There are very few cities in Canada with stories to tell like Kingston, Ontario. From its origins as Canada’s first capital city to keeping the then colony safe during the War of 1812, Kingston has been at the center of it all. This can be experienced through its limestone towers, iconic city hall, and mansions turned hotels. Naturally, when visiting a place as historical as Kingston I want to ensure I get the most out of my stay. This means staying in a place that is as unique as the city itself. The Hochelaga Inn has Kingston’s history in spades and, as I would find, is the perfect place to explore the city from.
Welcome to the Hochelaga Inn
Built in 1879, the Hochelaga Inn was originally the home of John McIntyre, a prominent lawyer and Kingston’s very first mayor. Located across the street from the Kingston Courthouse, it not only gave Mr. McIntyre a short commute to work but also a place to keep tabs on the comings and goings of the attorneys he was up against. It is rumored that the tower was added to give him a vantage point to spy and eavesdrop on the conversations next-door.
Today the lookout serves as a space for “quiet meditation” and is part of the Tower Room, which I was lucky enough to call home while in town.
With stained glass windows, a bean bag chair, and personal espresso machine the turret room and tower above does indeed offer a place to relax and reflect. Truthfully though, the Holechega Inn has no shortage of these calming nooks. Amongst its massive footprint, you will find quiet corners like the lounge chairs in the gardens or on the front porch. The Holechega Inn advertises itself as the perfect place for business travelers however very little will get done while staying here, but I suppose that’s the point.
Bed & Breakfast Plus
At its core, the Holechega Inn is a bed and breakfast with hotel comforts and amenities. The mansion has been converted into a 21 room guest house with modern conveniences alongside the charm and character from its origins. This means antique furnishings and creaky stairs with air conditioned rooms with television sets.
Three floors below the Tower Room you will find the dining and living area where the included breakfast is served. The Holechega Inn offers up daily hot features as well as continental style breakfasts. On my stay this included french toast with fresh fruit and a potato hash topped with an egg and covered in cheese.
Beyond enjoying breakfast on the porch, the gardens and fireplace seating areas are great places to relax, read a book, or enjoy the complimentary illy coffee and assorted sweets.
Again, there is no issue kicking back at the Holechega Inn.
The Hochelaga Inn has started making the most of its unique property and relaxing areas by hosting various events such as yoga in the gardens and wine tastings. Then there is the partnership with Top Tier Bakery. Soon they will be adding High Tea in the garden. This seems like a no-brainer given the beautiful building that is the Hochelaga Inn and the history that surrounds it and the city.
I was lucky enough to enjoy a sneak peek sampling of the afternoon tea that is planned for the Hochelaga Inn with Top Tier baker and owner Ksenia. Over lavender topped treats and cookies stuffed with peanut butter (drool) I picked Ksenia’s brain on the history of the Hochelaga Inn. She shared stories of the original owner’s use of the grand space and how it is said to be haunted.
During High Tea, I over shared my personal ghost experience from the night before. I’d woken up in the middle of the night disoriented from a day of travel (and a night of wine) and when I came to, I remembered where I was and that the place was said to be haunted. This thought followed me as I went to the bathroom. Just as I shrugged the thought of staying in a tower above a house that has surely seen some things, thunderstruck. This startled me and sent me backward…mid pee.
Again, maybe a little too much for High Tea. Ksenia laughed and reassured me that although the Hochelaga Inn is a stop on the Haunted Walking Tour she, nor anyone on the current staff, has witnessed any paranormal activity. Comforting words but I would be lying if the thought did not remain tucked in later that night.
Be a part of the History
Ghost stories aside, I had a great stay at the Hochelaga Inn. It’s history, location, and charm only enhanced my overall experience in Kingston and made for a unique and memorable stay. Plus, how many chain hotels have rooms with your very own tower to relax in?
Hochelaga Inn Good to Know
Room Rate: Check website for latest!
Includes: Breakfast, parking, coffee tea and sweets.
Don’t Miss: Coffee on the front porch!
What say you?
Thoughts on the Hochelaga Inn in Kingston?
Let’s hear it!
Like me? Pin me!
Although I was provided a complimentary stay at the Hochelaga Inn,
the experience, opinions, and haunted night are my own.