The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 May 1852

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Spring Walk

Having disposed of all the Steamers, all the Hotels, all the Manufactories, and all the other matters, more immediately connected with the resumption of business in the Spring, it may not, be remiss, ere this "Annual Walk" is closed, to say a few works on the present state of the City of Kingston, mid its improvements. It is too much the fashion to decry Kingston and its surrounding country, as if it were located on a rock, in the midst of a barren wilderness, instead of being situated at the foot of Lake Ontario and at the head of River Navigation. Even its very Press to help out a lame argument, will occasionally argue in the same suicidal strain. That the lands round about Kingston are not quite so rich as those in the County of Middlesex, is admitted; but that they are fully of an average quality throughout the Upper Province, will not be denied by those who take the trouble to make personal enquiry. The extent of population, the amount of taxation paid, and the general prosperity of the farmers and mechanics fully warrant this assertion. The townships of Kingston and Pittsburgh, immediately adjoining the City, mid the townships of Portland and Loborough, in rear of those alluded to, may have much broken land in them; but their immediate neighbors, the townships of Camden, Ernestown, Fredericksburgh and Adolphustown are as fertile, as well populated, as well cultivated, and as well, if not better, built upon, as the most favored by nature, in the whole London District. And this is making no mention of the farms of Amherst Island and those on the Bay of Quinte, of which Kingston is the natural market and the outlet for their produce. How stupid therefore, and how injurious is it to decry the neighborhood of Kingston, because part of the land is stony. As to the City itself, it was never in as great state of prosperity than at this present moment;--not even when the Seat of Government was here, or when the whole transshipment of the produce of the colony was transacted on its wharves. Not a house can be had for love or money! Although a great many vacancies must occur when the Rifle Brigade leave, yet all those vacancies are already engaged. The merchants make no complaints; the mechanics find good employment; laborers cannot be had for less than three quarters of a dollar a day, and are scarce at that. In every street building materials are piled up, and new houses are in progress of erection. Every Steamboat is profitably engaged; and everything that floats otherwise is in like condition. Nothing like "ruin or decay" prevails, or is likely to prevail. To gainsay this is to be unmindful of the blessings of Providence, and the existence of an ungrateful spirit. Having thus spoken generally it shall be the pleasing task to speak more particularly of a few of the improvements now taking place in this good city,


SCOBELL's WHARF.--Mr. Richard Scobell, in addition to putting his Wharf and Warehouses in a state of perfect repair, is now erecting a large Stone Building in rear, next adjoining his Pork Storehouse. This has already been leased to a Wholesale House, (J. Miller & Co.) and when finished will be occupied as a Wholesale Grocery Warehouse.

Situated in Ontario St., in the very centre of business, Messrs. Browne & Harty cannot do otherwise than greatly increase their already very extensive trade. Judging from the immense quantities of goods imported and sold this spring, there are no symptoms of "ruin and decay" at this establishment.

BREDEN'S BUILDINGS.--John Breden is putting up three large Stone Buildings in the Market Square, in the rear portion of what is called the "Herchmer Property. All three houses were engaged at high rents ere the foundations were dug.

BURLEY'S BUILDINGS.-- John Burley is erecting two very large Stone Houses in Princess St., on what is called "Willing's Corner, intended for Dry Goods Establishments.

SMITH'S BUILDINGS. --Almost opposite to the above. Capt. Smith is building a range of Cut Stone Houses and Shops, on the site of the fire in April last year. These edifices promise to be a Great ornament to the city.

HARDY'S BUILDINGS.--And within a few rods of the above Mr. George Hardy, the Watch Maker, is also engaged in a very similar undertaking. Thus, with one interatice [?], the whole of the burnt up portion of Princess St. will be restored, and with a degree of magnificence not dreamt of at the time of the calamity. In Queen St. , Bagot St. and Wellington St., the other three streets forming the burnt out block, houses are being put up, but they are of a smaller kind, and need no particular mention.

PAUL HUG'S BUILDINGS. --Mr. Hug has put up a new Bowling Alley, and Mr. McCammon has built, a new House on the site of the fire last Fall. Several other Houses are in progress of erection in this vicinity.

GENTLEMEN'S VILLAS.--Several of -these are being built; some on Mr. Counter's property, late. Capt. Errol's [Sic: Earl] lands; and some in the more fashionable part of Kingston, on the road to the Penitentiary Mr. Hugh Fraser, the Wholesale Merchant of Ontario St., and Mr. Donald McIntosh, the well known Forwarder, are severally putting up handsome residences. Not forgetting the elegant Villa of Mr. Thomas Briggs.

In fact, wherever the stranger walks in Kingston, he sees houses building, or preparations, made to build them. Those-we have enumerated are but few in comparison with -those which could be mentioned if recollection served -the occasion.

Here endeth the "Walk" of 1852.

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21 May 1852
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 21 May 1852