We re-designed this website.

You can explore the Research Papers or go to the Index where one can find all the material on this site. The Heading at the top of the page offers also a range of interesting choices. We hope you will enjoy the information as entertaining and deepening the subject of municipal cultural politics.

We added the name “Pump House” to this website because there are two historic pump houses in the City of Kingston. Here is one…



The first “pump house” dates from 1849 when the private water pumping station opened as  business with local elites as shareholders. It failed miserably over an almost forty year period of bad management.This private company became a municipal waterworks in 1896 when the City of Kingston invested much money in a modern Victorian water pumping station for firefighting and to provide clean potable water for its citizens, those that could afford it at that time. This magnificent example of science and technology in the service of the community, is now the Pump House Steam Museum at 23 Ontario Street.

The other “pump house” is also located on Ontario Street, just a little towards the downtown, and is a National Historic site. It pumps water also but with the aim to empty a large dry dock over a short period of time. There are two huge centrifugal pumps driven by simple but high powered steam engines. It was until recently managed by the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. The site is now owned by a private developer.

The Sir John A. Macdonald connection. The dry dock and the pump house are one of many milestones in his political life. When construction of the dry dock began in 1890, thousands of people turned out to see Macdonald lay the first stone. The event was to be his last public appearance before his death in 1891.

We will showcase this pump house in the next blog. It is important to think about it’s future now the historic building and the drydock are in private hands. The importance of both the Kingston Water Works and the drydock pump house are both immense and should be linked and open to the public. The Kingston Water Works welcomes the public as the Pump House Steam Museum, there is much reason to welcome the same interested visitors to the Nationally recognised Kingston Dry Dock and Pump House.

This photo shows the engine and pump room of the historic drydock on Ontario Street at the former Marine Museum of the Great Lakes site. If you click the photo it will take you to the INDEX.