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Kingston thread - merged

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MeFandE

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Hi everyone.

As you can tell by my name I am not in the military but married to it.
Actually, I think DependantsFurniture&Effects (DF&E) has been changed to something else so I may be showing my age here.

Regardless, nothing has changed that much. When you're posted to a new base you still don't know if the Q's are going to be falling down around you or if the city is welcoming to CF members and their families.

So, we're posted to Kingston this summer and it's a new place for me.

To give you an example of where we've been: Shilo, Gagetown and Borden...cause someone up there really loves us. Ha! Regardless, these bases all had their pros and cons and I've found the best in all three places and have very fond memories...some fogged by booze...Shilo mainly.

In Shilo I found it difficult to play dodge the deer on the low road every bloody day going into Brandon. At least when the Germans were there you could play "count the German's in the taxi in front of you" if you got bored. The cardio room in the basement of the gym was horrible!

In Gagetown, I wasn't bilingual enough to get a job at the Tim bloody Hortons. But Freddy a lot of wonderful pubs and a really nice...um...river on the way to the Bay of Fundy.

In Borden...awesome gym! Lousy Q's and Angus was...interesting.

So, now for CFB Kingston - I've read that we shouldn't bother with the Q's but we already own a house in a community where we are going to retire and are not selling it. (He (who must not be named) is on his IPS or whatever it's called...hooked on phonics apparently didn't work for me. Anyway, we're not buying another bloody house to look after. Are the Q's really that bad?

What's the gym like?

I've been to the city a few years ago and it seemed...a bit hoity toity.

If anyone would care to inform me - or misinform me it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!
MeF&E

ps...I used to love it when I'd hear "DF&E" - It made me laugh to be categorized like that. Me the couch and his toothbrush. You gotta have a sense of humour about these things people! At least I came before the toothbrush.
 

Big Foot

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Well, to answer your question about the gym, it's fantastic. I personally like the city of Kingston quite a bit, though I don't get into town as much as I'd like to. I'm not actually up on base, but if its like RMC's campus, its not a bad place to be.
 

ReadyAyeReady

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I'm not in the military (yet anyway) so I can't comment on that aspect of Kingston.  But I did go to university there for 4 years so I can comment on the town.  And all I can say is that K-town is a great place.  There's alot of neat little places to visit there, great cafes for having coffee and people watching.  I'm not really into shopping but all the girls I knew at Queen's said that Kingston is great for shopping.  It gets freakin' cold in the winter, but I'm orginally a BC boy so I wasn't used to it.  All in all its a great place to live, as long as you can handle lots of university students and living in a city with 10 or so prisons then you'll have a good time.  Nice city, great history...3 stars out of 4!
 

George Wallace

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I was posted there in 1989 - 1991 and found it a great town.  There aren't too many PMQs, and only about six of the whole number have basements.  When I was posted there, there was a two year waiting list for a PMQ, so I had no choice but to buy a house.  I bought in Grenadier Village, right beside the Base, straddling Highway 15 (to Smith Falls, Carlton Place and Ottawa).  There are also nice places to the East of the Base, towards Gananoque.  I recommend you look in the areas to the North and East of the Base if you are going to buy or rent, as Rush Hour Traffic on the Causeway is murder.  In the summer the Causeway Bridge is quite often up causing lineups to reach the top of Princess Street, as boats enter or exit the Rideau Canal System.

If you do live in town, the long way to and from work, along the 401 is usually the quickest.

Kingston is a Large Town feeling in a Little City.  It has all the major stores and many fine restaurants and a fairly good night life for the young university crowd.  It has a very good Farmers Market every Saturday, behind City Hall, in the Downtown Core.  It is centrally located between Montreal and Toronto and Ottawa, for those weekend out of town shopping or tourist adventures (two hours to Monteal, one and a half to Ottawa, and three to get Toronto).  The Thousand Islands are nearby, and it is a good location for boating.  Watertown and Syracuse New York are only a few minutes drive away.  You are sitting on the US/Canada border, and the Wolfe Island Ferry will take you from downtown to Wolfe Island and the Border Crossing is only a few minutes drive.

Weather in Kingston is very humid in the Summer, so Airconditioning is a nice thing to have.  In the winter, quite often there is more rain than snow.  It may be wet snow or rain in Kingston, while north of the 401 you will have whiteout conditions. 

Only downfall of Kingston was the Seven Federal Prisons in and around town.  I guess there are less now, as P4W has closed, but there are still enough to give you pause.  It never stopped all the tourists in the summer.
 

meni0n

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Good times when I was there last summer. Lots of prisons though and a buddy who lives there told me, the city has one of the highest sexual assaults incidents in the country.
 

mainerjohnthomas

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Kingston's great, did my trades training there on the Vimy side.  The town is awesome, probably the only place the CF posted me that I called picturesque and wasn't joking.  There are a bunch of prisons in the area, there is also our base, Queens University, the RMC, and more tourist kitch than I am used to seeing in a Canadian city.  All in all the atmosphere is great.  The only downsides would be the causeway traffic, it can be a real pig.  There is quite a lot to do in the way of outdoor activities and gyms in the city, and a fair number of sporting organizations for whatever interests you may have.  The base itself, is a base.  Its pretty enough as bases go, and got some nice historic buildings, but its still pretty much CF standard.  Of all the places the CF has sent me, Kingston is the only one that I am trying to convince my wife that we should take the kids on vacation to see.  I guess that pretty much sums it up.
 

