Stories

The 200 story nodes created in commemoration of the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial can be searched by more than twenty themes, through the pins on the interactive map and by date on the timeline. 

You're viewing 42 stories about “Built Heritage

The Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway

1800-1900

With no Highway 401 connecting Kingston to the rest of Ontario, Kingston’s location on the shores of Lake Ontario contributed to its significance. The Great Lakes and the St.

The Architecture of William Coverdale

The Architecture of William Coverdale

1842-1851

Born in England in 1801, it is unclear when William Coverdale arrived in Kingston though the birth of his son in Kingston is recorded in 1833.

St Mary’s Cathedral before the enlargements of 1889. Source: Henderson booklet on Kingston c1888, coll. J. McKendry

Kingston’s Saints: St. Mary’s

1808-1880

A few Roman Catholics continued on in Kingston following the British capture of Fort Frontenac and their spiritual needs were first met by a small church built on the corner of William and Bagot st

Kingston Penitentiary circa 1906. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Construction of Kingston Penitentiary

1833-1835

The Penitentiary has long been one of the defining institutions of Kingston.

Sand Lake, Rideau Canal looking down, 34 miles from Kingston, Ontario circa 1854. Source:  Library and Archives Canada.

Kingston's Backcountry

1835-1868

Kingston’s hinterland is dominated by the Frontenac Axis of the Pre-Cambrian Canadian Shield consisting of outcrops of igneous and metamorphic rocks, swamps and forests.

St. Helen's

St. Helen's

1838

In July 1836, St Helen’s was begun for Helen and Thomas Kirkpatrick, a member of the Family Compact and a lawyer.

Regiopolis College

Regiopolis College

1839

Bishop Alexander Macdonell laid the cornerstone for Regiopolis, originally meant to be a seminary to train priests, in June 1839.

The view down Brock Street from Wellington Street circa 1875. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Establishing the Fabric of Kingston

1840-1847

Kingston wasn’t always the “Limestone City.” At one time, most of the houses were built of wood which contributed to the severity of the fire of April 17-18, 1840 that destroyed most of the downtow

Morton's Brewery Rebuilt

Morton's Brewery Rebuilt

1840-1864
In 1840, the Morton Brewery and Distillery reopened and included the buildings that now form the base of the Tett Centre and the Isabel Bader.
Bellevue House. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Bellevue House

1840 - present day

Once home to John A. and his first wife, Isabella, Bellevue House, an architectural gem and a National Historic Site, was officially opened as a museum by Her Majesty the Queen in 1967.

The Great Kingston Conflagration

The Great Kingston Conflagration

April 17, 1840

As American Steamer, the Telegraph, attempts to leave Coupler’s Wharf, sparks fly from its flume and ignite the largest fire in the history of Kingston.

102-114 Yonge St

102-114 Yonge St

1841

From the 1857-58 city directory: “The spacious mansion lately erected by Colin Miller, Esq., and its ample garden grounds, form a pleasing feature midst the bustle and business of a principal city

Hardy's Buildings

Hardy's Buildings

1841

During the First Capital period (1841-44), there was a flurry of building activity and Ontario Street, being on the waterfront, was a desirable site for commerce and industry.

Rockwood House

Rockwood House

1841

This Palladian villa is of national significance in the history of Canadian architecture.

St. Andrew's Mance

St. Andrew's Mance

1841

In late June 1841, George Browne, in town as the government architect while Kingston was the capital of Upper Canada and Lower Canada, called for tenders to build St Andrew’s Presbyterian Manse in

Decision Made to Build a Civic Building Suitable to the New Capital of Canada

Decision Made to Build a Civic Building Suitable to the New Capital of Canada

1841-1842

In 1841, the town of Kingston acquired what had been a privately owned lot at the corner of Ontario and Brock streets in an effort to gain as large a building site as possible for the proposed town

Students with home-built car, Queen's University, Kingston, ON circa 1916 by Clifford M. Johnston. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Queen's University

October 16, 1841 - present day

Sir John A. Macdonald attended and participated in the earliest Kingston meetings that led to the establishment of what is now Queen's University.

Commercial Mart

Commercial mart

1842

Early in 1842, while Kingston was still the capital of Upper Canada and Lower Canada, government architect George Browne called for tenders for “Three Cut-Stone Wholesale Stores” for merchant Charl

Newcourt House

Newcourt House

1842

During the First Capital, the Honorable Hamilton H.

Wellington Terrace

Wellington Terrace

1842

“Capt. Jackson’s new stone buildings” were mentioned in July 1842.

