Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
It has been a hugely busy March with major meetings RE the $70 million Inner Harbour clean-up and the Tannery development. Springtime in April feeling great. Time to get outside.
1. Migratory Bird Walk, Sunday, April 3, 2022, 9 am – TOMORROW!
2. Tannery Development Update
3. Questioning the Federal 70 Million Dollar Inner Harbour Clean-up
4. The City’s Central Growth Strategy and Zoning By-Law Updates.
5. Utilities Kingston’s Storm Sewer Overflow Mapping
6. Public Meeting: No Clearcuts in Kingston! April 20
7. Kingston Looks at Closure of Ontario and Market Sts.?
8. Kingston’s Integrated Care Hub Receives Provincial Funding.
9. Sage Restoration now at Tamworth Mill but still using Nat. Grocers’ Bldg for pick ups
10. Queen City Oil Co. (9 North St.) Update
11. Waaban Crossing: New Name for a New Dawn
12. Green Burial Kingston
13. More Fun Stuff on Inner Harbour History from Eric Gagnon
14. New Video of Seaway Navigation System
15. Something Different for April: Invigorate your Poetry
1. Migratory Bird Walk, Sunday, April 3, 2022, 9 am
What: Come learn about the different species of migratory birds currently in the Inner Harbour
Who: Herb Helmstaedt will guide the walk sponsored by River First YGK
When: Sunday, April 3, 9 am
Where: Meet at the Belle Park parking lot
NOTE: Bring binoculars if you have them. We will have some extras. All welcome!
2. Tannery Development Update.
Thanks so much Chris Hargreaves of the Kingston Field Naturalists for this excellent report:
“PUBLIC PARTICIPATION CAN GET RESULTS!
On March 24th the Whig-Standard reported that
In a letter to the city earlier this month, Transport Canada, one of three federal ministries involved in planning the cleanup, stated the Tannery project would have to be completed in a manner that prevents continued contamination of the adjacent harbour.
“While TC has not reviewed the remediation plan in detail and will not be offering specific comments on the plan at this time, we stress the importance of ensuring any remedial works, construction activities and future land uses at the uplands Davis Tannery site do not result in migration of contaminated soils, groundwater or sediments into the adjacent federal water lot,” Vera Haslett, Transport Canada’s regional director, wrote.
Haslett also outlined concerns about plans to redevelop the shoreline on the site, adding that Transport Canada has heard public input in favour of a naturalized shoreline that would provide better habitat for wildlife.
“Extensive remediation of the entire property is required to address site contamination due to past industrial uses on the lands,” David Britton, director of Parks Canada’s Ontario waterways field unit, wrote in a letter to the city earlier this month. “The proposed remediation method of capping includes the clearance of all existing vegetation, the application of a clay cap and the addition of new topsoil. The proposed remediation plan does not support the growth of mature trees.”
Britton wrote that revisions to the landscape plan for the site should “demonstrate the contribution to the ecological value of the site and minimize impacts to the adjacent waterway.” Transport Canada has concerns with the draft landscape plan in that it does not appear to align with feedback received from the stakeholder community,” she wrote.
PARKS CANADA CONCERNED ABOUT THE TANNERY REMEDIATION PLAN TOO!
Parks Canada has written to the City that:
it is noted that the proposed remedial approach includes remediation of lands and PSW modification north of the subject property, including lands under Parks Canada’s administration. As presently proposed, Parks Canada would not support the remedial approach for its lands.
PLANNING COMMITTEE PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OF DAVIS TANNERY SITE
The City Planning Committee held an extra public meeting to hear public concerns regarding Patry Development’s plan to “remediate” and build on the Tannery site. A lot of questions have been raised and concerns expressed, particularly regarding the proposal to “clearcut” all of the 1,800 trees currently on the site.
The zoom meeting began at 6.00 pm on Thursday March 24th, at which time it was watched by 163 people in the gallery. It was recessed after 4 hours, by which time 39 members of the public had spoken
The meeting resumed at 6.00 pm on Thursday March 31st. Additional members of the public made presentations, and councillors then asked questions of the developer and his representatives. The meeting finished at 10:43 PM.
I am very grateful to all our councilors for the hours they spend on public business!”
