Menu Close

August Newsletter 2019

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Hope you are having a wonderful summer.  Such perfect August weather.
1. Tannery Woes
2. Third Crossing Updates
3. More Exciting Turtle Work
4. Art Wall
5. International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Aug 8, LOP
6. The Protected Places Declaration – Ontario Rivers Alliance
7. Congratulations to Chris West and the Marine Museum
9. City Trail Work – Bench Survey
10. Call for Those Interested in Planning Global Planet Strike this Sept
11. Something terrible happening in Ottawa and Lievre Rivers!
12. Prisoners’ Justice Day, Aug 9/10
13. Vibrant Spaces, Ontario St., Aug 9 – 11.
14. Very Important Delegation to Council on Behalf of Turtles, Aug 13

1. Tannery Woes
Developer Jay Patry owns the old Davis Tannery property just north of the rowing club in Kingston’s Inner Harbour.  His plan is to cut down the trees, cover the whole area with asphalt and build four six-storey buildings.  What a waste of a great waterfront site!   It makes sense to develop this site but what he is proposing is probably the worst possible design.  Looking at the historical photos of the Tannery (See photo above), it is not difficult to imagine a podium style building with high rises if one broadens the size of the chimneys- a design that could, in a way, be seen as harkening back to the original architecture especially if placed more centrally on the property.  This would save the truly magical and rich ecosystem along the shoreline for turtles and paddlers alike.  The property is best left with more green space along the shoreline.
Here is the letter I recently sent to the Mayor, City Staff and Council.

“In all honesty, I’m sure Toderian would agree with me that the current plan for the Tannery is the worst possible design for this site.  Please consider getting him involved before the city makes another big mistake on its waterfront like Block D.
The Tannery property has the following amazing advantages:
1) Amazing waterfront views
2) Beside a nature park
3) On Kingston’s best small water craft location – ideal for canoeing, kayaking and stand-up boarding.
4) Very near the Cataraqui Canoe Club and Rowing Club 
5) On an express bus route
6) On a trail to the downtown and also connecting to the Trans Canada Trail.
7) Close to the downtown – 5 minutes by bike.
8) Practically on its own in terms of other residential structures – almost no local residents to complain
9)  An ideal location for a mix of all socio-economic levels – including affordable housing.
10) In a neighbourhood comprised mainly of young professionals – ideal for millennials.
11) Some wonderful trees including a lovely stand of poplars
12) A natural shoreline with an amazing eco-system including 100 turtles basking, otters, swans and other wildlife.
13) A wonderful quality-of-life addition to the city.
14) Great tax generation potential.
The Tannery property has the following serious disadvantages
1) Many invasive species of plants
2) A serious brownfield with contaminants from the former Tannery as well as former smelters
3) A storm water overflow pipe dumping directly into the Orchard St. Marsh on the north side of the property.
4) Provincial regulations limiting frame construction to 6 storeys is in place however work is afoot to get that increased to at least 12 storeys.
My suggestions:
1) Ditch the current design.
2) Instead concentrate on building frame high rises in the central portion of the property while saving stands of trees.  This would protect the shoreline with its amazing turtle population as well as the Rideau St. portion which is home to endangered milk snakes.
3) Create an imaginative design that is podium-like with a high rise or two that emulates the past chimneys and lower level buildings.
4) Of course, put in a waterfront trail that connects to the downtown – but 10 metres back from the water itself in order to protect the shoreline for paddlers as well as wildlife.
5) Car-sharing.
Personally I think 1500 units (or even more) is doable and could be done going up rather than cutting down every tree and covering the whole area with asphalt.

This project could actually be a signature, made in Kingston, 21st century environmentally friendly design, not the 20th century car-centric design currently being proposed that is completely lacking in context sensitivity.  Shoalts and Zaback are wonderful Kingston architects who really could create a great design.

Given that Kingston has declared a Climate Emergency and that Kingston is aiming to be Canada’s most sustainable city, it is important to build in line with these values.
Filling in part of the marsh, as currently being discussed, is simply wrong.
Wetlands are the planet’s best carbon sinks.

Truly hoping you consult with Toderian about this project. It could really be amazing.  
And if Patry can just wait until the frame legislation is changed, he could do the build so much more cheaply.
Finally, it really is an ideal situation for a mix of all socio-economic levels and a great location for some affordable housing.

Mary Farrar, President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour”

I have since heard that Brent Toderian is being involved.

2. Third Crossing Updates
Members of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour who are closely involved with the management of our turtle projects along with Mabyn Armstrong of Turtles Kingston met with city staff and representatives from Kiewitt and Hatch, the consultants hired by the city for the build.  We wanted to express our concerns about disruption of the turtle habitat and to learn more about why changes in plan have occurred.  After a very interesting and productive meeting we are still digesting what we heard and will communicate more in the next update.

