- Historic Kingston Ontario bed & breakfast
- Central to Kingston attractions and Queen's University
- Classic luxurious accommodation with modern conveniences
- Beautiful gardens and unique historic Kingston architecture
- Walk to themed restaurants and downtown Kingston shopping
5 Historic Inns of Kingston have teamed up with 4 of the most distinguished eateries in our beautiful city. Click on the link to view favorite restaurants chosen by our past guests.
Le Chien Noir & Atomica
When you are in Kingston, be sure to stay in the city's most recognizable Historic Inn. We offer first class accommodations and service in the fashionable historic Sydenham District, located in the centre of the famous Limestone City. We are just steps from the beautiful waterfront, Queen's University and Kingston's stylish and trendy boutiques. Kingston's hip, uptown flavor has something for everyone. The city's unique historic architecture, with its European flare, makes the city come alive with winding cobblestone paths leading you to some of Kingston's finest gourmet restaurants, martini bars and tapas eateries that will delight your senses.
Our French Victorian Mansion, with 21 rooms, is perfect for the business or leisure traveler seeking accommodation in Kingston. We also have the perfect venue in Kingston to host small conferences. We offer round the clock front desk service, high speed wireless internet, complimentary parking and breakfast. Our friendly, accommodating staff will do everything to ensure your stay is a memorable one. From dinner reservations to theatre tickets, or even kayaking the 1000 Islands, we're here for you.
Guests may choose from a number of attractive guest rooms and suites at our historic Kingston bed and breakfast inn. All of our B and B rooms are non-smoking. Every room is unique and tastefully decorated with antiques. All Hochelaga Inn rooms have comfortable queen or king beds, private baths, cable television and free wireless high-speed internet. Many rooms offer amenities such as romantic fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, cozy terry robes and spacious sitting areas. Whether you stay in one of our economical Executive rooms or in a luxurious Deluxe, Tower or Jacuzzi room, at Hochelaga Inn, friendly service, complimentary coffee and cookies and a delicious, healthy breakfast are always included.
From the moment you approach Hochelaga Inn you will be struck by the beauty of this century home, with its massive central turret, decorative brick-work, multiple gables and windows, extensive ginger breading, and lovely gardens. Loving maintained, Hochelaga Inn's interior is every bit as impressive as its outer facade. Our Kingston bed and breakfast guests feel immediately at home as they enter into the warm and inviting centre hall reception area, where cookies and hot beverages are always available. Each of our distinctive and tastefully decorated guest rooms and suites are furnished with antiques, as are the inn's lounges and breakfast room. High ceilings, architectural detail, and comfortable furnishings combine to create a bed and breakfast inn that you will want to return to again and again.
When you choose the Hochelaga Inn, you will experience the intimacy and luxury of a privately owned bed & breakfast without sacrificing the convenience and service of a large hotel. Kingston is a historic Canadian city. Our bed and breakfast accommodation will take you back to the days when guest services were an art. The ambience is classic luxury - simple yet refined. We'll even leave the cookies out for you!
When you book your Kingston getaway at Hochelaga Inn you can be confident that your accommodations will be everything that you expect. Hochelaga Inn has been rated by CAA/AAA as a 3 Diamond property. Based on stringent testing and the highest industry standards, the CAA/AAA approved designation assures customers that our accommodation property is a clean and reliable B&B hotel. Our 3 Diamond rating indicates that we offer upgraded facilities and amenities, and a superior level of comfort for our guests. As well, Hochelaga is a proud member of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce.
After a long day out on the town in Kingston, nothing will feel better than to have a nice comfortable room to come back to. Hochelaga Inn provides its guests with beautiful large, fully furnished rooms to stay in. The rooms at our Kingston bed and breakfast are wonderfully decorated to be exceptionally comfortable with modern amenities, but still hold on to their historic charm. We have a wide array of rooms to meet your needs, whether you are on a business trip or out for a romantic weekend getaway, we will be happy to accommodate you at our Kingston inn.
Kingston's unique, central location makes it a wonderful spot for a weekend getaway in Ontario. The city is located just on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, almost equi-distant from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. This, coupled with being a popular port for boaters from the United States and Canada, adds to the cultural diversity of the town. There are many wonderful people to meet, sites to see and foods to taste in Kingston, creating an ideal weekend getaway.
Kingston is known as Canada's museum capitol. The city features over 20 museums and historic sites, offering something of interest for everyone. Of the many museums in Kingston, there are a number of small specialized museums like the Murney Tower National Historic Site, as well as large national historic sites and museums. These make for a great day of site-seeing when enjoying a weekend bed and breakfast getaway, especially for the history buff..
