In the year 1794, as we have seen, ten years after the first settlement by the Loyalists, the village of Cataraqui, as Kingston was then called, possessed 345 inhabitants. By the beginning of the 19th century, the number had risen to 500, and at the close of the first quarter it appears, from a census taken in 1824, that the population, exclusive of the military, amounted to 2,336. In 1836 it had increased to 6,000, and about the year 1855 it numbered between seven and eight thousand. By the close of the nineteenth century the population had increased to-o out 20,000, at or near which it has since remained almost stationary, being left far behind by towns recently planted in the wilderness. Various causes have contributed to this lack of progress. The limestone ridge, on part of which the city is built, is not adapted for raising heavy crops ; and though the surrounding country is far from unproductive, as the well-stocked market of Kingston testifies, it is not so generously fertile as the average land farther west, where, also, the climate is milder and more attractive to the settler. Taken as a whole, the back country to the north of Kingston seems to promise better returns to the miner than to the farmer, though the development of its mining industries belongs rather to modern than to Old Kingston.
Moreover, with passing years, the main foundations of its early prosperityits importance as a military station, its shipbuilding and forwarding business-have been to a great extent taken from it. The removal of its British garrison and the closing of the Government dockyard were serious checks to its prosperity, and its shipbuilding and forwarding business has been greatly curtailed since the opening, in the fifties, of the Grand Trunk Railroad. The latter has indeed absorbed a large proportion of the carrying trade which made it a busy entre-pot between the navigation of lake and river, when most of the grain and other goods had to be transferred at Kingston docks. When steamers were the only mode of transportation between Toronto and Montreal, supplemented by the stage-coach during the winter months, Kingston profited in many ways by her intermediate position.
In the spring of 1866, however, the loyal old city experienced a temporary revival of its old military enthusiasm, on the occasion of the threatened Fenian invasion from the United States. Once more the Canadian Government called forth its militia and volunteers for the defence of their country, and, in twenty-four hours, fourteen thousand men sprang to arms in response to the summons, rising, as Canadians always have done, to the emergency. Between regular and citizen soldiers, Kingston swarmed with troops, a large number of the volunteers being quartered in the homes of the citizens. Parades and military music enlivened the streets, and the small boys sang lustily a popular ditty, declaring that “beneath the Union Jack” they would “drive the Fenians back !” Happily the threatened peril passed by with little injury to Canada, beyond an encounter or two near the Niagara frontier, and the loss of a few brave lads at Ridgeway, chiefly of the Toronto “Queen’s Own.”
An “old resident” of Kingston has recently given, in the British Whig, some graphic sketches of the Kingston of sixty years ago, from which we quote the following interesting details of the busy scene which Kingston harbour at that period presented during the summer season.
“During the season of navigation the water-front and harbour was a busy place. Wharves extended from the shipyard to the Queen’s Wharf, at the Tetede-pont Barracks. The slips at the foot of the streets were all open. It was no unusual sight to see thirty or forty vessels, from a large, square-rigged three-master down to a fore-and-aft schooner, lying at anchor awaiting their turn to have their cargoes transhipped into barges to go down the river to Montreal. The transferring of cargoes was done by horse and tackle, there being no elevators such as we have in use to-day. The ferry communication between the city and Wolfe Island was by sailing-scows. After a few years the steamboat Gazelle was put on as a ferry boat. The American Express line of steamers that ran between Ogdensburg, N.Y., and Lewiston, N.Y., were the St. Lawrence, Niagara, Lady of the Lake, and Rochester, and called at Greer’s Wharf, now Craig & Co. The Toronto “mail steamers” were the Sovereign, Princess Royal, and City of Toronto, which called at Bowen’s Wharf, now Swift & Co. They were large side-wheelers, schooner rigged, with flush decks. Their hulls, painted black, with white ports, gave them the appearance of revenue cutters. The Montreal mail line consisted of the steamers Canada. Henry Gildersleeve, and Highlander, which were built for the river route, and were considered fine boats. They called at the Commercial Wharf, at the foot of Princess Street, where Richardson’s elevator now stands. The Bytown and Kingston line of passenger steamers were the Otter, Bytown, and Ottawa, small, side-wheel boats, the hulls constructed like a fiddle, and the wheels fitted in the recess, and called at the wharf at the foot of Queen Street, now the M. T. Company’s dock.
“The shipyard, now the Government drydock, was a very busy place, and a great many men were employed in it. Vessels of all descriptions were built for the lake, river and ocean trade. I remember seeing the hull of the Passport put together there, and was on her when she was launched in 1847.”
