April 2015 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
What a crazy month March has been!!!  Lots happening!!!

1) Wellington St. Extension update
2) Amara Zee –Theatre on a barge this summer!
3) Ad Hoc Cycling Group initiatives
4) ON THE WALL- spin off street art initiatives
5) Kingston by Design – Ad Hoc Architecture Group
6) Valour District
7) Meetings re speed bumps on Place d’Armes
8) Outer Station move to Doug Fluhrer Park?
9) Blue Dot National Day of Environmental Concern
10) Jane’s Walks – doing our bit
11) Help needed for Family Fridays in the park this summer
12) Annual Park and Trail Clean-Ups

1) Wellington Street Extension Issue
THANKS SO VERY MUCH to all of you who wrote letters and who came to Council meetings.  Your support is truly appreciated.  However, the war is not over!  For more detailed information, visit wellingtonx.wordpress.com.  Here is a brief summary:

March 3: The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour did a 5 minute delegation to try and convince Council and staff of the folly of proceeding with this archaic idea of a parkway through a waterfront park and an existing trail.  Justine Scala, downtown business owner, was a second delegation and a third was by wellingtonx.  The successful outcome was a motion – passed unanimously by Council following a long week of back room negotiation.  The motion is included at the end of this e-mail.
March 24: Push-back from the business community.  Ed Smith of the downtown BIA spoke on behalf of the board who he said were unanimous in the city having some arterial route to the downtown through the Inner Harbour area – not necessarily the Extension.  There were also delegations from Ken Dantzer of the Kingston Home Builders Association, Martin Sherris, CEO of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce and from Ben Pilon supporting the Extension.  In our opinion, their reasons for the Extension were dated.
March 31:  At the City’s Strategic Planning Session, “Green the City” was considered Priority #4 and as part of that, the City has committed to expanding the trail system for hiking and biking across the entire city.  That includes acquiring land to create and improve trails and green spaces and to finish the K&P trail by 2017, the 150th year celebration of the Trans Canada Trail.   The only mention of the Wellington St. Extension, taken from the March 3 motion, reads ‘”Explore potential transportation solutions in place of the Wellington St. Extension.”  However, we do need to be cautious of the statement “Integrated transportation system (Third Crossing and K&P Trail).  We would prefer that the route chosen for the K&P Trail completion by 2017 not be aligned with the Wellington St. Extension!  If the Extension happens, that route can be added later.  The more off-road trails, the better!

2) Theatre-on-a-Barge this summer.  We are very hopeful that the Amara Zee, now registered as a U.S. pleasure craft, will be performing in August.   More news next month.

3) An Ad Hoc Cycling Group has been formed to promote three things:
a) Completion of the K&P Trail to the downtown using the preferred route behind the CAS and Police Station on Division St.
b) Creation of Cycle Priority Routes throughout the City of Kingston on safe quiet back streets with signage and a lower than normal posted speed limit, and
c) Promotion of Cycle Tourism.  We think maps should be available online as well as in hard copy versions.   We are hoping that some of the recreational cycling routes we have collected will become available on both the Great Waterway and the City of Kingston webpages in due course.  Check out  www.plotaroute.com with the username kingstoncycletrails@gmail.com and the password trails.  Many thanks due to Valencia Gaspard and Sarah Minnes for their help with this!
A meeting with the mayor is planned for Wednesday, April 8.
Members of the group are: Roger Healey (KCAT), Mary Farrar (Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour), Steve Lawrence (Kingston by Bike), Brandon Pickard (Tourism Kingston), Hal Cain (Kingston Velo Club/Cycle Kingston) and Councillor Jim Neill

4) ON THE WALL 2015 or Legal Wall?   This summer we will not be doing another ON THE WALL festival.  Our Trillium Grant application was not successful.  Organizing the festival amounts to three full-time jobs over a short period and so far we have not been able to find willing helpers.
Instead, a small group of passionate advocates from last year’s ON THE WALL including Harley Brushey, Julian Brown, Aaron Forsythe, David Dossett and Yessi Rivera Belsham met and decided to put forward a motion to Council to create a legal wall as a pilot project this year.  A legal wall was actually the dream from the beginning and as the festival was such an unexpectedly huge success last year, we feel that now may be the right time to proceed with this initiative.  More anon.

