Kingston – Collins Bay

Collins Bay
View from the hill towards the bay. (Photo taken on I/R film.)

The village of Collins Bay was at one time quite separate from the city of Kingston. But over the past few decade, urban development has filled in most of the farmland between the village and the city. More recently, the village officially became part of the city of Kingston when the neighboring townships merged with the city.

Collins Bay
Sailing in the bay.

Boating is a big part of the recreational life of Kingstonians, due to ideal conditions at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. The prevailing winds are from the south-west, however, conditions on the waters near the city are generally moderated by a number of islands. Collins Bay is a long, well protected inlet in the western part of the city.

Collins Bay
Putting the boats in the water.

For me, Collins Bay is where I grew up. I attended Collins Bay Public School from Grade 2 up until Grade 7. The school was about 20 minutes away on foot, including a climb down a steep hill. During the 1960’s, the school was expanded a number of times as more and more homes were built in nearby subdivisions. Eventually, a new school was built, Bayridge Public School, which is where I spent Grade 8.

Collins Creek
Collins Creek.

One summer, I worked as a flagman on a highway paving crew. Although most of our time was spent repaving the former Highway 38 from Highway 401 north to Verona, we also did a few patch jobs on a couple of other roads. One of these patch assignments was along Bath Road. The first stop was on the bridge over Collins Creek, just west of the village, and we got to work on the patch about 7:30AM, just before the morning rush. At that time unfortunately, Bath Road was pretty much the only way to get to work for commuters living in Elmwood and Amherstview. The ensuing traffic jam that spread back along Bath Road for many kilometers even got a mention in the afternoon newspaper!

Collins Bay
Kids relaxing on the dock, a favorite spot for swimming.