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April Update 2020

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour.
Wishing you all strength (and hopefully a bit of joy) in this time of lock down.
Thanks so much Adam Malus and Travis Cadue for identifying this sprightly flower currently in abundance – coltsfoot – evidently introduced to North America in the 1920s, a possible medicinal plant but also possibly toxic. 
Nonetheless a cheerful reminder that sunshine is on the way.

1. Homemade Masks – Such a Variety
2. Truly Amazing Video about Water – Viktor Schauberger
3. Donating Food to Needy
4. DOs and DONTs in CITY – RIGHT NOW!
5. Kingston Film Shorts online this weekend!
6. Coming Together to Say Thank You to Health Care Workers + Together At Home Platform
7. Petition for Care Givers in Long Term Care Facilities to be Tested
8. Consider Supporting Interval House at this time
9. YMCA activities on Facebook and Twitter + Tett Activities
10. Kingston Delivers
11. City Planning Committee now meeting online
12. All Non-Essential Construction and Permits Halt Temporarily due to COVID-19
13. Looking after Homeless
14. Landlords, Tenants and Utilities Info
15. City Hall Closed
16. Four Hour Real Time Doc – Tripping the Rideau Canal
17. Arctic Supply Ship Video – Inspiring!
18. “Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre Esprit Radisson” Award-winning non-fiction
19. One Final Thought – The Art of Belonging

1. Homemade Masks – Such a Variety
Now it’s being stated that homemade masks are useful to prevent asymptomatic people (infected but not showing any symptoms) from spreading to others.   In light of what has been online recently about the possibility of the virus spreading further than 2 metres in the slipstreams of runners and cyclists (not to mention the impossibility of being consistently 2 metres apart at the grocery store or take-out restaurant or even on trails) it simply makes sense to wear a homemade mask whenever you venture out. Of course it is still critically important to maintain the 2 m distance.
My favourite is the bandana with two elastic bands.  So easy to make in 30 seconds and easily washable.
Here are a few videos showing how to make homemade masks.
If you want to get a bit more professional using a sewing machine here are another two videos, one using a vacuum cleaner bag because of the filtering ability of the material:

2. Truly Amazing Video about Water – Viktor Schauberger
Honestly I will never look at water in the same way ever again!  It is totally worth the hour.
Thanks Hilbert for the heads up.
If the link doesn’t work you can Google Viktor Schauberger YouTube Comprehend and Copy

3. Donating Food to Needy
If you would like to help out with some charitable giving the Kingstonist recently reported on the needs of food providers: food banks, soup kitchens, etc. Help the organization of your choice, as noted below – or make a contribution online to the United Way of KFL&A’s COVID Response Fund or Community Foundation For Kingston and Area’s Smart and Caring Community Fund. They will assist a range of organizations that are providing services to the community during this emergency.
Apparently the Partners in Mission food bank are also offering $100 No Frills gift cards to those whose jobs have been affected by the coronavirus.

Local emergency food providers:
Partners in Mission Food Bank – food hampers
St. Vincent de Paul – bagged lunches
Lionhearts Inc. – daily take home evening meals
Martha’s Table – take home lunches
Lunch by George – take home lunches
Salvation Army – food hampers/pantry
Loving Spoonful – assisting with accessing and distributing food
Food Sharing Project – food hampers to families of students
North Frontenac Food Bank – Sharbot Lake – food hampers

South Frontenac Community Services – Food Bank and Meals on Wheels for South Frontenac and Rural Kingston
4. DOs and DONT’s in CITY – RIGHT NOW!
 “Part of what makes Kingston such an amazing community to live in is our wealth of parks, playgrounds and waterfront spaces. Like many residents, I miss the opportunity to enjoy them with my family and friends. However, we all have a part in limiting the community spread of COVID-19, and it’s important that residents stay safely away from the park amenities that are currently closed to protect everyone in our community,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. Follow these do’s and don’ts, and help flatten the COVID-19 curve in Kingston:

Walk, run or cycle on open trails making sure to maintain 2 metres between yourself and others.
Walk or run on sidewalks.
Make way for other pedestrians or cyclists using the same trail or sidewalk.
Report non-compliance concerns to KFL&A online.
Wash your hands as soon as you can after being outdoors. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Kindly let others know if they accidentally overstep the 2-metre safe space by simply saying, “Let’s give ourselves space to stay safe.” 

