The Trail

2017

Grand Opening of the K&P Trail, June 10

The City of Kingston, in collaboration with the Friends of Kington Inner Harbour and the Kingston Outdoor Adventure Club, are planning a grand opening of the K&P Trail on June 10, 2017.  Participants will receive passports at Binnington Court and get these passports stamped at various sites of interest on the way to a cake cutting ceremony in Douglas R. Fluhrer Park. Promises to be a really fun day.

2016

September 15th – Work to urban K&P Trail moves closer to downtown

The K&P Trail is moving closer to the downtown with work coming to the area around Doug Fluhrer Park and Molly Brant Point.

“You can start to ‘see’ the future trail alignment in the downtown area. Kingstonians are going to love using this trail when it’s complete. Trail users will be able to enjoy a natural experience in the heart of the urban Inner Harbour,” says Neal Unsworth, parks development manager.  He says the clearing work consists of removing debris, vegetation and some trees to permit construction of the trail.

Crews continue to clear the sections of the trail between Hickson Avenue and River Street. Starting Friday, some mature trees in Doug Fluhrer Park and along the path by the Woolen Mill will be pruned.  New trees of diverse and native species will be planted along the urban K&P Trail route once the trail work is completed.

TURTLES TO GET BASKING LOGS

The City is also being mindful of turtle habitats as work progresses: A recent investigation of turtle activity along the waterfront found hatched and predated eggs, but no live egg clutches.

Water work scheduled for next week includes the placement of basking logs for turtles. These logs will be placed in the bay at the north end of Doug Fluhrer Park and the south side of Molly Brant Point. The basking logs were specifically selected by an arborist and a biologist for this purpose and were taken from recently cleared sections of the trail.  Once the basking logs are secured in place, the contractor will begin defining the trail alignment and grading.

September – Update on the Urban K & P Trail:

On Road Sections:
The on-road (in the road allowance) sections of the K and P trail along Dalton Avenue and Cattail Place are paved with a 3m wide asphalt pathway and looking great!

K&P trail 2 Sept 2016

K&P trail Sept 2016

Some new sidewalks on Rideau and River Street are being completed. Upgrades to a number of intersections (pavement markings across roads) will be done.

Off Road Sections:
The off road sections are also moving ahead. In the section between River Street and Hickson Ave Cruikshank Construction has begun clearing the trail route. An arborist and biologist have been assessing both bird nesting activity and tree stock prior to this initial trail clearing. No nests were found and significant groups of trees are being retained. There will be selective pruning up of the preserved trees to ensure safe passage of cyclists and pedestrians. The width of the tree clearing will extend beyond the footprint of the trail. Once this section is cleared, the trail area will be graded, and a base course of granular will be placed to provide a stable base for the 3m wide asphalt pathway.

The contractor will also be working on the east side of Rideau at Montreal to create a trail entry.  This is a highly visible entry point to the trail and sight lines into this dense and overgrown area will be opened up to provide safer passage and comfort to the trail users. A secondary trail link will connect to Belle Park. The work will include clearing and grubbing of vegetation, the removal of garbage and debris, slope stabilization, native tree and shrub planting as well as the construction of the trail itself.

June

Trail construction connecting the K&P Trail from BInnington Court to the downtown began June 13, 2016 – connecting the Trans Canada Trail to downtown for July 1, 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday.

The work began behind the homes and businesses on Rideau Street (north of River Street /south of the Railway/Montreal intersection) as part of the Urban K & P Trail extension. Work included garbage and debris removal, clearing and grubbing and fill placement to stabilize the slope. According to Wikipedia grubbing means more than getting rid of grubs. It is “the removal of trees, shrubs, stumps and rubbish from the future right-of-way of a transportation corridor.”

A huge swath of trees and shrubs has been cut down extending from the actual rail trail all the way to the backs of the buildings on RIdeau St.  When I first saw it I was honestly heartbroken.  What was the most beautiful cycling trail in the entire city now looks like a war zone.  There are also mounds of earth being imported from the trail section on Dalton.  They will be bulldozed into a slope so that the low cliff face on the west side of the trail will be covered and the ground will slope down to the trail.  Evidently environmental restrictions prohibit retaining the old rail gravel and the entire surface will be covered before the 3m wide asphalt trail is completed.  It will be planted with Native shade trees and shrubs.

For more information please see the July 2016 monthly update.

2015

2015 was an exciting year for our Inner Harbour Heritage Trail. It is now part of three trail projects: the K&P Trail, the Inner Harbour Heritage Tour, and the Waterfront Master Plan!

K&P Trail
Following a motion on May 19 by Councillors Peter Stroud and Jeff McLaren, city staff was directed to develop a route to extend the K&P Trail from its current trailhead at Binnington Court in the city’s north end to the downtown in time for Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017. This new extension of the K&P Trail will connect the TransCanada Trail to Kingston’s downtown and should be a major boon for cycle tourism. In addition, it should serve to increase off-road cycling options for all Kingston residents. MMM consultants were hired. They presented an initial plan to the Environment, Infrastructure and Transportation Policies committee and on December 1, 2015 a revised plan was unanimously endorsed by Council. Construction will take place this spring/summer/fall season (2016). The plan is available online.

