Balancing Heritage and Development in Kingston

Downtown Kingston architecture, Jack Astor's, Milestone's, The KegIn a city like Kingston, it’s hard to miss the history that is all around us.  From our narrow roads and nineteenth century architecture, to our historic landmarks, the past is everywhere.  This is a gift in many ways.  It’s an authentic part of Kingston’s culture that people come from far and wide to see and experience, but it is also a difficult thing to work around when  new development is in the air.

I am proud to live in a city that doesn’t tear down every old building in the name of progress, and I find it interesting to see how new businesses and our various institutions of higher learning will handle the incorporation of new buildings.  We have seen a lot of this type of development over the past few years – at least in the downtown core.  With the rejuvenation of S&R, the opening of the Keg in the former British Whig building and, most recently, the take over of the old TD by the incredibly popular Jack Astor’s across from Market Square, this week’s poll question asks:

How well has Kingston balanced the contrasting needs of heritage lovers, and developers?

  • Generally OK. (48%, 62 Votes)
  • Outstanding! (26%, 33 Votes)
  • Not so great. (20%, 25 Votes)
  • Horrible. (6%, 8 Votes)
  • Something else entirely. I'll tell you below. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 128

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It’s always nice to see local downtown businesses doing their best to maintain the beautiful details of storefronts along Princess and Brock.  As I type, some store fronts in the Wellington-King block are being repainted, maintaining the integrity of the history of these buildings.  But we certainly aren’t perfect.  New buildings on Queen’s campus have always brought on discussions of which direction we should be headed.  I arrived in Kingston after it was built, but the architecture of Stauffer library, for example, is still talked about today.  How could they possibly build something so modern amongst ancient limestone buildings?  But this type of development is showing no signs of slowing.  In the very near future we will see Queen Street United Church transformed into condominiums, not to mention the many other locations downtown that have seen, or will soon see, brand new apartments and condominiums sprouting up.

How much responsibility do we, or does the city, have in insuring that we maintain our historic reputation?  How important is it to you personally?  Drop us a comment and tell us how you feel about new development in this fine, old town.

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  1. JuliusCaesare November 19, 2012
    • Danielle November 19, 2012
  2. Wes Kerr November 19, 2012
  3. sometwentysomething November 19, 2012
    • Harvey Kirkpatrick November 20, 2012
      • RyanThomson November 22, 2012
  4. TedSmitts November 22, 2012
    • RyanThomson November 27, 2012
    • Flying_Monkey November 27, 2012

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