Stones: A Guide to the Social History of Kingston


Kingston’s nickname, “the Limestone City,” is a reference to the limestone buildings and bedrock upon which the city is built. The name “Stones” incorporates this element in addition to the idea that, as with stones themselves, communities and societies are only as strong as their individual parts. Stones, therefore, refers to the various cultural communities and human elements that form the foundations of Kingston.

*NOTE: Our site is temporarily under construction. Expect some exciting changes finished by January 2019!

The Stones Project is proud to present the stories of unique Kingston experiences through seven tours:

  • From Huaqiao to Residents: The Chinese Experience in Kingston, 1875 to 1980
  • The Stories and Accomplishments of Some of Kingston’s Early Black Citizens, 1780 to 1950
  • The Gay and Lesbian History of Kingston, 1940 to 2000
  • The Jewish History of Kingston
  • Kingston: Canada’s Penitentiary City
  • Indigenous Kingston
  • Francophone Kingston

Using a set of social history tours that were designed for and run through Queen’s University Archives in 2005 as a starting point, Stones provides access to information on the history of Kingston, its people, events and landmarks through an online exhibit and virtual tour of the City of Kingston. Each tour is woven into the greater context of Kingston society, and demonstrates the importance of each community in the development of the city.

Educational content has been written for Ontario teachers interested in engaging students with social history research and promoting historical thinking. The lessons aim to foster habits of mind necessary for historical work in social contexts.

We welcome you to explore the tours presented on this website, either from the comfort of your own home, or in person with a self-guided audio tour. You may also wish to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Mixcloud, and Tumblr, all at @StonesKingston.