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City launches temporary project that transforms Ontario Street into a new public space

July 2, 2019 –

The City of Kingston is launching  a new initiative, Ontario Street: A Vibrant Spaces Project that will transform Ontario Street in front of City Hall into a people-first, pedestrian public space for two weekends in the summer. The project will highlight City Hall and the surrounding area, including Ontario St. between Brock and Market streets, the waterfront and Confederation Park, and provide a platform for engagement, cultural and recreational activities, and meaningful social interaction.

The project is being delivered in partnership between the recreation and leisure services department and the cultural services department, each leading one weekend of programming, which take place on Friday, July 12 starting at 6 p.m. and all day Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 (recreation & leisure) and Friday, Aug. 9 starting at 6 p.m. and all day Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday, Aug. 11 (cultural services).

To support the project, the City is creating a temporary seating space in front of City Hall. The seating and furniture will be installed in July and stay in place throughout the summer. 

Schedule of events: July 12-14

All activites take place rain or shine. Please check the forecast before heading out and dress for weather conditions. 

Friday, July 12

  • Pilates (bring your own mat) 6 – 7 p.m.
  • Bollywood dancing 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • A Night with the Stars 9 – 11:30 p.m.
    • The McDonald Institute 9:05 – 9:50 p.m.
    • Queen's University Observatory 10 – 11:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 13

  • Active fun and live DJ: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • The on-site rock climbing wall has minimum/maximum weight requirements of 40 lbs/250 lbs. 
  • Drum Circle 6 – 9 p.m.

Sunday, July 14

  • Yoga (bring your own mat) 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Salsa 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Big fun with oversized classic games and a live DJ 1 – 8:00 p.m.

How to get to Ontario Street: A Vibrant Spaces Project

  • Ontario Street between Market and Brock Streets will be closed starting 4 p.m. Friday July to 10 p.m. Sunday July 14. See the road closures and delays page for details.
  • Plan your trip with Kingston Transit, which will be running on its regular weekday and weekend schedules. Children 14 and under travel free of charge. See KingstonTransit.ca for route and fare information. 
  • Dropbike, the City's bike-share partner, has bicycle havens on Ontario St. Download the Drop Mobility app to begin your ride.
  • Driving? Plan to carpool, and check available surface parking lots at CityofKingston.ca/Parking

"The Ontario Street: Vibrant Spaces Project presents a new opportunity to engage and inspire residents and visitors through accessible and participatory, and responsive programming that strengthens community ties," says Jaclyn Grimmon, manager, recreation programs, recreation & leisure services. "Through the creation of a new temporary public space, we are helping to foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces, which is an important priority of our new council."

"Good public spaces can build community, create bonds between neighbours, and establish a sense of belonging," says Danika Lochhead, manager, arts and sector development, cultural services. "For two weekends this summer, we're going to explore how creating and revitalizing public spaces through community engagement, public art, recreational activities that focus on play and adventure, and cultural events can foster a sense of community and create social, economic, environmental and cultural benefits."