In terms of ongoing work, the following is from the city’s Third Crossing Team received July 23.  Apologies that I wasn’t able to include the image provided:
“Dear West Side Residents,
In an effort to keep you informed about what is happening in your neighbourhood, we are providing you more than a two-week advance notice that starting August 6, project staff will be onsite installing the west side noise fence. 
Crews will be onsite installing the wooden noise fence for approximately five weeks. The temporary fencing that is currently onsite will be removed as the new noise fence is installed…
The new noise fence will connect with the existing wooden fence.  
Other work activity
Skyline Apartments driveway is being relocated this week (July 22-26) off of John Counter Boulevard. The Third Crossing project team is in close contact with the building managers of Skyline Apartments and will be updating them as we progress through this work.  Crews will be onsite through all stages ensuring all activity on site is safe. More information is available on our website.
 In the coming weeks you will notice more site trailers being established on site.
Upcoming engagement on environmental considerations
This summer the project team will be hosting two open houses to discuss our work with Parks Canada and to showcase the evolution of the design and construction methods. The team recently hosted two near neighbour meetings providing information on the construction methods. Those presentations can be viewed on our website and at this link.
 We appreciate your patience as construction activities continue for the Third Crossing on both the east and west approaches. As work continues we want to ensure we have good communications with near neighbours. If at any time you would like to speak with member of the project team, please email us at thirdcrossing@cityofkingston.caand a team member will be in touch.”

3. More Exciting Turtle Work
 As part of what was required from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to get the necessary permit, we were required to buy 4 more transmitters for our radio-telemetry project.  Transmitters are now being attached to six turtles.  Kenny and Matt, our two student “consultants” will be going out in our recently acquired inboard with their receiver to try and determine where the turtles go after laying. 
Thanks so very much to  Aussie’s Windows and Building Supply for the gift of a boat and motor, to  Capital Movers and Storage for offering us a place to store it, and to Service Shop & Rentals in Inverary for fixing up the motor.  We are truly grateful to everyone involved in helping us out.
In addition, Dr. Alex Braun, Associate Professor of Geophysics at Queen’s University, has expressed interest in being having some of his summer students involved with our turtle projects.  He has a “boat”, approx one metre long that is remote controlled and can be used to track some of the Inner Harbour turtles.  We are meeting with him this Tuesday to discuss details.  All very exciting.

4.  Art Wall
In case you haven’t been down to Douglas R. Fluhrer Park lately, do come and have a look at the art wall.  The ten month legal wall pilot project is in full swing.  Some nice new works.
Participants are encouraged to document their artwork and share on social media platforms using the hashtag #YGKStreetArtWall.
For more information on the Street Art Wall pilot project and to review guidelines and frequently asked questions, go to:
For more information about the City’s Public Art Program, go to:
Sign up for the Kingston Public Art newsletter.

5. International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Aug 8, LOP
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in 1982.
All Nations Gathering, Opening Ceremony,
Water Keepers & Land Protectors.
Drumming, Singing, Dancing, Poetry & Speakers.
Tribute to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples.
Interactive Activities & Community Murals.
Health/Wellness/Environmental/Arts/Culture Community & Vending Booths.
All Welcome!
Where:  Lake Ontario Park
When: 2-6 pm
Contact: Yessica Rivera Belsham at or call/text 613-770-4522

6.The Protected Places Declaration – Ontario Rivers Alliance
Advocating for 17% of lands to be protected – Ontario Rivers Alliance

7. Congratulations to Chris West and the Marine Museum
We are totally delighted at this turn of events.
Congratulations to all involved – including the anonymous benefactor!

The following was sent to us from Phillip Brown about a very ugly FEDERAL building allowed on the city’s shoreline.  It is actually shocking. 
“Apparently there was an open-house in the Spring of 2018 to inform those few folks, who were aware and attended, that there would be  a new coast guard building going up at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour on the Kingston Penn side. According to someone who attended this meeting was an FYI meeting as opposed to anything remotely consultative.
What the presentation failed to mention or show in the drawing was a tall, red and white, structure that would be the new home for some communications gear. 
If you take a drive or walk over to the gas pumps at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour you can get a great view of this new steel monster that dwarfs the historic pen tower that it sits beside.
We spend millions to protect and enhance our waterfront. We spent years developing our waterfront master plan. We did a massive deal of visioning exercises for the POH and pen site but we get zero consultation or notice of action on this precious corner of our historic harbour.
According to a senior City Hall person here is the skinny: 

Since it is a federal project on federal land, they only have to follow the Industry Canada minimum standards. If the tower is less than 15 m. (49.2 ft.) in height, which this one is, then a notice in a public newspaper is not required. They only have to notify adjacent land owners within a radius equal to 3 times the height of the tower. Given the location of the tower, and knowing that it is only slightly taller than the walls of Kingston Penitentiary, which are 25 ft. tall, the notification radius likely only involved other federal land – specifically KP and the water lot that is part of Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, which is owned by Fisheries and Oceans or Transport Canada. Without any adjacent landowners to notify (other than other federal departments), the builder would not have to contact anyone else. 
‘How convenient.’ 

