Monday, July 21, 2014

Kingston, ON

We've returned to Kingston Ontario for the second time since 2012 to revisit the city and to stage the crossing of Lake Ontario.

We spent a good amount of time walking the center city during our last visit, but knew there was much more to see requiring transportation. We settled on a step-on, step-off trolley tour, which would allow us to circumnavigate the city stopping at those places that interested us, yet still getting to parts of the city to far to walk.

One of the first stops was the Canadian Military College, Canada's equivalent of West Point. While we didn't get off there, it was interesting to see.

The first time we left the trolley was at Fort Henry. This 1800s fortification, built on the highest point in Kingston, was never attacked by the US.  It served it's purpose as a significant deterrent and protected Kingston, the military college and Navy Bay, the heart of military ship building. Today it is mostly a museum. We toured the fort and watch re-enactments of daily life of the soldiers around 1860.

Next we stopped at the "Steam Pump House". Water supply for firefighting was taken from the river. Steam engines, similar to locomotives, pressurized the system. Today a newer system uses electricity, but is fundamentally the same.

Interestingly, Kingston as the first capital of Canada also housed the first penitentiary. And, even today there are several located around the area. Seen here from the water, it has recently been purchased by Queen's University. New dorms?

Queen's University is enormous and has about 25,000 students. The campus is beautiful, a mixture of old and new architecture. Very impressive.

In all, the trolley was the perfect way to see Kingston without a car and a great addition to all we saw wandering the inner city in 2012 (see Mini-loop)

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