Insider Itinerary: Jim Barber of Cataraqui Conservation

By Visit Kingston

I am the Co-ordinator, Communications for Cataraqui Conservation, an avid reader, history buff, and arts appreciator. Right now, my colleagues and I are quite busy entertaining thousands of visitors and area residents for our Maple Madness festivities. Although I live in Napanee, I spend my work days and many evenings out in Kingston, enjoying the culture, sporting events, the people, history, and heritage of the city.

Read on to learn about Jim’s favourite things about Kingston.

1. Kingston Rocks!

There are few communities that can boast the diversity and variety of music venues, festivals, bands, and singer/songwriters, which are essential parts of the creative heartbeat of the Limestone City. Some of my favourite haunts include The Mansion, Overtime, The Toucan, as well as the splendid sonic majesty of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

2. Food, Glorious Food

There is such a wonderful variety of dining experiences in Kingston. A hearty all-day breakfast or brunch on a Sunday is good for the heart and soul, as well as the tummy! Over the years, Morrison’s, The Golden Rooster, and Pan Chancho have been my go-tos for Kingston brekkie fare!

3. Hockey Heritage

As a former hockey writer/historian, it’s wonderful to explore the history of Canada’s ice-bound game from a Kingston perspective, and also enjoy the current high-level on-ice excitement of the Kingston Frontenacs. It’s inspiring, as well, to follow those, like Taylor Hall and Jayna Hefford who carved their careers from the local neighbourhood rinks onward and upward to the NHL and/or Olympics.


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4. Independent Record Stores

From Brian’s Record Option to Zap Records to Something Else, and many other places – there’s no shortage of vinyl to satiate my music obsession.

5. Galleries Galore

Although not an artist myself, I have a profound appreciation for those who can use visual arts to convey meaning and humanity. Art After Dark is one cool event that allows folks like me a chance to see creators in their element. I also think the Froid’Art project orchestrated by Martello Alley is an amazing way to combine nature and creativity and add some colour and warmth to the coldest season.

6. Maple Madness

Maple Madness at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area is such a fun, family-oriented event, where even we staff members can not only get some fresh air and exercise but always learn something new about our collective heritage. Oh and I hear there are also some tasty maple treats, including pancakes!

Complete the sentence: Kingston makes me… want to be out doing cool stuff every night of the week!

If Kingston had a theme song, it would be…
‘No dress rehearsal, this is our life…’ – Ahead by a Century

Describe Kingston in three words:
Energy. Creativity. Diversity.