Perfect for romantic couples seeking a special getaway together to relax and be indulged, Hochelaga Inn's convenient location on a quiet residential street close to Kingston's downtown core and to Queen's University also makes it the ideal Kingston B & B accommodation for people travelling to the area on business or for those visiting a child at the university. Hochelaga provides a quiet and restful sanctuary within the heart of historical Kingston. As well, Hochelaga's old world charm makes it also the ideal venue for family reunions, second wedding celebrations, anniversary parties and girl's weekends. Hochelaga Inn's beautiful and luxurious Tower Room and Jacuzzi Room are perfect for anniversaries and honeymoons or for any special occasion where only the most romantic accommodations will do.
Having a weekend away at a luxurious and relaxing B&B can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. Work stress and other things can sometimes get you down and getting out of town for a romantic couples weekend getaway can be just what you need to clear your head. At the Hochelaga Inn in Kingston, On we offer full service rooms for nightly and weekly stays. There are many local attractions around our B&B in Kingston, and many fine dining restaurants to make for a perfect weekend away.
Our romantic B&B inn is the best location in Kingston for Queen's University visits. We are situated only a few short blocks away from the historic main Kingston university campus of Queen's, a lovely 5 minute stroll. We count Queen's University parents as frequent and most welcome guests at the inn. As well as hosting parents visiting their sons or daughters at Queen's University, parents of students attending the Royal Military College and St. Lawrence College also find Hochelaga Inn terrific for their accommodations in Kingston.
For a thoughtful gift that anyone would be thrilled to receive, consider a Hochelaga Inn Gift Certificate. As a corporate gift or employee reward, and for weddings, anniversaries or a very special birthday present, a gift certificate from the Hochelaga Inn is perfect for any occasion. It is a unique way to say congratulations or thanks to a special someone. Purchase a Kingston bed & breakfast gift certificate from Hochelaga Inn to surprise your husband or wife with a special Kingston romantic getaway. Available in any denomination, bed and breakfast gift certificates may be purchased online, to make it easy to give the gift of a romantic Kingston inn stay.
Please consider our historic Ontario inn when searching for affordable Kingston accommodations. When you add up all the "additional extras" that are included with your Hochelaga stay, but are additional charges at most Kingston hotels, you will conclude that staying at our fine Kingston inn is not only more enjoyable, but may also be more affordable. Included with your accommodations at Hochelaga Inn is free parking, a healthy continental buffet breakfast, complimentary tea, coffee and delicious home-made cookies available throughout the day, and free wireless internet in your guest room. Compare everything that your stay at Hochelaga Inn includes and you see why the luxury and comfort of our charming historic inn represents good value in Kingston lodgings.
Kingston, Ontario makes for the perfect summer weekend getaway destination. The city of Kingston and the surrounding area offer lots to keep you active with many nature outdoor trails to walk on and explore. There are three trail systems running through Kingston; the K&P Trail, Rideau Trail and the Waterfront Pathway, which combined, provide over 30kms of trails for you to traverse. So if you are seeking a weekend getaway to spend outside, without travelling too far out of the GTA, Kingston and Hochelaga Inn is your best choice.
The St. Lawrence River was one of the first areas of in-land Canada to be settled, and because of this, the ports along its shores were very important cities. It is because of this that Kingston was originally the capital of the Province of Canada. Though this stature of political importance was short lived, it has long been a point of heritage for the locality of Kingston. The local heritage and history is one of the many reasons people travel from all across the province to enjoy Kingston vacations. The Kingston tourism industry has long been supported by its local history. There are very many historical sites that vacationers come to see on holidays in Ontario.
September and October are a wonderful time of year for a Kingston, Ontario getaway at a historic Ontario inn. Whether for an Ontario fall colours tour, a romantic couple's getaway or simply a restful weekend away in Ontario. The city of Kingston and the surrounding countryside is alive with the vibrant colours of fall. Warm sunshine and the cool gentle breeze off Lake Ontario combine to make long walks through Kingston's many parks and historic neighborhoods and hiking along the area's many walking trails very pleasant indeed. The area boasts many special events in the fall, as well as farmers markets, fall fairs and studio tours.
For the ultimate Ontario fall colours tour, Ontario Tourism recommends the Ontario Rideau Route as one of the best fall drives northeast of Toronto. Beginning or ending in Kingston, the Ontario Rideau Route follows the historic Rideau Canal waterway to Ottawa and is both beautifully scenic and of significant historical interest. Plan to spend a night or two in Kingston at the beginning or end of your fall colour drive along the Ontario Rideau Route, so that you can take advantage of all the autumn activities and fall events happening in the city of Kingston. Hochelaga Inn offers a couple of value added fall colour getaway packages that will make your Kingston fall getaway extra special. While at Hochelaga Inn, guests can pick up a free guide to many area activities that are low cost or free.
