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Welcome to Kingston (Part III): Someplace random

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The cold sets in. The OSAP dries up. The readings go blurry. But what to do when the funds run low? Fear not. Your friendly Culture Editors can recommend a few spots to whittle away the hours without breaking the bank.

Brian’s Record Option

For Kingston’s vinyl collectors and music enthusiasts, Brian’s Record Option has been slinging top notch used LPs, EP 45s, and CDs to the masses since 1980. Serving up a remarkable number of cut-price collectors items and extending a warm welcome to fans of Disco and Death Metal alike, music aficionados will be shocked by the sheer selection. Keep your eyes peeled, last week I found Joy Division’s first ever EP hiding behind a Steely Dan double album. On top of that, Brian’s welcoming demeanour and outrageous encyclopedic knowledge of any and all genres make flicking through the forgotten hits of the last millennium an absolute delight.

Brian’s Record Option, 381 Princess Street

Rideau Trail

Traditionally, Queen’s 1Ls jump off a pier into Lake Ontario at the end of winter exams. This tradition must be honoured even in the face of negative temperatures and gargantuan slabs of floating ice. If this very thought of Kingston’s waterfront makes you want to run screaming, think again. A stunning walkway spanning from Kingston to the nation’s capital, the Rideau Trail winds its merry way through the beautiful downtown Kingston waterfront, a short stroll south of campus. It’s the perfect spot for personal reflection or barbequing with friends.

Rideau Trail, walk towards the water from campus

Kingston Public Market

Before the November freeze envelops the city once more, enjoy browsing the magnificent array of stalls at Canada’s oldest public market. Local farmers, meat vendors, florists, produce merchants, and craftsmen pour into Springer Square to peddle their wares every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. In the summer months, chefs from Kingston’s finest restaurants make exclusive use of the market produce in a series of free cooking demos. Come Sunday, the square teems with antique dealers cracking open the tuck shop boxes of their youth to reveal an astonishing assortment of vintage furniture, jewelry, arts, and crafts. Grab a cup of coffee and jump down the rabbit hole.

Kingston Public Market, Springer Market Square / kingstonpublicmarket.ca

Snodgrass Arboretum

Stretching from the Theological Hall to Stuart Street, Queen’s very own Snodgrass Arboretum boasts a stunning array of rare and unique trees and plants. Norway Spruce? Glossy Buckthorm? The thirty-eight trees on offer are enough to satisfy even the most dendrophilous Kingstonian. Once the home of Canada’s first Botanical Garden, this sprawling walkway is the perfect place to bask in the glory of the Kingston fall. Self-guided tours are available online.

Snodgrass Arboretum, Stuart Street / queensu.ca/camplan/arboretum

Collins Bay Marina at Rotary Park

You’ll need a car to get here, but it’s well worth the 15 minute drive past the Shawshankian splendor of the Collins Bay Institution. Cast off the pre-exam angst or the post-grades day gloom by venturing out to this stunning lakeside corner of suburban Kingston. A prime mooring spot for the boating classes, the Marina is the perfect spot for a heartening solo hike, reading something other than case law under the cover of trees, or a laid back picnic with friends. Isolated and empty come winter, the frozen landscape is breathtaking.

Collins Bay Marina at Rotary Park, 1270 Coverdale Drive / collinsbaymarina.com


Andy Gibbons (2L) and Tom Mack (2L) are the Culture Editors for Juris Diction.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, email us at publisher@juris-diction.ca.

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