Thanks for visiting Jane’s Walk Kingston

The 2019 program for Jane’s Walk Kingston has come and gone.  We had a great selection with thirteen different walks including a number of brand new ones.  Have a look at the walk descriptions below to get a feel for the variety.  
We have just completed our fifth consecutive year for the Jane’s Walk Weekend in Kingston.  Some walks will be repeated again in 2020  (1-3 May) but we have some new ones lined up already.  The walks are given by volunteers, are free, happen rain or shine and usually take about 60 to 90 minutes.  If you would like to be kept informed, please add your name to the email list and we will ensure that you are notified when the program for 2020 has been posted.

Click here to get on the email list. 

If you are interested in developing and leading a walk for the Jane’s Walk Weekend, please send an email. to contact the City Co-ordinator – click here.  

Friday 3 May 2019

Saturday 4 May 2019

Sunday 5 May 2019

10 am – Inner Harbour: Past, Present and Future

10 am – World War I Memorial Walk

10 am – The Isabel, The Tett, Bandages and Beer

CANCELLED – 10 am – Queen St Architecture – CANCELLED

11:30 am – Exploring Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boilermakers 1830-1970 11:30 am – Jane’s Walk at the Tett with Artist, Andy Berg
12 noon – K&P Trail Bicycle Tour 12 noon – Memorial Centre Grounds 
1 pm – Walking Around St. George’s Block 1 pm – Kingscourt: Airfield to Wartime Housing 1 pm – World War I Memorial Walk

2 pm – 200 Years of Life and Commerce in Portsmouth Village

3 pm – Walking Around St. George’s Block 3 pm – The Evolution of Old Sydenham 3 pm – Walking Around St. George’s Block
5:30 pm – Belle Park  4 pm – Barriefield Village  

Memorial Centre Grounds: from Loyalist Land Grant to Community Hub

1 V23-A-Base-Undated-3 - Baseball Game
Early 20th century baseball game on the fairgrounds with Crystal Palace (York & Alfred Sts) and grandstand (Alfred St) in the background.

Confirmed for 2019

Date:  Sunday 5 May 2019    Time: 12 noon

Walk Description:  A walking tour of the Memorial Centre grounds with a look at the historical and present day uses including: purchase by the British government for defence of Kingston, location of the Crystal Palace exhibition hall, the development and construction of the Memorial Centre and a multi-purpose green space for Williamsville and Kingscourt Districts.

Meeting Place: at the Albert Street entrance

Tour Leaders and Organizers:  John Grenville, Williamsville Community Association

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Barriefield Village

Barriefield image
William Michael House c l819. (master armourer at the Royal Naval Dockyard), shown c l898 with the Leader family.  One of the earliest brick houses remaining in the City of Kingston.

Confirmed for 2019

Date:  Sunday 5 May 2019    Time: 4 pm

Walk Description:  A walking tour of historic Barriefield Village – the 1st Heritage Conservation District in Ontario

This walk will include some historical background that resulted in the settlement of Barriefield with its distinctive architecture.  Stories about some of the former residents and their roles while viewing their charming homes will be included.  Also some recent struggles to conserve the heritage of this unique village from unsympathetic development will be recounted.  Length of tour approx 1 ¼ hour

Meeting Place:  Meet on the street at the entrance to St. Mark’s church.  Park on the street.  Please do NOT park on the St. Mark’s church property.

Accessibility Note:  Hills and some uneven areas, so challenging for wheelchairs and those who have difficulty walking uncertain terrain.

Tour Leaders and Organizers: Maureen Farr-Eagan and Christine Sypnowich, Barriefield Villagers, members of the Barriefield Village Association

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Kingscourt: Airfield to Wartime Housing

1 Wartime Housing1 Hangar and clubhouseConfirmed for 2019

Date: Saturday 4 May 2019   Time: 1 pm

Walk Description:  Learn the story of Kingston’s first airport, and walk through the 1942 wartime housing neighbourhood.

Kingscourt was farmland until 1929 when  the Flying Club of Kingston leased land to create the first Kingston Municipal Airfield with grass runways.  The Club held huge annual air meets in the early 1930s that attracted as many as 10,000 spectators.  With the advent of WWII, the Club moved to what is now Norman Rogers Airport to take part in the British  Commonwealth Air Training scheme, and the grass airfield was closed.  By then, Alcan was making aircraft parts for the war effort, and needed housing for its workers.  During the winter of 1942/43, Wartime Housing Ltd (the precursor to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp) built 250 prefab houses, assembly-line fashion.  These houses were meant to be taken down after the war, but instead were sold to returning veterans and 75 years later, most of them are still here!  We’ll walk some of the wartime housing streets and end with coffee inside one of the houses.

