Kingston's Slums

1840-1850
Fire insurance map of Kingston circa 1911. On this map the Stuartsville of the 1840s is contained within lots 17, 20 and 21, now near the heart of Queen's University campus. The centre of Picardville is lot 11 notable for the mention of Frontenac Park, now McBurney Park (locally referred to as Skeleton Park), but was in the 1840s still the Upper Burial Ground. Source: Library and Archives Canada.Pinterest
Fire insurance map of Kingston circa 1911. On this map the Stuartsville of the 1840s is contained within lots 17, 20 and 21, now near the heart of Queen's University campus. The centre of Picardville is lot 11 notable for the mention of Frontenac Park, now McBurney Park (locally referred to as Skeleton Park), but was in the 1840s still the Upper Burial Ground. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Kingston had two slum neighbourhoods in the 1840s: Stuartsville west of Barrie Street, and Picardville between Princess Street and Raglan Road. Stuartsville was populated by poor Irish immigrants who were unable to live in the city or pay city taxes. Meanwhile, Picardville was originally settled by French citizens fleeing the Revolution, and declined over time. Because both areas were outside city limits, land was cheaper, taxes were lower, and certain building codes did not apply. These neighbourhoods became rife with taverns, disease, and prostitution, and were regular subjects of consternation among Kingstonians.