Major tourist attractions in the city of Kingston opened for the season Saturday.
Visitors spent the day flocking to places like Fort Henry and the Kingston Penitentiary, which launched the 2022 season.
At Fort Henry, the historic landmark is a former military fortress from the 1800s, which overlooks the St. Lawrence River.
This season, guided tours are back after they were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests can catch marching exercises, learn how people lived and learned at the time, and see how they dressed.
The Stott family was one of the first few in the door Saturday with their three kids, who found the rifle demonstrations a thrill.
Visiting from Trenton, Ont., they say it’s a great chance for their young children to learn about history.
“The outfits and the demonstrations and stuff it’s all very well done,” says dad Chris Stott.
Mom Collette agrees.
“I think it’s just nice to expose them to Canadian heritage as much as we can,” she says. “And just get (the kids) out of the house. We’re not house people, we’re outside people,”
While across town at the Kingston Penitentiary, Canada’s oldest prison also has some newer tours.
They include an architectural tour, as well as an entertainment tour, which tells visitors all about the Hollywood movie and TV shows that have been filmed on site.
For those like Annie Aube-Hardy, coming for the regular tours, it’s getting to learn all about the history of the Pen, and hear from former guards, who now work as guides.
“I think it was really amazing,” she says. “It’s not just someone reading a storybook.”
The attractions are now up and running through the summer, and with high demand, officials suggest getting tickets ahead of time.