Terrain:  sidewalks, curbs, a few steps

Meeting Place:   We’ll meet in the parking lot at Ecole Cathedrale Early Years Campus (formerly St Peter Catholic Elementary School) at 48 Seventh Avenue.  

Tour Leaders and Organizers:   Lucinda Bray and Deb Brennan head up the History Committee of the Kingscourt Community Association, and live in one of the wartime houses.

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The Isabel, The Tett, Bandages and Beer

2 Tett and Isabel image

Confirmed for 2019

Date:  Sunday 5 May 2019          Time: 10:00 am

Walk Description:  A tour of the now world renowned Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and the irrepressible, bubbling Tett, home to artisans and performance groups.  Both sites show evidence of their heritage as what was once the largest brewery in North America and later as hospitals during World War I.  The tour of the Isabel, which highlights the historical and architectural features, includes the new (2014) state of the art Department of Film and Media Studies, and their preview theatre.  We will join Andy Berg’s artist’s walk at 11:30.

This tour includes a leisurely stroll outside up the hill through the old brewery grounds, past the lovely St. Helen’s and Stone Gables.  Participants are then invited to visit the many artisans’ shows in the Tett this weekend.

Meeting Place:  Foyer of The Isabel at 10 am.

Terrain:  There are some outdoor stairs and uphill walking.

Tour Leaders and Organizers:  Carol McKay, with the support of Julie Clarke of the Isabel and Danielle Folkerts of the Tett; guides are trained by the Isabel and Tett.

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200 Years of Life and Commerce in Portsmouth Village

1892-1904 Portsmouth p22 fire insur coll.J.McKendry crop labelsConfirmed for 2019

Date: Sunday 5 May 2019   Time: 2 pm

Walk Description: Although a major part of life in Portsmouth Village since the 1830s has been associated with the Penitentiary, the harbour in Portsmouth Village has been a place of maritime trade, ship-building, industry and entrepreneurship. In the mid 1800’s this included wharves, marine railways, a tannery and a brewery (and taverns!) all in states of active growth or demise. Facilities (residential water and sewage, electricity etc) were enhanced when it became part of Kingston in 1952.The harbour was transformed to host the sailing events for the 1976 Olympics. Our tour will commence near the Town Hall in Aberdeen Park, review the residential and commercial buildings around the park and discuss the daily activities of the Penitentiary. We will then walk along Yonge Street and describe the industrial, residential and commercial buildings that have survived or been demolished with stories of their occupants. The Portsmouth Tavern and the Lakeview Manor provided much colour to the village. We will end along the shore in the area once dominated by the tannery at the foot of Mowat Ave.  Please  take account of traffic when crossing King St and walking along Yonge St.

Start: Aberdeen Park near Town Hall

Parking: Portsmouth Olympic Harbour

Walk Leaders: David More (Historian), Michael Sayer (resident); Portsmouth Community Association

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Walking Around St. George’s Block

Peter Gower - Jane's Walk 2

Confirmed for 2019

Dates & Times:  Friday 3 May 2019, 1pm and 3pm;  Sunday 5 May 2019, 3pm

Walk Description:  Looking across the street at the good, the bad and the ugly as we walk around Clarence, Wellington, Johnson and King.

Meeting Place:  Boucher Park on Clarence Street

Walk Leader:  Peter Gower

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Kingston WWI Memorial Walk and Podcast

4 memorial walk

Confirmed for 2019

Dates & Times: Saturday 4 May 2019. 10 am; Sunday 5 May 2019, 1 pm.

Walk Description:  The year 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the “war to end all wars.”  In recognition, PeaceQuest is pleased to invite you to accompany us on this “walk to remember.” The Kingston WWI Memorial Walk honours the lived history of Kingstonians who were affected by and those who served in WWI. This walking tour will focus on monuments, family homes, individual stories and other relevant points around downtown Kingston.  This approximately one hour, twelve-stop audio tour invokes the lives of many local individuals who both lived and lost during that tragic conflict.  We hope you will be touched by their stories, inspired to learn more about their contributions, and challenged to examine your own assumptions about war and peace.

Meeting Place:  Please meet in front of the Kingston Tourist Information Building on Ontario Street (across from City Hall) at least 5 minutes before each start time.  The duration of this walking tour will be around 1 hour and traverse about 1km of city sidewalks and parks.   Though this walk can be accessed by individuals through their electronic smart devices, for the purposes of the Jane’s Walks, the complete audio will be made available to all walkers through a wireless speaker provided by your tour guide. Everyone is welcome!

