Founded in 1673 on a First Nation site called Katarokwi, the settlement was eventually referred to as “the King’s Town” in honour of King George III, with the name shortening to“Kingston” by 1788. Kingston is also nicknamed the “Limestone City” because of the many historic buildings built with local limestone.
Kingston has a storied military and political history. Kingston was chosen as the first capital of Canada on February 15, 1841, and served in that role until 1844. Kingston was also the home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
There are 21 National Historic Sites of Canada located in Kingston, and in 2007, the Rideau Canal, along with the fortifications at Kingston, was designated a World Heritage Site.