About Us

For more than 160 years, this magnificent historic building at 82 Sydenham Street has been a notable Kingston landmark in the heart of the city.

Open its doors and see the bustle of activity for organizations that have made The Spire their home. People of all ages gather to celebrate the arts, to sing, to act, to dance, to find safe harbour and to learn together. Today it is home to more than 20 community and cultural groups.

From office space leasing to performance hall rentals, The Spire has something for everyone.


The Spire is located in the heart of the Old Sydenham Heritage Conservation District and has been a gathering place for the people of Kingston since long before Confederation. Originally, the site served as the city’s circus lands and was donated in 1851 by our city’s first mayor, John Counter. The building, the long-time home of Sydenham Street United Church, is well known as a centre for music and the arts, and as a welcoming and affordable haven for assembly, celebration, reflection and social action. The name, The Spire, captures in two small words the historic value and the new identity of this precious asset in our community:

  • From its Latin root “spirare”, it expresses the purpose of this iconic building – a place where the community can breathe, create, aspire, perspire and inspire.
  • It reinforces the building’s historic role as a landmark and beacon on our skyline.
  • It reflects the stunning architecture of the building.
  • It resonates with the names of the other great public/heritage spaces in the city like The Tett, The Isabel, The Grand and The Agnes.

The Spire represents a unique and innovative addition to Kingston’s community assets – one that offers significant social, cultural and economic benefits for our city:

  • It is unique by virtue of the combination of its location, its heritage architecture, its multi-purpose functions, its accessibility, its historic role as a community gathering place and its affordability
  • It is innovative in providing a community-driven, sustainable model for protecting and expanding a heritage city resource.

Friends of The Spire

Friends of The Spire is a not-for-profit charitable corporation, registered as an Ontario corporation and approved by Revenue Canada as a charity.

This committed group of volunteers has three goals:

  1. to engage long-term community support for the Sydenham Street United Church building, now known as The Spire
  2. to develop and implement a sustainable business plan for The Spire as a community hub
  3. to advance the public’s appreciation of the arts by providing a forum for the arts.

The Spire is a heritage building that is an integral part of our city’s streetscape and recognized as a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. It is a well-spring of creativity and inspiration – every week 1000 Kingstonians use it to create music, to plan programs, to find counsel, to gather for learning and support. They know that people of all ages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, ethnic origins, economic circumstances, abilities and challenges are welcome.

There is no facility in the city that offers this combination of accessible space, multi-faceted programs and flexible use – and certainly not at the user fees offered.

Friends have come together in this time of changing demographics to create a plan to sustain the building in the future for all to enjoy.

The Spire is a joint venture between the Friends and the Trustees of Sydenham Street United Church who will maintain accountability and liability for the physical asset. A Business  Management Group (BMG), made up of members from both groups, is responsible for The Spire’s operations. The BMG is guided by an annual business plan approved by the Trustees and accountable for the deliverables set out in the plan

Accessible Affordable

Barrier Free

  • 2 accessible entrances
  • Elevator
  • Accessible, gender neutral washrooms
  • Accessible seating in the Performance Hall


There is no facility in the city that offers this combination of accessible space, multi-faceted programs and flexible use, with user rates that will fit your budget.


“[The Spire] is a magnificent venue for musical performances and a location for many community groups to meet and to have office space. By being located in a transition zone between the downtown commercial core and the adjacent residential neighbourhoods, it offers “neutral territory” to those needing a fresh start or a safe haven. By offering affordable space for community use, The Spire supports many local organizations that otherwise would struggle. By supporting a wide constituency of groups within the community, The Spire is inclusive and welcoming.”

Dr. Carl Bray, Principal, Bray Heritage

“This building and the people in it have always been about outreach, social justice, the community…prison work, homelessness and other justice issues. This plan allows it to continue this role. I like that.”

Member of Kingston’s professional community

“Great rehearsal space. A building like this should be preserved. It will have its own niche. There is no comparable space. Kingston has a lively arts community. More suitable spaces will only serve to increase and draw more artists.”

Neighbourhood Property Owner

Find Us

Contact Us

613.542.9616 ex. 202

82 Sydenham Street
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 3H4

Visit Us

We are located on the corner of Sydenham and William Streets in Downtown Kingston

Office Hours

M-F: 9am – 4pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Program areas open as scheduled