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Memorials and Commemorations

We take pride in our history, which our motto, "Where History and Innovation Thrive," reflects. We have many commemorations and memorials on our properties that help us connect with our community's past.  

Different city departments manage various forms of commemorations, such as dedicating trees and benches, making proclamations and raising flags. Some tangible commemorations, like plaques, statues, monuments, certificates and mementos, are now part of our civic collection of artifacts and works of art. You can request tangible commemorations too. 

Memorial trees 

Planting a tree in a park is a nice way to remember someone or celebrate a special time. We will take care of everything, including planting the tree (you can select the type), adding a small sign and putting it in one of our parks.  

Note: It is against the law to spread ashes outside of a cemetery in the province. 

Create a MyKingston account to easily apply for a memorial tree online and we will contact you to start the process. 

The cost for a tree is $597.04 plus HST. Fees are set each year through our Fees and Charges Bylaw.

  • We consider each application individually and we only plant memorial trees in approved park areas.  
  • Planting season typically happens in the fall, from late September to around December 1.  
  • If the tree dies, it will be replaced the following planting season. 
  • If the tree gets damaged or vandalized, we will replace it as soon as we can. Please report any damage or vandalism at 613-546-0000 or email us at

You can choose a tree from this list, but it depends on what the nursery has available: 

Native Species: 

  • Autumn Blaze Maple 
  • Red Maples (Morgan/Red Sunset/Karpick/Armstrong) 
  • Sugar Maple 
  • Ohio Buckeye 
  • Serviceberry 
  • Blue-Beech 
  • Northern catalpa 
  • Hackberry 
  • Eastern Redbud 
  • American Beech 
  • Shademaster Honey-locust 
  • Skyline Honey-locust 
  • Kentucky Coffee tree 
  • Black Walnut 
  • Tulip tree 
  • Ironwood 
  • White Oak 
  • Swamp White Oak 
  • Bur Oak 
  • Red Oak 
  • Basswood (Redmond/Boulevard) 

Non-native Species: 

  • Maidenhair Tree (Male variety recommended) 
  • Sycamore 
  • Pin Oak 
  • Black Locust 
  • Ivory Silk Lilac 
  • Oakleaf Mountain Ash 

The plaque is usually black and measures 5 inches by 51/4 inches as shown in the image below. You can include a message; we recommend a character count of 250. We install the plaques and pedestals at the same time as the memorial tree. 

#Plaque details#

Memorial benches

Our memorial bench program lets you place a plaque on a bench in a public park to remember loved ones. Each bench can have up to two separate plaques for different dedications, with terms available in 10- and 20-year commitments.  

Note: memorial benches are not available in Confederation Park. 

Create a MyKingston account to easily apply for a memorial bench online and we will contact you to start the process. 

The cost for a memorial bench is $1,038.05 plus HST for 10 years. If you wish an extension for another 10 years the cost is $692.12 Fees are set each year through our Fees and Charges Bylaw. At the end of the term, you can request to have the plaque returned to you. 

The standard plaque side is 2 inches by 6 inches, so it is recommended the character count be between 60 to 80 characters. 

Light up City Hall

The lights on First Capital Place are used to celebrate, remember, support and raise awareness about local history, special events and important causes in the community. These lights also highlight Kingston City Hall as a national historic site and share stories that matter to our community. 

Public requests to illuminate City Hall and Market Square will be for one night from dusk until dawn. 

Note: The “I in Kingston” sign is outside the scope of our Illumination Policy and is not included in the current illumination application. 

Create a MyKingston account to easily apply for a light up online and we will contact you to start the process. For more information, please call 613-546-4291 ext. 1219 

To request to illuminate the City Hall and Market Square, you need to meet these conditions: 

    • Your request should encourage respect and diversity among Kingston's people. 
    • It should be about events, activities, or issues that matter to Kingston's people and build a sense of community. 
    • Your request should be linked to recognizable colors. 
    • You should represent a charity or a non-profit organization in Kingston. 
    • Submit your request at least 2 weeks before you want the illumination. 

Requests are processed in the order they come in if they meet these conditions. 

Requests will not be accepted if they: 

    • Promote hate, disrespect beliefs, or break the law. 
    • They are about sudden events like big world news or natural disasters. 
    • Are meant for making money. 

We can also say no or cancel requests for other reasons, like: 

    • Needing the lights for a big city event. 
    • Not having the right equipment for maintenance or other reasons. 
    • If your request does not follow these rules or for other reasons at our discretion. 

Flag raising

Flags or pennants can be shown at Confederation Basin to let people know about things like special holidays, events from different cultures and charitable initiatives.

Flag raising requires approval from the City Clerk or Council.  Submit your application at least two weeks before to the requested display date and provide the related flag at least five days in advance.

Create a MyKingston account to easily apply for a light up online and we will contact you to start the process. 

  • We will consider flag display requests from the following applicants: 
      • Non-profit or community organizations
      • The Canadian Forces Base Commander, or delegate, for the retirement ceremony of a soldier stationed at the Canadian Forces Base Kingston with at least 25 years of service.
  • We will approve a flag display request if all the following criteria are met:
      • The related activities support residents or events in Kingston, such as public awareness campaigns, and foster a sense of community.
      • The activities or subject matter demonstrate respect and tolerance for all Kingston residents.
      • The City Clerk receives the request at least two weeks prior to the requested display date
      • The applicant provides the flag to the City Clerk at least five days prior to the requested display date.
      • No request for the same cause has been processed in the past 12 months.
      • No request from the same group has been processed in the past 12 months.
  • We will automatically disqualify a flag display request if the subject matter promotes ideological, religious, or other beliefs that promote hate, is contrary to any law, or involves corporate sponsorship.

For more information call 613-546-4291 ext. 1252 

We will automatically raise flags on certain dates that are important to our community, including: 

    • March 31 for International Transgender Day of Visibility 
    • June 15 for Kingston Pride 
    • June 21 for National Indigenous People's Day 
    • September 30 for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 

Flags at City-owned places can be lowered halfway to show respect on designated days, such as: 

    • April 9 for National Day of Remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge 
    • April 28 for Workers' Mourning Day 
    • May 31 for Honoring the Children Lost at Residential Schools 
    • June 23 for National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism 
    • Second Sunday of September for Firefighters' National Memorial Day 
    • Last Sunday of September for Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day 
    • November 8 for Indigenous Veterans Day 
    • November 11 for Remembrance Day 
    • November 20 for Transgender Day of Remembrance 
    • December 6 for National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women 

Flags can also be lowered halfway when certain individuals pass away, like the Monarch or Royal Family members, Canadian Prime Ministers, government representatives, City employees, Kingston Police officers and soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Kingston. 

Contact Us

City of Kingston
City Hall
216 Ontario Street
Kingston, ON K7L 2Z3
Phone: 613-546-0000
Fax: 613-546-7816

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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