The Passport was one of a fine line of river and lake steamers which succeeded the “mail steamers” referred to in these reminiscences. It was owned by a company, of which the President was the Hon. John Hamilton, already mentioned as the son of the Hon. Robert Hamilton, and the father of the present Customs Collector of “the limestone city.” The line, of which some survivors still exist under altered names, included the Corsican, Spartan, Bohemian, and, not least important, the Kingston, which had the honour of carrying our gracious King, when the young Prince of Wales, from Montreal to Toronto. To the keen and unforgettable disappointment of the assembled people of the district, the Prince did not, however, land for his expected visit to the loyal old city, which, among many decorations in his honour, had allowed an emblematic arch to be constructed by the Orange body, collected in large numbers to do honour to their future King. It was deemed by the Prince’s advisers undesirable that the Royal cortege should pass under a sectional arch, and as the Orangemen would not consent to remove their arch, the Prince passed on his way, without landing ; unless the legend is to be trusted which avers that he landed incognito in the evening, in order to have a glimpse of a place in which he could not but feel a special interest, from its name, its origin and its history.
But there were other points of difference between that time and the present, which are also touched upon by the “Old Resident.” “Sixty years ago,” he says, “there were no gas-works, water-works, telegraph lines or railroads in the city. All travel was by steamboats in the summer and stages in the winter. I saw the gas and water mains laid, and the telegraph poles erected in the streets of Kingston. The first gas jet lit was in a window of Wilson’s buildings on Wellington Street, 1847. The street that evening was crowded with people, who thought it was a wonderful light. The telegraph was a mystery for me. Some of tbe boys thought. they could communicate with each other by striking the poles with stones. We tried the experiment at a distance of several blocks, but it proved a failure!”
“There were very few houses,” he tells us, “west of Bagot Street and south of Brock up to Barrie StreetLot Twenty-four, or Stuartsville, as it was then called. One could stand near the corner of the present Brock and Montreal Streets and see the blockhouse on Clergy Street south; and from that point one could look east and south. and have a clear view of King Street. Where Sydenham Street Methodist Church now stands was the Circus grounds. Between the property of the Bay of Quinte Hotelnow pulled down (corner Bagot and Brock Streets)and Regiopolis College. there was a deep quarry, from which the stone was taken to build the college and the walls of St. Mary’s Cathedral, then in course of erection.
When the quarry was filled up, the vacant space was fenced in and made into a garden, which became known as the `Vicar’s garden.’ The upper part of Princess Street, north from Chatham Street, was all vacant land to Williamsville. One could stand on the south side of Princess Street, a little above Division Street, and look south and west, and see nothing but vacant land. There was a large pond of water, surrounded by rushes, near Victoria Park of to-day. It was said that the pond was fed by springs; the water from it flowed north and south. The north stream flowed across Princess Street, at the old stone bridge, and thence down to Cataraqui Bay. The water flowing south ran down through the common, across Union Street, and through the hospital grounds into the lake.”
“There were also large woods between the common and the present city boundary line. Wild pigeons were frequently shot in the woods; plover were plentiful on the common, and wild duck were shot on the pond. The north and east end of the city, after passing Bay Street, was very sparsely settled. Between the city and the outer G. T. R. station there were heavy pine woods, where Indians used to camp and trap muskrats at the edge of the marsh, while the squaws made baskets. Wood,” he tells us, “was almost the only fuel used, and was sold at an average of $2.00 per cord. All kinds of provisions were, of course, much lower in price than now.”
Kingston was at that time still the headquarters of the military and naval forces of Upper Canada. Our “Old Resident” tells us that General Sir Richard Armstrong was Commandant of the forces. “The military force,” he says. “consisted of a company of Royal Engineers, a battery of Royal Field Artillery, two batteries of Royal Garrison Artillery, two regiments of the line, a commissariat, and hospital corps.”
“The naval force consisted of two side-wheel steamers, the Cherokee and Mohawk. These were brig rigged, and their figureheads represented the chiefs of the Cherokee and Mohawk tribes. There was also the screw steam tender Lady Barrie, and a number of bomb ketches. The bluejackets and marines numbered about four hundred men. During the season of navigation the Cherokee and Mohawk patrolled the lake alternately, one lying at anchor in the harbour while the other was on her cruise.
