- Hockey Although contested, Kingston lays claim to being the birthplace of ice hockey. This is supported by a journal entry of a British Army officer in Kingston in 1843. He wrote "Began to skate this year, improved quickly and had great fun at hockey on the ice." Kingston is also home to the oldest continuing hockey rivalry in the world by virtue of a game played in 1886 on the frozen Kingston harbour between Queen's University and the Royal Military College of Canada. To mark this event, the city hosts an annual game between the two institutions, played on a cleared patch of frozen lake with both teams wearing period-correct uniforms and using rules from that era. The two schools also contest the annual Carr-Harris Cup under modern competitive conditions to commemorate and continue their rivalry.
The Memorial Cup, which serves as the annual championship event for the Canadian Hockey League, began in 1919 on the initiative of Kingstonian James T. Sutherland. The first championship was held in Kingston. Sutherland, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, also helped establish the annual exhibition game between RMC and West Point in 1923.
Kingston is represented in the OHL by the Kingston Frontenacs, and in OPJHL by the Kingston Voyageurs. The Frontenacs General Manager is Kingston native Doug Gilmour.
The International Hockey Hall of Fame, established in 1943 with a building constructed in 1965, is located in Kingston, near the Kingston Memorial Centre (which was opened in 1950). New to the city is the K-Rock Centre, located in the downtown core. The arena opened in February 2008, and serves as home ice for the Frontenacs. The Voyageurs play at the new Invista Centre, located in the city's west end.
Many notable hockey people, NHL, WHA, and other players, coaches and personalities have been associated with Kingston including:
- Sailing Royal Military College of Canada Robotic SailboatThe city is famous for its fresh-water sailing, and hosted the sailing events for the 1976 Summer Olympics. CORK — Canadian Olympic-training Regatta, Kingston — now hosted by CORK/Sail Kingston Inc. is still held every August. Since 1972, Kingston has hosted more than 40 World and Olympic sailing championships. Kingston is listed by a panel of experts among the best yacht racing venues in the USA, even though Kingston is, of course, in Canada.
Kingston sits amid excellent cruising and boating territory, with easy access to Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the Thousand Islands including the St. Lawrence Islands National Park.
Kingston is also home to the youth sail training ship called the St. Lawrence II.
During the summers, the RMC campus in Kingston plays host to a Sea Cadet camp called HMCS Ontario, which provides sail training along with lots of other training to youth from across Canada. The Kingston Yacht Club located in downtown Kingston has a learn to sail program for both children and adults.
- Diving Kingston is a well-known destination for fresh-water wreck diving. Some of Kingston's wrecks can be classed among the best fresh water wrecks in the world. Kingston's wrecks are well preserved by its cool fresh water, and the recent zebra mussel invasion has caused a drastic improvement in water clarity that has enhanced the quality of diving in the area.
- Golf The Kingston area has eight golf courses, two of which are entirely public. The Kingston Golf Club, established in 1884, was a founding member of the Royal Canadian Golf Association in 1895. The first winner of the Canadian Amateur Championship that same year was Kingstonian Thomas Harley, a Scottish immigrant carpenter. Richard H. (Dick) Green, who immigrated to the area from England in the late 1920s, was the longtime club professional for nearly 40 years at Cataraqui Golf and Country Club (designed by Stanley Thompson). Green also helped design several courses in eastern Ontario, including Smiths Falls (1949), Glen Lawrence (1955), Rideau Lakes (1961), Amherstview (1971), Garrison (1971), Belle Park (1974), Rivendell (1979), and Colonnade (1984). Matt McQuillan, a professional player on the PGA Tour for the 2011 season, was born and raised in Kingston, and developed his game at the Garrison Golf and Curling Club. McQuillan won the 2005 Telus Edmonton Open on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour.
- Curling Three curling clubs are located in the Kingston area: the Cataraqui Golf & Country Club, Garrison Golf & Curling Club, and the Royal Kingston Curling Club. The Royal Kingston Curling Club (RKCC) was founded in 1820, and was granted Royal patronage in 1993. In 2006, the RKCC moved to a new facility, to make way for the construction of a new complex at Queen's University, the Queen's Centre.
- Rugby The Kingston Panthers Rugby Football Club (KPRFC) was founded in 1959, and from that moment onward has established a reputation as a strong community player. KPRFC is a non-profit organization answering directly to the Eastern Ontario Rugby Union (EORU), the Ontario Rugby Union (ORU), and Rugby Canada (RC). The Kingston Panthers R.F.C, recently celebrated their fortieth anniversary with an EORU championship in the Division 1 championship game at Twin Elms Rugby Pitch in Ottawa, Ontario.
- Football The earliest known incarnation of an organized football team in Kingston is the Kingston Granites which played in the predecessor league to the Canadian Football League, the ORFU. The team played for four seasons between 1898 and 1901 winning 1 ORFU title in 1899 defeating the Ottawa Rough Riders 8-0. Kingston also hosted the 10th Grey Cup in December 2, 1922. The Limestone Grenadiers now represent Kingston and the surrounding area in the OVFL. The Club franchise catchment area draws players from Frontenac, Hastings, Lanark, Leeds, Lennox and Prince Edward counties. League play runs from late May through August. The Junior and Varsity teams' main schedule pits the Grenadiers against eastern Ontario opponents and cross-over games with western Ontario teams leading to a provincial title championship game. Many notable football people, CFL, NFL players, coaches and personalities have been associated with Kingston.