50 Signs You Grew Up in Kingston, Ontario

Kingston is without a doubt, one of the easiest cities in Canada to fall in love with! In fact, according to a national business magazine, Kingston is the seventh-best place to live in Canada among mid-sized cities. There are so many things to love about our nation’s first capital and even more things to love about the people who live here. For those of us who grew up in Kingston, this is especially true! We have watched the city grow and seen landmarks and locations change year after year!

With the majority of our team being born and raised in Kingston, we decided it would be fun to compile a list of 50 of our favourite memories we have had while growing up here. While everybody’s experiences in Kingston vary from generation to generation, we did our best to make this list multi-generational!

50 Signs You Grew Up In Kingston, Ontario

1. You instantly crank up the volume when you hear the lyrics “They shot a movie once, in my home town” start playing on the radio

2. You have been to The Buskers Rendezvous and The Poker Run more times than you can count

3. You remember when Ryan Malcolm won Canadian Idol and became a local celebrity

4. Getting a beavertail and skating at Market Square during Feb Fest is a winter tradition

Skating at Market Square
Photo: City Of Kingston

5. You watched the fireworks every Canada Day at Lake Ontario Park (back when they had rides and the giant blue and yellow slide)

6. You remember when the rides from Lake Ontario Park got moved to Kingston Family Fun World

7. You remember swimming at The Pier when it was just a dock behind the water purification plant

8. You were a part of the massive crowd that watched The Tragically Hip play their final show in Market Square

Tragically Hip fans watch the final concert in downtown Kingston. (Photograph by Nick Iwanyshyn)
Photo: Macleans.ca

9. Some of your best childhood memories were made at Studio 801

10. You were a fan of The Glorious Sons before they blew up, and you watched them play at The Merchant Taphouse for years

11. You remember when there was a Drive-In movie theatre on the corner of Gardiners and Bath Road

12. You remember when The Kingston Frontenacs played hockey at The Memorial Centre

13. You have used the giant “Pollution” sculpture on the waterfront as a play structure

"Pollution" statue Kingston
Photo: feltmagnet.ca

14. You’ve woken up early to drive to Sandbanks Provincial Park (you always took the ferry even though it took longer because the drive was more beautiful)

15. You’ve hiked to the top of Rock Dunder

16. You remember where you were during the Ice Storm of ’98

17. You remember when Lonestar was The Fire Hall

18. You remember watching movies at The Capitol Theatre

Capital theatre Kingston
Photo: The Queen’s Journal

19. You’ve went to Beach Slam and won “Love Shack” at Stages Nightclub

20. You went to AJ’s Hangar before they changed their name to Ale House

21. You’ve been to the old Richardson Stadium

22. You had one too many late nights at The Cocomo

23. You had your first slow dance at a Cyberzone or Border Dance

24. You’ve gone fishing at Kingston Mills

25. You’ve tobogganed at Fort Henry Hill almost every winter

26. You know where the arcade games at Barcadia were originally from

27. You’ve taken the ferry over to The Wolfe Island Grill

28. You remember when St. Lawrence College was just one building

29. You remember when Kingston Penitentiary was an operational prison

30. You thought Collins Bay Institution was Disney World when you were a kid

Collins Bay Institution
Photo: travel.sygic.com

31. You used to always get toonie milkshakes at Reid’s Dairy (one of the best parts was pressing the button to make the cow MOO!)

32. You’ve watched Smitty Kingston play countless times and have the best memories from Smitty Sunday at The Brass Pub

33. You know why Skeleton Park is called Skeleton Park

34. You cringe when out-of-towners pronounce “Cataraqui” wrong

35. You’ve waited in line to get a picture with Santa at The Cataraqui Town Centre

36. You’ve been to the Mackinnon Brothers: Back To The Farm Music Festival

37. You went to the Cataraqui Conservation Area every year in elementary school for Maple Madness

38. You have moved out of Kingston for post-secondary school and moved back as soon as you graduated

39. You’ve been to Queen’s Homecoming even if you never went there

Homecoming at Queens
Photo: thewhig.com

40. You get excited for The Kingston Fall Fair every year

41. You know that Morrisons and Peter’s Place have the best breakfast in the city

42. You’ve taken the long walk to the beach on Wolfe Island

43. You’ve driven to the Wilton Cheese Factory to get fresh curd on Sundays

44. You still call the west-end the township

45. You’ve taken your boat to dock in Confederation Basin to enjoy an event in Downtown Kingston

confederation basin
Photo: info-marina.ca

46. You’ve been to a wedding on a 1000 Island Boat Cruise

47. Wing night and pool at Raxx Bar and Grill sounds like the best post-work activity

48. You’ve been to a birthday party at Cosmic Adventures

49. You have been called a “townie” and you wear it like a badge of honour

50. You’ll never get sick of people from out of town telling you how beautiful Kingston is

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