Explorers

Explorers

We have 35+ art galleries, museums and historic sites for you to visit! Check them out here.

Educators

Educators

Planning a school trip? Find out more about our educational programs here!

Volunteers

Volunteers

Want to get involved behind the scenes or on the front lines at events? Learn how here!

Upcoming Events

Nov 14
Art Hive @AgnesAgnes Etherington Art Centre, 36 University Ave.Thursdays 5 September–28 November 20194–6 pm
Nov 16
Acrylic Portrait Painting Adult Art Course at Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 36 University Ave.Saturdays 16 November–7 December 20191:30–3:30 pmFee: $120, $105 members
Nov 17
The Studio: Gouache Painting with Christina McLachlan

Photo credit: PumpHouse, City of Kingston.

I liked it. I liked the alliteration. It drew me to the PumpHouse to see what their special exhibit was all about. Did they ever make beer at the PumpHouse? What about bread? I had visited the PumpHouse when I was a university student at Queen’s many years ago, but I don’t recall anything about a brewery or...

Photo credit: PumpHouse, City of Kingston. I liked it. I liked the alliteration. It drew me to the PumpHouse to see what their special exhibit was all about. Did they ever make beer at the PumpHouse? What about bread? I had visited the PumpHouse when I was a university student at Queen’s many years ago, but I don’t recall anything about a brewery or a bakery being part of the history of this fine 19th century building. I just remember that the PumpHouse was built to pump water from Lake Ontario. Photo credit: Sean McEvoy I soon learned that the new exhibit was a step back into history to explore who lived and worked on Ontario Street. Brewers, bakers and boilermakers were among the neighbours of the PumpHouse. Covering the period of 1830 to 1970, the exhibit brings together a wide variety of artifacts and historical photos that capture the activity and life on Ontario Street. Photo credit: Library and Archives, Canada The way it was set up appealed to me. I could start at one end of the street – I chose the Pumphouse end – and then move along the display to see what was on Ontario Street as if I was heading northeast toward what is now the LaSalle Causeway. This was a street busy with commercial activity in the 19th century, many of the businesses benefiting from Kingston’s unique position as a transhipment point. Ships that plied the great lakes could not handle the St. Lawrence River.  As the railway gained in importance, the Canadian Locomotive Works on Ontario Street began churning out steam locomotives for the Grand Trunk Railway, producing the first one in 1854. By 1878, the company was known as the Canadian Locomotive and Engine Company Ltd. Photo credit: Sean McEvoy My eyes were drawn to a photo from roughly 1880 that showed an interesting building on the corner of Ontario Street and Johnson Street. I knew it as a restaurant, but I learned it was originally Hanley Station, a passenger depot for the Grand Trunk Railway. If you’d had asked me before my visit to Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boilermakers, 1830-1970 about a train station on Ontario Street, I would have thought of the one across from City Hall. That one was owned by the Kingston and Pembroke Railway, a company that competed with the Grand Trunk Railway for passenger traffic. Photo credit: Queen’s University Archives Heading northeast along the display, I got to see stunning black and white historical photos of Ontario Street. At the far end was the Penny Bridge, so named because that was the toll to cross to Barriefield. There is also an interesting aerial photo of the firehall in 1890 taken from the dome of City Hall showing the industrial and commercial buildings that surrounded it then. Check it out at the PumpHouse until Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photo credit: Sean McEvoy Written by Helen Cutts

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Explore our Museums, Art Galleries & Historic Sites

Kingston is Canada’s museum capital with something for everyone at over 26 museums and historic sites and 4 art galleries. It’s all here, from small specialized museums to national historic treasures including the endpoint of Canada’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site - The Rideau Canal and the Kingston Fortifications - designated in 2007.

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