Spring is an ideal time of year for a romantic couple's weekend in Kingston. A springtime getaway at our historic Kingston inn, gives couples a chance to unwind, relax and enjoy the beauty of the season. In the spring, Kingston's many beautiful parks and gardens come alive, making romantic walks in the warm sunshine a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours, and to work up an appetite for an intimate dinner for two at any one of Kingston's many fine restaurants. Hochelaga Inn offers affordable bed and breakfast accommodations for spring getaways, for both midweek couple's escapes and couple's weekend stays in Kingston.
During April, May, and June, visitors to Kingston will find a wide variety of events and attractions of interest. Two popular free events of note that take place in mid June are the First Capital Day Celebrations and Doors Open Kingston. First Capital Day Celebrations gives visitors a glimpse of life more than a century ago, when Kingston was the nation's capital. With interactive events and demonstrations of the skills and trades of pioneer life, military re-enactments, period costumes, horse drawn wagon rides, an old time medicine show, and much more, there is something of interest for everyone. Doors Open Kingston gives visitors to the city the rare opportunity to catch a glimpse inside of some of Kingston's historic landmark buildings that are normally not open to the public.
Historic charm, modern sensibility
The Hochelaga Inn, an 1800's Victorian style home, derives its name from the Iroquois word for the area now known as Montreal. The Inn was built in 1879 by John McIntyre, and his wife Harriet, who was related to Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first Prime Minister. Following Mr. McIntyre's death, the house was purchased by the 'Hochelaga Foundation', a segment of the Bank of Montreal, to provide traveling executives with a place to rest.
In 1985, the house was converted into a bed and breakfast hotel. Each of the twenty-one rooms have been uniquely decorated and outfitted with all of the modern conveniences one would expect from a much larger hotel. The Hochelaga Inn is large enough to accommodate group functions, while providing personalized service for every guest. It is a full service classic alternative to the standard Kingston hotels.
The history of the bed and breakfast is quite interesting. Bed & breakfast establishments have existed, in some form or another, for many hundreds of years. Even during the Dark Ages, travelers turned to places such as monasteries to find a bed and a morning meal. Very popular for years with Europe travelers, the first establishments that offered bed and breakfast lodgings were nothing like the warm, inviting, and sometimes lavish B&Bs that we now enjoy. It was over one hundred years ago that the term B&B originated in the British Isles. When in Britain, tourists know to look for the familiar B&B signs posted throughout the towns and countryside, when they looking for a place to stay. The term B&B is not used everywhere. In other countries terms like paradors, pensions, gasthaus, minskukus, shukukos, pousados are used to describe a bed and breakfast style of establishment.
In North America, the history of bed & breakfast started with the first pioneers. When these hearty immigrants travelled across the country, they sought out any refuge they could afford, in private houses, inns and taverns. During the 19th century, in Canada and the United States, the majority of travelers that frequented B&Bs were pioneers, miners and fortune seekers, and business people traveling from one area to another. Most bed and breakfasts offered guests accommodation for the night and a meal in the morning before they continued on with their journey. Many of these B&Bs in the 1800's were private residences that usually catered to specific types of people. By example, a lawyer or doctor would offer accommodations to another professional, and a middle class private home owner would offer accommodations for people like traveling salesmen, farmers, miners and pioneers. As more inns, lodges and hotels were built in the 1900's, B&Bs were seen as an affordable accommodation for people traveling through small towns or in areas that weren't heavily developed.
In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, many people opened their homes to the travelers as a way to earn money for their family. Although these bed and breakfasts of necessity were usually clean and comfortable and provided hearty breakfast, they seldom offered private baths and certainly none of the luxurious amenities found in many of today's finer B&Bs and bed and breakfast inns, like Jacuzzi tubs, fine linens and designer decor. The term "boarding house" was used for some of these establishments. When the depression ended, this type of accommodation declined or became low-cost housing for the poor. After the Second World War, boarding homes and tourist homes fell out of favour. In the 1950s, along with the construction of miles of new highways for the car obsessed public, came the cheap and convenient accommodation for travelers known as the roadside motel. It wasn't until the 1980's that bed and breakfasts in North America once again became popular with vacationers and the traveling public.
The revival of the bed and breakfast inn as a popular accommodation for travelers, and especially for romantic couples, occurred because people wanted a change from commercial hotels and motels that lacked personality. In the 1980s and 1990s, North Americans were traveling to Europe more than ever before. While in Europe, many were introduced to the joys of small B&B type pensions and bed and breakfast inns. Here they discovered how comfortable a B&B inn getaway could be. Having found European bed and breakfast accommodations to be a welcomed change from cold and impersonal motels and hotel chains, they began to seek out small independent inns and bed and breakfast inns for vacations and romantic getaways back home. No longer considered to be low cost lodgings, the bed and breakfast inn is viewed as a highly desirable and affordable alternative to commercial hotels.
