We’re back – get ready to walk          After  a Covid break in the delivery of Jane’s Walks in Kingston, we are back and have an excellent program of 17 different walks for 2023. 

The schedule below is the final (we hope) and illustrates the variety of walks that will be available this year.  Check the website before you go to make sure that there are no last minute changes.  Note the two bonus tours at the bottom of the schedule.  

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The walks are given by volunteers, are free, happen rain or shine and usually take about 60 to 90 minutes.  

Friday 5th May 2023

Sat 6th May 2023

Sunday 7th May 2023

8am – The Bird’s History of Humans in Kingston 8am – The Bird’s History of Humans in Kingston

10 am – Kingston’s Inner Harbour: Maritime Heritage & Current Political Issues

8am – The Bird’s History of Humans in Kingston

10 am – Williamsville: The Evolution of the Built Form, Now and Then and Then……..

11:30 am – Exploring Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boilermakers
12 noon – Biking the K&P Trail 12 noon – A Walk Through the History of Victoria Park

12:30 pm – Walk the Block: Colborne and Queen Streets

–  1 pm – Sick City: Unlocking the Secrets of Kingston’s Medical History 
1 pm –   Barriefield Village
1 pm – Feet, forts and the fur trade: A glimpse into French Cataraqui
2 pm – The former Tannery site 2 pm – Cataraqui Cemetery
2 pm – Kingscourt: Airfield to wartime housing
3 pm – Cataraqui Cemetery     

3 pm – The Evolution of Old Sydenham

3:30 pm – Lemoine Point Farm: from the other side of the fence
5:30 pm – Another Perspective: The Cataraqui River 4 pm – Cataraqui Cemetery

Plus bonus walking tours:

Click on the walk titles for more information.

Victoria Park: A Walk Through the History of the Park

Victoria Park
Constructing the Octagonal Washroom in Victoria Park, 1940

Date: Sunday 7 May 2023  Time: 12 noon

Walk Description: In 1876 the City of Kingston acquired land from the federal government to create Victoria Park.  This tour will look at the City’s early acquisition of parkland (Ontario didn’t pass The Public Parks Act until 1883), the park’s development and uses through the years, and the important role that is it playing as the population increases year by year in Williamsville District.

Meeting Place:  in the park at Mack Street and Frontenac Street

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.

Date: Saturday 6 May 2023   Time: 1 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: Frontenac Schools Museum, 414 Regent Street, Barriefield
Tour Leader and Organizer:  Maureen Farr-Eagen and Christine Sypnowich, Barriefield Village Association

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Sick City: Unlocking the Secrets of Kingston’s Medical History

Date:  Saturday 6 May 2023 Time:  1 pm

Walk Description:  Walk in the footsteps of some of Kingston’s earliest residents and arrivals as they engage in a quest for health care in the Limestone City. The story of the establishment of one of Canada’s oldest public hospitals, Kingston General Hospital, is one full of success and sacrifice, triumph and tragedy. Join us for a fascinating look into the lives of those that lived, arrived and died here, as we unlock the secrets of Kingston’s medical history.

This walking tour runs rain or shine! Please dress for the weather, bring water and protect yourself from the sun.

This walking tour is ­­­­90 minutes in duration (20 minutes active walking time, 1.5km). The tour will stick to paved sidewalks, roads and paths, and allows for several places to sit at multiple stops.

Physical distancing between groups of guests will be encouraged.

Meeting Place: in front of the Museum of Health Care,

Tour Leader:  Museum of Health Care at Kingston

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 Williamsville:  The Evolution of the Built Form, Now and Then and Then……..

Date: Sun 7 May 2023  Time: 10 am

Walk Description:  Meet at the corner of Macdonnell and Prinncess (Money Mart) to tour a few blocks down Princess Street with the city’s Director of Planning Services. He will explain the evolution of planning approaches to developments in Williamsville District on Kingston’s main street.

