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Life in Kingston

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Melbourne, Australia
posts: 3
reviews: 1
Life in Kingston

Hi, I am thinking about doing a study abroad semester in Kingston from july to december 2015.

I was wondering if anyone would recommend studying in Kingston instead of Toronto?

I have family in Cornwall, NY and I was wondering if it would be possible to get there?

Also, I plan on travelling around Canada while on exchange, are airports/Toronto easily accessible or is living in Kingston going to be a pain?

Also, how would prices in Kingston compare to Melbourne, Australia?


11 replies to this topic
SE Ontario
posts: 7,972
reviews: 9
1. Re: Life in Kingston

First off, without knowing what prices in Melbourne are we can't compare ... prices for what? food... clothing... accommodation??

Kingston is situated about half-way between Toronto and Montreal ... approx. 2.5 hours drive from Toronto ... 3 hours to Montreal. It's served by bus and train ... easy to access to both cities, and also Ottawa, the nation's capital.

Cornwall, ONTARIO is about 2 hours east of Kingston... accessible by train & bus. Don't know where Cornwall, NY is.

Kingston is a small city, very beautiful and historical, set on Lake Ontario, close to the Thousand Islands, and home to Queens U, which I assume is where you'd be studying ... lovely university set right downtown. The city is influenced by university culture - lots of great restaurants, theatre and music venues. Good recreation facilities in and outside the city. July to December is a good time to be there ... the weather is good during those months summer and fall... winter sets in around early December.



The difference between Toronto & Kingston is huge - Toronto is a large cosmopolitan diverse city of over 3 million souls... Kingston is not. Toronto is also home to 3 major universities and a number of smaller colleges ... your choice may depend on what your study is about.

It depends on what your interests are outside of school.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 299
reviews: 20
2. Re: Life in Kingston


One thing to consider is Kingston is about 1.5-3.5 hours away from each of Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. That makes it easier to make weekend trips to three large cities that offer very different types of activities.

Kingston is also closer to good snow skiing than Toronto, but you won't be here late enough for that to be very useful. (Best skiing is January-March in southern Ontario/southern Quebec.)

Public transport in Canada can be expensive. Check viarail.ca for train fares. Flying within Canada can be VERY expensive compared to many other countries such as the US. Check Air Canada.

Have you considered studying in Vancouver or Calgary if the Rockies and/or the BC rainforest/coast is one of the major areas you want to visit?

If you are here as a student you may have very limited travel time, though.You can't see much in Canada in a 2-day weekend. Travel time often uses up 2 days. For instance if you go from Kingston to Niagara Falls on a regular weekend you will barely get time to see the Falls and one or two attractions. It would not be worth it, in my opinion, trying to go from Toronto or Kingston to Algonquin Park if you only had a regular 2-day weekend.

It's a big decision. Take some time and read some travel sites to decide what you actually want to do most when you're here.

posts: 2,319
3. Re: Life in Kingston

If you're going to be in Canada from July to December, presumably you'll have some time to travel in July and August before school starts in September? You could do your travelling within the country before you even settle into Toronto or Kingston.

As you probably know Toronto is a sprawling metropolis and Canada's largest city, while Kingston is at a much smaller scale -- it's large enough to provide anything you'd likely want, but with less selection than Toronto and a more provincial or "university town" feel. Travel from Kingston generally relies on the Toronto or Montreal airports - you can take a connecting flight on a prop plane from Kingston's own airport, Queen's University's student government (last time I checked) operates a shuttle bus to the Toronto airport at the beginning/end of school breaks, or you can make your way by public transportation (train or bus to Toronto or Montreal, but then you'd have to make your way across town to the airport). So travelling from Kingston isn't as bad as from a remote area but it's less convenient than from a major hub like Toronto.

The choice of universities itself is I'm sure a major consideration beyond the location, but I assume you're looking into that separately.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 10,420
reviews: 532
4. Re: Life in Kingston

I would also consider the quality of program each place has to offer, because ultimately it's about the schooling and everything should be a close second......Toronto is big city and cosmopolitan, and Kingston is really a university town as has been mentioned above.....only you know best on what appeals to you most....

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, TripAdvisor Support
posts: 56,759
reviews: 70
5. Re: Life in Kingston

FYI...Cornwall NY is approx. 50 miles / 80 km north of New York City.

From Kingston, you would need to travel to either Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto first to then transfer to a vehicle heading to NYC. (bus, train, plane)

NYC is approx....

375 miles / 604 km from Montreal

436 miles / 702 km from Ottawa

500 miles / 800 km from Toronto

Best Regards

SE Ontario
posts: 7,972
reviews: 9
6. Re: Life in Kingston

Aha ... actually you could get yourself to Syracuse, NY from Kingston (shuttles available) and then take the train down to Cornwall area.


Or there would be Greyhound bus from Syracuse to someplace nearby.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 3
reviews: 1
7. Re: Life in Kingston

Yes, I'd hopefully be arriving early in July/August to see the west coast, before heading to Kingston. During semester I'd like to see Ontario, PEI, Quebec and New England and obviously family and friends in NY.

I'd like to study in Ontario due to it's proximity to NY as I'd like to see my family often.

Thank you for that phpr! Very helpful!

Is there any recommended tourist destinations in the east coast apart from those I listed? Is Nova Scotia, New Foundland etc. worth a visit? Thanks

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Toronto, Isla de Vieques
posts: 3,202
reviews: 31
8. Re: Life in Kingston

Yes, of course, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are both "worth a visit". Each is a separate province and each is quite unique. There are also a couple of other neighbouring provinces, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, both also "worth a visit". However, each is worth at least a week's stay to cover the basics, unless you choose to focus on only one or two places in each province.

SE Ontario
posts: 7,972
reviews: 9
9. Re: Life in Kingston

All of the places you mention are worth seeing, since, as noted, each are unique in their own way. However I think you need a bit of a reality check in terms of distances - I'd urge you to take a close look at a map of the eastern regions of the US and Canada. Distances in Canada are vast, and if not flying, take a very long time to get to. For example:

Kingston - PEI - 1400 kms

Kingston - Halifax - 1500 kms

Kingston - St. John's, NFLD - 3000 kms.

These are not weekend trips...

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 3
reviews: 1
10. Re: Life in Kingston

Thanks for the information, but I would hopefully be doing a lot of travelling before and after semester and during the semester break.

What are the best/must see weekend trip destinations around Kingston/Toronto? Thanks

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