winter festivals in mind, which ones are you looking forward to the most and why? What sort of outdoor activities and festivals would you like to see incorporated into the local routine?

Thanks to Hung Q. Mai for today’s photo, which was kindly added to our Flickr pool.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

14 thoughts on “Most Anticipated Winter Events in Kingston

  • This is my first winter in Kingston and i'm very excited for Feb Fest and the Scotties TOH, but I have to say that i'm most excited for KCFF. I've been aware of it for a few years now and have watched it grow and grow,and I can't wait to finally go to it!

    • With the looming relocation of Empire Theatres, KCFF could be really different than it has been in years past. Great news for the Screening Room, but they already support the festival and I'm not sure how much more they can realistically take on. Sure Queen's can help pick up the slack, but that could spread the festival out far more than we'd like.

      • I've been wondering if we might see the Screening Room move to Empire after they head for the sticks. When is Empire moving anyway?

        • Some comments found here suggest that Empire's relocation will deter any other theatre from opening up shop in their current downtown location. A smart business move for them, but it leaves a big hole downtown. And arguably The Screening Room is in the right location.

          No firm timeline for Empire's relocation, but construction is coming along. Hard to tell where they are with finishing the interior, but I would be surprised if they are not up and running early in the New Year.

          • The Screening Room is in a good place but it's hampered by the lottery kiosk and stuff downstairs in the building. If they were able to take over the front downstairs space completely, and redesign it to make a welcoming, enticing entrace, it would be a much better situation. But I know this is entirely out of Wendy's hands.

        • Dec 21 is supposed to be opening day for the new location. The old one is way beyond the scope of the screening room

          • Just in time for The Hobbit. Makes sense, and yet so sad for our downtown theatre. It will be a cold day in hell before I spend a dime at the new location.

          • It is a shame that you will not support the North End finally getting a theatre along with the additional 40 jobs created just because it's not in the downtown where Empire Theatres was unable to expand.

          • No one's lamenting a theatre being built in the north end; the mourning is with regards to the loss of a (much-cherished) theatre downtown. There's something almost magical about being able to walk out of a good movie to a quaint coffee shop where you can sit and converse instead of having to walk to your car in order to drive to a Timmy's to get your roast.

            No need to be so adversarial and singularly corporate-minded on the topic.

          • I don't go to a theater very ofter anymore, but in the past two weeks Ive been to both exactly a week apart. Cineplex was absolutely packed, turning people away from showings. The people lamenting The Capital's loss sure weren't there, as very few were. I don't blame them at all for moving, its pretty obvious they had to.

          • You're fooling yourself if you think Empire could not have expanded their operations downtown, or at least closer to the centre of the city (ie Kingston Centre). The rationale to relocate was financially driven in that Empire could build whatever they wanted to in the north end for less than a new facility downtown. The new theatre boasts big box neighbours who are devoid of any real local connection to what makes Kingston unique and attractive. IMAX and free parking aside, let's not lose sight of the fact that Empire is trying to keep their soon to be former location vacant for as long as possible so that they can attract customers. Far from what I would call good corporate citizens or neighbours.

          • A pretty unreasonable assessment.

            Empire gave the downtown location a chance. Since taking it over in late 2005 they have invested more into the location than Famous Players did in the previous 10 years. They refitted the largest screen with modern seating, redid the front and rear marqees and put in new doors. They added digital projectors, tried special events, and even introduced an very competitive student special. And what did they gain for all these efforts? A drop in business.

            Realistically, the only way for Empire to make money and compete with Cineplex Odeon in Kingston was to do what they have done. Build a new, modern, and fully up-to-date location.

            You say they could have redeveloped the downtown location or built in another vacant downtown location. I would ask you this in return: Why should they? They are operating a business to make money. The downtown hasn't taken care of them, so they have had to move on. Why should they invest a (potentially) much larger sum of money to build/rebuild a theater downtown, when instead they could do it for less where they did and probably lose no meaningful amount of business in the process? Empire aren't on the hook to contribute to Kingston's downtown area development.

            And as far as not allowing another theater to move into the downtown location, I struggle to really find issue with this because who in their right mind would spend however many million dollars it would cost to purchase that property and open a theater there again? If Empire couldn't make it work, I doubt anyone else can.

            Sorry, the fault here lies with Kingston's movie goers, not the evil corporation.

            In any case, this does open up a great opportunity for the owners of the Screening Room to step up and fill the void, or perhaps someone else to open a second small and independent cinema in our downtown.

          • Great points here Ryan. I guess in the end I am disappointed that the City of Kingston, local developers etc… did not do enough to keep the theatre downtown. Surely if we could find a way to build the KRC downtown, there must have been a way for us to keep an IMAX theatre downtown.

          • Fully agree with Ryan. My parents are looking forward to walking to the new Empire Theatre, there's no reason beyond poor urban planning, that other neighbourhoods shouldn't be able to walk to neighbourhood amenities. The idea that the theatre must remain downtown boggles my noggin'. There's opportunities here, we should take advantage of them. What else can go in the newly available space? My vote is to turn it into a very cool climbing gym. <acknowledge the Boiler Room, but I'm not a fan, I've climbed in much better gyms> In order to battle some of the drunken behaviour problems of some of our residents, we need more positive recreation activities closer to Queens. A downtown climbing gym done well, could help lead to a whole other 'after hours' mentality.

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