Loyalist/Sydenham route 

Take the Loyalist/Sydenham route to enjoy a lakeside drive through the charming towns and villages to the west and north of Kingston. This route highlights some of the historic sites you can explore as you travel through Amherstview, Bath, Amherstview, Napanee, Camden East, and Sydenham.

This 150 km (93 mile) route takes about two and half hours.

Start from the Visitor Information Centre, 209 Ontario Street.

Head northeast on Ontario Street, turning left onto Brock Street. From Brock Street, make a slight right onto Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, then turn left onto Bath Road/Route 33W.

Points of interest, Kingston

Collins Bay Institution

With its red roof and castle-like architecture, this building is sometimes referred to as “Disneyland North.” However, this grand building, built in 1930, is actually the administration building of Collins Bay Institution, a correctional facility for male offenders.

Continue west on Bath Road/Highway 33 through Amherstview, Bath, Conway, and Adolphustown.

Points of interest:

Amherstview: Fairfield House

The Fairfield House was built in 1793 by William Fairfield in what is now Amherstview. Once part of a working farm, this is one of several wood-frame houses from the Loyalist era still in existence in the area. The house stayed in the Fairfield family for 180 years. The house is open for tours in the summer, and Fairfield Park is a perfect stop for picnics.

Bonus stop: Amherst Island

Take the ferry over to Amherst Island. Visit the Neilson Store Museum and Cultural Centre, housed in the island’s first general store, which dates back to 1873. The island is also known for its dry stone walls, a craft introduced here in the 1800s by Irish settlers.

Bath: Fairfield-Gutzeit House

The Fairfield-Gutzeit House in the village of Bath was built in 1796 by two sons of William Fairfield. The beautiful Georgian-style house is filled with the period furniture and art of its original owners. The house is open for tours during the summer.

Adolphustown: United Empire Loyalist Heritage Centre and Park

On June 16, 1784, the first ship of United Empire Loyalists landed here, having left New York State following the American Revolution.  They established a permanent settlement that became Adolphustown.  The site now has a museum and research centre, a park, and overnight camping facilities.

Turn left onto County Road 8 and continue on to South Shore Road.

Point of interest:

Old Hay Bay Church (2365 South Shore Road)

Built in 1792 by United Empire Loyalists as a meeting house for the community, Old Hay Bay Church is the oldest surviving Methodist building in Canada. It is now operated as a museum.

From County Road 8, continue on to Centre Street North/County Road 41. Turn right onto Bridge Street East/County Road 1. Turn right onto Elizabeth Street.

Point of interest: Napanee

Macpherson House (180 Elizabeth Street)

Built in 1826 by Allan Macpherson, this house was the first private home built on the north side of the Napanee River. The house has been restored to look as it did in the 1830s. It is open for tours and special events in the summer.

From Elizabeth Street, head southwest and turn right onto Camden Road/County Road 1. Turn right onto Newburgh Road/County Road 1. Continue on County Road 1 through Newburgh, Camden East, and Yarker.

Continue onto Yarker Road/County Road 4. Turn left onto Wilton Road/Regional Road 18.

Turn right onto Harrowsmith Road/Regional Road 5. Continue onto Sydenham.

Point of interest: Sydenham

Stop by Trousdale’s General Store in the village of Sydenham and peruse Canada’s oldest general store, first opened in 1836 and run by the same family for six generations.

Turn right onto Sydenham Road/Regional Road 9 back to Kingston.