Kingston Ontario is a beautiful setting for a stress free weekend getaway. Although Kingston is a busy city, with many gourmet restaurants and other downtown attractions, it is close Frontenac Provincial Park, offering the best of both worlds for an active romantic couples retreat. Sometimes it's nice to escape the city, to take pleasure in the beauty of nature and enjoy some exercise in the great outdoors. Frontenac Provincial Park is just a short drive north of Kingston, so you can leave the city behind for a few hours and return to partake in all that the city of Kingston has to offer
The Hochelaga Inn is located in the heart of historic Kingston, and is within walking distance to the downtown area's many restaurants, and Kingston's beautiful waterfront. Kingston is sure to arouse the interests of any visitor, offering interesting museums, picturesque art galleries, as well as great shopping and fine dining. The city of Kingston is home to a number of festivals, plays, and special events throughout the year. There is lot to see and do.
The city of Kingston is known for its historic properties and landmark buildings. The city's motto is "where history and innovation thrive." Kingston boasts nearly 700 properties that are listed on the heritage register as having cultural and/or historic value. As well, Kingston has the third largest number of National Historic Sites of any city in Ontario, next to Ottawa and Toronto. The historic Sydenham District, where our Kingston bed & breakfast inn is located, is steeped in culture and history, with museums, art galleries, national historic sites and UNESCO World Heritage designated landmarks.
Being right on the water of Lake Ontario, and having some small bays inlaid with the town, Kingston is home to fantastic Ontario fishing. There are a few fishing charter companies in Kingston that take arrange fishing trips for guests on a Kingston vacation. The fishing in the area ranges in skill level for both experienced anglers and for people who are just on a weekend getaway and are looking to try the sport. On a summer holiday in Kingston, vacationers can fish from boats or from docks, and in the winter time ice fishing is very popular.
Located on the waters of Lake Ontario, Kingston is home to some of the best fishing in Ontario. There are a number of fishing charter companies that operate out of Kingston where you can arrange a fishing charter while on your Ontario vacation. The fishing opportunities in the area run the gamut. No matter your skill level, both experienced anglers and people on a weekend getaway who just want to try the sport can have a thoroughly satisfying fishing adventure. During the summer, vacationers can rent boats for fishing or they can fish from the town docks, and in the winter time, ice fishing is also very popular in the Bay of Quinte and on Kingston's smaller back lakes.
Kingston's charming Old Sydenham Heritage area has over 200 designated historical properties of historical importance or of architectural significance, including private homes and public buildings. The District includes properties dating back over 200 years, with many rare and important examples of 19th century Canadian architecture. The Sydenham Heritage area is located within Kingston's downtown core and is informally bordered by Johnson Street to the north, Barrie Street to the west, and Lake Ontario to the south and east. In this historic district of Kingston, you will find mature parks, landscape gardens, and many noteworthy properties, such as the Martello Tower and Murney Tower Museum, the McIntosh Castle, the Frontenac County Courthouse, and of course, Hochelaga Inn.
One very popular Kingston Ontario event is Cork Sailing Week. Since 1969, Kingston has welcomed sailors and spectators from across Canada and around the world for two exciting weeks in August of international sailing events. For the sailing enthusiast, the waters off Kingston present some of the best fresh-water sailing in the world due to its position at the eastern end of Lake Ontario near the head of the St. Lawrence River. Naturally, Kingston's location, within close proximity to the world famous Thousand Islands, makes it a great jumping off point to explore the many nearby islands and view attractions like Old Fort Henry and Boldt Castle from the water. Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises offers Kingston visitors a variety of scenic 1000 Island cruises and Kingston Harbour cruises, including lunch and dinner cruises.
The Thousand Islands, a beautiful sight to see by boat while on a Kingston Thousand Island boat cruise, are even more spectacular when viewed from the air. An aerial tour of the Thousand Islands is an incredibly unique experience that is certain to make your Kingston vacation truly unforgettable. The city of Kingston has a number of aerial tour companies that offer both helicopter and plane tours. Local aerial tours are just one of many wonderful things to do and terrific local attractions to enjoy during your stay at Hochelaga Inn.
Another Kingston tradition is the Kingston Canadian Film Festival. For one week every February, Kingston welcomes movie lovers from all over to the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, which is presented in several downtown theatre venues. As well as seeing the year's best Canadian films, festival participants can attend a wide variety of informative seminars and lectures, film festival receptions and see many film industry guests.