Tour Commentator: rH ThomsonLed by members of PeaceQuest, renowned Canadian actor R.H. Thomson will guide you through Kingston’s historic city core and give you a glimpse of the city as it was during World War I.

Tour Guides: Peacequest members – Ann Boniferro, Bronek Korczynski

Special Notes:  If you are unable to join us for a group walk at either of the times below, know that you may take the tour at any time as an individual by downloading the audio files and brochure as noted.

  • Download a DIGITAL copy of the brochure
  • Download a PRINTER-FRIENDLY copy of the brochure
  • Search “Kingston Memorial Walk” on iTunes or your favourite podcast app
  • Listen on SoundCloud or …
  • Use one of the two embedded players below (select “Play in Browser” if you don’t want the SoundCloud App)
  • Hearing impaired? Download the full audio script here
  • No Data? Download the audio files directly to your device

Visit the Memorial Walk page to learn more.

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K&P Trail Bicycle Tour

Outer Station - K&P Trail
Kingston’s Outer Station (1855-56) in better days

Confirmed for 2019

Date: Saturday 4 May 2019      Time: 12 noon

Ride Description:  Jane Jacobs was an avid bicyclist. This ‘walk’ will be a bicycle tour of the area north of Belle Park going up the original K&P line to Montreal Street. We will explore the remains of the old CN main line and the HISTORIC GRAND TRUNK Outer Station where passenger rail used to arrive in Kingston FROM 1855 UNTIL 1972. We will proceed along the old rail line to the new K&P trail which proceeds north to Elliott and John Counter Boulevard (and beyond). After exploring where the K&P line used to run across a rock cut to Division St we will turn back and follow the K&P trail south through the old NORTH KINGSTOWN industrial area, as far as Quattrocci’s market at the corner of Railway and Montreal Streets. We will then return to Belle Park using the old K&P line. Total time will be 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

Terrain: The bicycle tour will travel at a very slow pace. We will travel across a foot path between Montreal St and the K&P trail following the old CN rail line. This section may require us to dismount and ‘walk’ our bicycles (approximately 600 meters). Otherwise most of the trip is on pavement or hard packed trail.

Meeting Place:  Belle Park entrance

Tour Leaders and Organizers: Roger Healey will lead the ‘walk.’ Bruce Bursey provided organizational help.

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Kingston’s Inner Harbour: Past, Present and Future

kingston inner harbour 1924
This 1924 air photo captures the industrial character of Anglin Bay. Notice the Davis Drydock, and the remains of the Grand Trunk Railway embankment to the right (National Air Photo Library)

Confirmed for 2019

Date: Saturday 4 May 2019    Time:  10 am

Walk Description:  For over 300 years, the Inner Harbour has been an integral part of Kingston’s Indigenous, French, British, Industrial and Natural Heritage.  This hour-long walking tour will explore aspects of that history.  Current issues such as turtle habitat, a legal art wall, accessible trail construction and the pros and cons of possible future developments will also be highlighted.

Meeting Place:  Anglin Bay parking lot @ the intersection of Wellington and Bay Sts. in downtown Kingston.

Accessibility:  Terrain predominantly accessible asphalt trail but towards the end of the tour, it will also include a section of stone-dust path and the grassy access to the garden behind Rideaucrest. Participants in wheelchairs are free to leave the tour towards the end to avoid those less accessible sections.

Tour Leaders and Organizers: Mary Farrar (Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour)

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Belle Park

Belle Park - 1998 Orthophoto, City's website
1998 Orthophoto Map of Belle Island (aerial photograph, City of Kingston website)

Confirmed for 2019

Date: Friday 3 May 2019   Time: 5:30pm

Walk Description: Discover more about the natural and cultural history of this 44-hectare (108-acrre) city park along the Great Cataraqui River.  From marshland to municipal landfill to tennis court and a 9-hole golf course to now.

Meeting Place:  Club House steps, Belle Park, 731 Montreal St.

Parking:  is available.

Walk Leader:  Mary Louise Adams

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The Architecture of Queen Street – CANCELLED

1870s St Pauls by R.W. Barrow Coll. of J. McKendry
1870s photo by R.W. Barrow of the Lower Burial Ground (1783 to 1863), St. Paul’s Anglican Church (datestone 1845, rebuilt 1854) and Church Hall (1872) at the corner of Queen and Montreal Street (Coll. of J. McKendry)

Walk Description:  Due to unforeseen circumstances, it has been necessary to cancel this walk.  This walk will involve a visit of the listed and designated properties from the base of Queen Street up the hill, lasting about 90 minutes.

Tour Leaders and Organizers: Shirley Bailey (Frontenac Heritage Foundation)

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The Evolution of Old Sydenham

Sydenham Ward WalkConfirmed for 2019

Date: Saturday 4 May 2019   Time: 3 pm

Walk Description:  The walk will be a tour of the Old Sydenham Heritage Conservation District, a downtown neighbourhood bounded by Johnson, King and Barrie Streets. It is one of Canada’s most complete and diverse collections of built heritage resources, with many layers of history. The area has examples of over 200 years of building activity, from the Loyalist period to the present, with properties constructed in a variety of architectural styles and building materials. Within this context, I will describe important associations with people and events, and there will be reference made to earlier occupation by Indigenous and French groups. The tour will include descriptions of everyday life during key periods in the area’s history, such as the War of 1812 and the capital era. There will be explanations of the underlying topography, the street and block pattern, and the different phases of development. The tour will begin at the waterfront, loop up through City Park to the courthouse, and then meander through streets and lanes down to King Street and back to the meeting place. Overall, the tour will show the remarkable architectural and cultural history of this slowly evolving urban setting.

Meeting Place:  Newlands Pavilion, Macdonald Park (next to the Murney Tower at the foot of Barrie Street)

Terrain:  The walk will primarily use City sidewalks but some parts may involve unpaved rear lanes and paths across parkland, so there will be some slightly uneven terrain.

Tour Leader: Dr. Carl Bray

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Exploring Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boilermakers, 1830-1970

Ontario Street - Geo Lilley, QUA, 1950
Aerial View of Kingston looking north along Ontario Street, circe 1950 (George Lilley (1918-2003), Queen’s University Archives)

Confirmed for 2019

Date: Saturday 4 May 2019  Time: 11:30 am

Walk Description: Explore the amazing history of Ontario Street, a space that helped define and form Kingston as a City. After months of compiling research for the recent PumpHouse exhibition; Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boilermakers 1830-1970, City of Kingston Curator, Tom has lots to tell you! You can expect exciting stories about intriguing, impressive people, fire, explosions, industry, transportation, archaeology, everyday vices and much, much more.   

Meeting Place: Front lawn of PumpHouse, 23 Ontario Street, Kingston

Terrain: urban sidewalks

Tour Leaders and Organizers: Tom Riddolls, City of Kingston Curator

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JANE’S WALK AT THE TETT with Artist, Andy Berg

Aqua Viva Unveiling at the Tett (003)
Unveiling of Aqua Viva as part of Culture Days 2017 at The Tett

Aqua Viva at the Tett
Confirmed for 2019

Date: Sunday 5 May 2019      Time: 11:30 am

Walk Description: Visit the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning for an artist led walk with local sculptor, Andy Berg. Berg is the Great Art for Great Lakes artist who worked with the community of Kingston in a local Canada 150 project starting in the early summer of 2017. Over the course of the summer, the ceramic wall work project entitled Aqua Viva, was facilitated by Berg in community workshops at the Tett Centre and over 200 individual community made pieces were fired in the Kingston Potters Guild kilns. The finished Aqua Viva ceramic wall work is now permanently installed in the main stairwell at the beautiful  Tett Centre and was unveiled for Culture Days 2017.

For Jane’s Walk Kingston 2019, Andy Berg will meet participants in the front
foyer of the Tett Centre. The walk will begin with an artist’s view of the waterside of the Tett. Learn how our magnificent local Great Lake became the focus of the community art project Berg facilitated at the Tett and how the community took part in this project through a Lake Ontario art walk and Tett clay maker workshops. Together we will make our way through the Tett, to the main stairwell for a viewing and an artists talk about the completed wall work, Aqua Viva. This artist led tour will also include a visit to the Kingston Potters Guild facilities in the Tett (time allowing).

Jane’s Walk Kingston special feature: Visitors will be lead by the artist through a hands on art experience with clay that will connect them to Aqua Viva in the Tett and Lake Ontario at its waterfront.

Meeting Place: front foyer of the Tett Centre

Tour Leaders and Organizers: Andy Berg

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Janes Walk Poster 2019

Please help us promote Jane’s Walk Weekend.  Click here for a pdf of the Jane’s Walk Kingston Poster 2019 and print in colour

Janes Walk Poster 2019- blank for groupOr use this poster to promote specific walks.  Click here for a pdf of this poster and print in colour.

Who was “Jane” of Jane’s Walks?  For information on Jane Jacobs, click here

What tours are taking place in other cities?