Use any of the closed park amenities, including playground equipment, benches and sports courts.
Remove signs, fencing, or caution tape installed at parks and playgrounds.
Gather in social groups of more than five in any public space unless you all live in the same space.
Use the trails or sidewalks if you are feeling ill or are returning from travel.
The signs are not suggestions
Signage and safety fencing is being installed to remind residents that access to high-risk park amenities increases the risk of community spread of COVID-19. Temporary fencing was placed at some parks today, and this work will continue over the weekend. On March 30, the Province of Ontario’s extended emergency declaration mandated the closure of the all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario. In Kingston, this includes:

  • Play structures, swings, slides and climbers
  • Sports fields and ball diamonds
  • Basketball, pickleball and tennis courts
  • Off-leash dog parks
  • Skateboard and BMX parks
  • Beaches
  • Splash pads
  • Park washrooms and buildings
  • Benches, picnic tables and shade shelters
  • Boat launches
  • Outdoor community gardens

“We know we live in a city, which under normal circumstances, has many great recreational opportunities. But what makes this community truly amazing is our ability to come together, and to do the right thing for the greater good. By considering the entire community when we make individual choices, we will come out the other side of this stronger, together,” concludes Paterson.
Early this afternoon, Public Health Ontario announced stark projections on the impact to life COVID-19 could have if Ontarians fail to respect temporary restrictions. “We have now reached a critical time in our fight against COVID-19,” says Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Every step taken by the province and every effort made by each of us to avoid close contact with others are the key to our success as a province to stop the spread of this virus.”

Thank you to nurses and doctors, teachers, bus drivers, postal workers, and everyone who continues to serve while many of us are staying home.  
And, thank you to neighbours checking on neighbours!

5. Kingston Film Shorts Online This Weekend!
Watch online and vote for your favourite.  Have fun!

6. Coming Together to Say Thank You to Health Care Workers + Together At Home Platform
Received April 6
Every Monday in April, City Hall and Springer Square Market will be lit up in blue starting at sundown (currently around 7:30 p.m.) until sunrise (currently around 6:45 a.m.).
“In these challenging and uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to show our support to health care workers who are working tirelessly to care for residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “The special lighting of City Hall will symbolize our deep appreciation – and let it also shine a little hope across the city and our community.”
To view City Hall lit up from the comfort of your home while physical distancing rules remain in place, visit our Springer Market Square Webcam.
Every Monday at 7:30 p.m. residents may also hear local church bells ring in solidarity for supporting health care workers and essential service workers in Kingston during the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. George’s Cathedral will be ringing their carillon as well as the overseer of Sydenham Street United Church will be ringing an old City of Kingston bell.
The City is also encouraging you to show support for our health care workers and those working in essential services by honking your car horns or by standing outside of your homes at 7:30 p.m. and chiming in with your own musical instrument. In your own way, while practicing physical distancing, everyone can show support for our hard-working and dedicated essential service workers and contribute to a community-wide effort. If you are participating in one of these efforts, please share with the City of Kingston and tag us on Twitter

Kingston Fire & Rescue raise their sticks in support
Starting Friday, April 8, Kingston Fire & Rescue (KFR) will demonstrate appreciation for health care workers by stationing their trucks in front of fire halls at approximately 8:15 a.m. Firefighters will then line-up in front of the trucks, each standing 2 metres apart and holding hockey sticks between them. The hockey stick has become Canadian’s preferred unit of measurement when understanding the distance to maintain between one another, to help flatten the COVID-19 curve.
“This is a gesture to thank all health care workers on the front line and to remind our community of the importance of physical distancing, both for their own health, and the health of our entire community,” says Chief Shawn Armstrong. Firefighters will do this each week throughout the month of April.
Join us: Together, at Home

To help residents connect and share online resources during COVID-19, the City also launched Together, at Home on its Get Involved Kingston platform.
It offers a space for residents to:

  • share positive stories,
  • contribute creative ideas,
  • provide information and links to resources, and
  • ask for help with essential needs.

