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Kingston, Ontario was Canada’s first capital for a reason.
It’s a vibrant, walkable city, where Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and Rideau Canal all meet. It’s home to the province’s oldest public market, with countless museums, and unique shopping and dining experiences around every corner.
History buffs and amateurs alike will love the Limestone City in equal measure. For every heritage site and historic building, there’s something new and exciting to enjoy in the city, from brewpubs to markets, to patios, and more.
Here are just a few reasons why Kingston should be on your list to host your next meeting or event.
Kingston Food Tours – Want to feed your guests and have them learn about Kingston’s rich history and culture? Book tickets for Kingston Food Tours – a walking tour of downtown Kingston that mixes all the best local eateries with a tour guide’s knowledge of the city’s history. The tour itself is owned by long-term resident of Kingston, Heather Ford and her son, Daniel Barrett. The tour is known for focusing on local farms and shops that contribute to the city’s food culture. Foodies will love this experience.
Improbable Escapes – For the more adventurous at heart, try Improbable Escapes which bills itself as a place where “adventure and fun collide.” The company is known for its award-winning escape rooms that are all designed in-house by a game development team including set designers, illustrators, electrical planners, and more. You won’t get the same escape room experience anywhere else.
25 Things To Do – Each month VisitKingston.ca puts together a comprehensive list of 25 Things To Do in the City for its visitors and residents. The list is always sure to include a mix of at-home activities and in-person events due to COVID-19 restrictions. For the month of March, the list includes the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Maple Madness, and a variety of Kingstonlicious events.
The Tett Centre – If you’re looking for a space that perfectly encapsulates the city, book your next meeting or event at the Tett Centre. The centre is a charitable arts organization in a stunning heritage building on Kingston’s waterfront. The venue boasts four rentable spaces – The Malting Tower, Rehearsal Hall, Activity Room, and Tett Gallery – all with a variety of capacities and special features.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts – For a breathtaking space, try the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. The world-class 90,000 square-foot facility is home to Queen’s University’s Film and Media Department and has a number of spaces available to rent. Notable features of the Isabel Bader Centre include its mix and use of wood, glass, and steel in its architecture that makes the facility so eye-catching. It also doesn’t hurt that it overlooks Lake Ontario.
Waterfront Hotels – If booking a meeting space with a hotel is more your style, you’re in luck as there are three unbeatable hotels in Kingston that are all on its waterfront or within a block of the waterfront. There’s the Four Points by Sheraton Kingston, the Holiday Inn Kingston-Waterfront, and the Delta Hotels Kingston Waterfront. Each hotel has its own unique features and offerings, and are well-equipped to host meetings, conferences, and events of almost any size.
Mesa Fresca – Craving a laid-back experience with “authentically inauthentic” Latin and Mexican fare? Try Mesa Fresca, a locally-owned and operated restaurant in the west end of the city that is known for its fusion of bold and vibrant flavours. Owners Alison and Andrew Scahill rely on local suppliers to provide only the freshest ingredients for their blend of unique and classic menu items.
The menu includes a fresca Caesar salad, with all the usual ingredients, plus the curveball of corn and bean salsa and queso fresca, which isn’t typical in your average Caesar salad. There’s also seafood paella, burritos, and enchiladas for you to enjoy.
Juniper Cafe – Kingston’s Juniper Cafe is a place you can’t miss when you’re in the city. Known as Kingston’s Waterfront Gem, the café is one of a handful of licenced dining locations on the city’s waterfront, just steps away from Queen’s University.
Offering up hand-made unique sandwiches made from locally-sourced quality ingredients, it’s a favourite among locals, students, and visitors alike.
If you’re looking for boxed lunches or platters for your guests, you’re in luck, as Juniper Cafe has them up for offer. Boxed lunches come with a choice of sandwich, greens, cookie, and drink.
Bonus Tip: Juniper also offers up its space for private meetings and events, if you’re looking for a venue that’s out of the box.
Casa Domenico – For something a little more upscale, try Casa Domenico in Kingston’s downtown market square. Described as a “fresh perspective on Italian-style cuisine,” the restaurant boasts items like lamb Bolognese, saltimbocca, and tiramisu on their exquisite menu. Pair your pasta or main with one of the carefully-selected wines to unwind in luxury, or grab a seat on their patio and overlook Kingston’s historic City Hall.
The Everly Restaurant and Lounge – Looking to wow your guests with creative cocktails? Try The Everly Restaurant and Lounge for classic cocktails or drinks with a twist. Enjoy a classic Negroni, or try something different like their famous Bee’s Knees cocktail – a mix of gin, fresh lemon, honey syrup, and lavender bitters – or their fan-favourite Earl Gray MarTEAni. The atmosphere is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of work.
Countless Breweries – If beer is more your speed, you’re in luck. Kingston is practically bursting at the seams with breweries to choose from, thanks to its long history of beer brewing which dates back to the 1790s. In fact, Kingston is home to Ontario’s oldest brewpub, and Canada’s oldest wine-producing pub – the Kingston Brewing Company.
Click here to learn about the nine other breweries in the city you can visit during your time in Kingston.
The Bank Gastropub – Feeling fancy? Pay a visit to The Bank Gastropub, inside of the Frontenac Club, a newly-opened boutique hotel in the heart of the city where they serve up hand-crafted cocktails and delectable bites. Their cocktails include surprises like their No Big Dill – which features Aperol, jalapeno tequila, dry curacao, and orange and dill shrub. It’s the perfect place for a nightcap (even if you’re not staying at the hotel – The Bank is open to the public).