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SnapShot Kingston

Snapshot Kingston

Snapshot Kingston allows you to easily explore nearly 150 years of Kingston's history using maps and images. Simply move the slider along the bar to see each snapshot and discover how Kingston has grown and changed over time. While most of the historical images currently available focus on the downtown area, we will be adding more areas as they become available. Try it now!


Take a Deeper Dive...

Want to know more about these historical maps and images? Choose the year you are interested in from the list below for some additional facts about Kingston from that time period and view that year's map on its own. Click on the 'Swipe It!' link to open a map that allows you to compare a given year's imagery with the current 2013 air photo.

1865 John C. Innes Map

City Hall on an 1865 map This map, created barely two decades after Kingston had served as the capital of Canada and a mere two years before Confederation, is rich in detail and history. From small details such as the space identified as ‘Fish Market' in present-day Confederation Park, to the wide swathes of downtown land that would one day become Queen's University, there is much to see and learn in this high-quality scanned map.

View the Map  |  Swipe It!

1908 Fire Insurance Plan

Area around Queen's University on 1908 Insurance Plan At a time when towns and cities were at a much higher risk of fire, important documents such as this would be used to determine fire insurance premiums by conveying the relative risk factors of a building or area, such as the type of building material or what the building's use was. When viewing the map, be sure to click on a zone to see the higher detail map of that area!

Please read the important notice at the bottom of this page. For more information on fire insurance plans, please see the Queen's University Library Archives.

View the Map  |  Swipe It!

1924 Fire Insurance Plan

Insurance Plan map from 1924 At a time when towns and cities were at a much higher risk of fire, important documents such as this would be used to determine fire insurance premiums by conveying the relative risk factors of a building or area, such as the type of building material or what the building's use was. When viewing the map, be sure to click on a zone to see the higher detail map of that area!

Please read the important notice at the bottom of this page. For more information on fire insurance plans, please see the Queen's University Library Archives.

View the Map  |  Swipe It!

1953 Air Photo

Aerial view of rail yard in downtown Kingston in 1953 1953 sees the first air photo collection for the City of Kingston, giving staff and residents their first permanent, comprehensive view of the city from above. Some highlights include Queen Elizabeth Collegiate and Vocational Institute (QECVI) has not yet been built, and much of the northern Kingscourt area is still farmland. As well, the former Kingscourt Public School can be seen on Oak Street. Much of Strathcona Park does not yet exist.

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1955 Air Photo

Traffic circle at Princess Street and Bath Road in Kingston in 1955The resolution of the 1955 air photos are noticeably better than those of two years prior, giving an even clearer picture of the city. There is a very clear boundary between urban and rural along Sir John A Macdonald Boulevard. QECVI is now under construction, McNeill House residence on Queen's University main campus is the first residence built in the Lower Albert St. area. Lord Strathcona Public School is under construction.

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1957 Air Photo

Area around the Memorial Centre in Kingston in 1957 One of the most interesting features of this set of images isn't related to the built environment - the ice breaking up on Lake Ontario. Additionally, construction is complete on Q.E.C.V.I., Holy Family Elementary School and J.G. Simcoe Public School are not yet built in Rideau Heights. Alwington Place and the John Deutsch University Centre complex on Queen's main campus have yet to be built.

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1970 Air Photo

Portion of Queen's University main campus in Kingston in 1970 Highlights from this photo set include: Calvin Park is in its initial stages of development, Queen's University West Campus is under development, Breakwater Park has not been constructed, and many of the old Kingston Locomotive Works and Ship Builders buildings still reside on the ‘Block D' property. The industrial area that is now Novelis has expanded, the overpass on Division Street over the rail line is built, and Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School does not yet appear. This is also the last photo set where the 'Old Traffic Circle' is still visible.

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1978 Air Photo

Fort Henry in Kingston in 1978 This photo set captures the diminishing footprint of Kingston's industrial age. Highlights include: ‘Block D' has been cleared of industrial buildings, Breakwater Park is now under development, while St. Lawrence College development is complete. The main CN Railway line has been relocated to the north of Elliott Avenue, and the current railway station, built in 1974, now appears. Beechgrove Complex and the recently reconstructed Portsmouth Olympic Harbour are also present.

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1990 Air Photo

Martello tower in Macdonald Park in Kingston in 1990 In this last photo set from the pre-amalgamated City of Kingston, highlights include: The large breakwater in front of a vacant ‘Block D' has been constructed, Belle Park golf course is now in business, the Davis Tannery buildings have been demolished, and the OHIP building and Frontenac Village are fully built out at this time.

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1998 Air Photo

Norman Rogers Airport in 1998 This set of photos is the first to cover the entirety of the new City of Kingston, acquired just a few months after amalgamation. The Cataraqui Bay grain elevator, a fixture on Kingston's waterfront for over 60 years, has been demolished. The first St. Lawrence College residence has been built. Construction on Cataraqui North neighbourhood has not started, but St. Lawrence Business Park, the RioCan Centre, and Greenwood Park are all in the early stages of development.

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2004 Air Photo

Royal Military College campus in 2004 The most noticeable difference between past air photo sets and this one is that this is the first one in colour! A great deal of growth is taking place in Kingston's residential areas - Conservatory Pond and Cataraqui North are being developed, Smuggler's Cove Place is now built, and Cataraqui Woods and Greenwood Park have noticeably grown. Two new waterfront apartment buildings, Richardson Wharf and The Waterside, now are fixtures along King Street West. Phase one of the RioCan Centre has been built and the Cataraqui Town Centre expansion has been completed. The Landings golf course and Constantine Arena now appear.

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2008 Air Photo

Rogers K-Rock Centre in downtown Kingston in 2008 An interesting feature of this year's photos is that it is the only dataset to date that, at certain scales, contains portions of Amherstview, Odessa, Wolfe Island and Howe Island. Other notable highlights include the completed K-Rock Centre, construction of condominiums on the Block D site, and the Ravensview Wastewater Treatment Facility expansion is underway. Significant development is taking place in Cataraqui North, Cataraqui Woods, Westbrook, Waterloo Village and Greenwood Park. Cataraqui Industrial Estates, St. Lawrence Business Park and Clyde Industrial Park are all seeing growth. Another phase of the RioCan Centre has been completed, and the development of King's Crossing has begun. Major work on Frank Tindall Field and the Queen's Centre is taking place on Queen's University's main campus.

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2011 Air Photo

Compass design in Battery Park in Kingston in 2011 In this final historical imagery set, development on Block D, including Battery Park, is finally complete, capping off its transformation from its industrial roots last seen in the 1970 photo set. City Hall is in the middle of its North and South Wing facelift, replacing the roof with batten seam copper. Changes in the vicinity of Highway 401 include a new interchange at Sydenham Road, work on a new interchange at Division Street, and the Montreal Street Park & Ride is in its initial stages of development. Further development has taken place in the major residential and industrial areas on the periphery of the city, with Cataraqui West Park development underway. River Park community is in early stages, and more highrise apartment development is taking place near La Salle High School. A significant change in the retail landscape occurs with the development in the King's Crossing area progressing.

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Important Notice

Fire Insurance Plans and their maps were produced and copyrighted by Opta Information Intelligence Inc. The reproduction for commercial purposes of any of these maps, including those contained on the City's website is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Opta Information Intelligence.