OT: life in Kingston
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09-29-2008, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
I grew up in Kingston. Parents and Grandfather still live there.
Kingston is a great town. Best one I've been to in Ontario, pretty comfortably. Keep in mind that it is a town, not a city. If you're looking for everything a city provides you're looking in the wrong place. I can remember in high school I thought Kingston was nothing special. Then I went to Waterloo for university and started moving around a bunch for jobs. I've lived in a few towns of about the same size, and none could hold a candle to Kingston imo. Guelph was pretty nice though, to be fair.
Queens is an outstanding school. I know three or four people who do research there, and they all seem to like it. The campus is gorgeous, and the community is good. Probably one of the most pleasant universities to work at, though I don't really know much about that sort of thing.
Kingston as a town, is very nice. Lots of history, old buildings, forts and the like. Pretty respectable waterfront and city core. The nightlife is good with lots of good restaurants and pubs and the like. If you're into clubbing, you're going to be disappointed. Doesn't sound to me like that would matter much in this context though. There's also really good outdoorsy stuff nearby. A provincial park within a 30 minute drive, and access to the St. Laurence, Lake Ontario and the Rideau Canal. Cottages abound in the area; Kingston is about as good as it gets for getting to the outdoors without going to Northern Ontario.
In terms of where to live, my advice is to stay in the city core. That's where all the nicer housing is, and everything there is to do in Kingston is downtown. Especially if you like older, Victorian style homes, downtown Kingston is ideal. If you're into suburbs and lots of boring circular streets, feel free to check out the township. If you're more of an apartment/condo sort of guy, you've got less to pick from. I'll echo the sentiments that the NE bit of town is a little seedier, but even still it's not so bad. Anywhere SE of Princess and Division is pretty nice. That's where the university and hospital are so it's likely where you'd be looking anyway.
For the wife, things might be tough. Kingston is a pretty whitewashed town. The highschool I went to had 1100+ kids, and you could count the number of black kids on one hand. Minorities made up under 10% I would say. There is a bit of an Asian community in Kingston, but to the best of my knowledge not much of that is Japanese. I wouldn't expect to find much in the way of quality Japanese restaurants. I also wouldn't expect to find many places she could work primarily with other Japanese people. I suppose one of the three big schools (Queens, St. Lawrence or RMC) might have something. I'm less optimistic about her chances with the military, but you never know. The only real Japanese presence in town comes from tourism, which there is a fair bit of. Lots of bus tours that are mostly made up of Japanese folk come in to see the buildings and trees and whatnot. I suppose she might be able to find something there, but that doesn't exactly scream "dream job" to me.
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