In addition to its movie theatres, Kingston is home to a number of unique entertainment venues. Kingston's new K-Rock Centre is a premier sports and entertainment facility. Along with sporting events, including Kingston Frontenacs hockey games, The K-Rock Centre hosts world-class concerts and entertainment. After undergoing major massive renovations, Kingston's beautiful and historic Grand Theatre is once again providing the best in live theatre, musical concerts and high quality entertainment. Offering the best in Kingston entertainment, the K-Rock Centre has been recognized as one of the top sports and entertainment venues for its size in the world. It is currently the highest ranking Canadian facility under 10,000. This Kingston Ontario attraction has played host to sold out performances from Johnny Reid, Cirque du Soleil, Sarah McLachlan and Alan Jackson. Other notable acts that have appeared are Great Big Sea, Dane Cook, Heart, Jackson Browne and Burton Cummings.
Kingston Ontario's The Grand Theatre is the city's premier performing arts facility. Home of the Kingston Symphony and host to numerous live productions - plays, musicals, ballets, concerts and other cultural events throughout the year. The Grand Theatre building houses a 776 seat auditorium; the Baby Grand, a 105 seat black box theatre, two lounges used for receptions and art exhibits, as well a lobby and backstage facilities. Today's Grand Theatre is built on the site of the original Martin's Opera House which burned to the ground in 1898. The present structure took its place in 1902. In later years, the theatre became a Famous Players movie house and continued in that capacity until 1961. On May 2, 2008, after three years of extensive reconstruction, the renewed Grand Theatre opened its doors. Today the Grand Theatre is a thriving Kingston attraction that features a diverse variety of performance art and live entertainment to delight all ages and tastes. The Grand Theatre Presents series features over 30 different live performances and 6 different educational productions. World-class presentations include dance series, Broadway series, and a wide range of musical performances from Jazz, to rock, to classical fare. On the night of the Academy Awards, the Grand Theater rolls out the red carpet for an Oscar night gala, where event participants are invited to dress as their favorite star and join an all-star cast for an evening of glamour at Kingston's Oscar screening extravaganza.
There are countless activities for Kingston visitors that don't cost a cent. During the winter, the city of Kingston maintains an ice rink in Market Square, right beside the historic city hall. In the spring, fall and summer months, a farmer's market sets up in the same spot. During the summer, in Market Square every Thursday at dusk, free movies are presented in the open air at Movies in the Square. Naturally, Kingston, Canada's second oldest city, has a wealth of interesting and historic homes, parks and museums. A walking tour from Hochelaga Inn is the best way to see the many sites of this beautiful city.
The beautiful town of Kingston is a wonderful getaway destination anytime of the year. With so much to see and do, Kingston has much to offer vacationing families looking for an Ontario tourist destination that can provide both educational and fun-filled activities to keep the children entertained. For romantic couples, boomers and seniors, Kingston is the perfect place to spend a weekend getaway or a week's vacation. The historic city of Kingston is the ideal setting for any Ontario conference, weekend retreat or mini holiday.
Winter is a magical time of year in Kingston and a great time for a Kingston, Ontario getaway. During your stay at our Kingston Bed & breakfast inn, why not do as many Kingston residents do and enjoy some old fashion, invigorating ice skating on an outdoor rink in the heart of historic downtown Kingston. Located at King Street and Brock at City Hall, the Springer Market Square ice rink is open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily, from December to March (weather permitting). Skating is free of charge and skate rentals and skate sharpening are available rink side for a small fee. Public rest rooms, a heated change area and lockers are located nearby at the Market Wing of City Hall.
Kingston makes a great stop for any visitor to Canada or the province of Ontario, whether for a night, a couple of days or a week. Located in southeast Ontario, Kingston is easy to get to by rental car, train or bus from central Canada's major cities; Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Kingston is ideally located off Ontario's major thoroughfare; Highway 401, which cuts a swath across southern Ontario, running from the Canadian border at Detroit, Michigan and into the province of Quebec. Kingston is only 257 km (160 miles) from Toronto with a driving time of only two hours. It is 290 km (180 miles) from Montreal with a driving time of three hours and 175 km (110 miles) from Ottawa with a driving time of two hours. As well as coach bus services and Kingston bus tours, there is excellent train service to Kingston by Via Rail.
Kingston Ontario is the doorway to the world famous 1,000 Islands. This area is very popular with vacationers, tourists, and boaters, and is often referred to as the "fresh water boating capital of the world". Totaling 1,793 islands in all, twenty of these islands form the St. Lawrence Islands National Park. The Thousand Islands - Frontenac Arch region was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Popular island attractions include George Boldt Castle, Singer Castle and the ruins of Fort Haldiman, built in 1779 by the British during the American Revolutionary War. Enhance your stay at Hochelaga Inn with a scenic drive around this popular Ontario tourist region. Better still; take one of many informative and relaxing boat cruises that explore the many islands and attractions of the 1000 Islands Region. Thousand Island boat tours leave from the Kingston town docks several times daily during the summer months. Thousand Island dinner cruises and cruises of Kingston Harbour are also offered.
