Kingston is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence, almost exactly halfway between Montréal and Toronto. As the first (very short lived) capital of Canada, Kingston was originally settled in 1673 as Fort Frontenac. Today, Kingston is one of the most historic cities in Canada with numerous churches, old buildings, pictorial neighbourhoods, and 19th century fortifications. The city provide venues for nightlife such as clubbing and pubbing, and provides weekend escapes for people living in the neighboring cities of Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. There are ample historic sites and museums to visit, as well as many lively summer events.
The area near the downtown waterfront is the most favourable location (as many but not all activities are within walking distance) but also the most expensive by far. Accommodations range from large chain hotels with full facilities (Holiday Inn, Radisson, Sheraton, Marriott) and smaller historic properties, such as the Hotel Belvedere, to a niche market of small but upscale bed-and-breakfast style inns. There is plenty of good accommodation to be had in the downtown and waterfront area if one is willing to pay top dollar.
The Plaza Hotel on Montreal St, as home of Kingston’s only remaining stripper bar, is best avoided for accommodations as the area does attract certain undesirable elements.
Fort Henry Motel located on Highway 2 East, close to RMC and CFB Kingston, from down town 5 min’s drive. Clean rooms, friendly staff, clean sheets, with showers, free local phone and WI FI and very reasonable rates and friendly staff, it is worth checking out. There is a MC Donald’s close by for breakfast.
West of downtown
Kingston’s downtown area runs from the waterfront at Ontario Street one mile west/northwest to Division Street. The majority of upscale properties are in the lower (easternmost) part of downtown, near the waterfront area. Continue westward into the land of the endless used-car lots and the choices initally are limited and disappointing at best. A few of these properties (such as Howard Johnson and Super 8) have had to ban all visitors after 11PM or 12PM due to problems caused by the local riff-raff, others (such as The Knight’s Inn) turn a blind eye and let them run rampant. Best to give this a miss if at all possible.
Continue further westward and there are a few hotels of better standing, starting with the Peachtree and the Best Western fireside inn among a few serving an otherwise awkwardly-located train station west/northwest of the city. The largest of these hotels is the Ambassador convention centre, which offers extensive indoor athletic and recreational facilities. Others in this immediate area include a Comfort Inn (no restaurant on site) and the Lasalle (a Travelodge with full hotel facilities).
Continue further west and the selection is dominated by motels, many of them independent or low-end properties.
Near the highway
If you stick near the 401, and it may not make sense to do so if you want to see Kingston itself, your choices are adequate but limited. Kingston was built around the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River waterfront and around Princess Street (old Highway 2, as the main street in town). Highway 401 in Kingston pulls well too far north of the local urbanized area in order to cross the Rideau Canal near Kingston Mills, effectively bypassing the city entirely.
There are a few moderately-priced chains (Courtyard by Marriott, Holiday Inn Express, Days Inn, Comfort Inn, First Canada Inns) located amongst the endless fast-food emporiums at Division & 401 (exit 617) but nothing uniquely Kingstonian to see in this part of town. To the west is industrial park, to the east housing projects. A new outlet shopping centre is being constructed in this area. Along the 401 in the west end of the city is a new Motel 6 hotel.
Comfort Inn Kingston 401, 55 Warne Crecent (Division Street Exit #617). This convenient location offers easy access to all major attractions in the region including: Fort Henry, Thousand Island Boat Tours, Murney Tower, Thousand Island Parkway, 1000 Charity Casino, Queen’s University and Royal Military College.
Fort Henry motel Kingston 401 and Hwy 15 exit. Fort Henry Motel located on Highway 2 East, close to RMC and CFB Kingston, from down town 5 min’s drive. Clean rooms, friendly staff, clean sheets, with showers, free local phone and WI FI and very reasonable rates and friendly staff, it is worth checking out. There is a MC Donald’s close by for breakfast.
West of the city
There are several low-priced (or at least under-$100) motels on the old Highway 2 as it comes in from the west of the city, but the choices do seem to be limited to the low-end of the market with many small independent operators. Almost all of these stretch out along the one road, continuing well into suburbia.
Comfort Inn Kingston Midtown, 1454 Princess St.(Hwy. 2). This convenient location is only 5 min from downtown and resides on highway #2 which provides a very scenic and historic alternative to highway #401.
East of the city
Kingston is separated from CFB Kingston and Old Fort Henry in the east by the Cataraqui River and Rideau Canal. The city itself is west. There are a few small motels along the old 2 and 15 highways intended primarily to serve visitors to the Fort, but these tend to be low-end in price and quality.
Fort Henry Motel at 848 Highway 2 East, close to RMC & CFB and 5 min’s to down town. Located on Highway 2 East, close to RMC and CFB Kingston, from down town 5 min’s drive. Clean rooms, friendly staff, clean sheets, with showers, free local phone and WI FI and very reasonable rates and friendly staff, it is worth checking out. There is a MC Donald’s close by for breakfast.
Continue 30 km further east into Gananoque, a town of just over 5000 people near the centre of the Thousand Islands region, and a wider selection (ranging from small B&B’s to hotel/motel chains) becomes available.