Wedding in KingstonKingston, Ontario, is a city located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, where the lake runs into the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands begin.
Kingston's economy relies heavily on public sector institutions and establishments. The most important sectors are related to health care, education, government (including the military and correctional services), tourism and culture, manufacturing, and research and development. Of Kingston's major industrial employers of the 20th century, the Canadian Locomotive Company and Davis Drydock are long closed, and the former Alcan and DuPont operations employ far fewer persons than in the past.
Canadian Forces Base Kingston (CFB Kingston) houses CFSCE (Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics), the Canadian Forces' military communications training centre. CFB Kingston, the region's largest employer, is located east of downtown, and is comprised of the Vimy(residential) and MacNaughton (operations) Barracks. Kingston, with its strategic location at the head of the St. Lawrence River as this drains the Great Lakes, near the border with the United States, has been a site of vital military importance since its founding in 1673 as Fort Frontenac. The establishment of the Royal Military College in 1876 further emphasized Kingston's central role. A large wooded operational training area is part of the MacNaughton Barracks. The Garrison Golf and Curling Club, also on MacNaughton, is the Base's primary recreational outlet.
Kingston has developed a thriving artistic and entertainment life. The city hosts several festivals during the year, including the Limestone City Blues Festival, the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, Fanfayr, the Kingston Buskers' Rendezvous, Kingston Sheep Dog Trials, Kingston Jazz Festival, Kingston Dragon Boat Festival, Canada DanceSport, the Festival of Trees, Feb Fest, the Limestone Classic, and the Chilifest.
The city has spawned several musicians and musical groups, most of whom are known mainly within Canada, but a few of whom have achieved international success. These include John Kay, lead singer, harmonica player, and occasional guitarist of the heavy metal late 60s/early 70s band Steppenwolf, members of The Tragically Hip, The Mahones, jazz singer Andy Poole, Bedouin Soundclash, Sarah Harmer, The Arrogant Worms, The Headstones, The Inbreds, David Usher (formerly of Moist), and Kingston is the birth place of Bryan Adams. Singer Avril Lavigne, from nearby Napanee, began her career after gaining notice singing at a Kingston fair and bookstore. The first winner of the television series Canadian Idol was Kingston native Ryan Malcolm.
Poet Michael Andre was raised in Kingston, and actor Dan Aykroyd makes his home near Kingston.
Although contested, Kingston lays claim to being the birthplace of ice hockey. This claim arises from a game played in 1886 between Queen's University and the Royal Military College of Canada, and is recognized by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. The rivalry between Queen's and RMC is the world's oldest in hockey.
Kingston is represented in the OHL by the Kingston Frontenacs, and in OPJHL by the Kingston Voyageurs.
The International Hockey Hall of Fame, established in 1943 and erected in 1965, is located in Kingston, near the Kingston Memorial Centre. This is the oldest hockey Hall of Fame in the world. Currently under construction is the Kingston Sports and Entertainment Centre, located in the downtown core; completion is scheduled for early 2008.
Kingston is a well-known destination for fresh-water wreck diving. Some of Kingston's wrecks can be classed among the best fresh water wrecks in the world. Kingston's wrecks are well preserved by its cool fresh water, and the recent zebra mussel invasion has caused a drastic improvement in water clarity that has enhanced the quality of diving in the area.