Canada's 1,000 Islands are located where Lake Ontario narrows into the St. Lawrence River between Cape Vincent, New York and Kingston, Ontario and stretches on to the St. Lawrence Seaway lock system between Massena, New York and Cornwall, Ontario. Situated in this very popular and scenic Ontario tourist area are many waterfront villages, towns and ports located both along the shores of the region's multitude of islands and the mainland. Kingston, Ontario is the 1,000 Island's urban hub, providing 1,000 Island visitors with a full complement of big city amenities such as fine dining, night clubs, historic sites, galleries, shops and exciting live theatre presentations.
The 1,000 Islands and the city of Kingston are one of the most popular Ontario tourist destinations in Canada. At the top of every Kingston visitor's to do list, we recommend taking the scenic Kingston Harbour Tour or one of the many 1,000 Island Boat Cruises offered from the Kingston docks. Viewed by boat, the beautiful local scenery and historic architecture create a unique experience that is not to be missed. The 1,000 Islands is also well known for scuba diving. There are dive shops in the area for tourists to come and explore the underwater terrain. So whether you are on top of the water or beneath it, the 1,000 Islands at Kingston is a spectacular destination for an Ontario resort holiday.
A short leisurely walk from our historic Kingston Inn, you will find Bellevue House, an architecturally unique building that was once the home of Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's First Prime Minister. Bellevue House is a National Historic Site of Canada that is owned and operated by Parks Canada and is located at 35 Centre Street. The house and the grounds are open daily, from April to the end of October, to the general public. A small admission fee allows visitors to view the house and gardens, and learn more about what life was like for the MacDonald family in 1840s Kingston, Ontario. A Visitors Centre, located on the site of what was the old coach house, features an informational video, a display area with artifacts and a gift shop. Knowledgeable staff, dressed in period costume, are available to assist with guided or self-guided tours.
Although Sir John A. did not reside at Bellevue House for very long, Parks Canada chose to turn this beautiful Italian Villa into a museum because of its interesting architecture. The home has been fully restored, and both the house and the gardens are kept much as they would have been during the 1840's when MacDonald lived there with his wife, Isabella and their infant son. Originally built for Charles Hales, a successful Kingston merchant, Sir John called Bellevue House, "the most fantastic concern imaginable." Totally unlike the traditional Georgian style houses built in Kingston at the time, Bellevue House was built asymmetrically, with decorative balconies and a three-story central tower. The home has various nicknames, including 'Tea Caddy Castle', 'Molasses Hall' and 'Pekoe Pagoda', due to its unusual design.
For those who would like to explore nearby Wolf Island, a ferry service leaves Kingston several times a day and operates all year long, free of charge. The Wolfe Islander III holds approximately 55 cars and 330 passengers per trip and drops passengers off at the Marysville Dock, except during the winter months when the ferry stops at Dawson Point Dock instead. The crossing takes approximately 20 minutes. The ferry serves Wolfe Island's long established community and the many thousands of people who visit each year. The Island Ferry service has a long history that began in 1904, when Wolfe Island bought the original ferry - the Wolfe Islander. Today the Ontario government operates the ferry service.
A visit to Kingston wouldn't be complete without a visit to nearby Prince Edward County. A mecca for lovers of art, nature, fine food and wine, beautiful Prince Edward County is famous for its giant sand dunes, artist studios and galleries, regional cuisine and its wineries. Ontario's newest wine region, Prince Edward County is home to dozens for Ontario wineries that are open for wine tours and tastings. Prince Edward County is a short drive from Kingston, making Kingston's premier historic inn, Hochelaga Inn the perfect place to stay to enjoy a Prince Edward Country day trip and winery tour.
Due to the combination of climate and soil, rich in Limestone, the City of Kingston is surrounded by many thriving vineyards and wineries in both Prince Edward Country and Addington Country. The area has come to be recognized as one of Canada's best producers of fine wine. Wine connoisseurs will be interested to learn that nearby Prince Edward County has officially been designated as Ontario's 4th Designated Viticultural Area (DVA). This eastern Ontario region produces some of the finest wines in the world such as Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and others, according to Ontario wine experts. There are a number of Prince Edward County wine tour routes suitable for a day trip from Kingston. A suggested route for those travelling to Kingston from the west, would be to start the tour off from the north west, driving down through the towns of Wellington, Bloomfield and Picton to Glenora Ferry, for a quick ferry ride across Picton Bay, and then on to Kingston and Hochelaga Inn.
