Your Stories, Our Histories

Kingston, as a community, has evolved and changed over time and we're asking for your help to ensure the histories we share capture as many different stories as possible.

In the coming months, we are inviting the community to participate in a conversation about local history that will help to inform the kinds of exhibits, events and programs the City of Kingston offers. This work has been on-going but, in this moment, we want to dive deeper to understand what stories are being told well, what stories are being missed and how we can work with the community to make sure the stories we share are inclusive and reflect in an accurate way what makes Kingston a unique and dynamic place.

Through this engagement process we will work with the community to identify a list of themes, issues and topics that could be used to develop future programming that includes exhibits, events and educational offerings on-site at Kingston City Hall as well as across other City-owned sites.

This is important work that requires your participation. Our understanding of history is constantly evolving and we invite you to join in on this opportunity so we can work together to ensure your stories inform how we tell our histories so Kingston is regarded as a welcoming, inclusive and safe space for residents and visitors alike.


Kingston, as a community, has evolved and changed over time and we're asking for your help to ensure the histories we share capture as many different stories as possible.

In the coming months, we are inviting the community to participate in a conversation about local history that will help to inform the kinds of exhibits, events and programs the City of Kingston offers. This work has been on-going but, in this moment, we want to dive deeper to understand what stories are being told well, what stories are being missed and how we can work with the community to make sure the stories we share are inclusive and reflect in an accurate way what makes Kingston a unique and dynamic place.

Through this engagement process we will work with the community to identify a list of themes, issues and topics that could be used to develop future programming that includes exhibits, events and educational offerings on-site at Kingston City Hall as well as across other City-owned sites.

This is important work that requires your participation. Our understanding of history is constantly evolving and we invite you to join in on this opportunity so we can work together to ensure your stories inform how we tell our histories so Kingston is regarded as a welcoming, inclusive and safe space for residents and visitors alike.


As we start this conversation, we need your help to ensure your stories help our histories to be as inclusive as possible.  Please share your stories that may be less well known but are important to capture.  If you don't have a story you can also share your thoughts and ideas about local history so we can capture a diversity of themes, issues and ideas that are worth exploring. 

Please remember that this is a safe space for you to share your thoughts, feelings and opinions.  By sharing, you are helping to foster a community conversation. We ask that if you are inclined to use strong language that you do so in a responsible, respectful manner. Words are powerful, so please choose them wisely. 

Thank you for participating.  Your feedback will form part of the City of Kingston's larger 'Your Stories, Our Histories' public engagement project.  Want to keep talking?  Want to get involved?  We encourage your continued participation in this conversation by signing up for the Your Stories, Our Histories e-mail list.

You need to be signed in to share your story.

  • Let the Non-Indigenous Canadian Among You Who Is Without Sin Be the First to Cast a Stone at Sir John A.

    by martin.nicolai, 7 days ago

    Sir John A. Macdonald has been subjected to harsh criticism for his relationship with the Indigenous peoples of the Plains, and while a lot of it is warranted, it is difficult for us to cast the first stone at him for his sins since he has been dead for well over a century and our governments, which we elect, continue to pursue policies almost identical to his today.  Macdonald was convinced that Indigenous Canadians of the Plains would be better off if they abandoned their nomadic ways, became literate, adapted to the capitalist system, and followed Canadian law.  Does Justin... Continue reading

  • Sir John A - Friend to Canada's Native Peoples

    by Greg Piasetzki, 2 months ago

    The truth and reconciliation process requires both truth and reconciliation.

    Unfortunately, many facts regarding Sir John A tenure as Prime Minister and Minister of Native Affairs have not been part of the debate, facts which change dramatically our image of his relations with Canada's native peoples.

    It is useful to remember that, in order to move their native population onto reserves, the Americans fought a series of Indian Wars from the 1830's to the 1880's (remember General Custer) across the West.   The American government estimated in 1890 that 20,000 white settlers died in those wars and 30,000 to 50,000... Continue reading

  • mannequins

    by Garth , 3 months ago

    I have been reading the stories about Kingston and, as good as they may be, it struck me that there was something missing.  There are no "funny' stories.  

