For this Ontario getaway, we turned to the artistic couple, Robert and Lisa Aucoin for some locals’ tips on how best to visit Kingston, Ontario.
Located on the north shore of Loughborough Lake, Iron Art’s studio and workshop are about 20 minutes north of Kingston. The Aucoins are passionate about their location and the many benefits of living in Ontario’s lake country. Robert Aucoin is an artist to his core; please read this designer’s story and about “Iron Art” here. Discover his small leather craft (belts, napkin rings) and metal productions (buckles, pendants) here.
Why visit Kingston?
Culture and fun: Situated on Lake Ontario, Kingston is halfway between Montreal and Toronto. This beautiful city has Lake Ontario lapping at its doorstep, and it is home to Canada’s oldest degree-granting school – Queen’s University (established 1841). Also, known as the “Limestone City,” many of Kingston’s public buildings were constructed in the 19th century with locally quarried stone. Before Ottawa became Canada’s capital, Kingston held the honour as the seat of the Province of Canada, from 1841-44.
While you are in the area, there are plenty of visits to do including historical sites, local artisans, food and craft markets and art galleries. The city has tree-shaded public parks and lots of water activities for families to enjoy.
Music: From our dock in late July, we can enjoy the hot summer nights and hear the sounds of “The Canadian Guitar Festival” across Loughborough Lake. This year’s show runs July 28-30th. In late August, Kingston hosts the “Limestone City Blues Festival” four evenings of blues under the stars (August 24-27, 2017) – details here.
Design inspiration for one of the Iron Art metal buckles, the guitar pick, came from both those shows. Limestone City Blues Festival inspired the blue version of the guitar pick.
Hungry in Kingston
We are lucky as there are many great chefs in Kingston, it’s a great city for food lovers to visit.
The Kingston Public Market is the longest continually running market in Ontario. On Saturday mornings, in July and August, local chefs in demonstrate their top recipes to the gathered crowds. Afterwards, for a small fee (roughly $2) the audience can sample the food, while it lasts.
Just a drive 20 minutes north of Kingston plan to visit the Limestone Organic Creamery, a certified organic farm since 1998. They sell their milk along with several locally produced items, such as honey and cheese. As a bonus, the Creamery is only five minutes from our studio.
Where to Sleep?
Kingston has accommodation options for everyone. There are charming B&B’s, beautiful hotels, and seasonal accommodations. Or, if you travel just outside of town you can stay in a tent and visit the hundreds of lakes and campgrounds surrounding Kingston. Here is a link.
“Must See” Attractions
There are so many it is hard to narrow it down!
These are only a few suggestions: Fort Henry, Kingston Penitentiary Tours, the Tett Centre, Agnes Etherington Gallery, Kingston Waterfront, Prince Edward County and Picton Beaches and Thousand Island Tours.
Kingston Tourism: Battery Bistro, Kingston City Hall, Kingston Market, Fort Henry Guard, Waterfront
Iron Art: Handwoven metal chair and guitar pick