This album follows the history of Kingston from the founding of Fort Frontenac and the accompanying French settlement of Cataraqui in 1673 to its present-day incarnation as a popular tourist and travel destination. In addition to its fine military tradition, Kingston has also been the centre of commerce, shipping, industry, education, and government in the region.
Many local citizens have prospered greatly from these diverse endeavours. Others have been less fortunate. From the boom times of Dilene Dexter Calvin’s huge shipping industry and James Richardson’s grain enterprise to the corruption and cruelty of Kingston Penetentiary under Warden Henry Smith Sr., the ups and downs of Kingston’s citizens have mirrored the city’s own.
As Kingston’s importance grew, so too did the influence its inhabitants had during the last days of the unified colony and the first of the fledgling Dominion. Sir John Graves Simcoe made Kingston his home for a time, as did Lord Sydenham and Sir John A. Macdonald.
More than one hundred black-and-white photographs accompany the text, granting an intimate look at all facets of life in Kingston over the last century. From the prisoners’ quarters at Fort Henry during World War I and the fire in City Hall, to the bustle of market square at the turn of the century and the lonely stretch of road which was Division Street, these photos display both the momentous occasions in the city’s history and the mundane. Hand-picked from the collections of the National Archives of Canada, the Archives of Ontario, and Queen’s University Archives, these beautiful photographs capture the pride and the pain of a city constantly in transition.