3. Federal 70 Million Dollar Clean-up Update
“KINGSTON INNER HARBOUR REMEDIATION PLAN
The various groups that made presentations to Parks Canada regarding the remediation plan last December were invited to a zoom workshop on “Kingston Inner Harbour: Weight of Evidence Approach to Risk Assessment and Risk Management Decisions”. These groups included the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour, the Belle Island Caretakers’ Circle, the Kingston Field Naturalists, the Frontenac Village Dockers’ Association, River First YGK, and Turtles Kingston. Members of the federal team included representatives from Golder Consultants, Parks Canada, Transport Canada and Procurement Canada. Gary Lawrence from Golder Consultants led us through the “Canada-Ontario Decision-Making Framework for assessment of Great Lakes Contaminated Sediments”, explaining the process followed. A number of us were not convinced that their use of this method was done in accordance with the flow chart in the Framework. Chris Hargreaves from the Kingston Field Naturalists is “still very sceptical that the proposed remediation is necessary, and concerned about the disruption that will be caused to the current ecosystem .”
After the meeting I sent the following follow-up questions hoping to receive a written response to our concerns as soon as possible:
1. If the danger from eating fish is considered dealt with because a fish advisory is in place, why not simply have signs along the shoreline stating something like “Contaminated sediments. NO WADING. Fish advisory in place – with a link to the fish advisory. Could save 70 milliion tax payer dollars?
2.I remain unsatisfied that all of the contamination problems are caused by legacy contaminants rather than ongoing contaminants from sources such as the Belle Park storm sewer and/or Lake ontario.. Please send the information you referenced briefly about chemical footprinting so that I can better understand your rationale.
3.Please send the references you spoke of correlating problems with turtles being similar to those of the benthic creatures in the sediments.
4. The extensive turtle population is really at risk if dredging and capping occur – not just adult turtles but hatchlings. If all the vegetation is removed even for a short period of time, hatchlings will have no place to hide from predators and our citizen-science work involving over 50 community volunteers each year over the past 6 years will have been for naught.
5.There is no appropriate time to do dredging that would not impact turtles:
-Hatching occurs from early March to mid-June and then from mid-August to late October
-Aqua basking occurs in May/June/July
-Laying occurs in June and July
-We do not know the preferred hibernation locations for Painted, Snapping, and Musk turtles. They could well be hibernating in areas suggested for dredging.
6. I am still not clear on why Anglin Bay needs to be dredged. Copper from boat paints? Is copper really that dangerous? We also remain extremely concerned about both MetalCraft Marine and Frontenac Village Dockers’ Association’s need for continued access at reasonable leasing rates.
7. I’m wondering why the privately-owned water lot associated with the Tannery property doesn’t seem to be shown on the maps and indicated as privately owned.
8. The benthic data is inconsistent. As I understood from the Canada-Ontario Decision-Making Framework, at this point analysis should have ceased. However you continued based on expert judgment. We were given no information as to what exactly constituted this expert judgment. Please provide more details.
9. The Canada-Ontario Decision-Making Framework states that if the danger caused by proposed remediation methods is considered worse than the benefits achieved, then the clean-up should not be done. However there was no analysis provided of the pros and cons of dredging, capping, and revetment/rip rap to enable any adequate assessment. Please provide.
10. PAHs and PCBs. I am a member of the Great Lakes Network – an international group interested in pollution in the Great Lakes. We know that PAHs and BCBs exist throughout Lake Ontario. So – if the amount of PAHs and PCBs is the same in the Inner Harbour as in Lake Ontario does it warrant spending 70 million to do the Inner Harbour clean-up – especially as most of the fish spen most of their time in Lake Ontario – coming to the Inner Harbour for only 4-6 weeks each year? At the very least, some comparative analysis of the existence of PAHs and PCBs in Lake Ontario and comparing that with their existence in the Inner Harbour is warranted and should be included in this report.
11. Given that one major purpose of the clean-up is to make the Inner Harbour better for people, hiring an Environmental Sociologist is definitely needed to:
a) survey present and projected uses of the Inner Harbour in all seasons including winter!
b) determine clean-up solutions supported by local communities (esp. given that the 2014 Envoronmental Sciences Group report stated that one of the reasons for promoting dredging was that it would be most acceptable to the community. But given Climate Change and more environmental awareness globally, the world has changed dramatically. Now, most likely, most community members would find dredging abhorrent.), and
c) do a study of local fishermen’s knowledge about sport fishing and consumption of Inner Harbour fish.