The Inner Harbour section will go from the intersection of Montreal, Rideau and Railway Sts. on the old K&P pathway south of Belle Park to RIver Street., east on River St. to the water and then south around the Woolen Mill and through Douglas R. Fluhrer Park to the south end of the park. From there, signage will direct cyclists and pedestrians to proceed on existing roads to Confederation Basin. We are most grateful to Council and city staff for moving so quickly with this project. Our only remaining concern is for the safety and well-being of the endangered turtle species that are currently making a come-back in the park.

The Inner Harbour Heritage Tour
A tour extending from the Old Fort Frontenac to the Woolen Mill has also been created. We are most grateful to Laura Murray and her students for creating the Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project (SWIHHP), for verifying and extending the tour originally created by Mary and Edward Farrar a few years ago, and for creating an app that will be available on the city’s webpage in due course. She will unveil this wonderful tour on the Jane’s Walk weekend – May 7-8, 2016. Check the calendar for details.

Kingston’s Waterfront Master Plan
Following two years of broad consultation with the public, Neal Unsworth and Kris Hebert of the City’s Parks Department, in consultation with ThincDesign, have completed a 705 page report examining all 280 kms of shoreline. A collection of over a hundred park projects is documented. Plans cover a 30 year time frame which prioritizes all of the projects in order of importance. A link on the City’s webpage will be available shortly.

The part of the K&P Trail being constructed in the summer of 2016 through Douglas R. Fluhrer Park is also considered to be part of the revisioning of the park, which in turn is considered one of the most important of the projects under consideration in the Master Plan. The consultants have done a lot of work. We are cautiously optimistic that this plan will not be left on the back burner as has happened so often in the past with city projects. It is critical that more money be made available on a regular basis for park and trail projects. We are also concerned at the lack of actual waterfront pathway connecting the various park projects in some coherent fashion. The next opportunity to create such a pathway will be in conjunction with the upcoming Active Transportation Master Plan consultations. Stay tuned.

construction2013 Update

Construction began in November 2013 on the first small section of trail between the Kingston Rowing Club and River Street. We are so very grateful to the many community members who came together with students from Pathways to Education, Leahurst College and Parks Department staff to plant shrubs. We are also grateful to Mayor Mark Gerretsen for participating in the celebratory cake cutting, to Costco for providing the cake, to Joe Quattrocchi for providing apples for the hungry hoards, to the Main Street Market for coffee and to Don Campbell for the recorded musical accompaniment of Gene Autry singing “Happy Trails to You!” It was hard work but really fun.

The next section we hope to see completed in the spring of 2015 is the small bridge heading north from Belle Park to the Village on the River apartment complex that is just south of John Counter Blvd. Negotiations are currently underway.

Leahurst kids

The Inner Harbour Heritage Trail

The City of Kingston has pledged to fund creation of Stage One of the Inner Harbour Heritage Trail beginning in the spring of 2013 and extending over ten years.  Stage One extends along the west side of the Great Cataraqui River from the La Salle Causeway in the south to Kingston Mills in the north.  Currently in Stage One there exist small sections of an old trail that need to be integrated.  Right now visitors can enjoy these portions along the waterfront at Douglas R. Fluhrer Park, around the woolen Mill, on the south side of Belle Park, and a paved section in front of the Village on the River apartment complex.

In 2011, a YouTube video was created exploring the initial trail vision. (See link above).  Since that time, the trail vision has expanded to include a return to Kingston on the east side of the Great Cataraqui River along the shoreline and then down through the village of Barriefield.This trail will provide a beautiful, healthy and safe 20 km waterfront trail for residents and tourists alike. A trail like this has been a dream of interested citizens for as long as 30 years and we are grateful for the past vision of Phil Quattrocchi in particular. Now it can be a reality, making a new section of Kingston’s historic waterfront accessible so that both Kingstonians and tourists alike can experience Kingston as one of only a few places in the world that is both a UNESCO World Heritage site and connected to a UNESCO Biosphere – in this case, the Frontenac Arch Biosphere.

Background

In the spring and summer of 2010, new Kingston retirees Mary and Edward Farrar began exploring Kingston’s waterfront and developing a vision of a pedestrian and cycling trail that has now become known as the Inner Harbour Heritage Trail.Edward’s background as a professor of Geophysics and his interest in land forms and maps was a useful starting point.  After City Council put forward a motion for City Staff to cost the project, a small working group was formed including Mary and Edward Farrar, Brian Osborne (Professor Emeritus of Geography), Robert Rittwage (Katarokwi Friendship Centre), Bob Tchegus (lawyer with an interest in trails) and Vikram Varma (Community Foundation for Kingston and Area), along with Kris Hebert, Lanie Hurdle and Neal Unsworth from City Staff.  As City Staff began to embrace the idea of the trail vision and as the Farrars became more aware of the historical richness of the area, the trail vision expanded both in size and texture.  It doubled in size to include the portion on the east side of the river and its possibilities as a heritage trail developed further to include celebrating aspects of Kingston’s Aboriginal, French, British, Industrial and Natural Heritage.
A number of organizations have become supporters of the trail: environmental groups such as the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum (KEAF), neighbourhood associations such as the McBurney Park Neighbourhood Association, the Sydenham District Association, the Portsmouth District Association, the Williamsville District Association and the Katarakwi Friendship Centre, sports groups such as the Kingston Road Runners Association, the Kingston Velo Club, Cycle Kingston and Yellow Bike Action, trail associations such as the Rideau Trail Association, the K&P Trail group, healthy living groups such as the North of Princess Communities in Action as well as private land owners, interested individuals and politicians.  City Council, MP Ted Hsu and MPP John Gerretsen have given the trail their unanimous support.