East of Kingston, situated on the mighty St. Lawrence River, is the Ontario resort town of Gananoque. Ontario. Only minutes from of Kingston, Gananoque is a quick 28 kilometre drive along Highway 401. This small eastern Ontario tourist town of 5,200 residents is world famous as the "Heart of the Thousand Islands." It boasts stunning 18th century historical buildings, museums, and professional live theatre productions. Other popular eastern Ontario attractions found in Gananoque are St. Lawrence Islands National Parks, numerous festivals, carnivals, fairs and boat tours of the 1000 Islands. With many interesting activities for vacationing couples and families, Gananoque makes a wonderful daytrip from Kingston.
Kingston and neighboring Prince Edward Country are rich in Canadian history, with much preserved from their long and storied past. For the history buff, there are many historic sites of interest, Ontario antique shops to browse and many fine Canadian historic buildings to explore and admire, including the Frontenac County Courthouse, Kingston City Hall, the Murney Tower, St Georges Cathedral and St Mary's Cathedral. The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and the Pump House Steam Museum are well worth a visit during your Kingston getaway.
No matter what time of year you plan your Kingston vacation or getaway, you are likely to find at least one Kingston festival happening during your stay. Kingston hosts dozens of festivals throughout the year, including the Wolfe Island Music Festival, the Limestone City Blues Festival, Kingston Writersfest, TOMMFest Free Music Festival, Kingston Dragon Boat Festival, the Kingston Buskers' Rendezvous, Chilifest, Macdonald Fest, Feb Fest, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Reelout Film Festival and Pumpkin Fest, to name just a few.
Naturally Kingston, Ontario has a lot going on during the busy spring and summer months when the city comes alive with visitors enjoying a Kingston vacation or just passing through town while on an Ontario road trip or tour. However, during the fall and winter months there is also a lot to see and do in Kingston. An extremely active community with over 85 community organizations, Kingston visitors will discover that there is always something going on and that they are sure to find something of interest for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Kingston hosts several festivals during the year, including the Limestone City Blues Festival, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Fanfayr, the Kingston Buskers' Rendezvous, Kingston Jazz Festival, Reelout Film Festival, Feb Fest and the Wolfe Island Music Festival. Kingston is home to many artists who work in visual arts, media arts, literature, and a growing number who work in other disciplines such as performance art. The contemporary arts scene in particular has two long standing professional non-profit venues in the downtown area, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (founded 1957), and Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre (founded 1977). Local artists often participate in the exhibition programming of each organization, while each also presents the work of artists from across Canada and around the world - in keeping with their educational mandates. Alternative venues for the presentation of exhibition programs in Kingston include The Union Gallery (Queen's University's student art gallery), Verb Gallery, Open Studio 22, the Kingston Arts Council gallery, and The Artel: Arts Accommodations and Venue.
Although a historic Canadian town with museums and historic sites, Kingston has a vibrant contemporary arts scene. Kingston is home to many artists who work in a variety of genres including visual art and media arts, literature and performance art. In downtown Kingston, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre are two long standing professional non-profit venues for local contemporary artists where they participate in exhibits and demonstrations. As well, artist from other parts of Canada and from around the world are showcased. Other Kingston art galleries include the Union Gallery at Queen's University, the Verb Gallery, Open Studio 22, the Kingston Arts Council and The Artel: Arts Accommodations and Venue.
At Hochelaga Inn, a romantic weekend or midweek stay at our luxurious bed & breakfast inn is all the more spectacular because we are located right in the heart of Kingston, Ontario, a thriving and vibrant city renowned for its many fine restaurants and great night life. Kingston's culinary scene is a rare gem. Kingston may just have more award winning restaurants than any other small city in Canada. From classical French, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian and Thai, Kingston's vast selection of restaurants represent a united nations of taste sensations. Choose from bistro fare, tasting menus, tapas and gourmet coffee and bakery delights, Kingston has it all. As well, many local restaurants have embraced the local food movement and provide the highest quality seasonal gourmet selections.
During the month of August, Kingston has a number of interesting events that are well-worth attending, including "the Best of the Blues" Limestone City Blues Music Festival. This popular Kingston Ontario event is an annual festival that attracts music fans to downtown Kingston from across North America to hear some of the top blues entertainers in the business. This three day festival takes place on the fourth weekend in August and includes several performances at various venues across the city. In 2012, headlining artists include Roxanne Potvin, Curtis Salgado, Ruthie Fowler and David Gogo, to name a few. For a terrific Kingston weekend getaway, Hochelaga Inn is the ideal place to stay while attending the Blues Festival.
Tourism has long been an economic backbone for the Kingston Area. The booming tourism industry is supported not only by the beautiful scenery provided by the 1,000 Islands and St. Lawrence, but also by local festivals. Kingston hosts many festivals year round such as the Kingston WritersFest, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Reelout Film Festival and the Kingston Jazz Festival. All of these events help bring in thousands of tourists every year. The tourism industry here helps to support over 3500 jobs, including jobs for Kingston B&Bs, resorts and inns.