THIS IS A HUGE GAP IN THE SCIENCE OF THIS REPORT. SOCIAL SCIENCES ALSO MATTER!!! Casual observations on the part of Golder staff are simply not adequate!!!
Without this data, how can you be sure that you will be improving the Inner Harbour for most park and shoreline users? You may be making things worse.
12. Revetment/rip rap remains a huge concern. We are glad to see that so many stakeholders are in favour of “natural”, not ”naturalized” shorelines. Those large rocks in the bay at the Woolen Mill are so terrible. We hear/see turtles crashing into them as they try to get out of the water to lay eggs and when they return to the water they have to jump a full metre from the rock into the water. These large rocks should be removed. Appropriate plants should be placed in all four stages of the entire Inner Harbour shoreline – toe, splash, bank, and terrace. – to discourage erosion and provide easier access to and from the water for the turtles.
13. The discussion re the type of remediation for some of the pink areas was interesting. I would like a better understanding of what exactly are the causes of some of the contaminants resurfacing in order to consider alternate ways of dealing with these. I didn’t see any clear analysis. If propellers on boats are a cause, they could/should be banned. We have seen turtles with shells we believe were damaged by boat propellers. Plants and/or some form of bio-engineering could mitigate wave action that might be causing re-surfacing of contaminants? It certainly seems possible that dredging would make the problem of contaminants resurfacing worse as it would facilitate more wave action?
NOTE: We recently heard at the City’s public meeting concerning the Tannery project that due to public concerns about revetment/rip rap, an alternate approach is being considered that involves pea gravel interspersed with geo-fabric. THIS COULD ACTUALLY BE WORSE THAN RIP RAP AS IT WOULD MEAN UTTERLY DESTROYING/BURYING THE EXISTING WATER PLANT ECO-SYSTEMS! Outrageous!!! Nature knows how to heal. Let her do her work.
4. The City’s Central Growth Strategy and Zoning By-Law Reports.
“The Planning Committee agenda for the statutory public meeting on April 7th has been published here: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/city-calendar-events/-/calendar/QUmzuR567ExT/event/39089584. The agenda includes the comprehensive report with staff’s recommendations.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. We will continue to provide updates to this email list when events are scheduled or documents are uploaded in the future. If Email NewZBL@cityofkingston.ca to provide comments
Project Manager, Planning Services”
5. Utilities Kingston’s Storm Sewer Overflow Mapping https://utilitieskingston.com/Wastewater/SewerOverflow/Map
6. Public Meeting re Tannery: No Clearcuts in Kingston! April 20
Who: No Clearcuts in Kingston!
What: “What’s Your Vision for North King’s Town?” Public meeting in response to Jay Patry’s plan to clearcut the urban forest on the former Tannery site. “We need liveable, walkable, affordable, green homes, with accessible businesses and public spaces” states Kathleen O’Hara “but there is plenty of open land on Montreal St. to build housing without destroying a Provincially Significant Wetland ..
“It’s time to take community building out of the hands of developers and pro-developer City Hall and let residents have their say.”
Architects, urban planners, community activists and others will be available to share their experience and expertise.
Where: Royal Canadian Legion Hall, 734 Montreal St.
When: Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 6:30 pm
NOTE: If you would like to submit a written comment to the city, contact the City clerk, John Bolognone (firstname.lastname@example.org) and request that it be considered official correspondence on the Tannery file and sent to the mayor and council and Chris Wicke, the planner in charge.
Here is their sample letter with talking points for your information:
Dear City of Kingston Planning Committee:
I am opposed to the development proposed for the former tannery lands. The city should not approve the application for an Official Plan and zoning bylaw amendment to allow the developer to build on a provincially significant wetland (PSW) or within the floodplain, or to clearcut a significant woodland of 1800 mature trees, including an amazing 220 year old oak tree.
I worry about how the filling in of the wetland and the cutting down of an entire urban woodland, and the removal of all the natural vegetation along the shoreline will impact the neighbourhood and the city, during a time of escalating climate emergency, including more significant rain events and flooding.
The loss of natural habitat would have a devastating impact on the large number of turtles, birds and other living creatures who share this land and shoreline.
The former tannery land is a complex site and I have questions about the suggested remediation approach: Will it actually work? Has it been independently reviewed? Would the city end up being liable for any contamination escaping into the river, during or after the trees are cut down and the wetland is filled and capped? At the very least, the city should pause any approval of development on the tannery lands until the soon-to-be hired hydrologist has time to do a careful review of the land and proposal.
