DARN! promotes and advocates for a livable downtown.

The following are DARN! articles. The views and opinions expressed belong to the authors who posted and do not necessarily reflect the DARN! collective.  We aim to post weekly on issues of relevance to downtown Kingston, Ontario. So visit us regularly to read new content.  Please contact us if you are interested in contributing.


Dear City Hall,

I chose Queen's when I was 17 because I knew of its academic reputation and its notoriety for being a very social school. My mother went to Queen's, as well as my grandmother. I believe that it was inevitable that my three siblings and I would attend such a wonderful school. However, throughout those 17 years of life, I had never been to Kingston. I have passed it on the 401 as I traveled to basketball tournaments in Montreal and Ottawa, but never once exited at Sir John A. MacDonald overpass to see what the city would eventually have to offer me.


Dear The Wolfe Islander III,

Although I missed your 11:30 am departure from Dawson Point Dock today, I still want to thank you. Not only do you serve as a vital lifeline to Wolfe Island’s established community or the thousands of people visiting Wolfe Island from the US and Canada each day but you provide me with an escape. An escape so incredible and thoughtful that it allows me to leave my worries on the Kingston shore and collect them upon my return. As hundreds of people board you to take off from Kingston to Wolfe Island, I admire your work ethic. Oh, how dependable you are! You are consistently at the Kingston dock every hour on the half hour reassuring me of your reliability. Each time I



Dear David’s Tea Kingston,

You are small, yet charming, providing tea-filled bliss and a stress-relieving atmosphere.

From the exterior, your rustic and original brick façade follows suit with the quaint little downtown Kingston has to offer. Your robin’s egg blue sign out front stating that this is David’s Tea Kingston, welcomes travelers walking on Princess Street. Usually in the summer months, a very nice David’s Tea ‘tea-ista’ stands out front offering the tea of the day, for all to try. The large front window entices all to come in, as the interior is just as alluring.


Dearest Sleepless Goat Café,

You are a haven in the heart of Kingston. You reside on Princess Street – though within your
walls, neither Princess nor King, grandeur or the like are permitted. Indeed, your entrance is guarded
not by structures of force or persons of power, but by an invisible gate. A love magnet is burrowed
within the gate’s unseen iron. Thus, all those who pass beneath, and subsequently within, are
transformed into emitters of love.

                          Sleepless goat


Dear Tommy’s,

There has always been something that has brought me back to you, time after time. Over the past two and a half years, I have run into your open arms, night or day, without judgement.

In the morning, you smoothly sedate the same wicked hangovers which you fuelled the night before. You play all of my favourite childhood cartoons, and decorate my breakfast quesadilla with a twist of orange, putting a ray of sunshine into my day. The endless flow of hot coffee, refreshing water, and delicious chocolate milk settles my



My Dearest Woodenheads,

In the years that I have known you, I have been captivated by your smell, your beauty and your relentless desire to make my moments with you unforgettable. When I am in the warm, cozy embrace of your walls, I feel happy, secure, and as though the world outside is of no concern to me. Some may think you are foolish because of your name, but it is the charming simplicity of your rustic brick oven that has made you who you are today. When I am not in your presence, I think about you and the next time we may meet.


Dear Serenity.... Studio 330,


In Kingston the month of September is surrounded by new experiences, exciting endeavors and friendships full of fun and laughter. The end of August brings the strongest level of anticipation in the hearts of Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College students who are eager to get back into last year’s routine. For many, however, the feelings of anxiety and stress are at their highest peak. A relaxing and worriless summer quickly transforms into a life of late nights, tight deadlines and heart-pounding examinations. Last fall, my world felt much like the latter scenario. The sudden passing of a close family member occurred at the very end of August and the ceremonies that followed had been scheduled during the first week of classes, causing even more stress to build up. When a friend advised me to visit Studio 330, I was immediately attracted. I have



Dear Springer Market Square,

My love! How have you been faring? I am sure the frigid winter chills that have been gusting in and around town have taken many of your regular visitors, leaving you with lonely days and nights. This is the very reason I have yet to visit in a while. However, I am sure that you will understand as I promise to come by as often as possible once the warm air that I breathe out does not freeze onto my hair, leaving hard, white crystalized hair strands!

                                    LOVE LETTER - SPRINGER MARKET SQUARE


Dear Coffee and Company,

You are my absolute favourite place in downtown Kingston. There are so many
memories throughout my years at Queen’s that are associated with you.


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