Confederation Park is a public space and outdoor live music venue on the waterfront of downtown Kingston, directly across from City Hall at Ontario Street between Brock Street and Clarence Street. It’s a lovely place to relax and enjoy food and drink from street vendors or nearby restaurants (there are many), and in the summer, it’s home to the Music in the Park live music series, hosted by the Downtown Kingston BIA. The park is managed and operated by the City of Kingston, and information on booking can be found here.
Confederation Park is part of the Kingston Fortifications National Historic Site of Canada. Situated at the mouth of the Cataraqui River, and overlooking the confluence of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, the fortifications consist of five separate 19th-century military installations, including Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada (NHSC), Fort Frederick, part of the Point Frederick Buildings NHSC, the Murney Tower NHSC, Shoal Tower NHSC, and Cathcart Martello Tower. An inter-related defense system, the concentration and orientation of the limestone fortifications towards the water convey their essential purpose as a defensible platform for guns. Built between 1832 and 1840, the Kingston fortifications represent the apogee of smooth bore technology. Official recognition refers to the boundaries of each of these installations situated around the Kingston Harbour.
A commemorative plaque in Confederation Park reads:
The site of the Royal Naval Dockyard during the War of 1812, Kingston assumed even greater strategic importance as the southern terminus of the Rideau Canal, which was built between 1826 and 1832. An extensive fortification plan of redoubts, towers, and batteries was developed to protect the dockyard and entrance to the canal, but only Fort Henry was actually built. In response to the Oregon Crisis with the United States in 1845-1846, four Martello towers and the Market Battery, which stood on this site, were constructed between 1846 and 1848.