Austin: A love letter to Scottsdale’s Sister City — Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Thank you for being a city with beauty and heart that welcomes Americans to enjoy all you have to offer!

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Kingston, Ontario and Scottsdale, a group of 12 members from the Scottsdale Sister Cities Association including President Lisa White; Treasurer Neil Ciarfalia; and myself, Kingston Committee Chair Suzie Austin, spent four lovely days in waterfront accommodations basking in the cool Kingston weather, starting on June 28.

Our group had a private tour of City Hall where we learned that Kingston was the first capitol of Canada and the home of Sir John A. MacDonald, the first prime minister of Canada. Then we enjoyed a wonderful reception with Mayor Bryan Paterson and other local dignitaries including two past mayors.

Besides touring the famous Kingston Penitentiary, which closed in 2013, we enjoyed a cruise of the 1000 Islands on Lake Ontario, a local must-see. We visited a display of Scottsdale students’ artwork at the Tett Art Centre of Queen’s University.

This was made possible by a collaborative exchange between Scottsdale Sister Cities Board Member Sandy Zally and a local art teacher whose students’ work was displayed this summer at the Mustang Library. We were very impressed!

Everyone loved wandering through Kingston’s great shops and eating at its superior restaurants. The mayor and his wife graciously took us to dinner at an outdoor rooftop restaurant, which was ideal for watching the fireworks on Canada Day, July 1. The Hop On/Off Trolley provided us a convenient way to visit all the sights with ease which included the amazing annual Art Festival! We were so lucky it coincided with our trip.

Getting to march with our Scottsdale Sister Cities banner in Kingston’s annual Canada Day Parade was a highlight we will not soon forget. Our fabulous Kingston coordinator, Sandy Berg, supplied us with the traditional red and white hats to wear while marching so we could fit in, eh!

We presented to Kingston’s Mayor Paterson an official invitation to visit our fair city from Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane. Of course, we advised him to travel in the winter when it is not 43 Celsius on average!

We loved our time in Kingston and look forward to hosting a delegation of Kingstonians in the future!

Editor’s note: Ms. Austin is chair of the Kingston Committee of Scottsdale Sister Cities Association

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