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OCTOBER 24

Kingston Travel Guide

Kingston History



Kingston was the largest town in Upper Canada, and so was named capital of the Province of Canada in 1841. This prompted the construction, starting in 1842, of a massive new city hall building, one of the largest building projects in North America. However, a year before the building was completed in 1844, the capital was moved elsewhere.

Although Kingston continued to grow during the latter half of the century, other communities further west grew much faster. In 1858, Kingston's population of 13,000 was dwarfed by Toronto's 50,000 and even Hamilton's 29,000.

Kingston's military importance also waned as military technology and friendlier relations between Canada and the United States rendered the massive defenses obsolete. In 1870, British troops left Fort Henry. In 1875, the Market Battery was razed and replaced by a park, which was subsequently replaced in 1880 by railroad sidings for the main station of the Kingston and Pembroke Railroad. And finally, Canadian Militia troops left Fort Henry in 1890.

In the early 20th century, Kingston's industries faltered as the railroad and highway provided new routes for coal and Portland cement replaced Rosendale cement and, to a large extent, bluestone. Over time, new industries came to Kingston, including garment-making, small machine manufacture, and eventually, with the arrival of IBM, computer manufacturing.

In the late 20th century, Kingston finds itself once again creating new industries in such varied products as solar-powered boats, leather knapsacks and handbags, hand-crafted furniture, and multimedia packages.




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