One thing Kingstonians can count on every year to help mark the beginning winter holiday season is the announcement of the five new pewter ornaments celebrating the city, announced annually.
Today, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, the Downtown Kingston! Business Improvement Area (BIA) announced the five new buildings and landmarks being released this year as pewter ornaments. The 27th year of these limited edition pewter collectibles will officially launch on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, and features some of Kingston’s most well-known and beloved sites.
“With suggestions from the public, buildings and landmarks are selected each year by Downtown Kingston! All ideas are considered and thoroughly examined to ensure a collection that is balanced, attractive and representative of Kingston’s historic nature,” the BIA said in a statement.
The selected buildings or landmarks to be cast in pewter and the release dates are as follows, with descriptions of the sites from the BIA:
John Deutsch University Centre
99 University Avenue
Available Monday, Nov. 16
Located in the centre of the Queen’s University campus, the John Deutsch University Centre is used by students and staff of the university for a variety of purposes, and houses several offices and pubs within it. The current building is located on the site of the Kingston’s old Orphan’s Home, which was purchased by the university in 1927 to serve as the Students’ Memorial Union. This building was destroyed by fire in 1947 and replaced by the current stone structure. Until the 1950s, the Union was mostly closed to female students. The Union was renovated extensively in the mid-1970s and renamed for principal John Deutsch, who served in that capacity from 1968 to 1974.
The Royal Tavern
344 Princess Street
Available Monday, Nov. 23
In 1855, John A Macdonald sold the property on which the Royal Tavern stands to Henry Grimason. He and his wife Eliza opened a tavern/hotel known as Grimason House, which became a popular venue for local farmers and the unofficial Conservative Party headquarters for the Kingston riding. 344 Princess Street became the Farmer’s Royal Exchange Inn in 1900 and was converted to the Royal Hotel in 1933 after the end of prohibition. The property was purchased by the current owners, the Lavin family who renamed it Royal Tavern in the 1970s when the government of Ontario allowed hard liquor as well as beer to be served in public places.
262 Princess Street
Available Monday, Nov. 30
Constructed in 1890s, this beautifully renovated building was the home of “Kingston’s Theatre Beautiful,” The Tivoli from 1930 until 1948. When the theatre closed, Modern Furniture took over as tenants until 2010. Trailhead’s meticulous renovation in 2011 restored the architectural details, including the magnificent beaux arts façade. Look closely and you can see the Trailhead detail in the gold emblems under the original columns. 2020 celebrates the 25th anniversary of Trailhead in downtown Kingston.
Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School
130 Russell Street
Available Monday, Dec. 7
A charter was obtained from the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada in 1837 to open the College of Regiopolis. The original institution opened in 1842 with the school for girls, Notre Dame, being founded in 1841. In 1914, the boys’ school moved to its present location on Russell Street. The main building, dormitory and gymnasium were designed by the prominent architect, William Newlands Jr. In 1967, the two schools merged forming Regiopolis-Notre Dame. This ornament is a representation of the original boy’s school at the Russell Street location – the current building was opened in 1977 and has had two expansions since.
The Gaskin Lion
Sir John A Macdonald Park
Available Monday, Dec. 14
Donated in 1909 by Captain John Gaskin, former Mayor of Kingston, this iron lion has stood guard over Kingston’s waterfront for over 110 years. To honour the 100th anniversary the Ukrainian Canadian Club of Kingston, the League of Ukrainian Canadians in Kingston sponsored the lion’s restoration to mark the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Kingston. Thousands of Kingstonians and visitors to the city have had their photographs taken on or beside the lion, including many members of the Ukrainian community whose members used to hold picnics in the park after Sunday church services. The Gaskin Lion was originally produced as part of the 2010 collection of pewter ornaments, but looking at him from the other direction.
Each ornament can be purchased for $10 with proof of $25 worth of receipts from downtown businesses. The ornaments have a regular retail value of over $20. Receipts dated after November 1, 2020 are valid and may be from several business. All downtown business are applicable, from the dentist to the grocery store. Quantities are limited and are available only as long as they last.
The 2020 Limited Edition Pewter Collection, sponsored by the Downtown Kingston! BIA, will be available at:
- Leon’s Centre Box Office, 1 Tragically Hip Way (hours 11am –2pm weekdays)
- Waterfront Gifts & Apparel, 248 Ontario Street (hours Wed & Sat 11am –6pm, Thur & Fri 11am – 6 pm, closed Sun & Mon) beginning Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.
Contact the Downtown Kingston! BIA office if you are unable to purchase at outlet locations due to COVID-19 restrictions.