How is the city applying a climate lens to this development proposal?
The car-centric design is also not compatible with lowering carbon emissions.
More housing (especially affordable housing, which this development is not) is needed in our city, but development on a PSW and a significant woodland and within an Environmental Protection Area is not acceptable. There are more suitable locations for intensification such as along Montreal Street and along other major street corridors.
I hope that the City will take more time to study and consider alternativesto this proposed development and that it will ensure that any options considered for the land are environmentally sensitive and, unlike the present development, are aligned with the city’s own statements and goals around sustainability, climate emergency and climate change resilience and adaptation. As well, I hope that the vision of local citizens, outlined in phase one of the North Kings Town Secondary Plan Visioning Report (2017), will be heard and respected— particularly their desire that “the urban wilderness and natural habitats that exist along the shoreline” be preserved.
I am also completely opposed to any request for a MZO (Minister’s Zoning Order) by the city or by the developer to expedite development on these lands. Planning decisions need to be made locally according to what is best for our community, not in Queen’s Park.
Thank you for considering my concerns and suggestions.
Enquiries about the Patry proposal may be made by telephoning Chris Wicke, Senior Planner, 613-546-4291, ext. 3242 or emailing email@example.com
NOTE: Heartbreaking video of recent clear cut at the Sydenham Road & Princess St. Patry project
7. Kingston Looks at Closure of Ontario and Market Sts.?
Received from the Kingstonist, March 29, 2022 – Natalia Joyce
“The City of Kingston is looking into permanently closing Ontario Street in front of City Hall, along with Market Street beside it.
The City has already confirmed that both streets will be closed for particular events this summer in relation to summer programming, which is currently in the works. These changes would aim to help make Kingston public areas safer, along with becoming more welcoming, according to the City, the Downtown Kingston BIA, and Tourism Kingston.
Ontario Street closed for Canada Day celebrations in 2017. The City of Kingston is currently considering the permanent closure of Ontario Street and Market Street around Kingston City Hall. Photo by Jessica Foley.
The City explains that, “permanently closing Market Street and Ontario Street was a suggestion included in the overall Downtown Improvement Plan that was presented to Council at the beginning of the month. The idea was a product of numerous Community Focus Group meetings over the fall and winter, as indicated in the Council report. At this preliminary stage, the permanent closure of Market Street and Ontario Street is just that — a proposed idea within a larger plan.”
Mayor Bryan Paterson, who took to his YouTube channel to discuss the concept, says the potential closure would, “create new park space for pedestrians and an expanded location for festivals and other community events.”
Confederation Park, located immediately across Ontario Street from City Hall, is one of the biggest attractions of Kingston for not only tourists, but for locals as well, and these plans will provide more space for pedestrians. Paterson feels it can “help both individuals and businesses in recovery from the pandemic.”
Mayor Bryan Paterson discusses the potential permanent closure of Ontario Street in front of Kingston City Hall on his YouTube channel.
Megan Knott, Executive Director of Tourism Kingston, explains that the concept for the closures is also a continuation of the work set out in 2018 as part of the Tourism Master Plan, which directs Tourism Kingston to work with the City of Kingston on “creating a more walkable and defined tourism zone.”
“Every successful tourism city has what is known as a walkable tourism core or hub — less or no vehicle traffic and more expanded space for residents and tourists alike,” says Knott.
For her part, Marijo Cuerrier, Executive Director of the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA), echoes Knott’s sentiments.
“Downtown Kingston is as successful as it is because it is a walkable area for visitors and the 50,000 residents that live within walking distance,” Cuerrier says, noting that the environmental assessment and traffic flow assessment for the project are still outstanding, and that more assessments may need to be carried out.
“The more enjoyable and safe we can make the downtown, the better the overall experience. But that has to be backed up by data, which we will be looking for,” she said.
So, what do you think, Kingston? Would you enjoy a pedestrian-only area on Ontario Street and Market Street? Think it would induce traffic issues?
Have your say in our poll below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Should the City of Kingston permanently close Ontario Street and Market Street around City Hall?
NOTE: I gather this poll has closed now. As far as I could see, here were the results.