Downtown BIA PowerPoint of ON THE WALL artists.  Aaron Forsythe, one of the street artists from last year’s ON THE WALL is putting together a PowerPoint to present to the Downtown BIA to promote the work of interested artists.  And Yessi Rivera Belsham is creating a webpage entitled Kingston Street Art to showcase Kingston street artists.  Hopefully both of these initiatives will result in some of the street artists being hired to decorate walls around town!

5) Kingston by Design: Ad Hoc Architecture Group.  Don Campbell is spearheading this project that is still in its infancy.  The goal is to figure out ways of getting great modern architecture in Kingston.  After all, we have all of these wonderful examples from the 19th Century.  It would be great to do the same in the 21st Century.  Both the Inner Harbour and the North Block could be prime locations.  This is in keeping with Council’s recently stated vision of creating a “Smart and Liveable 21st Century City”.

6) Possible Valour District around Ordnance St.  Do you agree?
(Info thanks to McBurney Park Neighbourhood Association)
“As you may have seen through other news sources, the City is inviting input on a proposal to rename part of our neighbourhood the “Valour District.” The idea is to commemorate valiant military service in the First and Second World Wars. The proposed area encompasses an area from the Kingston Armouries to Fort Frontenac. Opponents to the idea point out that the City had placed a moratorium on new commemoration initiatives until there is a fresh commemoration policy in place, and this initiative seems out of step with that. Moreover, there are existing and/or more appropriate ways to do the intended commemoration. There are other points, for and against, which you can find through the links below. While it is not the policy of this distribution list to tell you what to think, we do urge neighbours to consider the matter and provide input.
See the City’s explanation and invitation for input here:
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/get-involved/valour-district
See Jamie Swift’s blog post here: https://skeletonpark.wordpress.com/
Provide input to the City’s Planning Dept here: valourdistrict@cityofkingston.ca
If you want to provide input, please do so SOON; the City page indicates a deadline of Monday, April 6.”

7) Speed Bumps on Place d’Armes.  Gillian Kelly of Frontenac Village has taken the lead here.  She organized a petition and has been on touch with Rob Hutchison, our local councillor to try and get some traffic calming measures in place.  The City is now suggesting two speed bumps on Place d’Armes between King and Ontario Streets.  Other local residents are suggesting that traffic lights might be better.  The City is hosting two public meetings where you will be able to provide input.
Monday, April 13 in the Rona Room at the INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Road from 6:30-8:30, and
Wednesday, April 15 in Memorial Hall at City Hall, 216 Ontario St. from 6:30-8:30.

8) Outer Station move to Doug Fluhrer Park.  As many of you know, Hank Doornekamp, who has repurposed both the Woolen Mill and the old S&R building so beautifully, is now suggesting taking apart the old stone train station on Montreal Street and rebuilding it in Doug Fluhrer Park opposite 9 North St. (the old stone building behind Rideaucrest that he will begin work on this September to transform it into condos with parking on Rideaucrest property).  Our position on this is that the Outer Station is best developed in situ where it could provide a huge stimulus to further development on the Montreal Street corridor.  For further details, feel free to phone me at 613-544-1246 as the details are somewhat complex.

9) Blue Dot National Day of Environmental Concern.  Kimberley Sutherland Mills is helping organize a national day of action to celebrate — in a compelling, visible way — the growing number of Canadians who believe in the right to live in a healthy environment.  This group is asking for people to join them in Kingston on April 19 from 1-3 pm on the lawn of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian at Clergy and Princess. In case of rain the church has offered their hall.   To find out more and to register visit: bluedot.nationbuilder.com  More info? www.bluedot.ca
Also follow Blue Dot Kingston Frontenac on Facebook and Twitter for local updates.