Meeting Place: corner of Princess and Macdonnell Streets (Money Mart parking lot)

Route:  on sidewalk – about 1 km, about 60 minutes

Walk Leaders and Organizers: Tim Park, Director, Planning Services, City of Kingston

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Cataraqui Cemetery

1907 Postcard showing part of Cataraqui Cemetery

Date: Saturday 6 May 2023 Time: 3 pm
Date: Sunday 7 May 2023  Time: 2 pm and 4 pm

Walk Description:  Peter Gower will lead a short walk in part of Cataraqui Cemetery, talk about its history, visit graves of some of its distinguished inhabitants, and show where other notables lay. A guide for other walks will be available, which you can take in your own time.

Meeting Place:  Enter Cataraqui Cemetery from John Counter Boulevard, meet at the modern office for the Cataraqui Cemetery about 100 metres inside the main gate

Walk Leaders and Organizers:  Peter Gower

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Feet, forts and the fur trade: A glimpse into French Cataraqui

Minet’s 1682 plan of French Cataraqui

Date: Sunday 7 May 2023  Time: 1 pm

Walk Description: Between 1673 and 1758, two small villages and a fur trade post were established on the north shore of the lake near a river. Named Cataraqui, it became an important part of New France and the French Empire. Tour the key locations of Cataraqui during the time of French settlement, including the Recollet mission, Indigenous village, habitant village, and Fort Frontenac.

Meeting Place:  Corner of Barrie and Bagot Streets in City Park

Terrain:  Urban parks and streets. Swift walking between stops is necessary to make the return. Bikes are welcome.

Tour Guides: Archaeologist Sue Bazely and Historian Sean Marrs

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Another Perspective: The Cataraqui River

Date: Friday 5 May 2023       Time: 5:30 pm

Walk Description: Speakers on:

    • history of lower Barriefield
    • the river as a waterway for humans
    • the river as habitat for birds and fish
    • geology

Route: along Green Bay Road – short earth path, road  — about 1 km

Length: 60 minutes

Meeting Place: parking lot behind the Constantine Arena (RMC), north side of Highway 2

Tour Leaders and Organizers: River First YGK

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Kingston’s Inner Harbour: Maritime Heritage & Current Political Issues

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)

Date: Saturday 6 May    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 the $70 million”clean-up” proposal by Transport Canada involving dredging and capping of sediments at the Doug Fluhrer Park shoreline, CityFlats proposed apartment complex near the Woolen Mill , turtle habitat, the legal art wall, and updates on the status of the K&P trail route and  the North King’s Town secondary plan will also be discussed.

Meeting Place: in the Anglin Parking Lot at the intersection of Wellington and Bay Streets

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)

Date: Friday 26 May 2023 (please note the speciial date)  Time: 5:30 pm

Walk Description: Discover more about the natural and cultural history of this 44-hectare (108-acrre) city park along the Great Cataraqui River. From marsh to dump to golf course, this land is now being redesigned as a major park for the city.

Meeting Place:  Main entrance and parking lot, 731 Montreal Street (across from the Legion)
*Bus stops right there
Walk Leader:  Mary Louise Adams, on behalf of  The Belle Park Project and River First YGK

Walk the Block: Colborne and Queen Streets

Barrie & Colborne Streets

Date: Sunday 7 May 2023  Time: 12:30 pm

Walk Description: Speakers on:

  • heritage buildings and history
  • update on development plans next to the Renaissance Event Venue
  • neighbours on the neighbourhood
Meeting Place: meet at Barrie and Colborne
Route: Barrie to Queen to Chapman to Colborne – sidewalk, flat
Length: 90 minutes
Tour Leaders and Organizers:  Friends of Queen Street Kingston
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The Evolution of Old Sydenham

Sydenham Ward WalkDate: Saturday 6 May 2023    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

Terrain: level terrain, sidewalks, lawn and gravel laneways

Tour Leader:  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, circa 1950 (George Lilley (1918-2003), Queen’s University Archives)

Date: Saturday 6 May 2023  Time: 11:30  am

Walk Description: Explore the amazing history of Ontario Street, a space that helped define and form Kingston as a city. Based on research conducted for the PumpHouse exhibition; Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boilermakers 1830-1970, join two City of Kingston curators to hear exciting stories about intriguing, impressive people, fire, explosions, industry, transportation, archaeology, everyday vices and more.