Criticism of the Construction of City Hall

Criticism of the Construction of City Hall

1843

In a letter to the editor, a “Kingstonian” has some harsh words about the city hall, “now in course of erection,” including: "It is said that there are no drains sunk, nor water closets erected; th

Bellevue House

Bellevue House

1843

In the early 1840s, the style of Bellevue House was unusual in the Kingston area and, in fact, in all the province, as a moderate-sized house in Italian or Tuscan style with the picturesque composi

St Mary's Cathedral

St Mary's Cathedral

1843

During the time when Kingston was the capital of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral was designed in Gothic Revival style by P.-L.

St. Mark's Church, Barriefield

St. Mark's Church, Barriefield

1843

“Built by Subscription A.D. 1843 A. Brunell Inventor” is inscribed on one of the church’s stones.

City Hall's Police Holding Cells

City Hall's Police Holding Cells

1844-1906

Only one of the four cells has a window, and it is yet to be determined if that was a later change. They range in size from 5’10½” x 7’11” to 9’7” x 10’.

Kingston City Hall and Market circa 1910. Source: Archives of Ontario.

Kingston's City Hall

1844-present day

Designed by famed architect George Brown and now a National Historic Site, Kingston's majestic City Hall was completed in 1844. Even today City Hall commands the Kingston skyline.

225 King St East at William. Source: photograph by Jennifer McKendry

Bank of Montreal

1845

It was unusual to find significant construction in the immediate aftermath of Kingston being abandoned as the capital in 1844, but the Bank of Montreal proved an exception, although the as-built st

Kingston Penetentiary North Lodge

Kingston Penitentiary North Lodge

1845

In the autumn of 1840, architect William Coverdale presented his plans for a stone perimeter wall to replace the decaying wooden fence protecting Kingston Penitentiary.

City Hall and Martello Tower circa 1916 by Clifford M. Johnston. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Martello Towers

1845-1848

The four British military fortifications called Martello Towers that still "guard" Kingston today, were constructed in 19th century Kingston.

Elizabeth Cottage

Elizabeth Cottage

1846

Why did architect Edward Horsey build this attractive and stylistically innovative house in 1846 during the depression after Kingston was abandoned as the capital of Upper Canada and Lower Canada?

Market Battery

Market Battery

1846

When the Market Battery was demolished in 1872 in today’s Confederation Park on Ontario St, we lost one of the most architecturally pleasing military installations in Kingston.

Cataraqui Cemetary

Cataraqui Cemetary

1850

By 1850, the year Cataraqui Cemetery was incorporated, the city’s graveyards were filled, and a new site for a “garden” or “rural” cemetery, well removed from the downtown, was needed.  Seventy acr

City Hall Skating Rink. Source: Queen's University Archives.

Early Skating in Kingston

1850 - present day

Located on the lake side of City Hall, near the Market Battery, the City Hall Skating Rink provided winter outdoor activity for the community long before there was a Parks and Recreation department

City of Kingston Water Works

City of Kingston Water Works

1851-present day

Built in 1851, the City of Kingston Water Works, affectionately known as the Pump House, was Kingston’s first water-pumping station.

156 King St East at Lower Union St. Source: photograph by Jennifer McKendry

Earl Place

1851

From the 1857-58 city directory: “The spacious mansion lately erected by Colin Miller, Esq., and its ample garden grounds, form a pleasing feature midst the bustle and business of a principal city

Roselawn (Donald Gordon Conference Centre), 421 Union St, in 1992. Source: photograph by Jennifer McKendry

Roselawn

1851

From the 1857-58 city directory: “Roselawn…a large heavy stone building surrounded with fine grounds, and forming a residence fit for any gentleman in the country, and with the tame deer sporting t

Crimean cannon in City Park. Source: City of Kingston.

Crimean War Cannons at the Sir John A. Statue in Kingston's City Park

1853 - present day

The two cannons flanking the Sir John A. statue in Kingston's City Park were captured in the Crimean War (1853 – 1856) as English trophies of war.

Sir John's Study at Earnscliffe in “The Dominion Illustrated,” 20 June 1891. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

British High Commissioners to Canada

1930 - present

Since 1930, British High Commissioners to Canada have had to learn a great deal about Sir John A. Macdonald.

Summerhill

Summerhill

1839

The Reverend George Okill Stuart, minister at St George’s, was an ambitious developer and – one suspects – an amateur architect.

1800181018201830184018501860187018801890190019101920193019401950196019701980199020002010