The History of Kingston
Kingston was first settled in 1673 when Robert Cavelier de La Salle chose it for the governor of New France as the site of a fortified trading post named Fort Cataraqui. The fort, later renamed Fort Frontenac, was abandoned and destroyed by the Iroquois in 1689. In 1695, the French rebuilt the fort and held it until it was captured and destroyed by the British during the Battle of Fort Frontenac near the end of the Seven Year's War in 1758.
During the late 1700s, Kingston was the principal community of southeastern Upper Canada and during the American Revolution, received many United Empire Loyalists. The War of 1812 saw the Kingston based Great Lakes British Naval Fleet fight the Americans for control of the Great Lakes. The British built Fort Henry after the war to protect the entrance to the Rideau Canal.
Between 1841 and 1844, Kingston was the capital of Canada. Kingston was incorporated into a town in 1846. Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, called Kingston home. Kingston's location on Lake Ontario, beside the mouth of the Rideau, made Kingston the principal population, military and economic centre of Upper Canada. As well as being an important Great Lakes port and a center for shipbuilding and locomotive building, Kingston rapidly became a centre for knowledge and education. The Church of Scotland selected Kingston in the mid 1800s to build a school that would become today's Queen's University. Later institutions such as the Royal Military College and St. Lawrence College helped to shape Kingston as a centre for knowledge-based industry.
In 2007, Kingston Ontario became a World Heritage site. Kingston's World Heritage site status is due, in part, to the Rideau Canal and the accompanying fortifications which today remain almost intact. They are fine examples of early construction and Canadian military buildings of the 19th Century. The Fort Henry complex, a must see Kingston area attraction, and the surrounding network of Martello Towers, formed an integrated defensive system that once protected the shipyards, harbour, city, and southern entrance to the Rideau Canal. The canal itself was a defensive water route used for waterborne trade and carrying supplies away from the St. Lawrence River with its threatening American neighbors on the southern shore.
During the War of 1812, the Upper St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Kingston provided a life line for the defenders of Upper Canada. The waterway around Kingston was part of a super highway for soldiers and sailors bringing supplies and weapons needed to defend the province. 2012 marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Kingston and area have planned numerous special events to commemorate the war and that period in history. From the spring through the summer, Kingston visitors can enjoy 1812 events such as battle re-enactments, festivals, fairs, workshops and many other exciting activities.
A War of 1812 Bicentennial event of note that takes place in Kingston and area on the weekend of June 29 to July 1/12 is the Flight of the Royal George. Organized by the St. Lawrence War of 1812 Bicentennial Alliance, this exciting Signature 1812 event includes three days of activities that commemorate the flight of the Royal George. Some of the highlights of the weekend will be a re-enactment of the American attack on the Village of Emesttown (Bath) and the burning of the schooner Two Brothers, an evening naval engagement on the bay near Bath, and a re-enactment of the American attack on Kingston's British Batteries. During the weekend, there will be also an 1812 period encampment at Fairfield-Gutzeit and a Bicentennial parade in Bath.
From May 9 through November 30, 2012, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston and the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation present "Kingston War Ships: 1812-1814." This collaborative exhibit tells the story of Kingston's pivotal involvement in the War of 1812. The Royal Navy dockyard on Point Frederick in Kingston built most of the British ships on Lake Ontario. The naval war on the Great Lakes created a 19th century arms race to build the greatest number of ships with the most firepower. Boat builders at Kingston's Royal Navy dockyard worked to out produce the American boat builders at Sackets Harbor, New York. Both the British and American sides understood that the domination of the Great Lakes, especially Lake Ontario, was of paramount importance.
Many vacationers often flock to sun and sand getaways during the summer, but Ontario inns offer a perfect vacation spot without a large cost. At Hochelaga Inn in Kingston, we provide our guests with a comfortable and convenient place to come and experience a wonderful vacation for yourself and a special someone. Our couples bed and breakfast, located in the heart of historic Kingston, provides an ideal home away from home, close to historical architectural landmarks, spectacular scenery and a vibrant waterfront. So next time you're looking to get away, why not look closer to home and check out an Ontario inn or historic bed and breakfast instead?
A historic bed and breakfast inn is the ideal place to so spend a romantic couples' weekend. Our Kingston B &B offers the seclusion and privacy that is hard to find at large resort, while still providing incredibly comfortable rooms and high quality service. The Hochelaga Inn in Kingston offers wonderfully charming accommodations in tastefully decorated rooms for couples to enjoy some private time together. For your next romantic getaway in Ontario or couples weekend escape, consider Hochelaga Inn for peace, quiet and a touch of luxury.