Trinity

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I was posted there last summer and again this summer.

So I might be bias.. but I think the chapels are great!  ;)

Q's I hear are really expensive.

The base is a base.

Kingston is an incredibly sweet town. 
My favorite base so far.
 

Armageddon

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Kingston is a great place as far as those things go.  The city is excellent in the summer time, there are so many places that you can go to and things that you can do.  There are a good number of bars, clubs, and pubs depending on what you like to do.  A good assortments of restaurants and as for outdoors things in the vicinity there is most things that you can come up with, rockclimbing (indoor or outdoor), kayaking, canoeing, rollerblading etc etc.  I find the people are nice enough but not overly friendly; however, I find that to be the norm for central canada.  Other than that I can't think of to many other random things that you might want to know.....so I will leave you with that one for now.  Oh, yeah you really really don't want to live in the Q's I knew of a few people that lived there and it is a lot of money for a sub-par place.
 
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MeFandE

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Many thanks! I appreciate the information and quick replies.
I'm really looking forward to this posting.
Heard there's a great Irish pub called the Tir Na Nog...is it as good as they say?

Thanks again folks! Any other tips are appreciated!

Slainte!
 

Trinity

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MeFandE said:
Many thanks! I appreciate the information and quick replies.
I'm really looking forward to this posting.
Heard there's a great Irish pub called the Tir Na Nog...is it as good as they say?

Thanks again folks! Any other tips are appreciated!

Slainte!


Ah yes...  been there many times...  very nice.

A definate must 'taste' of the city.....

its a 5 minute drive from base... 
 
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chaos75

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Just left, hoping to go back.  Is a great town, lots to do, close to two major cities (Ottawa/Toronto).  As for q's, they are not bad, but prices are comparable to local housing, so may be better off buying a place or renting a house.  You can get prices and descriptions of housing on the CFHA website.  Beware the allocation, as they may try to stick you in the apartments, which are more like 'projects' from what ive heard.  Enjoy your posting. :cdn:
 

medicineman

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I spent 7 years posted in Kingston - city and surrounding area is great, lots to see and do.  The Base has it's moments - the rec centre is quite big,has good programs.  The q's had a bit to be desired at times - alot of row housing, and at the time, older than the combined age of city's population.  With luck they've improved some.  There was also a problem finding family doctors there when I left 3 years ago - I understand that that is starting to imporve, but only marginally.  And yes there are a few good watering holes there, Tir nan Og  being one of them - right down on the main drag.

Hope you have a good time there.

MM
 
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ex royal now flyer

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I have been in Kingston since 99.  Forget about living in the Q's.  They are crap and very small.  CFHA has re-sided most of them except for a few (mine included) but they are still substandard.  They are small with no basements, no garages (except a few), and not worth the "market value" that we are forced to pay. 

The Kingston real-estate market has gone crazy over the past few years but buying a house is still a better option than living in a Q. 

Kingston has a populaton of about 120,000.  It has all the amenities of a larger city.  What it doesn't have you can find in Toronto, Ottawa, or Montreal.  There is Queen's University and St Lawrence College if you want/need post secondary education.  There is ample employment available and you do not need to be bilingual.  It is a very scenic town steeped with history - if you are into that sort of thing.  I am sure you can find something that you like in Kingston.  There is still a severe shortage of doctors.


As for the base - well it is base.  The gym is only a few years old and is very good with all the latest and greatest equipment.

One negative aspect that was already alluded to is that it is a big city with a small town feeling.  As such, if you are not from Kingston many locals see you as an outsider.  A lot of people living here have never left Kingston and are not open to change or ideas from the outside.  I have known a few people who have attempted to operate small businesses but fail because some locals do not like outside influence.  Maybe that is a strong phrase but the town is very clicky and it is noticeable from the outside looking in.

I am sure you will enjoy it.  There are always worse places.
 

ReadyAyeReady

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Tir Na Og...awesome pub...try the fish and chips there...

If you want to avoid the university crowd then stick closer to the waterfront...places like the Tir Na Og and the Pilot House are a good mix of locals and university students who would rather enjoy a few nice pints then get bombed and cause havoc...
 

pipboy48

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Fun Fun town. lots to do and see. Downtown crowd has been a little wild lately. Heard of a warning to cool things. (does anybody know if this relates to the stabbing at AJ's?)  anyway... old news. The Tango Hotel is right at the gates near the pmqs...
good luck! :)
 
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I was borna nd raises in K-Town and love it. it is a town with a lot of great history, the gym is fantastic it is fairly new and much better then the old one at anderson gym. You will love it!
 
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ArmyGirlfriend19

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hello,

You said that you live in borden??? Can you tell me a little more about what it is like to live there??? And another question is there a university near borden (within a 1/2 hour drive)???
Thanks Jenn
 

Trinity

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oh... university?

A few colleges... but university?

Unless Brock in North of Toronto,....
then Toronto is the closest...  (don't quote me)
 

pjocsak

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There's no Universities in Barry. Georgian College is there IIRC, but no University.

There's Trent University in Peterborough, York in the North of Toronto. Those are about the two closest.

p
 
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