Follow @CityofKingston on Twitter to receive the latest updates on the City’s COVID-19 precautions. We continue to work with public health officials and multiple partners on the COVID-19 response.

MetalCraft Marine’s Inner Harbour Salute!
Every day at noon MetalCraft Marine blasts away at its horns with local waterside residents from Frontenac Village joining in with pots and pans. Fun.

7. Petition for Care Givers in Long Term Care Facilities to be Tested for COVID-19
Thanks to Dave and Barb Carr for passing this on.

8. Consider Supporting Interval House at this time.
With the rise in domestic violence, you may want to support Interval House:

9. YMCA Activities on Facebook and Twitter + Tett Activities
The YMCA is posting workouts everyday on Facebook and Twitter (YMCAEasternON) from their local trainers and suggestions for activities for all ages. In addition, Y Canada has just launched YMCA at Home, providing free workouts, kids activities and mental health supports. You can find it at

The Tett Centre for Creativity & Learning remains dedicated to supporting and encouraging our creative community during Covid-19. Staying connected is more important than ever, and we are discovering new ways to stay engaged and cultivate community every day. We are thrilled to offer a selection of virtual programs and opportunities for the community, which include:

– At Home Arts & Photography Challenge – Facebook & Instagram
– Tett Talk Show – Instagram Live 
– Virtual Tett Tuesday – Weekly Zoom Craft Nights
 OnlineResources – Sharing at-home creative resources for families and artists 
– Artist Features – Tag @tettcentre for a feature
– Virtual Workshops – We are currently accepting Virtual Program Proposals – email arts@tettcentre.orgfor more information 

10. Kingston Delivers. 
A number of our valued local businesses are still operating; some shops selling food still have walk-in customers, others, including many restaurants, have pick-up or delivery services.  It’s worth calling to find out.  There is a new website to help share information about local businesses who are able to provide delivery service: It’s just a few volunteers collecting data, with no cost to anyone to use the site. A printable version of the data is being produced occasionally to be shared with people who have no computer access, and they hope to automate that soon.  If your business is providing delivery services that you would like to publicize, do check out the site or email the organizers at:

11. City Planning Committee now meeting online
Beginning April 16, the City of Kingston will be holding Planning Committee meetings in an online format. Residents will now be able to live-stream meetings using their computer, or access and participate in meetings directly either by computer or from their phone.
This decision is based on recommendations from health authorities relating to COVID-19 and will replace in-person meetings until further notice.
“While hosting Planning Committee online is primarily a response to the COVID-19 situation, I’m confident that this new approach can also make the planning process more accessible for residents,” says Tim Park, Manager of Development Approvals for the City of Kingston. “Being able to access committee meetings from anywhere in the City by using a phone or computer can help residents better understand our planning process.”
The April 16 meeting will begin at the regularly scheduled time of 6:30 p.m. but will be exclusively held online. Residents will be able to view meetings live via the Kingston City Council YouTube channel(External link).
Residents wishing to provide comments on any of the agenda items are encouraged to submit written correspondence by emailing the assigned planner or the committee clerk. For application-specific information and the contact information of the assigned planner, please visit link). Any residents wishing to provide verbal comments at the Planning Committee meeting can participate in the meeting via Zoom or by telephone.
Utilizing the Zoom online meeting platform will allow committee members, staff and applicants to participate directly in meetings.
To participate in the meeting by computer, smartphone or tablet, residents are required to visit the Planning Committee page on the City website ( link)) and click on the appropriate meeting date. Instructions will be posted regarding registration on each committee calendar event. Upon registering for a meeting, residents will be e-mailed a link for the meeting itself. Registration will be available until the start of the meeting.
Residents without access to a computer, smartphone or tablet can participate in the meeting by telephone by calling 613-546-4291 extension 1170 and leaving a message with their name, phone number and the agenda item(s) they wish to speak to; staff will respond to their voicemail within 24 hours to provide them with the call-in number for the meeting. Participants must register by leaving calling in by no later than 2 hours before the start of the meeting.
For more information on the online Planning Committee format and process, residents can visit the Planning Committee webpage   Tannery

