About SWIHHP

The Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project aims to document the twentieth-century history of two of the oldest neighbourhoods of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Until the early 1970s, the Inner Harbour was a vital industrial area of the city, complete with railroads, factories, and docks; the Swamp Ward, adjacent to it, was where workers and their families lived, went to school, went to church, shopped, and played. Through archival research and oral history, SWIHHP will bring people, time periods, spaces, and issues into Kingston’s story that have usually stood in the shadow of nineteenth-century limestone buildings and illustrious politicians. This website documents our work in progress. We invite former and present community members to suggest questions, activities, sources, and priorities as we proceed!

 

Latest Post

Episode Six: The Sixties Come to Kingston

Episode Six: The Sixties Come to Kingston

Our sixth podcast starts with an account of an explosive City Council meeting on August 31, 1970. Even the Whig-Standard stood up and took notice: On a later page, the Whig gave a fuller account of the event: This event, in which Alderman [sic] Joan Kuyek tried to pass a rent control motion, was really only one moment in a longer process of citizen activism over […]

 

Featured Posts

Episode Five: Where Food Buying is Most Satisfactory

Episode Five: Where Food Buying is Most Satisfactory

I hope you enjoyed the Bennett’s podcast episode. You might also appreciate the brief post I wrote to celebrate a photo shared with me by […]

What’s in a Name? Episode One of Stories of the Swamp Ward

What’s in a Name? Episode One of Stories of the Swamp Ward

You might be here because you already heard this podcast episode, but if not, here it is! I’m not sure when I first heard the […]

Ka’tarohkwi: The Original Swamp Ward?

Ka’tarohkwi: The Original Swamp Ward?

You’ve all seen this word around a lot, right? There’s the creek, the river, the conservation area, the dental clinic, the golf club, the cemetery, […]

Bird’s Grocery, Lost and Found

Bird’s Grocery, Lost and Found

Some demolished buildings are missed for their elegant architecture, but that isn’t likely to be the case with Bird’s Grocery. 462 Bagot Street was an odd […]

A Sandwich Fit for a King

A Sandwich Fit for a King

“My dad always had a joke, or a smile on his face waiting for somebody to make a joke,” Rosalyn Routbard remembers. In the 40s […]

The Well-Dressed Wallace Sisters

The Well-Dressed Wallace Sisters

Growing up on Stephen and then Bagot Streets, the five Wallace sisters — Helen, Elsie, Jean, Isobel, and Betty — got a stylish start in life. Their […]

Alma Street Then and Now

Alma Street Then and Now

Alma Street, all one block of it, runs along the west side of McBurney Park, which was once the Upper Burial Grounds. The park is […]

Taxing Work

Taxing Work

Ronen and I have been poring over some more city directories lately, looking at who lived where, what they did for a living, who they […]

Railways and the Shape of the Inner Harbour

Railways and the Shape of the Inner Harbour

Sometimes maps and pictures aren’t enough to make history come alive: you have to experience and imagine it in the place it actually happened. SWIHHP […]

RIP Claude Clement

RIP Claude Clement

I was very sorry today to hear of the death of Claude Clement, my cherished neighbour, a role model for community engagement, my very first […]

The worlds beneath our feet

The worlds beneath our feet

Earlier tonight, as the geese flew south and a banjo played over by the LCBO, a group of SWIHHP mailing list members examined the foundations […]

Data Entry as Adventure

Data Entry as Adventure

Who would have thought reading phone books could be a fun thing to do? But the Might’s City Directories, published until the early 2000s, are […]

Montreal Street Then & Now

Montreal Street Then & Now

It’s interesting to know the past lives of buildings we take for granted. Last week, I picked a few Montreal Street addresses that I had […]

A Happy Day at Bennett’s

A Happy Day at Bennett’s

What a fun photo! This is the wedding party of Joan Evans and Ron North in May 1957. The photographer would have been standing on […]

Lorida Laurin, Québécoise

Lorida Laurin, Québécoise

Lorraine (Burns) Good was born in Hotel Dieu Hospital in 1926 and grew up on Rideau Street and Raglan Road. Her mother, Lorida Laurin, moved […]

The Brotherhood of Sign Painters

The Brotherhood of Sign Painters

Lauren and I had good fortune a couple of weeks ago to visit to Bob Fray’s sign-painting shop on Division Street. Bob’s father started Kingston […]