Kingston’s hot spots

The top locales on and off campus

There are many hidden and not-so-hidden gems in Kingston — but it can be overwhelming to find them in your first term.

But whether you want to study, grab a bite to eat, or simply relax, there are places near Queen’s for you. 

Consider this list as a guide. Keep in mind that throughout your time at Queen’s, you’ll find some special spots of your own. 

Top study spots

Mac-Corry Hall: An academic building across from Tindall Field.

When the cafeteria is empty, there’s lots of space to spread out your work, and during off-hours, the empty classrooms are great places for group work.

Common Ground: A student-run coffeehouse on the second floor of the Athletics and Recreation Centre.

The student-run café, affectionately known as CoGro, is a perfect place for those who need visual and auditory traffic to study. But it can be hard to find space at the coffee shop, so it’s best if you go early or late. You can also find the tables and a café-like atmosphere on the third floor of the Queen’s Centre.


The Commong Ground (CoGro) located in the Queen's Centre.

The Sleepless Goat Café: An independent coffee house located on Princess St. downtown. 

The Sleepless Goat has the same coffee house vibe as Common Ground, but less traffic because it’s off-campus. It’s great for long study sessions with food breaks.


The Sleepless Goat is located in downtown Kingston.

City Park or Victoria Park: Located at the edge of campus, east of the Biosciences Complex and north of the Queen’s residences.

Both parks are ideal for doing readings on benches. Try to study outside when you can — sunny weather doesn’t last for long in Kingston. 

Best places to chill

The Tea Room: Located in the ILC building at Union and Division Streets.

It’s close to campus, has less formulaic drink offerings and offers spacious patios for sipping flavoured teas.

Rideau Trail: A path next to Lake Ontario directly south of the Queen’s residences.  

Catch some rays or catch up on readings in the beautiful fall weather. It’s a great destination for runners looking for natural trails.

Queen’s Centre: A centre for university life with food outlets, athletics facilities and seating for students. It’s located behind the JDUC near Earl and University.

Both lively and convenient, the Queen’s Centre is a great place to people-watch and enjoy a meal. 

Downtown’s hidden gems

Tara Natural Foods: A small grocery store on Princess St. that specializes in organic, sustainably sourced food. 

Tara’s offers a great selection of interesting foods at reasonable prices. The bulk food section and in-house delicacies — such as frozen fruit — make it worth the trek downtown. 

The Red House: A small pub located at Princess and King St.

The Red House offers decently priced pub food on a pleasant side street. It’s good for watching passersby. 

P’Lovers: A downtown boutique specializing in fair trade and organic clothes, toiletries and appliances. 

A tiny organics shop you might miss as you pass the Rogers Store downtown. The shop’s special tea and toiletry items make it worth a visit, although they’re a bit pricey.

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