12. All Non-Essential Construction and Permits Halt Temporarily due to COVID-19
Received April 6 
Effective April 4, 2020, the City of Kingston is temporarily halting inspections of non-essential construction projects as determined by the Government of Ontario. This decision is in accordance with the Provincial Regulation made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which requires all non-essential construction projects to cease construction.
“This decision is consistent with Provincial direction on the matter,” says Lisa Capener-Hunt, Manager of Building Services and Chief Building Official for the City of Kingston. “We’re committed to helping residents understand how this may affect their projects, and we encourage them to contact the Building Services department for more information.”
This decision will be in effect until further notice and will be updated pending further direction from the Province of Ontario.
Essential construction projects include: 

  • Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector
  • Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operation of critical provincial infrastructure
  • Construction activities related to the production or maintenance of personal protective equipment, medical devices, and other products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Residential construction projects where a footing permit or above-grade structural permit has been granted, or where the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction was started before April 4, 2020
  • Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure public safety

A complete list is available on the Government of Ontario’s list of essential workplaces.
Permit applications will continue to be reviewed for all types of construction.  The issuance of permits does not allow construction in contravention of this prohibition.  Residents are encouraged to review the list of essential construction or contact the Building Services department before proceeding with any construction.
Inspections will only be carried out on construction deemed essential by the provincial order above.  Inspections for residential construction will continue where building permits have been issued by April 4, 2020 for construction of single-family, semi-detached, townhomes, condominiums, mixed-use and other buildings, and alterations to residential properties where construction work started before April 4.
Learn more about the City of Kingston’s COVID-19 precautions.
Stay up-to-date with the City’s COVID-19 changes.
Find answers to your COVID-19 questions from KFL&A Public Health.

13.   Looking after Homeless
Received April 2
The City and its community partners are helping Home Base Housing open a temporary Physical-distancing Shelter at 670 MacLean Ct. – the former home of Fairfield Manor East.
If you are experiencing homelessness, or are concerned about a person in need of help please call 613-531-3779 ext. 131 to alert the Street Outreach Team, which has re-doubled its efforts to make contact with those who are experiencing homelessness and encourage shelter usage. 
The Housing and Social Services Department confirms that the City’s shelter system is now operating within its capacity with slight increases in demand. The Physical-distancing Shelter will offer vulnerable residents and people who are homeless a place to seek support while safely physically distancing.
“We would like to thank those who are experiencing homelessness who are working with us to act responsibly and access services safely. Imagine adding extra layers of prevention and caution to the difficulty of being homeless,” says Tom Greening, CEO, Home Base Housing.  “We would also like to thank the community for accepting this temporary space.”
The new shelter will operate like the In From the Cold shelter, with additional COVID-19 measures in place. KFL&A Public Health supported the set-up of space for physical distancing.

14. Landlords, Tenants and Utilities Info
Received April 1
City builds online resource page to help residents navigate rent during COVID-19

  • landlord and tenant responsibilities,
  • rights of both parties,
  • recent relevant announcements from the Province, and
  • quick links to important resources. 

“We recognize that the first of the month has heightened the anxiety and financial stress many residents are feeling, as a result of COVID-19. To help ease this stress, the City has developed online resources that will help residents paying or collecting rent to find answers to their most pressing questions, quickly,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.

