Insider Itinerary: Dave McNamara

By Visit Kingston

My name is Dave, and I’m the owner of the Merchant Tap House, a downtown Kingston favourite, and co-owner of the new restaurant Union Kitchen and Cocktails.

14 years ago, I moved back to Kingston from Vancouver to be closer to family—and because I love this city. There are many things to love about Kingston, but some highlights for me are how many great musicians call Kingston home, I love to take in their shows. And you can’t beat the beautiful waterfront views.

Below are ten of my favourite things about Kingston.


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1. Awesome restaurants

I love Kingston’s amazing locally-owned restaurants. A few of my favourites are Casa Domenico, Woodenheads, Days on Front, Tango Nuevo, Chien Noir, and the Wolfe Island Grill (which is just a short ferry ride away). There are so many great options.

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The square is looking 👌👌👌 today. #ygk

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2. The historic buildings

If you take a walk downtown, you can admire them everywhere you look.

3. The Waterfront

There are so many opportunities to take in the beautiful views of Kingston’s waterfront and surrounding lakes. You can live in the city and take a 10-minute drive to some of the best lakes in Ontario.

4. Wolfe Island

At no charge, you can drive onto the Wolfe Island Ferry, have a great meal, and take a scenic drive on the island. Hopping over to Wolfe Island is a perfect way to spend a summer day.

5. Live music

Kingston’s live music scene and amazing local bands can’t be missed. I always enjoy live music at my own place (The Merchant) but I really enjoy seeing bands at the Toucan and the Mansion.

6. Beautiful City Hall

I’ve travelled around the world and we have one of the nicest city halls
I’ve seen. The city also puts on so many great events in Springer Market Square and Confederation Park which are right next to City Hall.

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7. Top-notch sports programs and facilities

We have great coaches and volunteers here in Kingston. The fields and arenas at the Invista Centre are amazing. And I love that the Leon’s Centre—home to the Frontenacs and a stop to many touring performers—is located downtown.

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The @nhl invited us to play their #StadiumSeries PreGame on Saturday, February 23rd. This is a free festival featuring live music, hockey activities and attractions, giveaways, food, special appearances, and more at @wellsfargocenter Parking Lot G, before the @philadelphiaflyers and @penguins face off at Lincoln Financial Field at 8 p.m. ET (NBC, SN1, SN360, TVAS). WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 23: 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET The Glorious Sons performance: 6-7 p.m. ET WHERE: Wells Fargo Center’s Parking Lot G 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19148 Admission to The PreGame will be free and open to the public. A ticket to the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series is not required for access.

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8. Music legends

I am proud that The Tragically Hip and Glorious Sons are from Kingston. There are so many amazing bands and singers and many great acts touring that love Kingston and stop in to play at small venues. The Trews are always popping in to play at small venues.

9. That small-town feeling

Even as we grow, Kingston still holds onto a charming know-your-neighbours kind of vibe that I love.


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10. Hidden gems

I love that we still have a drive-in movie theatre.

Describe Kingston in 3 words

Friendly, historic and clean.

If Kingston had a theme song, what would it be?

So Much Love to Give by the Glorious Sons (maybe not the lyrics but the song title seems right.)

Complete the sentence: Kingston makes me…

Proud to live in Canada. I’d recommend this city to anyone to visit.


Want more Insider info? Check out Kingston artist Danielle Folkerts’ top 10 picks.