- No, absolutely not! (49%, 409 Votes)
- Yes, definitely! (36%, 300 Votes)
- The results of assessments are needed before I can make a decision. (14%, 114 Votes)
- I don’t know. (1%, 9 Votes)
- I don’t care. (1%, 7 Votes
8. Kingston’s Integrated Care Hub Receives Provincial Funding
Received from the Kingstonist, March 18, 2022 – Taylor Tye
For the Integrated Care Hub (ICH) of Kingston, Friday, Mar. 18, 2022 was a pivotal day. Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to Health Minister Christine Elliott, announced alongside Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson and MPP Daryl Kramp (Hastings-Lennox and Addington) that the provincial government will be providing $4.6 million in funding to the organization.
Located at 661 Montreal Street, the ICH has been providing 24/7 services to vulnerable citizens with immediate needs, such as safety, food, and rest, as well as longer-term needs, such as addiction and mental health services. The ICH started out as a pilot project at Artillery Park in the summer of 2020, on the heels of a homelessness crisis and an opioid epidemic exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Kingston had provided funding to keep the ICH running until the end of March 2022; but, as Mayor Paterson expressed earlier this year, the millions of dollars the Hub needed to continue was beyond the City’s capacity.
Thanks to the provincial government, the ICH is now an officially-funded life-saving operation overseen by the HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS) and in partnership with harm reduction and Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) offered by Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC).
“Quite frankly, I think caring for one another is probably the greatest thing that you can do,” said Kramp. “You have an operation such as the ICH that does exactly what’s best for people who’ve experienced challenges, those that have been suffering from mental illness, homelessness… This is why we are here today. [It’s] the responsibility of all levels of government to help those that don’t have the ability to help themselves.”
“Our government really is fully committed to supporting our most vulnerable citizens,” stated Martin on Friday morning, “and we recognize that these populations of people [experiencing homelessness and substance addiction] have had an increased risk of harm due to the [COVID-19] pandemic… That’s why I’m very pleased to announce today that our government is investing $4.6 million for the ongoing operation of Kingston’s Integrated Care Hub.”
“This funding will help allow those programs currently in place to continue to have the great work being done in integrated care, including providing services to those experiencing crises, whether they are longer-term or short-term, to make sure there are supports there while easing pressures on our emergency departments and hospital,” said Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to Health Minister Christine Elliott..
“The Hub is also working with the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Ontario Health Team, working with providers and organizations across the spectrum of health and community care to ensure that health, mental health, and addictions resources are being provided and integrated with local services in the community,” added Martin. “These types of partnerships through the Ontario health teams are helping to build more integrated, person-centered care in our communities, ensuring that people have access to these services and supports that they need for treatment and recovery.”
Martin explained that supporting ICH “contributes to our roadmap to wellness, which our government put in place. [This is part of the] plan to build a connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system” — something, Martin said, that we all realize the need for.
The Ontario Roadmap to Wellness is part of a $3.8 billion provincial investment into mental health and addictions services over 10 years. “Every person deserves to have safe and secure access to the supports that they need in the mental health and addiction setting,” said Martin. “We’re working with our local communities and our third-party partners to support critical mental health and addictions systems, [making them] more accessible, evidence-based, [and] person-centered, while continuing to respond to needs arising.”
ICH manager Ashley O’Brien emphasized the importance of Friday’s announcement. “It’s good news today, especially during a drug poisoning crisis. It’s very timely because people are dying… The opportunity to continue doing [our work] is absolutely essential. It’s huge.”
According to HARS Executive Director Gilles Charette, the ICH’s work has prevented over 600 cases of drug poisonings from becoming fatalities. “That’s significant in that it makes KFL&A one of only two jurisdictions that did not see an increase, in some cases a dramatic increase, in drug poisoning deaths,” said Charette in an earlier interview.
Dr. Piotr Olgaza, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health, put this statistic starkly in perspective at a meeting of the Board of Health (BOH) for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. “In KFL&A, there were 42 opioid-related deaths in 2020 alone [outside the ICH’s purview]. Let’s compare that to the 31 COVID-19 deaths since March 2020 – over two years. So in one year, we had more opioid overdoses than [two years of] COVID-19 deaths combined.” This perspective highlights the importance of the work that the ICH is doing to prevent opioid-related injuries and deaths in the KFLA region.
