A question I’ve heard often over the years is if it’s possible to have a deep water dock that would allow cruise ships traveling through the Great Lakes to stop in Kingston. I think Kingston would be a very attractive place for cruise ships to land for a day. Every cruise ship would mean hundreds of tourists an afternoon to shop and visit restaurants in our downtown, which would provide a big boost to our local economy.
At our last meeting, City Council voted to explore the possibility of building the existing Queen Street dock into a deep water port for cruise ships. Some preliminary analysis from staff suggested smaller cruise ships would be able to dock at Crawford Wharf at the bottom of Brock Street, but larger cruise ships would require a new, longer dock. The best spot for a new dock would be as close to the downtown core as possible, and so the Queen Street dock seems like an ideal location.
This is also the perfect time to look at the future of the underutilized Queen Street dock as the province is now moving forward with a plan to expand and revitalize the Wolfe Island ferry terminal next door. This expansion is designed to accommodate a second ferry that is scheduled to be added between Kingston and Wolfe Island in 2020. What’s really exciting is that a new ferry terminal combined with a deep water dock for cruise ships could completely transform this part of Kingston’s waterfront into something incredible, both for residents and tourists.
There’s still lots of work to be done on this, including market analysis to understand what the potential demand for cruise ship landings might be in Kingston, but I for one think this is a great opportunity for the city, both to attract more tourists and to improve our waterfront!