This Sounds Like Me!

I recently discovered this quote that pretty much describes me…

Not all who wander are lost.

–JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.


I am hoping this blog will be an enjoyable journey to the sights and delights of Eastern Ontario, especially my hometown of Kingston.  It is for those who are homesick, those who have visited and loved it and those who are lucky enough to be here.   I lived in Vancouver for 25 years and I did miss it, and would have liked something like this to look at.  Right now I live in the country north of Kingston so there will be a lot of country photos, and I will also add photos from outside the area now and again but in general I will stick to Eastern Ontario and I will usually focus on Kingston and immediate area.   I hope you will love my hometown.


Out in the Country

Well how about that eclipse today?   I have to say it was kind of underwhelming.  I talked to a couple of folks who didn’t even notice it.   I did see a bit of a difference, but if I hadn’t known it was happening, I wouldn’t have seen it.   Ah well, we’re supposed to get a better one here in K-Town in another seven years.

I went for a bike ride in the country today, but before we get on with that, I’ve got three photos of my big night out on Saturday night!

Wait for it!

I decided to eat out at Ormsbee’s store in Sunbury.  They do a decent pizza, they have ice cream and they have picnic tables.  I sure know how to live!

Then I drove along Maple Road and home.  As you can see, it was clouding over and I believe we got some rain later in the evening.


Now to today’s bike ride.

This was my favourite ride on the Cataraqui Trail, into Sydenham.   Usually I start at McFadden Road, but last time it seemed too short so today I started at Perth Road Village.

There is something going into this spot in Inverary.

At the entrance to the trail, the goldenrod and Joe Pye Weed are in bloom.

Goldenrod is really quite pretty…unless you’re allergic to it.

The eclipse was going on when these pictures were taken, but was not at its height yet.  I’ll show that tomorrow.

It was great to get outside and get some good exercise, leave the computer screen, politics and worries behind.  What a beautiful day!





A Few Assorted Photos

The gardens behind the city-owned Rideaucrest are at the height of their beauty.

This little house on Gore Street is finally getting some TLC.  I have had it on here before and said that I wished someone would fix it up.  Now it’s happening.

King Street.  The plaque says built in 1843.

Bagot and Bay.

St. George’s Cathedral is having it’s 225th Anniversary.   The sign says “Celebrating Your Faith Since 1792.”


Does this count as an illegal secondary suite?

A cute little tea shop on Wellington Street–new this summer.

Looking up Queen Street from Wellington.


Cruising the Old Main Drag

Macdonnell Street.

Some construction going on between Victoria and Macdonnell.  Looking at the Streetview photo, I see that they have torn down a part of this hotel and its drive through and office.

Our hometown boy has a sports bar here.

Somebody has built an ugly, cheap looking building near the corner of Victoria and Princess.  The side next to the gas station is just a big, dark grey, windowless wall–aching for a mural.

Student housing on Albert Street.

At University Ave, these buildings are slated to be torn down and, I imagine, more student housing built.  This neighbourhood is called Williamsville and there  are lots of plans for its re-development.  Princess Street is part of Hwy. 2, and before the 401 was built, it was the main highway to Toronto.   Princess Street was lined with motels and services for travellers.   Since then Princess Street has dwindled downhill (it HAS been a long time since the 401 arrived!)  We’ll see how it looks in 15 years.

The Grizzly nightclub.  This used to be the old Odeon movie theatre, where I spent many happy hours when I was young.  Across the street was the Hyland, now another night club.  This section of Princess Street is very lively on a Saturday night.  As far as I’m concerned, this whole block could be bulldozed, including  (especially) that horrifying eyesore Elrond College/Princess Towers!

Clergy Street.

Some more pretty homely buildings on this block.  No wonder the tourists won’t come up this far.

Work is going on at the old Capitol Theatre, and some of the adjacent stores.  There will be a tall building here, but it will be facing Queen Street.  It is smaller than originally planned, but I can’t remember exactly how tall–I think maybe 14 storeys?  Maybe.

Looking north on Bagot Street from Princess.  The Seaway building was one of 5 or 6 buildings in Kingston that got this golden 60s make-over, including one across the street.   One of them is gone now–the building at Wellington where the new Scotiabank is going in.  It was an attractive old building, but this stucco work doomed it to be torn down.   So sad.

Some downtown long time stalwarts–Tara Natural Foods and Vandervoort’s.  Vandervoort’s used to be Vandervoort’s Hardware.  Now it is Vandervoort’s General Store.  It has had to evolve with the times to stay in business and they took advantage of the demise of the S&R department store.

I thought the fellow who ran Wayfarer Books was retiring.  Either he has decided to hang in there, or someone else has taken it over, because it is open again.  It’s been there a long time too–well over thirty years.

There you have a fair bit of downtown Princess Street.




Amherst Island–Over to the Dark Side

At the spot where we looked east and west, leopard frogs were hopping through the grass where I walked.

Not the best picture, but I don’t get to see too many goldfinches.

Bringing in the hay.

Fortunately, things had dried out since they had put up these signs, and I was able to continue on around the island.

There was evidence of flooding–big tree branches and lots of rubble along the shoreline.

The sky was nicer than it looks in this picture.

That was it–no more pictures; it was getting too dark.   Just as I pulled in to Stella again, I found a little park that is dedicated to dry stone walls and has information about their structure and uses.  It was still light enough to read the sign, but too dark to take a photo.  I do want to get back again soon though, during daylight hours.  I loved this island.  I would say that of Wolfe, Howe and Amherst Islands, Amherst is the prettiest, but I’d have to take another look to confirm that.

That’s our trip around Amherst Island.  I WILL be back again in the next few weeks.

Amherst Island–Out Into the Country

We are now through Stella and heading out to the east end of the island.

Mother and son.

Amherst Island has some beautiful dry stone walls, which I guess are Irish.

Like Wolfe Island, this island has lots of barn swallows.

Here are their single detached homes.

Then there are the condos, at the Martin Edwards reserve.

Looking west.

Looking east.

Tomorrow we head west, but the sun goes down on my travels.


Amherst Island–Stella

When you arrive on Amherst Island, there is a village called Stella, which is quite delightful.  When I went to Howe Island, I was surprised to find that there was not even a little store, but Amherst has a store and a blacksmith and a little restaurant, plus a few other things.  There looks to be more of a community life.

This is a little further down the road.  I love the name Weasel and Easel.   I should have had an art business with that name, back when I had ferrets as pets.

I have heard about the opposition to a proposed wind farm on the news.  Amherst Islanders seem dead set against it and it sounds like it is a very divisive issue there.  That certainly seemed to be the case when I saw all the signs, especially along the north shore.

Next time I am on Wolfe Island, I should ask some folks how they feel about the turbines that are there.  I like them myself, but I have never lived near one.

Here is some information about the island, including about the wind farm, and also dry stone walls, which I am going to get to tomorrow.  The wind farm information is out of date, saying that the it should be in operation by 2016.  There is not a single turbine on the island and a vote on it was just deferred.


Heading to Amherst Island

I had to pick up something in Amherstview this evening and I decided to do something I had never done before–go to Amherst Island.  I JUST missed the 5:30 ferry so had to wait until 6:30, so unfortunately it got dark while I was there, but I loved it.  I will go back again soon–earlier in the day.

First, before we get to the island, some blue jays.   I took a few bird pictures on my trip, but none of them came out that well because I had to zoom quite a bit.

Here comes the ferry.  It is the only ferry I have ever seen that loads from the side.  Look at this truck with a big trailer trying to negotiate the turn!

A very nice property next to the ferry dock.  Looks like a wonderful place to sit a while.

The churning of the water from the ferry seemed to bring up some tasty tidbits for this seagull.   It seemed to be doing very well catching fish.

Where I’m going.

Where I’m coming from.