Our Summer Vacation July 14-17, 2013!

For several years in a row, we have had a tradition of hitting the road and discovering our beautiful Ontario. This summer the road led us to Kingston Ontario: a World Heritage Destination.

Kingston is a city located in Eastern Ontario where the Saint Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario.

Kingston is nicknamed the “Limestone City” because of the many heritage buildings built using local limestone.  It is a city rich in history, culture, critically acclaimed attractions and cuisine.  Kingston is naturally beautiful and there is plenty to see.  It is also surrounded by other beautiful attractions including Upper Canada Village. Making Kingston our home for four days also offered a great opportunity to cruise the famous 1,000 Islands. Kingston was a perfect destination for adventure this year.

After our arrival on Sunday July 14th we went sightseeing until late into night.  The weather was perfect and remained so for the rest of our trip. 

Onboard the 1000 island cruise ship

On the second day we boarded a tour boat and cruised the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for 3 hours.  The heart of the 1,000 Island Cruise was a narrated tour which was a great benefit for one of us who is visually impaired. We had a lovely buffet lunch on board. The cruise featured live music and entertainment paired to provide the perfect 1000 Islands experience.

The third day was very busy for us.  We started by touring Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada which is a 19th-Century British military fortress. It sits high on a natural cliff facing the confluence of the eastern end of Lake Ontario with the beginning of the St. Lawrence River.  Fort Henry was built as a defence of the Rideau Canal and the Naval Dockyard and was a key fortification among a series of military works designed to defend Kingston and its harbour. It has provided a memorable experience since 1832.

Later that afternoon we visited Jones Falls Defensible Lockmaster’s House, a National Historic site. It was a nice spot to explore on a summer day. Watching boats traverse the series of locks, exploring the displays and learning about the history of the construction of the canal. A beautiful piece of engineering it is!

The late night Haunted Walk of Kingston was probably the most interesting part of the adventure. It was a guided historical and ghost tour of Kingston. It was quite the experience for some of us who are used to going to bed early.

We thought it was hilarious walking on the Streets of Kingston till midnight listening to ghost stories – good luck if you wanted a good night’s sleep! After a long day, we settled for dinner after midnight – yes dinner after midnight.  Fortunately Kingston is alive and kicking at night!

Group photo - Upper Canada Villlage

The next morning was the end of our trip. The night was short but it was worth staying out late.  We checked out of our hotel and our original plans were to get on the road to go home.  Those plans had changed thanks to the management at Fort Henry who gave us complimentary passes to Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg. The adventure was to continue! It was a beautiful drive and was greatly enjoyed. Touring Upper Canada Village was a magical experience, transporting us back in time to the 1860s. A key part of the experience was the authentic buildings that make up the village, the activities that each housed, and of course, the people who lived there.  Founded in 1961, Upper Canada Village is one of the largest living-history sites in Canada. In this village, life is depicted in a rural English Canadian setting during the year 1866.

We returned to Toronto on Wednesday just after 10pm.  We were tired but happy. It took us two days to recuperate from exhaustion – just relaxing indoors and catching up with sleep- but the tour of Kingston was amazing and would definitely do it again.

Thank you to the management of the cruise ship for not only making special parking arrangements for us but for also going out of their way to set up a lunch table on the lower deck so that it was accessible for us.

Thank you to the management at Fort Henry for the free passes. And a special thank you to our support staff: Bernice Gatitu, Michelle Bailey, Veveen Black-Eke and Veronica Kahiga.

Till next year,
Chris, Diana, Jason and Kim