He notes that mutual respect and understanding will be the most important factor in helping landlords and tenants alike through this situation. “We have seen wonderful examples of people supporting one another during this difficult time. Let’s not give that up, here. Please, show kindness and generosity. Together, we’ll get through this,” concludes Paterson.

Tax Deferrals for property owners
On March 25, the City announced it would ease the financial burden for taxpayers, by automatically waiving the April 1 and May 1 monthly penalties and interest on all 2020 interim arrears. 

Taxpayers who have a pre-authorized 10-month payment plan (PAP), are encouraged to continue these payment plans where possible. To provide immediate assistance with upcoming payments, the City deferred the April 1 installment for residents who requested this.

Utilities Kingston is also taking additional steps to help customers with their water and sewer bills. These include extending the Conservation Rate for water bills, and extending payment arrangements for customers who are experiencing hardship.

Utilities Kingston is also assisting customers by:

  • temporarily suspending disconnecting customers for non-payment,
  • offering flexible payment terms and arrears payment agreements for water, sewer, gas and electricity bills, in order to provide customers with more time to pay outstanding balances on their account, if needed; and 
  • supporting Ontario’s decision regarding off-peak time-of-use prices for electricity customers.

If you are concerned about paying your bill, please contact the Utilities Kingston credit department by email or phone at 613-546-1181, ext. 2278, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

15. City Hall Closed until further notice
Received April 1
The portable public washrooms located outside of City Hall remain available for public use.
Payment Centre staff continue to be available by phone and e-mail.
Payments can be made through the following means:
Through online banking
Through your financial institution
Using our drop boxes at 1211 John Counter Blvd. or at City Hall’s Market Street entrance. Please note: if choosing this method, do not put cash payments into the drop box.
For taxation or other payments by mail, send a cheque to: City of Kingston – Taxation PO Box 640, Kingston, ON, K7L 4X1
For utility payments by mail, send a cheque to: Utilities Kingston – PO Box 790, Kingston, ON, K7L 4X7
For tax inquiries, please email or call 613-546-0000. For all other service inquiries, please call the Contact Centre at 613-546-0000 or submit a request through Contact Us.

The Mayor’s Office can be contacted by calling 613-546-4291 ext. 1400 or by sending an e-mail to

The City Clerk’s Office can be contacted by calling 613-546-4291 ext. 1247 or by sending an e-mail to

The City continues to monitor the information released by the provincial Ministry of Health and other public health partners, including KFL&A Public Health.
Find the answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 on KFL&A Public Health’s page.
Stay up-to-date with the City’s COVID-19 precautions.
Share. Participate. Engage. –

16. Four Hour Real Time Doc – Tripping the Rideau Canal

17. Arctic Supply Ship Video – Inspiring!
Thanks so much Steve Koopman!

18. “Bush Runner: The Adventures of Pierre Esprit Radisson” Award-winning non-fiction
This amazing and wonderful biography of a truly remarkable man includes fascinating, sometimes appalling, insights into life in Europe and North American in the 1600s.  Winner of the most recent Taylor award for  non-fiction.

19. One final thought:  The Art of Belonging

“One small garden can share its food, the knowledge and experience of how that food was grown, why it tastes as wonderful, rich and delicious as it does and the excitement and contentment that only comes from food you’ve grown. The term ‘local food’ metamorphoses into something entirely different, ceasing to be a carelessly used sound-bite and growing into many delicious food bites that nourish us – body and soul. 

That one small garden becomes a few, then several, then many across a town, a city, a county and a nation. That small garden becomes a metaphor, an idea and a movement. That small humble garden becomes a much-needed, deep seated sense of security in a world where very little has the feel of permanence or security today, regardless of social status or financial standing. It gives us grounding and a sense of place, of belonging to and being part of something much bigger, older and better than us”

~Stephen Scott, Terroir Seeds

Mary Farrar, President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour