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Kingston’s Local Attractions

Amusement Park, Museum, tours, Kingston

This past week I was fortunate enough to take a bit of a reprieve from the 9 to 5, and wander around as a part of the March Break crowd. My wife and I filled our days with a trip to Wolfe Island, movies, open houses, home improvements, dinner and lunch out, a sinus cold, and well you get the idea. Was I grateful for the time off? Of course. But still, at times I found myself yearning for more exciting local attractions. Of course, most March Break activities are undoubtedly geared towards a much younger crowd, and summer tourist attractions have not yet opened.  But even if they have, there’s really only so much touring of historical buildings, art gallery hopping and shopping one can do.  Being a city between two major centres, a new attraction of some sort could help make sure we’re a stop along the way.   Accordingly, this week’s poll asks:

What kind of attraction could Kingston be home to?

  • A casino (34%, 41 Votes)
  • A science centre (25%, 30 Votes)
  • Something else entirely (22%, 26 Votes)
  • A water park (12%, 14 Votes)
  • An amusement park (8%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 120

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Perhaps the focus of this week’s poll should not be on adding some fancy new roller coaster, and let’s face it, who would actually pay to place such a thing in the Limestone City? Maybe what we need to do, and need to demand, is that our local tourist attractions strive to make big improvements, and take big chances on fresh new ideas that will appeal not only to tourists, but those of us who live here year-round.  What sort of exciting changes, facelifts and so on would you support in an effort to strengthen our local museums, parks, heritage sites and other tourist magnets?  Whether your a fan of multi-day, outdoor music festivals, historical tours on segway scooters, or bigger attractions at the Fall Fair and Kingston Family Fun World, we want to know.  Drop off a comment or two below, and share your ideas for making Kingston more exciting.

Thanks to Traveller_40 for today’s photo.

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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...

10 thoughts on “Kingston’s Local Attractions

  • March 19, 2012 at 10:15 am
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    Laser Tag in Fort Henry. No better way to get people into the fort than to offer a chance to try and invade via lasers.

    • March 19, 2012 at 11:20 am
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      That's an interesting idea. Can laser tag be played outdoors? Not sure if there would be enough room in indoor parts of the Fort to make it work.

      • March 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm
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        Outdoor laser tag was actually held last summer at Kingston Family Fun World. It may be again this year along with the paintball shooting gallery

  • March 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm
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    Lot's of folks answering "something else entirely" but only one brave soul actualy providing details as to what they'd like to see. If you don't like the options and pick "something else entirely", please let us know what you envision here.

  • March 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm
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    When the movie theatres vacate downtown, I'd like to see that space turned into a children's museum with hands-on science exhibits and interactive family activities. (Yes, I'm betting that the theatre does vacate, despite the online polls… and we'll need something good to fill the space.)

  • March 23, 2012 at 10:33 am
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    I wouldn't support a tacky super attraction, I think Kingston needs to embrace what it already has. Extend and enhance the waterfront trail. As of now you can only really go for a short walk before having to traverse a major arterial i.e. king street. to get to the next section of the trail. Tough to sort out as there is a lot of private property separating the sections, but I'd love to see it improved so you could go for a few hour long walk without having to drive to lemoine point ect. Also in terms of enhancements waterside amenities more like confed basin with spaces for performances ect in more parts of the trail would allow more spontaneous and frequent public performances.

    • March 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm
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      Natural attractions are a great way to go, and a waterfront trail is certainly something we could all benefit from. As you've said, tough to get around the issue of private land breaking up the current path, but certainly we could aim to improve the path that's already laid down. I would love it if parts of the trail were broadened to allow for proper bike lanes for commuters and those out for a recreational ride, and a seperate lane for those who are walking/running. Quebec City has a very nice one that winds around the waterfront/old City, and connects to the 'burbs. Perhaps we could also look to establish a few booths for vendors (ice cream, pizza etc…), similar to what you see in Toronto. Enhancing and adding to the infrastructure that's already there would be a great magnet for Kingstonians and tourists alike!

  • April 1, 2012 at 1:50 am
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    I agree with jerejohn and it needs to make far better use of the Krock centre. Yes, we've had some big major acts but, somehow I don't think they are going to be coming back. We COULD attract the same acts that play Massey Hall though IF we courted them. They play Toronto and then go forward to the NAC sometimes. This being in between the two we could entice them to do a date here. MANY great and well respected acts play Massey Hall. We now have a venue for them. Fill those seats! I'd like to see Kingston focus on major festivals too. Bluesfest in Ottawa has hit a major downturn. Let's take that type of festival and run with it. We could invite the same acts that play jazzfest in New Orleans easily if we got the city known on the major festival circuit. Have you any idea how many people would come here for such events? For the same quality acts places like NOLA have..thousands. We have lots of green space and could quite easily do a week of such festivals.

    Yes, we have festivals now but, they are small by comparison and we can do better. I think Kingston is a far more attractive venue than Lebreton Flat in Ottawa anyway.

    • April 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm
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      Perfect! Make Kingston THE city for festivals in Ontario. Pack a new theme every week through the summer-and winter events too. Our location between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa is our biggest asset. Blues fest, jazz fest, rock fest, trip hop fest…what about an art festival, wine fest, beer fest, food fest. We already have some excellent events such as buskers that bring tourists in droves…let's build on that. People love coming to Kingston…let's give them a reason to come more often. The key here is marketing to our more populous urban neighbors. We need a coordinated effort lead by the city with key stakeholders (hotels, restaurants, VIA, Porter Airlines would be nice). More package deals for restaurants and accommodations…another hotel or two downtown would be nice to encourage more competition, so people don't have to pay $250/night during peak season. What about bringing Queen's and SLC into the conversation and have their dorms available for better rates…and then add free transportation to and from events. The city could "Groupon" event tickets to Toronto/Montreal/Ottawa for cheaper exposure. What ever happened to folklore? That was an amazing event…a multicultural festival! Let's bring it back. So much opportunity…just need the vision and resources to make it happen. These would be tax dollars well spent as the economic spin off for businesses is huge. It could help pay for the free street cars.

  • April 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm
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    KINGSTON'S ALCATRAZ ?????
    The impending closure of the Kingston Penitentiary (the home to some of our most infamous criminals) is an amazing opportunity for the city. It could easily become one of Canada's premier tourist attractions. A new home for Canada's Penitentiary Museum; a theme restaurant; hostel and or a bed and breakfast with a twist (gruel for breakfast); and a Fright Night that would put Fort Henry's to shame… To say nothing of opening up an invaluable piece of Kingston's waterfront to the citizens. Let's take this opportunity and run with it.

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