“The Commodore’s residence was a short distance from the Barriefield end of Cataraqui Bridge, at the entrance to the dockyard. When the vessels were laid up for the winter months the commissioned and warrant officers were quartered in the stone cottages facing the harbour, and the bluejackets and marines in the stone ship (“Stone Frigate”) now used by the R. M. C. Cadets as a barracks.
“The Royal Engineer offices were on Queen Street, in the building now occupied as the Albion Hotel. The field battery was quartered in the Artillery barracks¬ and the garrison batteries in Fort Henry and the Martello towers, which had just been completed. The Market Battery in front of the city buildings was in course of erection. One of the line regiments was quartered in the Téte-de-Pont Barracks, and the other in Fort Henry. The parade-ground then used for the field artillery is now our beautiful city park. The garrison artillery and line regiments paraded on Barriefield common.
“The fortifications were Fort Henry, Fort Frederick, and four Martello towersShoal Tower, Murney Point Tower, Point Frederick Tower, and Cedar Island Tower. There were also a number of blockhouses, situated as follows, one (still existing) on the bluff, Sydenham Street north, one on Clergy Street south, near the site of the old Grammar School ; one on Wellington Street south, near the city park ; one near King Street, also one at Kingston Mills, for the protection of the locks at the entrance of the Rideau Canal.
“The General’s residence was on Sydenham Street, opposite Artillery Park (recently removed to make way for the new and imposing Armouries building). The artillery officers were quartered in the Wellington buildings, and the Artillery Mess-house stood where the House of Providence now stands.”
Some other details of the appearance of old Kingston of sixty years ago will become more and more intercsting as old landmarks and features become more completely obliterated. The aspect of the market buildings, since partially demolished by fire, and the vicinity, is thus described:
“The shambles of the city buildings extended up to King Street. The front was a beautiful, massive structure, with a tall clock and belfry. On the right side of the entrance was a book and stationery store, and above it a job printing office ; on the left, an auction room, with the room above fitted up as a theatre. All the butchers were then compelled to occupy stalls in the shambles. Stone steps on each side of the building led down to the basement, which was occupied by eating-rooms and hucksters’ shops. The portion of the building now occupied by the Bank of British North America was the Star Chamber Saloon, and the end of the other wing, which is now the Council Chamber, was also a saloon. The basement in front of the building on Ontario Street was occupied as offices by a number of business men. The City Hall was used, as now, for public meetings, entertainments, etc., and Ontario Hall was occupied by Messrs. A. & D. Shaw, as a wholesale dry goods establishment. Most of the country trade was done in the vicinity of the market square, on market days.* The fish market was at the slip at the foot of Brock Street, where the fishing boats landed and were drawn up on the shore in rows, and the fish exposed for sale. On principal market days, from one to two dozen fishing boats would be in, when the fish, from salmon to perch, could be purchased direct from the fishermen.
“The sidewalks were covered with wooden awnings, which were kept nicely painted. Shopkeepers were allowed to exhibit goods on the sidewalks in front of their places of business, and cordwood was allowed to be piled on the side of the street, and cut and split there. Often a barricade of cordwood was made across the sidewalk during the night. Grocers who dealt in salt would have the barrels piled two or three tiers high on the outer edge of the walk, with a block of wood to keep them from rolling.
“The old post office was on Princess Street, north side, near King Street ; the old Military Hospital on Princess Street. where Elliott Brothers’ business house now stands. The old court house, with its tall spire, on the corner of Clarence and King Streets, with the gaol in rear, extending along Clarence street to the old cattle-pound, on the corner of Wellington Street, has been razed and the Custom house erected ; while the cattle-pound and police station, in rear of it, is now the site of the post office. *
” The common on the south side of Brock Street, below Regiopolis College, was the general playground for boys, where they flew their kites, played their games, and settled their disputes. Cricket was the principal game ; baseball and lacrosse had not been introduced.” The boys of Kingston seem, from the sketch, to have been daring and skilful boatmen, building and rigging boats for themselves, which they would sail about the harbour in all kinds of weather. “Almost any boy in Kingston,” we are told, “could swim, handle a boat, and skate.”
The principal hotels of that period are mentioned as the still-existing British American, the oldest in Kingston, if not in Ontario ; Irons, Ontario Street ; Lambton House, on Princess Street ; National, Barrack and Wellington Streets; City Hotel, and Bay of Quinte Temperance House, which has but recently made way for a modern building. The fire appliances of that time were of a somewhat primitive character, consisting of three engines, a hook and ladder truck, and a large rectangular tank, with leather buckets hung at the wheels. Of the engines, No. 1 was an old-fashioned machine, without suction hose, and worked from the sides by brakes; No. 2, Victoria, was a fine, powerful hand-engine, one of the best in her day, and No. 3, another of the same class, somewhat less powerful, and nicknamed the “Coffee Mill,” because worked at the sides by cranks. The Fire Brigade was composed of merchants and tradesmen, and when the City Hall bell rang out the fire alarm the bugles at the barracks would sound the fire call, and the men would fall in, ready to render assistance if required.
