Kingston

If you’re looking for city living but on a smaller scale, Kingston has it all: big city amenities yet a relaxing place to live whether you are family-oriented, retired, a student, or a professional. Kingston has all the amenities you need, shorter commute times, access to great education and health care, a thriving city for business and a centre for entertainment and lifestyle. Located at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River where it flows from Lake Ontario, Kingston offers a beautiful setting - a city surrounded by water.
The 2011 census reported 159,561 people living in Kingston and surrounding areas including South Frontenac, Loyalist and Frontenac Islands, within the metropolis of Kingston the population was approx 123,363 people, with more than 35,000 people living in the country and outlying towns around Kingston.
Getting here is easy, by 401 Highway there are five exits for Kingston making it easier to get to your desired location in the most efficient way. All signage is easy to follow and makes it convenient for tourists or newcomers to the area to find their way around.     

Living in Kingston

There are a variety of housing options, from old, historic limestone buildings, to chic contemporary lofts, to modern subdivisions; there is something for everyone in Kingston. Since Kingston covers a large area, there are properties in rural locations, the metropolis, subdivisions (both new and old), and everywhere in between. The average cost of a home in Kingston is approximately $270,000 as of October 2014, which is down nearly 5% from the previous year. There are many neighboring towns around Kingston where housing is more affordable than in the city itself. The more desirable places to live in Kingston are in the downtown area, and along the waterfront due largely to the convenience of downtown’s many stores and restaurants, the activities available along the waterfront parks and the opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery.   
 Kingston has a number of clearly defined neighborhoods which are based on different attributes; for example “the Queen’s Ghetto” (not really a ghetto) which is within proximity of Queen’s University, here many streets are filled with row housing and some detached, where most students live off-campus. This is a desirable location for students who want a quick commute to school and the downtown core.
 
Dominant Industries in Kingston:
Industry Employees (000s)
Retail Trade 10.2
Post-Secondary Education 6.9
Food and Beverage Services 5.7
Hospitals 5.4
Construction 3.9
Primary and Secondary Schools 3.9
Federal Government 3.3
Ambulatory Health Care Services 2.9
Employment and Business Services 2.2
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities 2.2
*Source – Conference Board of Canada, Metropolitan Outlook Summer, 2009

Kingston is most well known for education, mainly Queen’s University but also the Royal Military Collage (RMC), and St. Lawrence College. The population of Kingston would not be what it is without these education institutions; and the hundreds of thousands of students each year they bring to the city, to occupy the many student residences and increase values of homes near each school. Investing in a property near any of the schools is a great idea because the average price for a one bedroom apartment is $750.

Kingston is also known for its health care, particularly the teaching hospital, Kingston General Hospital (KGH). This is the biggest hospital in the area and operates a large emergency room, cardiology floor, orthopedics department and many other units. The hospital is linked with Queen’s University for research and teaching and is located on the Queen’s University Campus. As well as KGH there is Hotel Dieu, which is used for a walk in clinic/smaller emergency room, day surgery, follow ups, research and rehabilitation. St. Mary’s on the Lake is also a rehabilitation facility where patients stay for longer periods of time such as those who have had a stroke and need extensive therapy. 

The lifestyle in Kingston is quite vibrant, with so many diverse places to eat you could literally eat at a different restaurant each night for many months. The arts and entertainment thrive in Kingston. The Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Theatre are both prominent performing arts facilities. The newly built Rogers K-Rock Centre which hosts many concerts, sporting events, and other family-oriented entertainment such as Cirque de Soleil. There are also two movie theatres that play the most current movies, Cineplex Odeon, closer to the west end of Kingston, located in the RIO CAN centre, an outdoor outlet style mall; and the Empire Theatre which is just off of Division Street, more to the east and downtown parts of town, with nearby outlet stores, a No Frills grocery store, Canadian Tire, gas stations, and restaurants. Having two theatres allows for easy access no matter where you live in Kingston.

The surrounding waterfront is considered the freshwater sailing capital of the world but is not limited to just that; there are enthusiasts that wind surf, canoe, kayak, fish, swim or speed boat around the Kingston waterfront. As well, there is a ferry that will take you over to Wolfe Island, and many boat tour companies that do dinner tours around the area. The multitude of parks in Kingston may surprise you; there are many hiking trails, dog parks and recreation fields to appeal to any demographic.
 
Commuting

The average commute in Kingston is 5.9km but 44.5% of people commute less than 5km to their work place and because of Kingston’s size and layout more people are able to walk or cycle to work.
  Walking to Work Cycling to Work
Kingston 9.6% 2.4%
Toronto 4.8% 1.0%
Ottawa-Gatineau 6.8% 2.1%
Montreal 5.7% 1.6%
Calgary 5.4% 1.3%
*Source: http://livework.kingstoncanada.com/en/lifestyle/commuting.asp

Kingston Public Transit is a convenient way to get around. It is easily accessible to seniors and handicapped individuals, and offers a bike rack to those going further distances for the bike trails. The website has an easy transit ‘Trip Planner’ where you can put in your starting and ending locations and it calculates the time of the journey, as well as all transfers and timing for when buses arrive and depart. You can find it on their site: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/transit

You are able to find everything you need within the city limits of Kingston; it is such a fast growing city but is small enough for your commute to be minimal and enjoyable. Many people reside in the outskirts of Kingston, one place in particular is Napanee, Ontario, a small town of just over 15,000 residents, an ever changing town filled with opportunity.


 
Kingston Useful Links:
http://livework.kingstoncanada.com/en/
http://tourism.kingstoncanada.com/en/index.asp
http://business.kingstoncanada.com/en/communityprofile/theeconomy.asp
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/
http://whatsonkingston.com/
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/canada/ontario/kingston/things-to-do
http://www.downtownkingston.ca/
http://www.kingstonchamber.ca/