Kingston is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. The city is sited at the mouth of the Cataraqui River (south end of the Rideau Canal). Growing European exploration in the 17th century and the desire for the Europeans to establish a presence close to local Native occupants to control trade led to the founding of a French trading post known as Fort Frontenac in 1673. The fort became a focus for settlement. Located midway between Toronto and Montreal, Kingston was named the first capital of the Province of Canada on February 15, 1841, by Governor Lord Sydenham. While its time as a political centre was short, Kingston has remained an important military installation.
Archaeological evidence suggests that Native peoples lived in the Kingston region as early as the Archaic Period (about 9,000–3,000 years ago). Evidence of Late Woodland Period (about 1000–500 AD) early Iroquois occupation also exists. Settlement by Native groups in the Kingston area began about 500 AD. The main Native group that occupied the area before the arrival of the French was probably the Huron, who were later displaced by Iroquoian groups. At the time the French arrived in the Kingston area, Five Nations Iroquois had settled along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Although the area around the south end of the Cataraqui River was often visited by Iroquois and other groups, Iroquois settlement at this location only began after the French established their outpost. By 1700, the north shore Iroquois had moved south, and the area once occupied by the Iroquois (which includes Kingston) became occupied by the Mississaugas who had moved south from the Lake Huron and Lake Simcoe regions.