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Why Kingston is a Top City for Sports Fans

Kingston is one of the cities in Ontario that is better suited for sports fans. It claims to be the birthplace of hockey (albeit contested) and has also proven several times to be a prime destination for those who enjoy watching sporting events. 

The city received an award for its continuous engagement in the sports world, hosting several competitions throughout the years. Let’s look at why Kingston is one of the best sports destinations in Canada! 

Top Sports City Award 

For starters, Kingston has received the Top Sports City Award in the past. According to the 2019 Global Sport Impact Index, Kingston is the twelfth national sports event location and the third-best in Ontario. 

Selecting the Top Sports Cities is based on a point scheme that awards points to the cities that host the most national and international competitions. Kingston ranked third in Ontario with 5.514 points, outranked by Ottawa by only 46 points. Toronto took the lead with 11.600 points. 

At the award, Megan Knott, Executive Director of Tourism Kingston, announced that the city was delighted to continue working to attract and host major sporting events. 

Most Popular Sports In Kingston 

Over the years, Kingston has continued to host several national and international competitions. Although hockey is the primary sport that drives the city, several other events occur in Kingston.

We selected the top sports whose competitions have continuously taken place in the city. 


Kingston claims that it is the birthplace of hockey. Although contested, this statement allows us to understand hockey’s substantial impact on the region. 

The city is also home to a centuries-old rivalry between Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada, which each year re-enacts the match. 

Kingston is the home of hockey-associated individuals, many of whom went on to play or coach at the NHL and WHA. 


Split by the St. Lawrence River and direct access to Lake Ontario, Kingston is the ideal place for water sports. Today, several fresh-water sailing events occur in the city that once hosted the sailing events for the 1976 Summer Olympics. 

Since the early 1970s, Kingston has hosted over forty World and Olympic sailing competitions. The city also hosts several training facilities for fresh-water sailing teams. 


Along with the numerous fresh-water surroundings, Kingston is also home to eight golf courses, two of which are public. 

In 1885, the Kingston Golf Club became one of the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s founding members. 

Like it happens with hockey, Kingston is the home of several nationally and internationally renowned gold players, including Matt McQuillian.


Rugby also has a decades-long history in Kingston, with the Kingston Panthers Rugby Football Club founded in 1959. 

The club has established a strong reputation ever since, having won several accolades and awards on a national level. The club continues to offer numerous training programs for minor, junior, and senior levels. 


One of the oldest forms of sports in Kingston is football. The Kingston Granites were established before the Canadian Football League was created, having won one ORFU title, the league’s predecessor. 

Currently, Kingston is represented by the Limestone Grenadiers. Like hockey, several Kingston natives became leading figures in the sport, including becoming players and coaches of CFL and NFL teams. 

The new Richardson Stadium also offers residents with a world class fitness facility to watch the Queen’s Gaels Football and soccer teams. The revitalized stadium improves sight lines, bringing the fan closer to the field action.

Kingston’s Sports Scene In 2022 

Kingston continues to be a prime destination for sports tourists. Whether you prefer to climb the Kingston Crag or cycle the Kick’n Push trail, the city has solid sports infrastructure. 

The city is also the host of the Pickleball Canada National Championship and one of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship weekends. It’s expected that the number of competitions set in the city will continue to expand over the following months. 

The sports scene in Kingston has also further developed its online operations in recent weeks, especially since Ontario opened a regulated private market for sports betting. 

Now, it’s possible to watch live streaming coverage of several local competitions using Ontario sportsbooks, making it the perfect option for sports fans who prefer the comfort of their homes. Better yet, it’s also possible to make your picks for your favourite Kingston teams like Kingston Frontenacs.

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