Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Since I gave up the car a year ago, it seems as though most of my walking has to do with taking care of errands, and less of it is for pure pleasure--the downside of an eco-friendly lifestyle. Yesterday I gave James a list, sent him off to buy the groceries, and then walked out the front door in the opposite direction. I walked to the end of my block of Gore Street, then turned right onto King Street East. Join me for my stroll in the late afternoon September sunshine.
We begin at the Cartwright House. Remember, Kingston was the capital of the United Canadas in the 1840s, at which time it was the largest city/town in Upper Canada (now Ontario), larger even than York (now Toronto).  As a result, it has lots of beautiful British colonial public buildings, and of course, grand homes.

My walk takes me along the south (lake) side of the street. I stroll past a later Victorian grand house, immaculately kept up as a private residence,

and the Hotel Belvedere, built in the 1890s and an hotel since the 1920s. If you come to Kingston, this is THE place to stay, especially if you love Art Deco furnishings.

 I love the welcoming yellow door, which is kept open except in the coldest months.

 The building next door, now condos, bears this plaque.

The condos seem a little soulless, and desperately in need some greenery, in my opinion. I like the wrought iron fence, though, and it's not the only fence along the way. Some are completely covered with Boston Ivy,

while others still evoke the grandness of their Victorian past.

There's romance in these few blocks of old buildings, evidenced by turrets,

and stately entranceways.

The old city still carries the marks of a world sans automobiles, in the old mews tucked in behind the houses,

some of them now guest houses, some garages,

and large circular gravel drives (don't you just love the crunch of gravel underfoot?) This was a world where one could relax with afternoon tea on a hot summer day on a deep verandah with cool breezes coming off the lake.

The lake is omnipresent. At Simcoe Street, I pass the entrance to the Yacht Club,

while at the farthest point west on my walk, Emily Street, I catch a glimpse of sailboats, with Wolfe Island in the distance. 

I cross King Street East and begin the return journey on the north side of the road, stopping to enjoy the red and white blooms beneath the statue of our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

I'll let Sir John A. have the final word.

And he did.