10) Jane’s Walks.  The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour is participating with a number of other Kingston community groups: Williamsville, McBurney Park, Sydenham and Barriefield Village, to lead Jane’s Walks in local neighbourhoods.  These walks, now celebrated in 6 continents, 25 countries and 134 cities, are in honour of Jane Jacobs and her great contributions to the spirit of neighbourhoods and the importance of community.  www.janeswalks.org
Title – Kingston’s Inner Harbour:  Stories from the past and present.
Description – A walking tour will begin at the Anglin Bay parking lot where we will compare photos from the past with what we see today.  Intriguing characters, events and stories from the past will be highlighted.  Proceeding  north through Doug Fluhrer Park to Cataraqui St. we will point out a number of current heritage concerns along the way: the repurposing of 9 North Street, the issue of the Outer Station, The Woolen Mill, the National Grocer’s Building and the Bailey Broom Factory.  We will also discuss the creation of the park in the 70s, the recent visioning exercise, last summer’s award winning arts festival ON THE WALL and this summer’s intriguing event – Caravan Stage’s Theatre on a barge! On the way back we will have a look at the Molly Brant bust behind Rideaucrest – a taste of Kingston’s Aboriginal past.
Tour LeaderTBD on behalf of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour
Date – May 2 and possibly also May 3
Time – tentatively 1 pm.
Start Location – Anglin Parking Lot behind OHIP – off Wellington St.
Length – 1¼ hrs
Accessibility Notes –easy walking on grass and asphalt pathway
Stay tuned to the calendar on the webpagewww.friendsofinnerharbour.com to confirm precise dates and times of all Kingston tours or visit www.janeswalk.org.  If any of you would like to volunteer to lead one of these walks do get in touch.  Should be fun.

11) Help needed for Family Fridays in the park this summer.  Last summer Burgandy Dunn organized these events so wonderfully.  She is willing to help plan this summer as well but as she is expecting mid-July she cannot take a lead role in organizing on the actual days during July and August.  If you have young kids or grandkids and would be interested in helping out, that would be fantastic.  Please get in touch 613-544-1246.  These Friday events really are fun – done in cooperation with the Boys and Girls Club who provide a fun activity each Friday.  The events are followed by family picnics.  A great chance to meet with other families in the neighbourhood and around Kingston.

12) Annual Park and Trail Clean-ups.   Once again Kendra Noble has agreed to coordinate these.  We are so grateful to her for doing this.  As usual, coffee and goodies will be provided to all helpers!  Do come out.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to do something for the community and to meet other interested community members.
Doug Fluhrer Park Clean-Up:  Sat. April 25 (rain date Sun. April 26) beginning at 9 am.
Trail Clean-up meeting at Rideau and River Sts.: Sat. May 9 (rain date Sun. May 10) beginning at 9 am.

As always, thanks so very much for your support. 
Do visit the webpage now and again – www.friendsofinnerharbour.com to see what’s up.
Cheers,
Mary Farrar
p.s. Below is the motion that Council approved re the Wellington St.  Extension on March 3.

“Be It Resolved That:
Expenditures towards the acquisition of land and construction of the Wellington Street Extension (WSE) southern section (from Montreal/Railway Sts. to Bay St.) be halted effective immediately, until further direction from council;

THAT staff be requested to prepare a comprehensive report for the March 24, 2015 Council meeting that provides factual information of all aspects directly or indirectly related to the wellington Street Extension including but not limited to, the Official Plan, the Transportation Master Plan, the Development Charges Background Study and By-Law, the Employment Land Review, the K & P Trail Project, the Doug Fluhrer Park visioning exercise and property interests such as 9 North St., for the purposes of informing decisions and to provide full transparency on the matter; and

THAT staff be requested to report back to council in May 2015 with the scope of work, timelines and budget required to explore other potential alternative transportation solutions in place of the Wellington Street extension and address current and future traffic flows in the area to further inform council on the matter; and

That the staff analysis of potential alternative transportation solutions in place of the Wellington St. Extension be presented within a demonstrated framework of and in accordance with the principles and values contained in the Official Plan, the Kingston Sustainability Plan, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and the Kingston Climate Action Plan.”