Many folks, even some who live in and around Kingston, are not aware of McIntosh Castle. That’s right, a castle, almost right in downtown Kingston Ontario.
The McIntosh Castle was originally built-to-order for the McIntosh family, during 1849 and into the 1850’s.
Many older buildings have legends, and McIntosh Castle is no exception. Here are a couple of them.
The first of these legends is that in order to convince his family that moving to “the new world” from Great Britain was a good idea, Mr. McIntosh had to promise his family that they would live in a castle overlooking Lake Ontario if they agreed to move. Well, where McIntosh Castle was situated in 1849, Lake Ontario would have been visible from the building site. And, it is a castle, that’s for sure, albeit a small one.
The location of MacIntosh Castle is adjacent to the Frontenac County Courthouse. In behind the courthouse there used to be a gallows, where criminals in Canada that were sentenced to death by hanging were brought for execution.
The legend of the widow’s walk on MacIntosh Castle was that it was added after the castle was built so that the lady of the house had a comfortable spot to sit and drink her tea while she was watching the hangings in the courtyard across the road!
History suggests that the castle was added to after the fact because the McIntosh family ran out of money, and sold out before the castle was completed.
Regardless of the actual facts or legends there is, for sure, a castle in downtown Kingston. It is located on the corner of Sydenham and West Streets, about an eight-block-walk from Kingston’s City Hall.
Walking to McIntosh Castle from City Hall is very enjoyable and it can take you through some of Kingston’s original residential area. There are many homes dating back to the early 1800’s that you can enjoy along your walk to the Castle.
Do visit McIntosh Castle. Please also do remember that the castle is privately owned and maintained so try to enjoy the view without being too intrusive if you would.