The air is crisp, the leaves are about to change, you can wear a light jacket or cozy sweater outside without breaking a sweat. ‘Tis the season for hikes and walks! Kingston is surrounded by the most beautiful views and conservation areas. I asked readers recently where they enjoy to hike and walk in the fall and there were so many wonderful answers that I decided to capture and archive them here in this post. Scroll down for a list of the most popular answers from all of the wonderful people that shared! I broke the list into two themes: conservation areas that can be a bit more challenging and nature-filled and pace, wheel-friendly paths that are more accessible.
I did a poll a few weeks back on whether I should write more blog posts and the response was strongly in favour of more blog posts so here we are! Now that my youngest is sleeping longer stretches at night, I have a little more time to ponder potential blog posts. To start, perhaps a round up of places you can get delicious donuts in Kingston? Though Coffee Way will always have my heart, there are more and more opportunities to properly fulfill a donut craving and I am going round them up below! I am talking about special donuts here, folks, not the ones we grab in a rush on our way to a meeting. Enjoy!
This month marks the 7 year anniversary since I moved back to Kingston and began this blog. I can’t believe how time flies! In the last seven years, I’ve had three jobs in this city, we’ve grown our family by two and I’ve started a Masters program to name just a few things. In that time, this blog has put me in touch with so many incredible people, local businesses and unique opportunities.
Although it’s always been a side project, it has enriched our lives in more ways than I can count. The point of starting the blog was to convince myself that Kingston is a happening place and far from the sleepy town I remembered and fled from as a young adult. I hoped that sharing the positive and diving into our community would give me a new appreciation for its beauty. And it worked! I only share positive experiences and specifically focus on small, local business and as a result I attract positive energy. Bonus: I’m often given a heads up on many of the fun things happening around town. This community is so supportive and if you put yourself out there, it’s very easy to find your people. For those of you who have been following along, thank you so much for reading and sharing my content! I appreciate you.
Local artist and founder of collective, ForWorld Studios, Francisco Corbett, has coined this phrase “Kingston Isn’t Boring Anymore” and put it on T-shirts that he sells in very small rollouts. I love this phrase so much because I 100% agree. Perhaps it’s because I actively look for the fun or that it has changed significantly over the years – regardless, I see such a difference over the last decade! Maybe a mixture of perspective and progress?
We welcomed a new baby recently (our second, we have a toddler) and we were so incredibly lucky to have friends and family source delicious foods from locals spots to keep us nourished as we took in fresh cuddles and kept our toddler well-fed! I really benefited from having this blog because many friends tapped into it to pick from our favourite shops (best humans). This post is a shout out to friends who fed us for the first few weeks of baby’s little life. It’s also a guide for anyone who wants to bring new parents nourishing food from local spots while they settle into the chaos and unpredictability of life with a newborn.
Bread and Butter So many great items to grab from this sweet and savoury heaven on earth! A few friends brought us their quiche, cinnamon buns, chocolate croissants, sourdough, carrot salad and ratatouille. All of it served our family well during the early, foggy days.
The Grocery Basket Our favourite item from Grocery Basket was the shepherds pie. It was so rich and delicious and huge! It created many leftovers. I still have a couple of personal-sized items in our deep freezer from the Grocery Basket that I haven’t even broken out yet! Love having frozen items on hand for hectic days.
We are weeks into more discoveries of mass graves at various residential schools. It’s no longer enough to react to these repeating headlines with shock. There are things we can all be doing to support the communities that carry the trauma we read about. See below for a few ideas on how to show up and show support.
Please note that if you’re sharing traumatic news headlines to also share the number for the national Indian Residential School Crisis Line that has been set up to provide support for residential school survivors and others affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.
We’ve all been (im)patiently waiting to sit in the sunshine eating and drinking at our favourite local spots. There are so many incredible patios to choose from. I’ve tried my best to get them all in this extensive list with the help of my instagram followers! It is incredible how many of our local restaurants have survived the challenges of the past few years so please be patient, kind and generous while tipping (if able) when you visit! Be sure to check businesses’s social ahead of visiting.
I am still processing the news of the Derek Chauvin trial. I can say that it’s upsetting how shocked I was that the right thing was done. Finally. I don’t want to jump up and down and scream justice because George Floyd is still dead and one verdict doesn’t equal a change in policy. But it does set a precedent and send a signal to cops that they can be held accountable for their actions. Because that’s what happened. Chauvin was held accountable. After almost a year and several other cases of police brutality. After a trial that tried to humanize the man that was killed to justify his murder instead of vilifying his murderer. Accountability happened.
It’s been almost a year since a local officer, Brad Hughes, argued that George Floyd played role in his death by not complying to police. He confidently shared on his Facebook page, “Had every single one of the deceased in the high profile cases in the US not resisted their arrest but instead complied, sat themselves in the cruiser and fought their case in the court room rather then the street, they’d ALL be alive today.” That is simply not true. It’s been proven over and over (Breonna Taylor was asleep in her bed). And a reminder to any devil’s advocates out there that non-compliance should not equal death. His statement was/is absolutely unacceptable, particularly coming from a police officer. It’s unsettling to know that someone who sits in such a power position holds such problematic beliefs. And real change means that he would be publicly reprimanded for those harmful words and given more training on implicit biases.
If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I started a Black-owned business directory in 2020 to amplify Black voices and entrepreneurship in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch this list grow with so many incredible businesses. To celebrate Black History Month, I want to go a step further and get to know a few of the business owners listed in the directory. Check back weekly to learn about someone new!
Like many of the businesses featured in this series, I learned about Imperial Cleaning last year when they were tagged on the Black-owned business directory. Constanin Mugenga owns Imperial while also working as the Regional Program Admnistrator at Kingston Community Health Centre. Imperial offers services like carpet cleaning, move-in/out cleaning, junk removal and more. Learn more about how Imperial started and about Constantin below.
Tell me a bit about yourself… I enjoy travelling, golfing, spending time with my family and friends. I love giving back to the community and contributing economically as much as I can to ensure that young people/entrepreneurs regardless where they come from, who they are or how they look, will have opportunities to learn, work and reach their full potential as they are the future. A fun fact about me – I have lived in three different continents (Africa, Asia and North America) and have two master degrees, one of them in Applied Psychology! At Imperial Cleaning-KFLA, we are dedicated to creating clean, safe and healthy environments for both commercial and residential spaces while exceeding clients’ expectations!