December Newsletter 2017

FKIH Dec 2017 update – Solstice Event, Turtles, 4 New Projects + Accessibility Award
Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
I know it is a crazy busy time of year but please take the time to read this update.
A lot of new stuff!
 
1) THE LONGEST NIGHT – Fabulous New Family Event in the Park –  Dec 20
2) Butt Breathing – How turtles survive in winter + our turtle plans
3) New project – Pedestrian and Cycling Overpass for the K&P over John Counter and the Railway
4) New project – Maritime Heritage Centre in Anglin Bay
5) New project – The Thomas Burrowes House
6) New project – Kingston Mills mural
7) K&P Trail Survey in South Frontenac – Deadline Dec 3
8) Accessibility Award received by FKIH for Wheelchair Rally held last July
9) Celebration of Kingston Transit Success
10) Bailey Broom Company Update
11) Belle Park Update courtesy of Frank Dixon
12) Sustainable Xmas Suggestions from the City of Kingston

13) Donations gratefully accepted
 
1) THE LONGEST NIGHT -Fabulous New Family Event in the Park – Dec 20
What: Giant Puppets, Fire and Drums.
A great new winter solstice event  – “The Longest Night”.  Calliope Collective invites you to participate in a spectacle of wonderment on the eve of Winter Solstice on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee in Kingston/Katarokwi.
Come for a community-based theatrical celebration of light which honours earth-based traditions, a battle of epic puppetry proportions, an Indigenous bonfire and live drumming in a theatrical celebration of light. Bring your lanterns, your drums and help welcome back the warmth of the sun! ALL WELCOME!
We will gather around the fire, and share hot apple cider while we prepare for the arrival of the Oak and Holly Kings!
THE MYTH: The Oak and Holly Kings represent the light and the darkness throughout the year. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the Wheel of the Year turns each season. At the Winter Solstice, we mark the rebirth of the Sun or the Oak King. The Oak King battles and conquers the Holly King and then reigns until Midsummer (Summer Solstice). On this day the light is reborn and we celebrate the renewal of the light of the year. 
Tradition was to sit and meditate during the longest night, focusing on the darkness or negative aspects that we want to release within ourselves in order to make room for the light and positivity that is to come.
This event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of visitkingston.ca 
In addition, the Calliope Collective will be hosting two paper and bamboo lantern making workshops – please see our events page for dates and details.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/534400126900430
Who:  Calliope Collective in partnership with the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour and others.
When: Wed, Dec 20, 2017
Where:  Douglas R. Fluhrer Park
 
2) Butt Breathing – How turtles survive in winter + our turtle plans
A couple of fascinating links that answer that question.
https://theconversation.com/the-secret-to-turtle-hibernation-butt-breathing-86727
pbs: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/the-secret-to-turtle-hibernation-butt-breathing
For more links go here –The secret to turtle hibernation: Butt-breathing
Thanks so very much to Dr. Steve Lougheed of Queen’s University for his expertise and enthusiasm for finding out more about Kingston’s Inner Harbour turtles. We are hoping to partner with him and his students to do a pilot project this winter to learn more about Inner Harbour turtle hibernation.  Holes will be drilled through the ice, water samples taken, and turtle DNA isolated to determine areas of concentration. Amazing!
Thanks so much also to Lesley Rudy and Vicki Schmolka who have also been working really hard on applying for grants to conduct more scientific studies of Inner Harbour turtles this summer that will build on our “Citizen Scientist” work of the past two summers.  We are applying to: 1)  the Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, 2) the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, 3) Go WIld, 4) the WWF Loblaw Water Fund and 5) Freshwater Future. Thanks SO very much to them for their hard work.  Here’s hoping!
 
3) New Project – Pedestrian and Cycling Overpass for K&P over John Counter and the Railway
We have also been working hard to try and get the city to deal with the currently inaccessible Division St. overpass that crosses over the railway.  It is too steep for wheelchairs.  We are proposing a new overpass for pedestrians and cyclists that will cross over both John Counter and the railway east of the current road bridge.  Several advantages include : 1) Making the K&P Trail completely accessible. 2) connecting Rideau Heights students with the new high school safely. 3) Connecting Rideau Heights residents with the downtown safely and cheaply. 4) Connecting Kingscourt residents with the new community centre and library in Rideau Heights.  5) Improving K&P Trail connectivity.
 If we truly believe in “One City United” it is time that we looked after our most vulnerable citizens by connecting them with the downtown.  Roger Healey found some exciting examples in Calgary one of which is our preferred 6 million dollar design.  Thanks to Councillor Mary Rita Holland for her work on this, for the follow-up with Commissioner Lanie Hurdle, Luke Follwell, Director of Recreation and Leisure and the City’s GIS department.  Here’s hoping once again.
 
4) New Project – Maritime Heritage Centre
For many years it has been the lifetime dream of both Tom Wroe of MetalCraft Marine and Joe Calnan, Master Boat Builder and Shop Teacher, to create a hands-on Maritime Heritage Centre in Kingston’s Inner Harbour.  The Inner Harbour is actually Canada’s oldest continuous boat building location – over 340 years!  Joe has put together great specifications re square footage needed for a hands-on skills training centre, maritime heritage centre, activity centre, waterfront cafe, cultural centre, education centre,  cooperative work space and boat storage location.  The Anglin Bay location has several advantages in its favour.  Boat building began here in 1676. Canada’s first ever boat building apprentice worked here in the 1670s. It would house Canada’s only boat building apprenticeship program with equipped workshops hosting courses for families, youth, professionals, boaters and any interested citizens and could include marine electrical and mechanical, kayak, canoe, sail-making and repair, welding, blacksmithing, ABYC courses, woodworking, paddles etc. a wide slate of courses to appeal to a broad spectrum of the population and fill existing gaps in hands-on learning opportunities available in the region.  Saturday morning drop-in courses for families with young children.  Saturday afternoon hands-on drop-in workshops for teens. Replica batteaux plats could be built and used.  And the list goes on.
The location is ideal for a number of reasons.  It is accessible – a pleasant three block walk from Princess St., accessible by foot, bicycle and transit with available parking nearby and sheltered docks for those arriving by boat.  It is adjacent to a working boatyard, historic working dry-dock and marina and would build on the strengths of those facilities.  It would provide a community focal point for local residents and a point of interest for visitors to Kingston’s downtown waterfront.
We are most grateful to Gerry Shoalts of Shoalts and Zaback Architects.  Gerry is putting together a conceptual rendering and an accompanying promotional video pro-bono.  In order to raise some money for this venture, the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour, in partnership with MetalCraft Marine, is planning another boat building event – expanding on the one we did in 2012 that celebrated 300 years of boat building as well as MetalCraft’s 25th anniversary.  If you would like to be involved in any way, do get in touch.  Or if you have any ideas as to where we might be able to find some interested donors, we would be most appreciative.
 
5) New Project – Thomas Burrowes House
Thomas Burrowes was a Captain with the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners.  He worked for 20 years from 1826 – 1846 as surveyor, overseer and clerk during the construction of the Rideau Canal in Ontario, He was also a skilled water colour artist.  Over 100 of his stunning water colours are currently buried in Archives Ontario.  In 1907, 115 of his watercolours were discovered in an attic in Detroit, Michigan. These works, now part of the Archives of Ontario collection of documentary art, give us insight into one of Canada’s most important engineering projects of the 19th century – the creation of a navigable waterway to link the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario. They allow us to see the project as it progressed through the eyes of an alert and observant eyewitness.
Want to learn more? http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/explore/online/burrowes/index.aspx
 
Thomas Burrowes built himself a wonderful stone house on a rise half way between Kingston Mills and Montreal St.   Six prison cells in the basement! If you Google 771 Kingston Mills Road you can see the great video promotion of this property.  It is currently privately owned but the owners want to sell the 200 acres for 2 million or the fifty or so acres that includes the house, some farmland and 600 feet of shoreline along the Great Cataraqui River just south of the boardwalk at Kingston Mills for 1.3 million.  Prices are negotiable.  We feel strongly that this building and property should actually be a National Historic Site housing those wonderful water colours.   At the very least it should be available for the public to enjoy.  We are currently in discussions with Parks Canada, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Mayor Bryan Paterson, Commissioner Lanie Hurdle, the CRCA, The Mountain Bike Club of Kingston, and anyone we can think of to try to somehow make this great place a truly viable tourist destination for Kingston.  The property is stunning.  The renovations are wonderful, including a glorious sunroom and outdoor patio just crying out to become a destination restaurant.  If you are interested and would like to join us in trying to make this happen, particularly with respect to a viable business plan possibly including partnerships, do get in touch.  We are anxious to hear any and all suggestions.
 
 6) New project – Kingston Mills mural
Following our ON THE WALL street art festival, local Kingston Mills resident, Lloyd Wilson, suggested that one of our artists should paint a historic mural on the retaining wall at Kingston Mills.  Negotiations are currently happening between FKIH and Parks Canada (who own the road), EnergyOttawa (who own the retaining wall) and the City of Kingston (who have an interest in City Public Art) to determine the best way to make this happen in the spring.  Stay tuned
 
7) K&P Trail Survey in South Frontenac – Deadline Dec 3
South Frontenac County is asking for opinions on the extension of ATVs down the K+P trail and on the Verona Trail head.  They have a very short survey.  All users of the K+P should fill this in.  The deadline is December 3.  Please feel free to circulate the survey to anyone else who might have an interest in the extension of ATV use on the K+P Trail or on the Verona Trail head.
The link for the survey is: https://frontenacecdev.formbuilder.ca/Verona-Trailhead
 
8) Accessibility Award received by FKIH for Wheelchair Rally held last July
This past Thurs, Nov 30, we were thrilled to accept a City of Kingston “Celebrating Accessibility Award” for our Wheelchair Rally event, held for the first time in July 2017. Curiously this may have been the first event of its kind in the whole of Canada – an event dedicated purely for wheelchair users and their supporters.  Participants met at the K&P Trailhead in Doug Fluhrer Park and travelled on the new K&P Trail up to Quattrocchi’s and back.  Wheelchairs were decorated to celebrate how the trail is a huge benefit for wheelchair users.  Hopefully this will become a yearly celebration.  Thanks so much to both Easter Seals Ontario and the Kingston Community Health Centres for their partnerships, to the Community Foundation for a grant ,to Joe Quattrocchi for contributing fresh fruit ad to Heather Senoran for her great CKWS coverage of the event..  So very much appreciated.
Representing organizations and individuals across seven categories, seven winners were selected by the members of the municipal accessibility advisory committee (MAAC).
•      Education – Jordan De Rooy, Teacher & Coach, LCVI
•      Employment – Michael Moore, Costco Kingston
•      Recreation – Vicki Keith, Kingston Y Penguins
•      Customer Service – Deaf Mentor Grass Creek Park Summer Camp, City of Kingston Recreation and Leisure Services
•      Built Environment – NORTHSIDE Espresso + Kitchen, Jessica Huddle and Cade Pentland-Boyce
•      Volunteer – Volunteers of the Humanitarian Program, Independent Order of Odd Fellows
•      Other – Wheelchair Rally, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour
 
9) Celebration of  Transit Success
City notice, Dec. 1, 2017 – Data from the 2016 census shows that the proportion of commuters choosing Kingston Transit to get to work increased 33.33 per cent between 2011 and 2016. That’s the largest growth in those choosing public transit, by far, in any city in Canada.
 
“This is such a validation of all the changes we’ve made. We have to give kudos to residents who have gotten on board. They are seeing value in our service and they are getting out of their cars to enjoy the many benefits of active transportation,” says Jeremy DaCosta, manager, Kingston Transit.
DaCosta credits these improvements for the dramatic rise in those choosing transit to commute to work to:
–      Introduction of express routes
–      Real-time bus arrival and trip information availability on transit apps
–      Extended Sunday and holiday service
–      Improved fare options for commuters
–      Expanded employer (Transpass) pass program (providing the convenience of automatic monthly renewals through payroll deduction)
 
“We now have more than 50 employers and more than 1,500 employees participating in the employer pass program. A list of participating employers can be found on the Fare page at <http://www.kingstontransit.ca>. We are adding more employers all the time,” says DaCosta.
 
Statistics Canada’s report on commuter using sustainable transportation in census metropolitan areas (CMAs) notes that: “Kingston had the highest proportion of commuters using active transportation and public transit in its group of CMAs.”
In the Kingston Central Metropolitan Area, 30.4 per cent of commuters now use a sustainable mode of transportation, including transit, carpooling, walking and cycling.
Kingston’s use of transit is better than many larger census metropolitan areas, including Regina, Saskatoon, Windsor, Guelph, Barrie and Kitchener-Waterloo. The closest competitor in Kingston’s size category is Sudbury which has a transit use rate of 4.9 per cent.
Full Statistics Canada report here:
<http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/as-sa/98-200-x/2016029/98-200-x2016029-eng.cfm>
 
10) Bailey Broom Company update
The following was presented by city staff at the Nov 15 meeting of the City’s Heritage Committee
“Executive Summary
The subject property at 305-323 Rideau Street, known as the Bailey Broom Factory, contains an L-shaped, former industrial building, built in 1894 with additions added circa 1909. The owners have requested a pre-consultation meeting with Heritage Kingston prior to advancing an application for a full Heritage Permit. Under Clause 16 of the Procedural By-Law for Heritage, By-Law Number 2013-141, the Director of Planning, Building & Licensing may preconsult with the Committee where deemed necessary due to the complexity of the alteration proposed. The owner would like to restore and reuse the brick office and wing portions of the building fronting Cataraqui Street. The concrete wing, adjacent to Rideau Street, is proposed to be largely removed. A portion of the concrete walls of the Rideau Street wing are to be retained and incorporated into two new steel structures/shelters. Extensive landscaping is also proposed throughout the property. A future phase of the proposal includes the construction of a nine (9) unit residential townhouse block adjacent to the heritage building to the north, fronting onto Rideau
Street. Detailed design plans related to this phase of the project have not yet been finalized. Feedback from the Committee will be provided to the applicant so as to guide the subsequent submission of a full Heritage Permit application. Recommendation: This report is for consultation purposes.”
For the full 25 page report, see https://www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/22329978/HK_A1217-17060.pdf/5cfa8e50-a26c-43fa-a899-d31f94de7064

