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Plan to take a free tour of Kingston's City Hall, a National Historic Site

May 23, 2017 -

Volunteer tour guides are ready to share the history of Kingston's City Hall, a national historic site, through free tours starting today at 216 Ontario St.

The tours begin in City Hall's Heritage Resource Centre and run: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting May 23 and running until Oct. 12. City Hall self-guided tours are available year-round in English, French, Mandarin, German and Spanish. They can also be found at www.CityofKingston.ca/CityHallTours.

School tours and guided tours in French are available by appointment and must be booked in advance preferably by email at education@cityofkingston.ca, or by calling 613-546-4291 ext. 1377.

City Hall has more than 40 volunteer tour guides and ambassadors each year who have the opportunity to share stories about the artifacts, historic figures and portraits housed inside City Hall.

This year marks Canada's sesquicentennial, so there is no better time to explore the history of Canada's first capital. This year, in addition to City's Hall's main offerings, new exhibit additions include:

  • The new Sir John A. Macdonald Gallery (first floor) will be featuring Sir John A. Macdonald's Kingston offering visitors the opportunity to delve into Sir John A.'s local connections and lasting legacy.
  • The new John Counter Gallery (first floor) will showcase Governing Kingston, a historical take on civic government as central to the administration and wellbeing of Kingston.
  • City Hall's Market Wing Gallery (basement level) will feature Meet Your Neighbour – showcasing the diversity of the Kingston community, the global origins of its residents and the many talents they have to share. Meet your Neighbour highlights the work of Kingston photographer Claire Bouvier.  The City and Kingston Immigration Partnership are collaborating to present this sesquicentennial project.
  • City Hall's ‘Niche Gallery' found throughout the building features Chained to Serve: The Mayors of Kingston, a sesquicentennial exhibit complementing the City's amazing collection of recently reorganized historic mayors' portraits.
  • The Heritage Resource Centre contains dozens of amazing archaeological artifacts and fascinating factoids from Kingston's past.
  • The City Hall Lockup Gallery (basement level) traces the development of the Kingston Police and society in the context of crime and incarceration. Visit the historic jail cells.

You can take a virtual online tour of Kingston's City Hall here: www.CityofKingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/city-hall/chronicles/tour.

New volunteer guides are always needed and are encouraged to contact us to find out more information by emailing hwoodland@cityofkingston.ca.

About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 120,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. Our vision – to become Canada's most sustainable city – focuses our efforts on: environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality. Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston

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Media contact: For more information call the communications and customer experience department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.