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Explore the Smith Robinson Building


A directory listing of the businesses residing within the building.

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A history of the building from the purchasing of the land to today.

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Directions on how to find the building for visitors to Kingston.

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Contact information for inquiries about leasing and more.

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About the Smith Robinson Building

The first owner of the property now known as 27 Princess Street was Thomas Markland, a successful merchant in the Town of Kingston by the turn of the 19th Century. Markland was granted a Crown patent, dated August 27 1801 , giving him ownership of Lot 4, a parcel of roughly one fifth an acre that fronted on streets known then as Front (later Ontario) and Store (Princess).

Ten years later, Markland sold the entire lot to James Richardson for 400 Pounds. By 1817 two other Kingston merchants, James Torrance and Neil McLeod had acquired the southwest half of the lot, where they opened a grocery business. A notable figure in Kingston's history acquired the property in 1837.

Merchant Charles Hales hired noted architect George Browne in 1841. Browne placed an advertisement in the Chronicle and Gazette newspaper seeking masons and carpenters "to contract for enlarging and building a wing to a house and store in Store Street." The wing that Browne designed includes the iconic round corner that still overlooks the northwest corner of the intersection of Ontario and Princess streets.

The large stone building was one of three commercial structures in Kingston's core with a beautifully rounded corner. All were designed by Browne, who is celebrated for his magnificent design of Kingston's City Hall, which is located two blocks south of the Hales' building, first known as the Commercial Mart.

Hales operated his business until 1855 and rented space in the large structure to other merchants. Hales is well known for another notable structure: the home he had built west of the town. The ornate Italianate villa eventually became the home of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Today, the former home of Hales and MacDonald, known as Bellevue House, is a national historic site and museum operated by the federal government.

From 1864 to 1940, most of the Commercial Mart building was occupied by piano manufacturers, including Weber and Wormwith. Among the principals of one of the piano makers was John Stevenson, who became the first speaker of the Ontario legislative assembly in 1867.

For a brief period, The Kingston Vehicle Company operated out of the Commercial Mart site. Between 1894 and 1900, the company manufactured and sold "buggies, spring wagons and phaetons," according to an 1894 catalogue of the firm's wares.

Piano-making returned to the site at the turn of the century and then a disastrous fire in 1908 gutted the structure leaving only the walls standing. The city provided a $10,000 grant to help the Wormwith piano maker rebuild and carry on business. During the Second World War, the property was acquired by the Canadian military and used as a barracks and storehouse. After the war, the Department of Veterans Affairs used the site but abandoned it in 1959 and declared it surplus. The building narrowly avoided demolition after the government's declaration. Local businessman Percy Robinson and his brother-in-law Maurice Smith stepped in and bought the site and converted it into the S&R Department store. The eclectic shop was a retail mecca in Kingston's commercial core until it closed in 2009. ABNA Investments Ltd purchased the property and building in 2010 to turn it into office space and a home for the beautiful Milestone's restaurant.

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy governs the manner in which The Smith Robinson Building website collects, uses, maintains and discloses information collected from users (each, a "User") of ("Site").

Personal identification information

We may collect personal identification information from Users in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, when Users visit our site, fill out a form, respond to a survey, and in connection with other activities, services, features or resources we make available on our Site. Users may be asked for, as appropriate, name, email address. Users may, however, visit our Site anonymously. We will collect personal identification information from Users only if they voluntarily submit such information to us. Users can always refuse to supply personally identification information, except that it may prevent them from engaging in certain Site related activities.

Non-personal identification information

We may collect non-personal identification information about Users whenever they interact with our Site. Non-personal identification information may include the browser name, the type of computer and technical information about Users means of connection to our Site, such as the operating system and the Internet service providers utilized and other similar information.

Web browser cookies

Our Site may use "cookies" to enhance User experience. User's web browser places cookies on their hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information about them. User may choose to set their web browser to refuse cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. If they do so, note that some parts of the Site may not function properly.

How we use collected information

The Smith Robinson Building may collect and use Users personal information for the following purposes:

  • To run and operate our Site We may need your information display content on the Site correctly.
  • To personalize user experience We may use information in the aggregate to understand how our Users as a group use the services and resources provided on our Site.
  • To improve our Site We may use feedback you provide to improve our products and services.
  • To run a promotion, contest, survey or other Site feature To send Users information they agreed to receive about topics we think will be of interest to them.
  • To send periodic emails We may use the email address to respond to their inquiries, questions, and/or other requests.

How we protect your information

We adopt appropriate data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of your personal information, username, password, transaction information and data stored on our Site.

Sharing your personal information

We do not sell, trade, or rent Users personal identification information to others. We may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any personal identification information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above.

Third party websites

Users may find advertising or other content on our Site that link to the sites and services of our partners, suppliers, advertisers, sponsors, licencors and other third parties. We do not control the content or links that appear on these sites and are not responsible for the practices employed by websites linked to or from our Site. In addition, these sites or services, including their content and links, may be constantly changing. These sites and services may have their own privacy policies and customer service policies. Browsing and interaction on any other website, including websites which have a link to our Site, is subject to that website's own terms and policies.

Changes to this privacy policy

The Smith Robinson Building has the discretion to update this privacy policy at any time. When we do, we will post a notification on the main page of our Site. We encourage Users to frequently check this page for any changes to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect. You acknowledge and agree that it is your responsibility to review this privacy policy periodically and become aware of modifications.

Your acceptance of these terms

By using this Site, you signify your acceptance of this policy. If you do not agree to this policy, please do not use our Site. Your continued use of the Site following the posting of changes to this policy will be deemed your acceptance of those changes.

Contacting us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this site, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This document was last updated on July 28, 2015

Resident Businesses in the Smith Robinson Building

Below please find a directory of the businesses currently operating within the Smith Robinson building. Select a tag to organize the companies by their respective catagories, and shift+click the Load More button to view all listings.

Why the Smith-Robinson Building?

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What makes the S&R building stand out?

  • Down the street from the Wolfe Island Ferry
  • Across the street from Kingston's own K-Rock Centre
  • Completely renovated and restored in 2011
  • Home to one of the most beautiful Milestones restaurants
  • Iconic land mark made possible by the same architect responsible for City Hall
  • The building stands proud at 180 plus years old!

Contact Us

Resident Businesses of the Smith Robinson Building

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  • Accounting
  • Architects
  • Beauty
  • Cannabis
  • Deserts
  • Dining
  • Financial
  • Fitness
  • Lawyers
  • Realty
  • Default
  • Title
  • Random
  • Selling Ice Cream and Everything Cookies Craving freshly baked cookies? Come to Cook.E’s Dough. We are a local, family-owned, and
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    • Deserts
  • You can find a Spiritleaf Cannabis Store located in the heart of Downtown Kingston in the old S&R Heritage building. Kingston
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    • Cannabis
  • HDR is a full service architecture, engineering and consulting firm with more than 185 offices throughout North America and abroad.
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    • Architects
  • Finding Solutions. Getting Results. The lawyers at Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham LLP are the trusted successors to generations
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    • Lawyers
  •  The loft hair studio is located on the first floor of the building. With lots of bright natural light and
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    • Beauty
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Visiting Kingston soon? Come to the Smith Robinson building for some local heritage!