COVID-19: Kingston-area museums prepare to reopen their doors Tuesday – Kingston


Some Kingston-area museums are getting ready to reopen for the first time in months, as part of Step 3 of Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

“It’s been a long time with our doors shut, and being a museum we want to welcome people in. We want to interact with people, so yes, we’re very excited,” said Liz Watkins-McLean, the curator of the Frontenac County Schools Museum, which is set to reopen on Tuesday.

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While present-day school may be out for summer, this museum takes a look back to a time when students wrote on a slate and sat a wooden desk.

“We focus on schools and education and that’s something everyone can relate to based on their own experiences. Sometimes they come in and they recognize a lot of the things we have in our classrooms, but then for young kids it’s just totally new. So there’s that nostalgic piece and then there’s that discovery piece,” said Watkins-McLean.

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The museum’s curator explained that although the space offers a snapshot of the past, it must also deal with the present, and that means putting COVID-19 restrictions in place.

“We’re taking people up to a maximum of eight. There are still those restrictions we have to keep in mind, which does limit us in some ways,” said Watkins-McLean.

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The PumpHouse Museum on Ontario Street is also preparing to welcome visitors as of Tuesday.

“We’re absolutely ready to go and so excited to have people here inside the building with us,” said Jessica Tozer, a curator with the City of Kingston.

“We are doing just private guided tours and programs up to nine people are able to come into your booking and it’s just a private booking at this time, so you’re not with any other members of the public and you can have a really truly personalized experience with-in the museum.”

The Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites, the advocacy group for Kingston’s cultural heritage, says seven Kingston-area museums are open or will be in the near future.

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