Springer Market Square is a staple of Kingston history and home to some of the most exciting events and activities downtown.
Bistro and Movies in the Square
When the sun is shining in the summertime Springer Market Square is filled with bistro tables and Muskoka chairs for visitors to kick up their feet with some fresh takeout. When the sun sets the Square is converted into an open-air theatre for free movies every Thursday all summer!
History of Springer Market Square
The Market Square located behind City Hall was laid out as part of the original town plan in 1784 and the first market regulations published in 1811. It was the focal point for the local trade in foodstuffs and fuel, all the consumables that supported day-to-day life in early Kingston.
In the early 2000s, cars and trucks have replaced horses and carts, live animals are no longer available for sale and market vendors sell their wares under portable awnings instead of ramshackle shambles structures. What remains consistent is the vibrancy of trade on weekly market days during the spring, summer and autumn, when residents and tourists flock to Springer Market Square seeking fresh produce, meat and baked goods, plants and flowers, craft items and clothing, and antiques and collectibles. The Square remains alive on non-market days with concerts, evening film screenings and other public events. During the winter, skaters enjoy the refrigerated ice surface installed during the 2004 redevelopment of the square.
Acknowledgement: Historical information for this page was provided by the Cataraqui Archaeological Research Foundation (CARF), which conducted an archeological excavation of the area now known as Springer Market Square in 2002-2003. For more on the history of Market Square click here.
Kingston Public Market
The Kingston Public Market is the oldest market in Ontario and has been providing food and a sense of community to residents of Kingston since 1801.
It was in Kingston Market Square that the proclamation of Confederation and the formation of the Dominion of Canada occurred. During the mid-1900’s, activity at the Kingston market slowed down as more space was needed to accommodate bigger roads, grocery stores won over consumers, and health regulations created stumbling blocks for vendors.
The market is located in Kingston’s historic downtown, right behind City Hall, and is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, April through November. The market hours are from 9 am – 6 pm although some vendors arrive earlier and leave earlier. Click for vendor details.
Skating in the Square
In the winter when snowflakes start falling Springer Market Square is transformed into a magical skating rink where visitors can glide through the sparkling lights of downtown.