“I want to take a moment to acknowledge the team at ICH,” concluded Mayor Paterson on Friday morning. “These are folks that work tirelessly. You guys are amazing. Thank you. This really is a team effort. The work you guys do as front line staff, day in and day out, [involves] challenging circumstances [and] situations, but you always show up and do your absolute best to keep our community safe. A big thank you, as well, to the province for partnering with us on this.”
9. Sage Restoration now at Tamworth Mill but still using NGB for Pick=ups
|The new home of Sage Restoration at the Tamworth Mill.|
We are pleased to announce that Sage Restoration has moved its warehouse and offices to its new home at the Tamworth Mill!
We are excited for the emerging opportunities that have come from our growing e-commerce and wholesale business, and we are also looking forward to the restoration possibilities at this new site that will showcase our traditional building materials and application methods and be a place for hosting workshops. We will post about these developments on an ongoing basis in the future on our Instagram, so please follow us there to receive the latest updates.
10. Queen City Oil Co. (9 North St.) Update
Received from Doornekamps in March.
“Covid has impacted our work plans for this site and caused some construction delays. Currently we await Ministry of the Environment review of our Record of Site Condition which is expected in Jan, 2023 Site work directly relates to the Record of Site Condition and will resume later this year.Please check our Facebook page for updates about our project.”
11. Waaban Crossing: New Name for a New Dawn
Received from the Kingstonist, March 23, 2022 – Michelle Dorey-Forestell
Kingston’s Third Crossing will be newly dubbed the “Waaban Crossing” when the bridge officially opens in a public ceremony in the autumn of 2022. The new official name honours the rich Indigenous history and continued vibrancy of the Indigenous community in Kingston.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday evening, Mar. 22, 2022, City Council passed a motion confirming the bridge’s proper name, which is pronounced ‘WAHban.’ The community-selected name for the new bridge – which spans the Cataraqui River from the foot of Gore Road in the city’s east end to the foot of John Counter Boulevard in the north end – comes from the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) language.
A rendering of the finished Third Crossing, which will now be called the Waaban Crossing, the City of Kingston announced on Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2022. Image via the City of Kingston.
Jennifer Campbell, Director of Heritage Services for the City, described the meanings of the new name: “It was most beautifully explained to me, as this moment where anything’s possible, as night slips into a new morning and opportunities are provided at that moment of transition… an easterly direction towards the morning sun… that moment where day and night intersect and both exist.”
The naming engagement process involved 942 community participants and included six in-depth meetings with Indigenous community members. 725 residents completed surveys on the names and naming themes, and 188 student submissions provided feedback to guide the final name selection. The name is seen as a hopeful metaphor for a brighter future for all. The use of “Third Crossing” will continue until the bridge construction is complete and the bridge officially opens at the end of 2022.
“Waaban is just such a beautiful word with a deeper meaning than dawn — it’s an awakening of life when everything responds to the rising light, it’s the gratitude for having another day to live,” shared one community engagement participant.
In July 2020, Kingston City Council committed to naming Kingston’s Third Crossing in a way that would reflect and celebrate the stories and contributions of Indigenous communities in this region, both past and present. This naming of the new bridge is an important symbolic action and a commitment to the journey of reconciliation, and to broadening the histories and cultures that we honour and reflect across our community, Campbell explained to the press this morning, Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2022, in an online announcement.
“As a City, we’re broadening our understanding of Kingston’s history by incorporating more Indigenous stories, and by facilitating space for a community dialogue that values and prioritizes reconciliation,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “Naming the City’s largest-ever infrastructure project as the ‘Waaban Crossing’ is a symbolic step towards these important goals. This is about building bridges, not only from one shore of the Cataraqui River to the other, but within our community as we work toward mutual understanding and inclusion.”
The Mayor also stated, “It’s a delight to be able to chat with you this morning, particularly given Council’s unanimous approval last night of the new name… I have to say that the Waaban Crossing has [already] been really well received by the community… I’ve seen lots of really positive feedback… It’s a great name that really speaks so much to the direction that we’re going as a community… [I think it was] a really important decision that we would rename the third crossing with an Indigenous name to reflect the history and culture of Indigenous peoples here in our community and our surrounding region. It is a great testament to that work for collaboration, and all work and efforts toward reconciliation.”
The naming of the Third Crossing was a result of over two years of consultation on how to expand the histories we celebrate as a community to include more Indigenous stories and experiences. Specifically, engagement on the name commenced in February 2021 and was facilitated with the support of First Peoples Group with a commitment to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.
