Neighbourhood gems: Portsmouth Village

By Abigail Beckett

The Portsmouth area used to be a small village independent from Kingston; it was annexed to the city in the 1950s. Although it is now part of Kingston, its historic charm and village vibes have remained intact. Check out the park across from the marina, which has a plaque sharing more of the village’s history. Portsmouth extends beyond the main strip on King Street West with historic limestone buildings and homes that can also be found in the Portsmouth neighbourhood just west of the marina. The entire area is easily walkable, from the Kingston Penitentiary to Lake Ontario Park. Discover Portsmouth Village with this list of neighbourhood gems.

Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Marina

This harbour provides scenic walkways along the water. It The marina is home to Canadian Olympic training Regatta Kingston (CORK), Neptune & Salacia Diving, and community events. (Kingston hosted the sailing events of the 1976 Montreal Olympics here.) The harbour provides an excellent view of Lake Ontario, scattered with colourful boats. Along the harbour you will also find walking paths that take you through the neighbourhood and on your way to other village gems.

Domino Theatre

Experience local theatre at the Domino Theatre on Church Street. This year Domino is presenting seven live performances, from comedies to dramas, and classical adaptations. This season’s first performance is a comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hoope, and Jamie Wooten, Savannah Sipping Society, which will be playing from September 8 – 24. Between October 20 and November 5, an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express by Ken Ludwig will be performing. Check out the website to see the complete schedule of this season’s performances. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and children.

The Portsmouth Tavern

Known to the locals as The Ports, The Portsmouth Tavern is open seven days a week and offers both lunch and dinner options. Enjoy Canadian comfort food with burgers, wings, and fish & chips. Try one of their favourites like the KP burger and beef dip sandwich. Be sure to walk around the back of the tavern to find the Wilton Wheat Kings bakery.

Wilton Wheat Kings

This bakery is located at the back of the Portsmouth Tavern. All bread made by Wilton Wheat Kings is 100% handmade using a no-knead technique for the freshest quality. They offer a variety of different breads including sourdough, multi-grain, focaccia, and cinnamon raisin. They also have sweet treats and pastries including croissants, cinnamon buns, and butter tarts. Their bread is also available for purchase at the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market, Tara Foods, The Grocery Basket, and Old Farm Fine Foods.

Canada’s Penitentiary Museum

Learn more about Canada’s correctional service history right at its birthplace. Find out why there are so many penitentiaries in Kingston and what formerly occupied the museum building. The building is situated right across from the Kingston Penitentiary and played an important role for the organization of the prison. The building itself is also worth a visit with its iconic limestone architecture.

The Plant Shelf

The Plant Shelf is located on King Street West and is the perfect spot if you are looking for plants, unique pots, and other plant paraphernalia. Step into a plant oasis and find all kinds of houseplants, including easy care plants, pet-friendly, low-light, or trailing plants. Find houseplant 101 guidebooks to help take your plant care up a notch. Talk to the knowledgeable staff to get plant, pot, and care recommendations. The Plant Shelf is located on the main Portsmouth strip on King Street West.

Eunice Sushi

Visit Eunice Sushi in the heart of Portsmouth Village for bento boxes, entrée dishes, combos, lunch specials, and party trays. Try their chicken teriyaki dish, veggie bento box, or speciality rolls like the mango roll, dynamite roll, red dragon roll, and rainbow roll. Eunice Sushi offers dine-in, take-out, and delivery.

Lake Ontario Park

Lake Ontario Park

Just west of historic Portsmouth Village, Lake Ontario Park offers amazing views, walking and cycling paths, a splash pad, playground equipment, a boat launch, and a cobble beach. It is also the site of Manidoo Ogitigan (Spirit Garden), a living public artwork and contemplative space. Escape the city with some fresh air at this neighbourhood nature spot. You might also walk along the mural wall created by artist Aaron Forsyth at the dock behind the old Rockwood Asylum.

Kai’s Delight Chinese Restaurant

Kai’s Delight is a family-owned and operated authentic Chinese restaurant. Try some of their specialty dishes, including fish filets in hot chili oil, sizzling beef with black bean sauce, pork chop with spicy salt, and barbecued duck. After a long day of walking and exploring, stop into Kai’s for dine-in or take-out.

The Village Spa and Hair Boutique

Located on King Street East, the Village Spa and Hair Boutique offers a variety of services from hair cuts to colouring, facials, manicures and more. The team at Village Spa and Hair is built of seven talented women that are trained stylists, estheticians, and a registered nurse. If you are looking to freshen up your hair or relax with a facial, the Village Spa and Hair Boutique in Portsmouth Village is the perfect place for all things hair, spa, and beauty.