From the old-time picture given in the reminiscences above quoted, it will be seen that modern Kingston has had its share in the rapid progress of material improvement during the last sixty years. But it has not shared in the great expansion of trade and manufacture which has transformed in so many cases the villages of sixty years ago into the large and busy cities of to-day. From what has been said, it will be seen that, on the opening of the Grand Trunk Line, running at a distance of two or three miles from the city limits, it was inevitable that the great bulk of the business, as well as the passenger traffic, should forsake the little city which had been so long a halfway house in the highroad of travel and transportation.
The complete extinction of the long cherished hope that Kingston might yet become the capital of Canada was another discouraging disappointment to the Kingston of Cooper’s day, and for a time the place was slow to recover from these set-backs. But though it is now rather a tranquil university town than a bustling business centre, it does not lack a considerable number of thriving manufacturing enterprises, with good prospects of increase in their number and efficiency, and the growing development of the surrounding country will yearly promote more.
Although, as has been said, the shipbuilding interest has been greatly curtailed, the Messrs. Calvin’s shipyard on Garden Island, opposite the city, sends out many staunch barks of different grades, and the Government dry-dock is frequently in request for the repair of damaged vessels. If the number of the foundries has diminished since 1856, when they were five in number,- the survivors have greatly grown in size and importance. The old Ontario Foundry has become the large and productive Locomotive Works, employing nearly seven hundred hands, and turns out about seventy locomotives in the year. As this is one of Kingston’s most important industries, and as its history goes back for more than half a century, it may be given somewhat in detail. Originally established about 1850, for the building and repair of general machinery, it was sold by the first owners, Messrs. Tutton and Duncan, in 1834, to Messrs. Morton and Hinds, who began the manufacture of locomotivesrailway construction having then made some headway in Canada. At first only six engines a year were turned out, and these of only about one-sixth of the size of those now built in the works. About ten years later, the ” Canadian Engine and Machinery Company” was organised, including many prominent Canadians, who, not proving very successful, sold out in 1878 to the “Canadian Locomotive and Engine Company.” Still unsuccessful, the business was about to pass into the hands of the liquidators, when a number of leading Kingstonians united in an effort to save the enterprise for Kingston. They organised into a company in 1881, with Sir George A. Kirkpatrick as President, and Hon. Wm. Harty as Managing Director. Various causes, however, at that time interfered with its success, and after several vicissitudes, the Hon. Wm. Harty, who had, fourteen years before, resigned his position as Managing Director, again stepped in, and in association with Messrs. Haney and Bermingham, purchased the property from the liquidators in 1900, and organised the present business under the name of the “Canadian Locomotive Company,” which, under their energetic management and the increased demand for locomotives, has achieved its present great success.
The old Kingston Foundry still retains its name and place, and does good work in heavy castings of all kinds, also employing a large staff of workers. In the fifties, and for a good many years after, there were several small factories for the making of furniture, clocks, shoes, etc., which availed themselves of the convict labour of the Penitentiary, making it in some measure self-sustaining ; but the opposition of the workmen ‘s unions put a stop to that source of supply, and the factories, deprived of the advantage it gave them, ceased to exist.
A tannery still exists in the eastern portion of the city, and a broom factory, cereal factory, biscuit factory, vinegar works, and two cigar factories, employ a considerable number of workers, in the latter case chiefly boys and girls. A hosiery mill of considerable size and a large cotton mill, well equipped and up-to-date in its sanitary appliances, also employ many young people, besides a number of older hands. There are also some small planing mills in the eastern part of the city, and one brewery. A large distillery which flourished some fifty years ago has been long a thing of the past. Vinegar works have existed for some years, and a cereal industry has been recently established.
In the building of small boats, skiffs, etc., Kingston still keeps up its old prestige. Several boat-builders in the city, besides one at Barriefield, opposite, still turn out excellent and much-appreciated small craft, although the largc shipbuilding concerns of its early days, except at Garden Island, have quite passed away.
