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What type of business does Kingston need?

Last week, we looked at some of Kingston’s favourite past businesses. Now we want to take a look at what Kingston needs in the future.

Some of our ideas are for things we’ve had in the past like a cat cafe (Southpaw Cat Cafe closed  last year), an outdoor amusement park (Kingston Family Fun World tried to pick up where Lake Ontario Park had left off, but none of those rides are currently in use in the city), or a rec centre (Studio 801/Celebrity Sports World). It’s also been years since there was a dedicated gay/LGBTQ+ bar, a karaoke bar, or a horse race track. Did they go out of business because of lack of demand? Or did the owners retire and no one was able to fill the gap?

We’ve also thought about things you often see in other cities, like a zoo or butterfly conservatory.

Maybe our highly scientific poll will prove to investors and entrepreneurs that Kingston could handle a distillery or indoor paintball.

Again, we’ll avoid specific chains and franchises (sorry, IKEA) and try to stick to more general ideas. As before, our poll is not meant to be exhaustive, so please add your thoughts in the comments!

Also, and this is important: We’re not asking about political issues like affordable housing, more accessible spaces, or more jobs. We’re looking for your ideas on what businesses could come to town.

Side note: Kingstonist took a poll several years on what chain to bring to town. Can Kingstonist take credit for H&Ms arrival? https://www.kingstonist.com/news/business-opening-soon/

What type of business does Kingston need?

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18 thoughts on “What type of business does Kingston need?

  • May 14, 2019 at 12:55 pm
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    A wool store selling products like KnitTraders used to. ‘Replacement store’ downtown is too expensive. We need a store between them and Michaels.

    • April 18, 2020 at 4:07 pm
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      I think there’s a key business that’s not on that list. You have a massive property at family fun world with no houses or no noise restrictions immediately surrounding it. Its the perfect place to build an oval track and a 1/4 mile drag strip. There is a big crowd of car enthusiasts both young and old that will drive all the way to shannonville for drag nights and you see Brighton’s oval track constantly being used. This would be an awesome safe environment for different car enthusiasts and people who want to get in the stands and spectate and it would help get street racing away from the streets (which downtown area is getting really bad for)

  • May 14, 2019 at 3:31 pm
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    What about “A store downtown that sells more than one niche type of item”

    I’d even take a BiWay at this point.

  • May 14, 2019 at 4:10 pm
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    We need something like studio 801 / celebrity sportsworld again. Rhino sports in Belleville would be awesome in the old sears at the cat center.

  • May 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm
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    Kingston needs a good smoke house restaurant. If you serve it they will come a good distance for real good bbq

  • May 14, 2019 at 5:08 pm
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    A good delicatessen. Eat-in, take-out. In the ‘Jewish’ cultural/gastronomic direction, but ‘similar to that’ is ok if it’s a really good deli. Preferably downtown (or near it).

    • May 14, 2019 at 5:47 pm
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      Wow – I never knew! That’s amazing. Does the homeowner get in the hammock with you?

  • May 14, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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    It would be great to see another Cat Cafe return to Kingston, they did a great job of helping with the adoption process and we love to be able interact with the animals in a personal way.
    Not seeing the kitties in cages was very nice also…

  • May 14, 2019 at 7:12 pm
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    A Cat Cafe would be a great addition to Kingston it was a great way to get to meet a potential kitty before you adopted it.
    Plus they weren’t all locked up in cages and we were able to interact with them and get to know them better.

  • May 14, 2019 at 9:58 pm
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    It will be great to have a bakery with real French/Italian (European-style) pastry.
    Also, there is a huge lack of family doctors here, and this is more important than pastry :)

  • May 14, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    Indoor waterpark. Indoor entertainment for families during the long winter months.

  • May 15, 2019 at 4:30 am
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    Funny list of “businesses” above. Typical Kingston lack of vision small mindedness. Was this the Mayor’s list? Sounds like. Anyway, how about this for the grown-ups. Who graduates in what numbers from both Queens and St Lawrence? Set up real incentives for them to start businesses here. Take advantage of these new grads. Instead of educating them and then they disperse out of the city, let’s keep them here to our benefit. Good example is an engineering mining company on Hyperion called ESG (Google them). They employee 200 ENGINEERS with engineering salaries (not baristas, not service industry, not cooks, or waitresses). It was started by 4 Queen’s grads with a vision. They are worth several million dollars now. You do know Elon Musk is also an alumni. Imagine if he stayed here. Think bigger Kingston. We are not a small town anymore. We are a city now, scary as that is, we can do it.

    • May 16, 2019 at 2:06 am
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      I graduated from Queens back in 2006. Three years later I wanted to start a tech company in Kingston (something that did not exist in Kingston, and still doesnt today). I went to KEDCO (and a few other such places) with my startup (looking for advice of possible startup business incubator space, possible grants or funding sources, etc). You know what they did? They laughed. They said “Kingston isnt a tech town and no one would fund or help out with it”. It was very disheartening.
      Had KEDCO or those other agencies done their job and actually assisted me with my startup I would probably have 100+ employees working in high paying tech jobs. Instead, Kingston got nothing.
      So if you want to start a business … dont bother doing it Kingston. The city officials and their business agencies only like restaurants and other minimum wage style jobs in the city.

  • May 15, 2019 at 8:23 am
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    Kingston needs a “ City Museum” where it’s history with all the artifacts from excavations, old photos, historical collections, etc… could be displayed for all to see.

  • May 18, 2019 at 8:48 pm
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    Bring back original. ZELLER. Sears. K- mart. The. Bay. Biway from 1982

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