Kingston’s nickname, “the Limestone City,” is a reference to its limestone buildings and the bedrock upon which the city is built. But the limestone buildings haven’t been there for ever, and any one building or place in the city has, over the years, been home to people from many different places and walks of life. The Stones website offers several different lenses through which the history (or histories) of Kingston can be seen. The title, “Stones,” invites you to think about all the cultural communities that are in some ways distinct, but that together build a resilient and beautiful city.

Emerging in 2005 from a series of trolley tours sponsored by the Queen’s University Archives, Stones has grown to present the work of a number of researchers and the history of a number of communities. The most recent contributions (2019) focus on the Greek community and the Swamp Ward.

Each one of the site’s nine themes or components is built around a series of locations. As you see when you look at the map, Kingston is a small enough city that different cultural communities exist and have existed in the same parts of town. There is an amazing density of diverse experiences in a small space.

Most text is available in audio for those with disabilities or those who prefer to experience the information in situ or on the go. The Francophone and Indigenous components are available in French as well as English. The site also offers a series of podcasts from a radio show broadcast in 2015, and information for teachers connecting the material here to the Ontario history curriculum.

User Tips

The Map:

If you want to explore a particular area of town, press the + button on the map to enlarge it so you can see all the markers in that area. Click on any marker, and a dialogue box opens with basic information, a link to fuller information in text and visual form, and a player to hear the same in audio form.

If you want to focus on one particular community or resource, go to the list at the right hand side of the map on this page. Click on the resources you do NOT want to focus on, and that will leave markers for only your chosen resources remaining on the map.

The Side Bar:

Each resource has an introduction page and a set of location-based pages. Click on INTRO for a general description of the resource or the community of focus. Click on EXPLORE to see the map with markers and a clickable list of points of interest. To get to the next layer of information, you can either click on markers or click on particular items in the list.


Here you will find the long list of contributors to Stones, and contact information.


If you get lost, remember that you can always come back to this page by clicking on the little house in the upper left corner!