For the first half-century of its existence, Kingston, like other communities of that period, had to do without any public appliances for either water or light. If citizens possessed wells, they were fortunate ; otherwise they had to depend on such supplies of water as could be drawn from the lake in barrelsan industry which supplied employment for a number of carters. For light at night they used candles, of wax or tallow, and the streets were dimly illumined by a few oil lamps. About 1847, however, gas-works were undertaken as a private enterprise, notwithstanding the grave predictions of some engineers that the city’s hard limestone foundation would interpose serious obstacles to the laying of the pipes. As the gas-works were successfully completed and proved a success, a system of water-works, also undertaken by a company, was successfully carricd through, although the pipes had to be laid at a greater depth in order to protect them from frost. Electric light was in time added to the equipment, and as time went on and modern ideas of municipal ownership grew in favour, it was concern long known as “Morton’s Distillery,” which employed about a hundred men, and fattened a thousand head of cattle in the year. A mineral spring on this property was long a popular resort for Kingstonians, for its hygienic qualities felt to be greatly for the public advantage that both water-works and “heat and light” plant should become the property of the cityas the former have been for a number of yearsthe “heat and light” plant having been more recently acquired.
In connection with other improvements may be noticed the gradual abolition of intra-mural interment, and the laying out of the beautifully situated and picturesque Cataraqui Cemetery, about three miles Outside the city, close to the village of Waterloo. The first settlers’ burying-ground, beside St. Paul’s Church, with its time-honoured associations, has been often alluded to, and was succeeded by what was long called “the new burying-ground” in the northern part of the city, which was divided into three sections, used chiefly by the Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics, respectively. Thisnow a small parkwas, about the middle of last century discarded for the new and extensive cemetery of sixty-five acres then acquired and laid out with much taste and judgment, on a fine knoll, crested with stately pines, and possessing a noble view of the distant lake and country between. It has now become, indeed, a city of the dead, to which the heart of the living city is bound by invisible cords of wistful and sacred affection. Among its specially distinguished monuments, the stranger is sure to be shown those of Sir John A. Macdonald, and of the late Principal Grant of Queen’s University.
We cannot take leave of the Kingston of to-day without a reference to its two daily papers, lineal descendants of the earliest newspaper enterprise in old Kingston. The Daily News and Times may be called the grandchild of the Kingston Gazette, repeatedly quoted in these pages, regarding early events. Its immediate successor was the Chronicle and Gazette, the daily issue of which, when it appeared, was called the News, while the weekly still long retained in addition the old name of Chronicle; both issues being now merged into the News and Times,* the paper still retaining the Conservative policy of its progenitor. The British Whig, founded in 1832 by its enterprising first editor and proprietor, Dr. E. J. Barker, still maintains its place as a leading Liberal journal, with a large circulation and a fine establishment equipped with all modern improvements, its present owner and editor, E. J. B. Pense, M.P.P. for Kingston, being, as has been said, a grandson of the founder. There is also a weekly paperthe Freemanbut of entirely modern date.
Kingston, as has been already mentioned, possessed the first bank in Upper Canada, though that one did not long survive. It early became the site of the head office of the unfortunate Commercial Bank of the Midland District, and had an agency of the Bank of Upper Canada, which also came to an untimely end. It has long had, and still continues to have, agencies of the Merchants Bank, British North America, and Montreal, and now has branches of the newer Standard and Crown Banks, and the Bank of Commerce. It also long possessed two flourishing Building Societies, the Ontario and the Frontenac, but the former of these has recently ceased to exist. The leading insurance companies are, of course, well represented by active agencies.
But though Kingston is a fairly progressive business town, and employs in its industries a considerable body of operatives, she cannot be classed as a manufacturing or distinctively business city, notwithstanding the advantages of her local position, so hopefully defined by C. W. Cooper in 1856 as “the nearest Canadian port to the great Atlantic cities, the key to the upper lakes, the outlet of a valuable and extensive tract of country.” The effect of the changes which years and material progress bring, cannot always be calculated in advance. The opening up of the county by railway traffic has so changed conditions that Cooper’s list of advantages hardly counts in comparison with the disadvantage of being out of the direct line of railway travel. Though the Grand Trunk Railway found it necessary to meet the complaints and wishes of Kingstonians and of travellers generally by building a branch line into the city, the main body of traffic passes at a distance of at least two miles, while, in order to reach the line of the Canadian Pacific, it is necessary to take a branch line of the Kingston and Pembroke R. R. to Sharbot Lake. And as the commercial centre of the country has been ever moving farther west, Kingston, which can hardly be said to belong either to the east or the west, has been left in a sort of backwater, in spite of her fine harbour, her position at the meeting of lake and river, and her numerous and convenient wharves and docks.