“The City of Kingston is proud to honour and celebrate Indigenous Nations, communities, and Peoples in and around Kingston,” said Campbell. “The naming of the bridge is a symbolic action, but it speaks to a shared commitment across the community: a commitment to break through systemic barriers. Reconciliation is a partnership that requires all of us to commit to learning, sharing, and working together toward a stronger tomorrow.”
“[The name will] reflect on the eastern direction, particularly the morning light that rises at dawn and the transition to a new day… So the name is a really hopeful metaphor for the relationship that is being built in Kingston and for the future that is ahead of us all,” she added.
The Waaban Crossing bridge is the largest infrastructure project the City has ever undertaken and is being funded by all three levels of government, with each contributing $60 million. According to the City’s website, the new 1.2-km, two-lane bridge is meant to improve emergency services, increase active transportation through a multi-use pedestrian and bike pathway, create greater business connectivity, and enhance the quality of life for the residents and visitors of Kingston. The design will include informational and artistic elements on both sides of the bridge and along its corridor, emphasizing the meaning of the Waaban Crossing and its origin, along with park benches, banners, plantings, and other elements.
In a release, The City emphasized that it is committed to working with Indigenous Peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation, noting, “The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee. and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.”
Residents can access the City of Kingston website to learn more about the City’s reconciliation initiatives. Learn more about the naming process and the six steps of the Third Crossing Naming engagement project at Get Involved Kingston.
12. Green Burial Kingston
Green Burial Kingston (GBK) is a nonprofit group that advocates for sustainable and restorative burials. A green burial means minimal environmental impact. Green burials use only biodegradable materials (e.g., simple coffins or shrouds) allowing the body to nourish the earth. The natural surroundings invite community involvement and celebration and become living memorials to the people buried there. Conventional burials often include toxic embalming fluids (formaldehyde) and steel or hardwood caskets, plus sometimes concrete vaults, all of which contribute negatively to the earth. Cremations use a lot of energy and release CO2 emissions. A report on a GBK proposal to establish a nearby green burial site will be presented to City Council in June 2022. Currently the nearest site is in Picton.
GBK is currently building its membership base to demonstrate the level of interest in green burials in the Kingston area. Visit our website to read more about this exciting prospect and consider becoming a member. www.greenburialkingston.ca
13. More fun stuff on Inner Harbour History from Eric Gagnon
14.New Video of Seaway Navigation System
Overview of the Great Lakes Seaway St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation System, American Journal of Transportation, March 23, 2022. The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership has released a new video providing a general overview of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. The short film is designed as a teaching tool to improve understanding of how the waterway works and how it benefits the regional economy.
15. Something Different for April: Invigorate Your Poetry!
Received from the Kingstonist, March 29, 2022 – Jessica Foley
Kingston’s Poet Laureate Jason Heroux is offering two poetry-writing workshops with Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL), based around prompts to help poets jump-start their creative minds.
According to a release from KFPL, with anywhere between one and 99 poetry prompts, Heroux will give workshop participants a concept or image that provides a starting point for a poem. Enter with an open mind and exit with a handful of new written works.
“KFPL’s partnerships with Kingston’s Poet Laureate have been very well received,” said Jake Miller, Librarian, Adult Programming. “Having Jason lead these workshops will be special dates on the KFPL calendar! It’s such a unique opportunity for the public to refine their skills.”
There are two sessions, both identical in content and delivery, KFPL said. Registrants are asked to sign up for one of the two. The first takes place Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (https://calendar.kfpl.ca/event/6284603) and the second is on Saturday, Apr. 23, 2022, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. (https://calendar.kfpl.ca/event/6283326). Both are online, and both are limited to 20 participants.
With poetry prompts ranging from fun to meaningful, zany, profound, and all of the above, the library said that they are certain all poets will find inspiration.
Those who would like expert advice on refining their poetry can submit their work to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be selected for a mentorship session with Jason Heroux. One poet will be selected for one of six sessions on April 26 (7-8 p.m.), April 28 (7-8 p.m.), April 30 (2-3 p.m.), May 3 (7-8 p.m.), May 5 (7-8 p.m.) and May 7 (2-3 p.m.). The library said that Heroux will contact selected poets for each session, and Zoom links will be sent to each poet once dates and times are confirmed.
That’s it for now.
Hope you have a wonderful month ahead,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour