March Update 2014

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,

Our mailing list is now being done through Mail Chimp. That allows us to e-mail up to 2000 members at once thus eliminating the problems we were having with 16 smaller mailing lists and Yahoo noting suspicious activity on my account! Thanks so much Jolene Simko (and Christine Bruce and Jenny Lee as back up). Original mailing lists have now been amalgamated into one (with doubles deleted) and with the addition of others on my personal Yahoo account. If you wish to unsubscribe to the monthly updates please say so. But we truly hope you will stay with us!

1) Douglas R. Fluhrer Park Visioning
The final public meeting was on February 24.
Thanks so very much to all who attended – AND those who attended previous meetings!
The design concept is online. www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/get-involved
Do have a look and submit a comment! Easy to do! After comments are considered, the final design will be sent to Council for approval. NOTE: Development will not occur any time soon and will depend on what happens with the Waterfront Working Group (See 6 below)
Also relevant on City’s webpage: Rec and Leisure Customer Satisfaction Survey. You can submit comments about activities you do in Kingston City parks and improvements you would like to see in specific parks. Only takes a couple of minutes.

2) Trail Initiative this season
Neal Unsworth, Manager of Parks, has said that the next trail section he would like to see completed would ideally be the small bridge going from Belle Park north to the existing waterfront pathway in front of the Village on the River apartment complex. Discussions ongoing.

3) Turtles Matter!
Turtles are dying on our roads! The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour is particularly concerned about the City’s long term measures to protect turtles as we have species in the Inner Harbour that cross Douglas R. Fluhrer Park to lay eggs near the National Grocer’s Building. These turtles will be at risk if the Wellington St. Extension is built through the park without turtle protection measures. Kingston’s Engineering Department hired McIntosh Perry Consultants to assess the problem and recommend mitigating measures. Their report #EITP 13-017 was submitted to the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee on March 5and states “The two most critical crossing areas for turtles were 1) Highway #2 (Westbrook/Collins Creek) and Princess St. (Ambassador Hotel bridge over train tracks). The most effective method to reduce turtle mortalities in these areas is the installation of chain link fencing at a total cost for both sites of $215,000.” Phillip Brown, a Kingston businessman who attended the meeting, suggested that Kingston businesses like Brown’s Dining Solutions www.browns.ca could help fund initiatives like this saying, “It’s the right thing for the City of Kingston to be doing.” He cited the industry sponsored 401 wildflower plantings as an example.
The report is scheduled for Council reading, March 18, 2014. To learn more, follow the link to City Hall, then Committees and Boards, then select Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies Committee and view details of the March 5 meeting. Turtle welfare advocates would appreciate your support by way of attendance at this meeting, by contacting city councilors and/or by friending MARK GERRETSEN, MAYOR OF KINGSTON, ON FACEBOOK AND LEAVING A COMMENT.

4) 9 North Street Restoration moving forward!
The City is moving forward with plans to sell 9 North St. (the old stone Queen City Oil Company building behind Rideaucrest in Douglas R. Fluhrer Park designed by William Newlands).
Hank Doornekamp’s vision for ABNA Investments Ltd. is to create high end professional office space while showcasing as many of the original features as possible. Although we are somewhat saddened that the old warehouse couldn’t have become an extension of the Rowing Club to house rowing skiffs, we have enormous respect for Hank Doornekamp and ABNA Investments Ltd. They have extensive experience in heritage and restoration projects.
Their work on the Woolen Mill and Smith and Robinson buildings has been truly stellar.
The City hopes to finalize its redevelopment plans with ABNA by Jun, 2014.

5) How Loud is Too Loud? Measuring Decibel Levels along our Waterfront.
Phillip Brown of Brown’s Food Services, whose family has resided in this area for over 100 years, says that on a quiet, windless day the noise level along our waterfront is 30 Db to 35 Db. For those of us who don’t know a decibel from a dumbbell, 30 Dbs is “pin drop” quiet according to Phillip. “That’s when you can hear a bird in the distance or a small wave lap on the shore – those truly placid moments that let us connect with nature.” At the March 5 meeting of the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policy Committee, Phillip Brown advocated convincingly for a pro-active commitment from the City of Kingston for a Kingston waterfront noise level policy that would not exceed 40 Db – a level at the low end of the Ontario Ministry of Environment rural noise guidelines. Currently the urban/suburban Ministry of Environment guideline is 50 Db during day and evening. As noise intensity increases geometrically by a power of 10 for each decibel, the difference between 40 Db and 50 Db is considerable. The MOE does not address areas like waterfront in their noise guidelines, nor do they differentiate by geography. Thus Kingston is treated the same way as Toronto where expectations are most probably different. As Phillip stated “Just because an MOE regulation allows a project to generate offensive noise levels doesn’t mean it is right to do so.” Phillip also cited a recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada which referred to “diminished enjoyment”. This precedent-setting ruling has now given anyone legal recourse if another party diminishes one’s enjoyment of a property. Phillip intends to begin a lobbying effort to achieve a City of Kingston policy for lower decibel levels along Kingston’s waterfront. If you are supportive you can connect with him directly at phillipbrown@gracemedia.com. If you would like a full copy of Phillip’s presentation, contact inverarymary@yahoo.com.

6) Waterfront Working Group
I am delighted to have been appointed as a community representative on the City’s newly formed Waterfront Working Group. Other group members include Neal Unsworth and Kris Hebert from the City’s Parks Department, Cherie Mills from Policy Planning, Councilors Rob Hutchison and Liz Schell,, Rob McRae from the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, David Gordon from Queen’s School of Urban and Regional Planning, Viviane Paquin from the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum, Lorraine Farrar from the Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee, Jennifer Hroch from Kingston, Lennox and Addington Public Health, Isabel Turner, former mayor, Laurel Claus- Johnson, respected Mohawk, David McDonald from the Water Access Group, Tonny Johansen of the IBI Group and Jamie Lemery, President of the Canadian Bass Anglers Federation.
As I was away in Africa in January, I missed the first meeting but I have been told that a budget has been approved by Council and a Request for Proposals is being sent out to hire a consultant. Thanks are due to David McDonald, Lea Westlake, Su Sheedy, the Water Access Group, the artists and everyone who attended last year’s Shoreline Shuffle event advocating for improvements to Kingston’s waterfront and for drawing attention to the need for action.

7) Inner Harbour Heritage Tour
Julie Fossitt, Marketing Administrator for the City’s Cultural Plan, has issued a request for quotes from mobile tour application providers that closes this week. Next week her committee will be meeting to evaluate the proposals and select a vendor. This year they will be migrating the existing walking tours that they already have and possibly add a literary tour that is being created with Kingston Accommodation Partners. She is interested in incorporating the Inner Harbour Heritage Tour but there are not enough resources to do this in 2014. Currently the City’s Heritage Committee is in possession of all the work the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour have done with help from Don Curtis of the RELIKs (Retired Entrepreneurs living in Kingston) including creation of the trail route, timing of the route and information on over 30 sites along the way.
If any of you might be interested in volunteering to take this on as a project and working in cooperation with the City’s Heritage Committee to make it a reality, that would be truly wonderful. Hopefully there will be sufficient funds in 2015 to make it a reality.

8) Belle Park Working Group
A City Working Group is being created to decide what to do with Belle Park, a former garbage dump on the Inner Harbour waterfront. For those of you who have not been following this saga, the City’s initial plan to build a solar farm on part of the golf course has been quashed. A group of citizens interested in maintaining the municipal golf course for the health and enjoyment of Kingston’s increasing senior community as well as for youth and the community at large was created – the Friends of Belle Park. They have pushed tirelessly to keep Belle Park as a golf course and their efforts have led to the creation of this working group.

9) Upcoming Spring Meetings and Events

City of Kingston Town Hall Meeting
March 17, 6:00 Memorial Hall, City Hall, 216 Ontario St. Kingston
The Council of the Corporation of the City of Kingston has been hosting a series of Special Council meetings in a Town Hall Format, to better understand the positions of all residents throughout the community. At these meetings City Council provides an opportunity to hear from residents who wish to voice their concerns on all matters of the municipality. Those wishing to address Council are asked to register at the welcome table prior to the start of the meeting. Speakers will be chosen in random order for the public portion of the meeting. Each speaker will be allowed a maximum of three minutes to address Council. This is your chance to voice your thoughts publicly and/or to hear the concerns of others.

Cycle Kingston AGM
Tuesday, March 18, 7-9 pm, Ongwanada Resource Centre
Local author, Christine Bruce, will show videos and read stories from her upcoming book of local bike stories. Here is a chance for you to get to know Kingston’s cycling community and to get involved in events that celebrate and teach about cycling.

Casino in Kingston?
Public Meeting: Thursday, March 20, 2014, 6:30 pm, Council Chambers, City Hall, 216 Ontario St. Kingston.re Proposed Amendment to the City’s Official Plan to accommodate potential development of a casino in the City of Kingston. Contact: Chris Wicke, Senior Planner 613-546-4291, x3242, or email cwicke@cityofkingston.ca
Written comments can also be submitted to the Planning and Development Department, 216 Ontario St. Kingston, K7L 2Z3. All persons who make oral or written submissions or who request notification in writing (Attn Sheldon Laidman, Acting Director of Planning and Development, 216 Ontario St., Kingston ON K7L 2Z3), will be given written notice of future meetings of the Planning Committee at which the subject applications will be considered.

Plea from Sister Organizations:
The Williamsville Neighbourhood Association and the Sydenham District Association
OMB Hearing: Wednesday, March 24, 2014, 10 am, City Hall
Citizens from both districts have formed an organization called “Our Neighbourhood” (www.ourneighbourhood.ca) in the hopes of retaining downtown neighbourhoods as places for one or two family homes. The current concern is about a development on Johnson St. where five single-family homes will be torn down and replaced with 29 units with a total of 108 bedrooms. If you would like to help them you can a) take out a membership for $20 per family/household, b) make a donation to help defray the costs of the OMB appeal, and/or c) attend the OMB hearing noted above.

Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour Voting Members Meeting
Thursday, April 3, 1 Place d’Armes, Unit 83.
If you are interested in becoming a voting member, please contact inverarymary@yahoo.com or 613-544-1246.

Shoreline Shuffle Revisited: Pump House Steam Museum, 23 Ontario St. April 3 – May 18.
Free Forum: Animating Public Space through Art: April 16, 2014, 7-9 pm
Clarke MacKay: “The Politics of Play: Civic Engagement and Site Specific Art”;
Annalee Adair: “Kingston’s Public Arts Master Plan: What it hopes to achieve”;
Local Artists: will Share their Stories

Free Opening Reception: Friday, April 11, 7-9 pm

Free Forum: Re-imagining Kingston’s Waterfront: Join the Conversation! May 14, 7-9 pm
Carl Bray: Urban Design: Benefits and Challenges
David McDonald: Shoreline Shuffle 2013: Highlights and Messages

Kingston Streets Alive! Sunday, June 8.
Kingston won a grant recently along with three other communities in Ontario to create this exciting 8-80 event. Stephanie Skibberas from the KFL&A Health and Darin Ramsey from the City along with a working group of community members including representatives from the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour are planning a route extending from the Memorial Centre, down Alfred St. to Princess, down Princess St. to King and then along King to Lake Ontario Park. These streets will be mostly closed to traffic to allow for a really fun day on the streets where Kingstonians and tourists alike will be able to walk and cycle past art exhibits and music performances, fitness demos and other engaging activities. Volunteers welcome! More to follow in April.

Cycle Week: Sunday June 1 – Sunday June 8
The Commuter Challenge as well as Cycle Kingston’s Roll-In free Breakfasts for cycle commuters will be in operation once again this year along with other fun events. Check out the Cycle Kingston and Kingston Velo Club webpages for details. More to follow in April.

10) Summer Events in planning:
Hoping that Caravan Stage, a Cirque de Soleil type of theatre on a barge, will be able to moor in the Inner Harbour near the Woolen Mill for performances the weekend of August 14,15 and 16. Find them online. They are amazing. Discussions ongoing.
Hoping also that a Zimbabweyan Sculpture Art Camp might be an Inner Harbour possibility.
Last year the City’s $6000 charge to rent Doug Fluhrer Park for this event was prohibitive. Discussions ongoing.
Discussions also ongoing with the Sir John A. Bicentennial Commission re creation of a celebratory mural on the retaining wall behind Rideaucrest.
Family Wednesdays in Doug Fluhrer Park in July once again including Queen’s Barefoot Players, craft and nature activities.
If you are interested in getting involved in any of these summer possibilities, please e-mail inverarymary@yahoo.com