A daily line of steamers does, indeed, still leave her wharves for the run down the St. Lawrence and up the lake, but the palmy days of the old “mail steamers” are gone, never to return. The modern R. & 0. Line is used mainly by tourists anxious to “run the rapids” and thread the mazes of the “Thousand Isles.” There is still, however, a considerable amount of transhipment of grain, from the large lake vessels to the smaller ones fitted for the canals of the St. Lawrence. In 1855 Kingston possessed one elevator, and of late years two others of much larger capacity have been built, of such massive proportions as to be the dominating, though not very aesthetic, feature in the approach to Kingston by water. But the main channel of transport seems to be no longer the river, impeded by its rapids, or the often treacherous lake, but the long, straight iron lines, over which the “iron horse” unweariedly presses his swift, undeviating course.
But if Kingston seems not to have been predestined for a busy manufacturing centre, it has, as we have seen, attractions of its own, which are not less valuable assets, all things considered, than those which pertain to busy mills and bustling ports. Its advantages of situation ; its quiet, tree-embowered streets, with their vistas of verdure ; the broad cincture of blue water almost surrounding the gentle hill-slope that looks down on wide lake and winding river ; its parks and open spaces ; its tranquil halls of learning, and its tasteful churches, all promote its attractiveness as a residential city, in addition to the scholastic and academic advantages that make it an almost ideal university town.
As a summer resort, Kingston has also manifold charmsoffering, from its facilities of water communication, a central point for pleasant excursions in various directions. Making Kingston his headquarters, the tourist may explore the pleasant pastoral scenery of the Bay of Quinte, with its early historical associations,the waterfront of the old “Midland District ;” may thread his way in steamer, skiff, canoe, sailing yacht or motor launch amid the mazes of the Thousand Islands ; may direct his wandering course through the locks and picturesque windings of the Rideau Canal, or may penetrate by rail into the remoter wilds of the rugged County of Frontenac, stretching its mineral-bearing rocks to the banks of the foaming Madawaska. This region has already become an important mining one, and it is likely to become more so in the future as its natural riches become further developed, an end which will be promoted by two new smelting works (for iron and zinc) which are about to be established at Kingston. The townships bordering on Kingston and Pittsburg TownshipsStorrington and Loughboroughcontain many lovely bits of scenery about the pretty inland lakes abounding in that region, and are already becoming a favourite haunt of the holiday roamer. Wolfe and Amherst Islands (the latter originally named the Isle of Tanty, or Tonti, from La Salle’s faithful lieutenant), as well as some smaller islands between them, can also supply pleasant summer quarters, cooled by the lake breezes. But the most popular summer resort of the Kingstonians is the Township of Pittsburg, on the opposite side of the Cataraqui River and bridge, with its pretty village of Barrie-field, named after an early Commodore, which looks across at the old city. of which it enjoys a magnificent sunset view, and up at the grey Fort Henry crowning the adjoining hill, now only fit for a barracks, and happily not required for any other purpose ; in token of which the masonry of its river wall is fast crumbling away. Just beyond the Fort hill, and opposite to the still picturesque Cedar Island, with its now roofless Martello tower, lies the charming summer home of our veteran statesman, Sir Richard Cartwright; and all along the shore of the St. Lawrence, for five or six miles below, are scattered summer cottages or little camps or settlements, in which many citizens find holiday repose and change of scene from city sights and sounds. Some ten or twelve miles farther down, the Thousand Islands open their alluring labyrinths, and the number and variety of the summer abodes interspersed amid the bosky isles suggest a happy modern Arcady.
With such an environment as has here been very imperfectly outlined, Kingston may well be called “beautiful for situation,” and her aesthetic advantages may yet be found to outweigh the more tangible material ones she has missed. May we not predict for our old Canadian town the enviable destiny of becoming, perchance, in the future a Canadian Weimar, the home of philosophers and sages, where the Arts and Muses may find a congenial abode, “far from the madding crowd,” and the thought-dispersing distractions of a too conventional and ambitious modern life? Such a destiny, with its idealising and uplifting influences, would be worthy of her comparative antiquity, her traditions, and the character of her founders.
The Story Of Old Kingston:A Growing TimeA Political CrisisKingston As The Capital Of CanadaAn Educational CentreChurches And CharitiesSixty Years AgoDecree Of Louis Xiv. Granting To La Salle The Seigniory Of CataraquiRead More Articles About: The Story Of Old Kingston