    Surely to God Kingstonians have a sense of humour.  That's what's missing.  In the midst of all the drama and sobriety (Sir John A. excluded) there must be room for a laugh or two.  To that end I submit the following, with the assurance that this a true story. (at this juncture I should add that I have several more, ready to go to illustrate the we know how to laugh.

    ... Continue reading

  • Sir John, Eh?

    by glenhyde, 3 months ago

    Please see below for my story.

    Like most Canadians, I spend about .000000001% of my time ever thinking about Sir John A Macdonald. But, when I do, he comes to mind as our country’s first prime minister and as a man of vision who worked to create the nation of Canada. According to Google, Canada is one of the best countries of the world to live in and so I salute him for his achievement. Not everybody accepts that – but what political leader was ever accepted by everybody? And, for crying out loud, the guy died over 125 years... Continue reading

  • United Empire Loyalist Descendants Care About Facts of History

    by NancyCutway, 3 months ago

    The following question has been posed: “How does Kingston move forward on a path of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples while addressing the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald?”

    The members of the Kingston and District Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada are concerned that addressing this question may result in the City of Kingston attempting to re-write history.

    We are a group particularly interested in history: accurate history. We celebrate the fact that our ancestors were among the early non-indigenous settlers of what is now Canada, after they were forced to leave the Thirteen Colonies as refugees... Continue reading

  • Let’s keep remembering, differently

    by Lauralouise, 3 months ago

    There is a definite difference between remembering and celebrating. Nobody here wants to « erase » history. That would be a tragedy. We need to remember, we need to remember what the wronged side of history looks like. This should not disappear, how would we move forward, otherwise?

    But what I am asking is : can we remember, and be brave enough to acknowledge and talk about the immense pain and suffering, without celebrating it ? It is one thing to remember Sir John A, to remember the whole story of it. It is another thing, and not innocent, to... Continue reading

  • Sir John A

    by oldguysteve, 4 months ago

    This is our history, we can't change what happened. We need to keep reminders of our history so nothing good or bad is forgotten. Possibly in 50 years, they will laugh at our attempts to squash history.

  • No Apology from Me.

    by robert, 4 months ago

     I am trying to fiqure out what I did besides being born WHITE. I am of irish,maybe french and aboriginal. SO many tragedies. British home school children, Irish genocide by famine and murder.  Beothuck indians of Newfoundland slaughtered by the Mic Macs. Recently on the radio was the treatment of Ukranians. Just listening to a podcast about the Italian miners who died in the Belgium mines.  Post world war 2. Mines that the Beligiums would not work in. 

    Why not try to get housing and water to all indigenous communities. Easier said than done. Canada has the manpower, technology and... Continue reading

  • John A. Macdonald and Residential Schools - history and perspective

    by NeilDukas, 4 months ago

    John A. Macdonald is a fine example of just how complex and nuanced history can be. Trying to understand decisions made long ago through a present-day lens is inescapably challenging work. If you are curious about the kind of thinking that influenced Macdonald's perceptions of Residential Schools in 1868, or, for that matter, what First Peoples of the time thought about them, I highly recommend Robert Carney's study "Aboriginal Residential Schools Before Confederation: The Early Experience" (click here for hyperlink), especially pages 36-39, Carney (CCHA, Historical Studies, 61, (1995), 13-40)). 

  • Don't try to extinguish history - provide a place to engage with the truth

    by Stewartm, 4 months ago

    Sir John A lived in our city and belonged to it. That does not mean that we condone everything he and his contemporaries did. 

    Trying to extinguish history by taking down the statue would not serve the purpose of expanding people's knowledge of the full story, and the pain and suffering caused to Canada's first nations  by one of the Fathers of Confederation. 

    There is plenty of space around the statue that can be used to explain all the facets of that early history of this country. It could become a great gathering place for all, and a place to... Continue reading