The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour is a dynamic community organization open to local residents as well as to anyone interested in preserving and enhancing the Inner Harbour neighbourhood and waterfront. Initiatives include: a) stewardship of the Inner Harbour shoreline through yearly community clean-ups, public environmental-education and research initiatives of Inner Harbour turtles, b) arts activities including the creation of an Inner Harbour street art wall, c) helping create a 20 km multi-use trail from the LaSalle Causeway to Kingston Mills and back and connecting this trail to the Trans Canada Trail, d) creating and promoting an Inner Harbour Heritage Tour celebrating the Inner Harbour’s Indigenous, French, British, Industrial and Natural Heritage, e) preserving Inner Harbour heritage sites, both tangible and intangible, and f) celebrating Kingston’s Inner Harbour as Canada’s oldest continuous boat building location through community builds of historic boats.
Mary Farrar, President
a) To be active stewards of the natural environment of Kingston’s Inner Harbour through helping protect and enhance the shoreline habitat of local amphibians, reptiles, fish and birds.
b) To assist in the preservation, restoration, development and potential designation of some of the Inner Harbour’s built heritage.
c) To educate the public about the Indigenous, French, British and Industrial Heritage of Kingston’s Inner Harbour by collecting and sharing information through tours, apps, podcasts and publications.
d) To assist the City of Kingston in creating a legal street art wall in Kingston’s Inner Harbour and to work with community members and the city to create other public art displays in the Inner Harbour.
e) To work with the City of Kingston to create a network of accessible trails in Kingston’s Inner Harbour area.
Since 2012, with the help of numerous volunteers, these mandates have been realized in a number of ways:
With respect to a), an ongoing committee has been struck that looks after yearly clean-ups. In addition, another ongoing and committee exists to provide stewardship and protection for Inner Harbour turtles. Members of this group work as citizen-scientists to monitor turtle activity. In addition they are actively applying for research grants to work on a long-term demographic study of turtles and their activities in the Inner Harbour from the La Salle Causeway to Kingston Mills on both shores of the Great Cataraqui River.
With respect to b), building on the tour originally conceived by Mary and Edward Farrar, and with support from the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour, Professor Laura Murray of Queen’s University has taken on the task of creating a tour app entitled “Life and Labour in the Inner Harbour” that should be available on the City of Kingston webpage. She has also created a series of excellent podcasts related to Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour history. These should also be available on the city’s webpage. We are most grateful for her profound interest and skill in this area. FKIH has also actively promoted the creation of a 20 km multi-use trail loop from the LaSalle Causeway to Kingston Mills and connecting the Trans Canada Trail to Kingston’s downtown via the K&P Trail.
With respect to c) the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour have advocated for the preservation and re-purposing of a number of heritage sites in situ including 9 North St., the Bailey Broom Company and Kingston’s Outer Station. Work continues advocating for other sites including Maplehurst at Kingston Mills and the Davis Dry Dock.
With respect to d) the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour have also promoted Arts initiatives including the ON THE WALL street art festival and Calliope Collective’s Solstice events as well as many family events with picnics including guests such as the KFL&A library, the Queen’s Barefoot Players, the Kingston Field Naturalists and many others. And we have worked with the Indigenous community to create better cross-cultural understandings by sponsoring events such as our Turtle Awareness Projects and a blanket exercise in partnership with Peace Quest and Four Directions.
There are different ways of defining the geographical boundaries of the Inner Harbour. The City of Kingston defines it as bounded by Joseph St. on the north, Princess St. on the south, Division St. on the west and the Great Cataraqui River on the east. However, a broader definition has existed for years with the La Salle Causeway in the south, Division St on the west Kingston Mills on the north, and the communities on the eastern shore of the Great Cataraqui River on the east. We are happy with the broader definition as we have established mutually supportive networks in the broader geographical area although most of our activities are centred within the more limited boundaries.
Membership to FKIH is open to anyone interested in the future of Kingston’s Inner Harbour.
The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour was originally formed in November of 2004 to block the City of Kingston’s plans to create a major sports and entertainment complex in the Inner Harbour on the site of MetalCraft Marine, a vibrant boat building enterprise that is continuing a historic tradition of 300 years of boat building. The organization gained both non-profit and corporate status at that time and received $75,000 in pledges should legal fees have been required. When the City backed down and decided to change the location of what is now known as the KROCK Centre to the downtown, the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour no longer had a cause and became somewhat dormant.In 2011, Mary and Edward Farrar, newly retired to Kingston, decided to revive the organization for the purposes of gaining community support for their Inner Harbour Heritage Trail initiative as well as for preserving and enhancing the Inner Harbour waterfront, restoring and repurposing heritage buildings, celebrating the Inner Harbour’s Aboriginal, French, British, Industrial and Natural Heritage, as well as acting as a local community association to address local community concerns.