Meeting Place: Tours will meet on the front yard of the PumpHouse, 23 Ontario Street
Terrain: walking along Ontario Street on the public sidewalk
Tour Leaders and Organizers:  Staff of the PumpHouse

Lemoine Point Farm: from the other side of the fence

Lemoine Point Farm
Photo credit: Andrée Thorpe Photography

Date:  Sunday 7 May 2023   Time:  3:30 pm

Walk Description: Speakers on:
• Indigenous peoples, first on the land
• the Farm settlers: yesterday & today – buildings, lands, and shoreline
• saving the Lemoine Point Conservation Area in the 1990s, the power of people

Meeting Place: South Parking Lot, Lemoine Point Conservation area

Route: Along the path that parallels the Farm – flat, gravel, accessible path

Tour Leaders and Organizers:  Save Lemoine Point Farm group

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Kingscourt: Airfield to wartime housing

hangar and airfield
Date:  Sunday 7 May 2023    Time:  2 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.

Meeting Place: in the parking lot at Ecole Cathedrale Early Years Campus (formerly St Peter Catholic Elementary School) 48 Seventh Ave
Terrain:Sidewalks, curbs, a few steps
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 former Davis Tannery site

Date: Saturday 6 May 2023 Time:  2 pm

Walk Description:  Meet beside the Rivermill Restaurant bottom of Cataraqui St.  We will then walk toward River St. to appreciate the natural beauty of this area.  At River, we will describe developer Jay Patry’s proposal to clearcut the 37-acres, and what he wants to build.  See photos.  We will give an overview of the many trees, animals, and birds found on the site. People will be guided along Rideau St. to see the extent of the property, including the Provincially Significant wetland.

Meeting Place:  Beside the Rivermill Restaurant, bottom of Cataraqui St

Tour Leaders and Organizers:  Robert MacInnis, Marinus Sorensen, Kathleen O’Hara, No Clearcuts Kingston

The Bird’s History of Humans in Kingston

Date: Fri 5th May 2023   Time: 8 am
Date: Sat 6th May 2023   Time: 8 am
Date: Sun 7th May 2023   Time: 8 am
Please note the special date
Date: Sat 27th May 2023  Time: 8 am

Walk Description:  Hike through Belle Park down to Belle Island to discover who are the current resident songbirds, the seasonal migrators and the indomitable raptors and how humans have made an impact on their presence from past to present! From the totem pole to the tip of Belle Island and back again, approximately 3kms, will take about 2 hours

Meeting Place:  Belle Park, main entrance 731 Montreal Street, at the totem pole

Tour Leaders and Organizers:  Hilbert Buist

Biking the K&P Trail

Date: Saturday 6 May 2023  Time: 12 noon

Walk Description: Jane Jacobs was an avid bicyclist. This ‘walk’ will be a bicycle tour of the area north and west 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 Quattrocchi’s market at the corner of Railway and Montreal Streets. Total time will be 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

Terrain: The bicycle tour will travel at a very slow pace with regular stops to talk about areas of interest. 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. Please bring your own lunch snacks and water/drinks. Quattrocchi’s Specialty Foods will have food/drinks for sale.

Meeting Place: Quattrocchi’s Specialty Foods, 662 Montreal St, Kingston, ON K7K 3J4

Tour Leaders and Organizer:  Roger Healey, Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation

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Other Walking Tours in Kingston

For those who are looking for a walking tour that they can do now to warm up for the Jane’s Walk Kingston weekend:

The City of Kingston has more than a dozen walking tours available in English and French on a mobile app. Information on this excellent series of walks is available on-line here.

There are also a variety of self-guided walking tours on the Queen’s Archives website.

The Museum of Health Care also has a self-guided walking tour to discover the past of the Kingston General Hospital.

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.

Please help us promote Jane’s Walk Weekend.

Click here for a pdf of the Jane’s Walk Kingston Poster 2023

and print in colour

Or use this poster to promote specific walks.

Click here for a pdf of this poster and print in colour.

Click here for a pdf of Jane’s Walk Kingston 2023 mini-poster

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


What tours are taking place in other cities?

Jane's Walk National Website

If you would like to contact us, please send us a message.