Princess Street Promenade
Tomorrow’s the big day! The Second Annual Princess Street Promenade will take over downtown Kingston from 10am-6pm. For one day, Princess Street, from Division to Ontario, will be a pedestrian only zone. Stores and restaurants will open their doors and and move out to the street with special events including music, bouncy castles, climbing walls and caricature artists, to name a few.
The Promenade began last year as an experiment to see if we could sustain such an event. Looking at the 1,233 RSVPs currently on the Facebook event page, it’s safe to say that Kingston has replied with a resounding “yes!” Many have expressed their desire to see something like this happen more often during the summer months and this is an excellent start to seeing that through.
A few new things have been added to this year’s event. The street closure has been expanded to side streets along Princess from Clergy to King. Division, Barrie, Bagot and Ontario will remain open to vehicular traffic. Don’t bother trying to drive downtown though, Kingston Transit is generously providing free rides to and from the event. In addition to that, extra bike corrals will be set up at Division for those who want to cycle in.
The Promenade isn’t exclusive to downtown shops and restaurants; many Kingston businesses will take up residence on Princess Street including CFRC, the YMCA, the United Way, Kingston Writers Fest, Taoist Tai Chi, Cycle Kingston and Kingston Fire and Rescue to name a few. You can see a full list of participants and where to find them on this handy map.
This is a great event for Kingston, one I think a lot of us would like to see continue. Not only does it support local business but it promotes an active lifestyle and a friendly place to live. I hope to see all of our Kingstonist readers out there! And buskers, just FYI, you can busk within the Promenade, as long as you have a proper license. Keep an eye out for a certain brunette fiddler!
Special thanks to NickPiggott for today’s photo.
11 thoughts on “Princess Street Promenade”
Looking forward to heading out in a bit, loved last year! I hope the heavy rain yesterday won't affect anything!
Well, I have to say it seemed to be pretty much a success! Still hoping we do this maybe twice (or more) a summer, if it turns out to be good for businesses.
The best moment for me was the Kingston Taoist Tai-Chi club slowly and serenely doing their exercises outside of MonkeyBar, which had its windows open and was blasting Dubstep/Techno. Quite the culture clash.
The Works (new burger place at Princess/Clergy, where Canada Computers was for a while) was a full house, and they also have full length windows that can open on the princess and clergy sides. I didn't go in as it was packed, but it smelled very good from the street. Looked a bit steam-punk on the inside with gauges and pipes and what not all over. Very nice transformation from the rather dingy CC.
Speaking of, the Timmie's at P/C is now also a Marble Slab Creamery (total ripoff of Cold Stone Creamery?) which I can't imagine improving service.
It seemed like a terrific success to me too. What a great day!
PS It is a Coldstone at Clergy. And it's delicious! (but very, very expensive which is probably for the best…will keep me from going too often.)
I wasn't looking too closely, so it might be a Cold Stone, but the one at the Chapter's Plaza is definitely Marble Slab. How many different frozen slab ice cream places do we need? Don't want to end up looking like a frozen slob after too many ice cream cones.
the WIFE and I had a great time… must have walked up and down Princess three times… Belly Dancers, Tai-Chi, artists, restaurant patios moved out onto the street, Iranian ice cream, and a pig on a spit… loved it … would like to see it happen two or three times a year. I only spoke to one business owner at Plovers but she said business for the day was great… AND NO CARS… (thank god we don't have Rob Ford for a mayor)
We went with the family and had an amazing time. Decided to take the bus (for free!) and it was full. Couldn't find a seat. Never seen it like that on a Saturday. Walked all the way down and back 2 times. Kids thought it was novel to be able to write with chalk on Princess St. and play with remote control cars in the middle of the street at The Source. Finished out the day with supper at Atomica (also full!). How we can repeat this type of atmosphere every summer weekend in downtown?
We LOVED skating up and down Princess Street – thanks for having us once again! It was a very well run event and a successful day! We'll be back next year for sure. Kingston Derby Girls
Should be held at least three times a year; spring, summer and fall.
These are very popular in many other cities.
Whether they do these temporary closures of a larger stretch more often or not, they should just pedestrianise the lower end of Princess Street, full stop. These kinds of events show that both that idea that people will not get of their cars and shopkeepers' fears that 'passing trade' will decline, are bogus.
From what I saw there were loads of people making purchases, and taking advantage of restaurants who put a few tables on the street. Sure some had to get creative with specials and discounts and what have you, but people (and their wallets) were not deterred by having to travel sans automobile.
And again at a risk of of repeating myself, fully agree with your call for lower Princess to be pedestrian friendly more often, if not all the time.
Its a great event for kingston