Enjoy Free Activities as City Marks Anniversary as Canada’s First Capital

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Kingston celebrates the 177th anniversary of being the first capital of a united Canada – the role our city served between 1841 and 1844 – on Friday, June 15 with a day full of free history-themed activities at City Park.

First Capital Day will be opened by Mayor Bryan Paterson and world champion Town Crier Chris Wyman, followed at 10am by Paddling Puppeteer: Honest Frankie’s Shoreline Review – a musical and interactive show that takes the audience on a ride through the history of Ontario’s waterways.

“As Kingstonians we live in a city filled with history” said Mayor Paterson in a release. “First Capital Day is a great opportunity for our youth to learn about our long and rich past as a city and Kingston’s role as the country’s first capital in a fun, hands-on environment.”

Displays and hands-on activities will run in City Park from 9:30am until 2pm. Exhibits take place, rain or shine, unless it becomes a safety hazard.

Attendees can pack a picnic lunch or enjoy food from one of Kingston’s local vendors on site. Everyone is reminded to also bring sunscreen and a water bottle to fill up at the Utilities Kingston Water Buggy.

Activities include:


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Meet a voyageur, an 1812 travelling clothes merchant, a 19th-century surgeon, rope-makers, spinners, weavers, and Sutler Cyrus Wakefield
Practice drills with the Fort Henry Guard
Train with a broadsword with Broadsword Academy Kingston
Create a take-home souvenir with the Martello Alley Artists
Visit displays by the Historic Costume Club, the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum, the PumpHouse Museum and the Museum of Health Care
Take a Haunted Walk Tour through City Park (book ahead by calling 613-549-6366 or email Kingston@hauntedwalk.com)

Regarding parking and drop-offs for this event, the City notes: “the West Street entrance to the ring road that runs through the bottom of City Park will be closed to the general public throughout the day to accommodate this event o Patients of Kingston General Hospital’s cancer clinic can park on the ring road and may access it off Barrie Street”.

Buses will be able to drop off and pick-up on Bagot Street at the park building, but will not be allowed to remain parked at that location.

Teacher’s package can be requested and questions about the event submitted to sgrimes@cityofkingston.ca or by phoning 613-546-4291 ext. 1715.  There is also a free First Capital Day colouring book available for download here, to print out or colour digitally.


Photo: Benson Kua (cc)