Celebrating Canada at 150
Kingston is at the heart of Canada's story – shaping our past, building our future.
In 2017, Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation. During this historic year, Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast will celebrate our great country – its stunning environment, diverse peoples and unique cultures – in meaningful ways.
Kingston invites Canadians to join celebrations in the city where much of it began. Bold, inclusive and authentic events are planned to honour our past and build excitement for our future. Sesquicentennial initiatives will highlight Kingston's culture, creativity and innovation and explore our role in shaping Canada.
Kingston, a city of Canadian firsts
These Kingston-based firsts have helped shaped the fabric of Canada:
In 1841, the government of the United Province of Canada met in Kingston, its first capital from 1841 to 1844, and started the conversation that continues to define Canada as a democratic nation.
Kingston is known as the home Sir John Alexander Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada and the "Father of Confederation." Without Kingston's Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada as it is today would not exist.
In 1856, the Grand Trunk Railway Train commenced service – the first major railroad in Ontario to connect Montreal and Toronto via Kingston. It forever altered how commerce was undertaken in the province.
One cold afternoon, in the winter of 1886, a square rubber puck, cut down from an old lacrosse ball, was dropped onto the ice of Lake Ontario. Armed with crooked sticks, teams comprised of students from Queen's University and cadets from the Royal Military College faced-off in the first inter-university hockey game ever played and the first match in what would become Canada's oldest hockey rivalry.
The red maple leaf of the Canadian flag perhaps serves as Canada's most important and beloved national emblem. Embraced by all Canadians, the maple leaf unifies the nation. Travelers proudly stitch Canadian flag patches to backpacks to tell the world the place they call home. The maple leaf has come to stand for Canada's most important values. But did you know that the Canadian flag was designed right here in Kingston?