11) Belle Park FairwaysUpdate courtesy of Frank Dixon
The golf course was voted to be permanently closed for the end of 2017 by City Council, on September 17; the golf course was only open for four days in the spring of this year, before a 100-year flood overtook about one-third of the property, and it was never re-opened for golf this season.  Members who had joined were reimbursed. 
The driving range and putting green at Belle Park, located on areas which were not reached by the floods this year, will remain open for future years, with the golf features elsewhere being abandoned for golf.  
There is the possibility of a nine-hole pitch-and-putt course, using elements of the golf course, and I have already submitted a schematic design for this, using some of the western half of the property, to the Belle Park Working Group at its October meeting. 
A Master Plan for the Belle Park site, which contains about 80 acres, to possibly incorporate pickleball courts, rectangular playing fields for rugby and soccer, more naturalized space, more paths, and an expanded clubhouse, is apparently in the works from the City standpoint; no details have been formally released.  
As to how this will all connect with the Waterfront Master Plan, the North King’s Town Secondary Plan, and the forthcoming Recreation Master Plan, is not yet decided.  
Note that the City has retained the services of a coastal engineering specialist to assess the citu-wide damage and impact from the floods, and this Report will apparently arrive at City Committees in Q1 of 2018.  A question was raised about this at the City Budget 2018 meetings this week.
However, the City of Kingston, beginning its Review in 2012, never evaluated the golf course from the heritage perspective, and this is a serious omission.  The golf course and park were created with a 1974 collaboration between Douglas Fluhrer and Dick Green.  Fluhrer (1933-2014) was the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City, a far-sighted parks designer and arborist, and one of the most influential municipal employees in the history of Kingston.  Green (1904-1994) was the most influential golf figure in the region during the 20th century, serving as head golf professional at Cataraqui Golf and Country Club from 1928 to 1969, and he had a major role in designing at least ten golf courses in southeastern Ontario.  So, I am working on a heritage assessment of the golf course, which would go to the Heritage Kingston Committee in the new year.  I have been obtaining assistance on this project from heritage and golf experts in the region, as well as doing my own research.  There are three municipalities in Ontario which have designated golf courses as heritage assets, and two of these — Mississauga and Windsor — did so for their municipal courses.  
The Belle Park Working Group 2017 will report to City Council on December 19, 2017.  The BPWG’s own future is uncertain beyond 2017.
Frank Dixon,
Belle Park Working Group Member, 2017,
Acting President, Friends of Belle Park

12) Sustainable Xmas Suggestions from the City of Kingston
Remember to #WasteNotYGK this holiday season
 “Create memories for the holidays, not waste. Show the earth you care: avoid creating garbage when giving gifts or holding celebrations,” says Heather Roberts, manager of solid waste.
•  Use re-useable bags when shopping. 
•  Choose reusable or recyclable wrapping. Traditional wrapping paper cannot be recycled due to the large amount coloured ink. Prefer recyclable or reusable wrapping such as brown paper, newspaper, gift boxes or bags. Share your ingenious wrapping idea at #WasteNotYGK. 
•  Get crafty! Get items at second hand stores and add your own touch to them! 
•  Create or buy holiday decorations that can be re-purposed or composted. And plan to compost your Christmas trees at the Kingston Area Recycling Centre, 196 Lappan’s Lane
•  Buy or make gifts you can put in your stomach – and put any leftovers in the green bin. 
•  Make the most of your green bin. Remember that the green bin accepts soiled paper towels, paper plates and napkins as well as food scraps of all kinds. 
•  Compost your real Christmas trees at the Kingston Area Recycling Centre or Norterra Organics. Be sure to remove all decorations first. 
Artificial trees can be donated to second-hand stores and charities or sold on online sales websites.

13) Donations gratefully accepted.
We have never asked for donations in any of our news updates but we could really use a bit of help.
We would truly appreciate a small donation of $10, $15 or $20 if you feel you could spare it.
Please write cheques to Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour and send to 1 Place, d’Armes, Unit 83, Kingston, ON, K7K 6S6 or press the DONATE button on the web page to donate online – www.friendsofinnerharbour.com.  Thanks so much.

Hoping you all have a wonderful and fulfilling time with family and friends this holiday season and hope to see you at THE LONGEST NIGHT, Dec 20.

Cheers,
Mary Farrar,
President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour