Kingston is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario.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.Kingston was the county seat of Frontenac County until 1998. Kingston is a separated municipality from the County of Frontenac. According to the 2011 Canadian census, the population of the city proper was 123,363, while the population of the census metropolitan area (CMA) was 159,561.Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many heritage buildings constructed using local limestone.