Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Glorious City

We moved to the smaller area of Kingston, Ontario in 2009 after having lived our entire lives in Montreal, Quebec. Since then, many people have asked me if I ever miss Montreal. And living in a big city. The answer is a resounding ‘no’. Never. Ever.

Downtown Kingston
I do not miss the nerve-racking traffic, the flood of tall buildings, the urban sprawl, the crowds, the noise, the impatient people and the frantic pace.

A beautiful waterfront in the downtown area
At this point in my life, I prefer to stroll than to dash. I never feel rushed in my new city, which allows me the time to stop and smell (and also photograph) the roses. Or tulips.

A statue of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, in City Park
Kingston dates back to the 1600s, so it’s just as rich in history and culture as Montreal. And just like in my old city, there is a captivating blend of old and modern here, as well, making this area a photographer’s paradise.

 
City Hall clock tower
In our old city, we were surrounded by concrete. In our new one, we are surrounded by greenery, and we are always just a few minutes away from water. No matter which way you go, you will inevitably run across a lake, a river, a creek, a brook, a pond, a stream, and so on. Being near the water is important to me. It’s where I’m most at peace.

 
 
In the mood for a day trip? Explore one of the many quaint old towns surrounding the area. Each one has something special to offer, particularly if you are a photo buff like me.

Smiths Falls, Ontario. It's about a 50 minute drive from our home
Gananoque, Ontario is about 20 minutes away
Tired of the city? Within a few minutes drive you are in the country enjoying farm animals, barns, open fields and quiet roads.



In need of a big city visit? We are within a day trip’s distance to three major Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. We can drive over to one of them, spend the day and return home by day’s end.

A giraffe at the Toronto Zoo, which is about two and a half hours away
A beautiful (and disgruntled) polar bear at the zoo

Canada's Wonderland in Toronto, Ontario
Hiking trails, parks, conservation areas for the nature lover? We’ve got all that, too. Oodles worth. In every direction.

Lemoine Point Conservation area. 10 minutes from home!
Taken at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area, which is also 10 minutes from home!
Festivals, outdoor markets, music, the arts, concerts, plays, etc? No shortage of that in this vibrant city. There’s something for everyone.

The Kingston Public Market has been around since 1801
I could keep going, but I think you get the point. My city has everything you could possibly desire. Minus the nerve-racking traffic, the flood of tall buildings, the urban sprawl, the crowds, the noise, the impatient people and the frantic pace.

Downtown Kingston in early May
So, do I miss living in the big city of Montreal?

What do you think?

Not a chance!

28 comments:

  1. You live in such a pretty part of the world.

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  2. Great photos. Dang, I would love to go anywhere in the beautiful country of Canada. I've never been but heard such wonderful things about how nice the people are and the gorgeous scenery.

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    1. I hope you do visit one day. I think you'll really like it. So many beautiful places to visit, and so many friendly people to interact with.

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  3. We moved to the country 10 years ago and I can't imagine ever living in the suburbs ever again.

    What a gorgeous place! Neat capture of Mr. Prickly.

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    1. I can't say I blame you. Not everyone likes the big city! I'm much happier since I moved away from it. I like a quieter, slower pace.

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  4. The best of both worlds, Martha! What a green city Kingston is! And just the right size too. I had forgotten that it was close to those larger centres....that can come in handy when one feels the need to be immersed in a big city......then leave.
    We moved 40 km outside of Halifax over 20 years ago now and we haven't looked back.
    Great photos...loved the two boats in the lake.

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    1. That's the key word....'leave'. I don't mind visiting the big city, but I like that I can eventually leave for my quieter area. Lots of greenery and lots of water...I do need that more than lots of concrete. But I'm sure you know what I mean!

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  5. I think Kingston is almost as beautiful as you are Martha! Thank you for sharing your amazing photographs =)

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    1. Aww...that's sweet. Thank you! I am happy that you are part of my blogging circle :)

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  6. I have a friend who lives in Perth and I absolutely have to get up to visit her and her hubby because then we can investigate Kingston! I always associate it with Anne of Green Gables, which gives it a great big thumbs up already in my book. And I've passed thru it and not stayed!!! I promise I will investigate your beautiful city one day, Martha!

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    1. I will be thrilled if you make it here for a visit, Francie! We can finally meet and that is something I look forward to. I have been to Perth a couple of times and loved it! It's a gorgeous area.

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  7. I can relate. I was a big-city gal all my life until I moved to small-town Chico two years ago. It's far superior.

    I have family in Ottawa, and I think I've been to Kingston. All of those pictures are gorgeous. I love your neighborhood.

    xoRobyn

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    1. And your town has such a cute name, too! Ottawa is a lovely place, too, but much bigger than Kingston.

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  8. I love your city, Martha... I visited a couple years back when my son was doing his MA at Queen's. It was the Remembrance Day weekend and I attended the wonderful outdoor ceremony near his campus. Even though it was fairly cool weather, during my visit my son and I walked everywhere downtown (and used your great bus service) and met lots of friendly, smiling residents and helpful business folks. I always say the fall is the best time to really get to know local people (fewer tourists). Yes, Kingston is a lovely, green and historical spot, but it is the human component that makes it especially attractive. You definitely made the right move, Martha!

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    1. You are so right...the fall is a great time to get to know the local people. There are certainly much fewer tourists at that time, so you interact mostly with the permanent residents. It gives you a true feeling for the city. I do like the people here. They are friendly, and very polite!

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  9. what a beautiful city Martha! and like you, I don't think I could live anywhere that I didn't have water! I prefer the peace of a small town and can't wait until I no longer need to do my commute into NYC!

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    1. Yes, water is certainly important to me. Some mountains would be great, too, but if I can't have both, I always choose water!

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  10. Martha, your photos are amazing as always. Your beautiful little City reminds me of mine, Newcastle. I could never, ever live in a BIG city like Sydney or Melbourne. Shudder.

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    1. I would love to visit your beautiful country one day. It has been my top travel destination since I was a teenager! But it's so far and so expensive for us...sigh... But who knows? Maybe one day. One can certainly hope, no?

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  11. Kingston IS gorgeous -- I wouldn't want to return to a bigger city like Montreal or Toronto. Parts of it remind me of Waterloo or Stratford. Your pictures are awesome -- and I like to see you every so often too!

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    1. Montreal and Toronto are about the same distance from our home, so we can easily drive over for a day visit. We go to Montreal for the holidays because our families are there, but I'd NEVER move back there! I'm much happier here.

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  12. What a gorgeous place! Wonderful photos and the porcupine is so cute!

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    1. That's the first time I'd ever seen a porcupine up close! What a treat that was.

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  13. I love your city! It has character and green! One day I will live somewhere that doesn't have beige as it's main color, but until then I love your shots! They actually make me feel cooler. Thanks!

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    1. It is a very beautiful and vibrant city, and I really love exploring it. There is always so much to see and do --- and photograph!

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