All I can say to this is, ‘Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should! Great communication makes great neighbours. 
If you care about this action, or future ones to come, that diminish the beauty of our shores and basically tell us its none of our business please drop a note to our MP. It is election time after all.
 Phillip Brown”
NOTE:  If you wish to contact Phillip Brown about this, his e-mail is

9. City Trail Work – Bench Survey
The following was received from the city July 26, 2019

“The City of Kingston is seeking input on where it could potentially place rest areas (benches) along a planned 840 m multi-use path from the end of Queen Mary Road (just above Bath Road) to the end of Parkway (just below Princess Street).
‘Recent public engagement on the draft Active Transportation Implementation Plan showed us that this multi-use pathway is a priority for residents. It will create connections with existing cycling infrastructure in the area, building on the active transportation network across the city,’ says Ian Semple, director, transportation services.
Interested residents are invited to go to to submit input on where benches could be placed as potential rest locations by Thursday, Aug. 8. All feedback received will be considered in the final design of the pathway.
Construction of the multi-use path will take advantage of an opportunity to work jointly with Utilities Kingston as it twins a sewer line beneath this corridor. Work on the hard-surface path is expected to begin in the spring of 2020.
For more on the City’s ongoing efforts to make it easier to get around Kingston through active modes of transportation, visit
For any accessibility feedback related to the project please contact the person listed on the Get Involved page (in accordance with Ontario Regulation 191/11).
The project’s Get Involved page will be open for public input until Aug. 8″.

10. Call for Those Interested in Planning Global Climate Strike this Sept
The following was received from Julia Miller:
“It is the hope of some Kingston groups to have local actions in support of international efforts Sept. 20th – 27th (  In order to optimize our energy and efforts and leverage these opportunities to the best of our abilities I am inviting you to join in an upcoming meeting to discuss how we might support one another and make the most of our capacity this September.  
I hope that there will be a time and date suggested on the linked to doodle poll that works for each of you.  Please feel free to share this invitation to others who you think might be interested in participating. I just ask that you enter your availability by First Name, Last Name or Organization represented (as appropriate). 
Please email me if you plan on participating or want to be kept in the loop so that I have your email address and can follow up with you.
On the agenda, introductions, common goals, priorities, brainstorming and planning.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
#GreenPower #GreenPride,
Julia Miller, 613-453-0417″

11. Something terrible happening in Ottawa and Lievre Rivers!
So many fish dying.  No explanation as yet.

12. Prisoners’ Justice Day, Aug 9/10
What: Short Doc Screening  Panel Discussion. “The Garden Collective” on remembering P4W
Where: The Screening Room, 120 Princess St., Kingston, ON
When:  Aug 9, 4:30 pm. (Doors open at 4 pm)

What: Healing Circle & Gathering
Where: Prison for Women (P4W). Sir John A & Union St,
When: Aug 10, Healing Circle 1:30; Gathering 3:00 pm
NOTES: Everyone welcome.  Bring your drums, rattles, feast bundles & spirit!

13.Vibrant Spaces, Ontario Street, Aug 9 – 11
The following was received from the City Aug 1, 2019
“The City’s Ontario Street: A Vibrant Spaces Project will return for its second weekend from Aug. 9 – 11 as Ontario Street in front of City Hall is transformed into a gathering space and  hub of artistic and cultural activity. The weekend’s programming is focused on the potential of creative placemaking in Kingston; leveraging arts and culture to re-imagine public spaces and foster community collaboration and shared enjoyment within them.
“Placemaking that positions art at the centre of activity can strengthen our sense of community,” explains Danika Lochhead, manager, arts and sector development at the City of Kingston. “For the Ontario Street project, we’ll aim to do just that by animating the street as a public place and delivering arts workshops and activities, installations, public art and cultural heritage talks and tours, music and more.”
In addition to offering programming, three zones will be created on Ontario Street for workshops, performances and talks. These zones will be animated with additional furniture, seating, tables, greenery and shade. This project will explore and evaluate how people interact with the space by participating in programming and using the street as a new public space for gathering and as a destination for community.
This section of Ontario Street will close to traffic at 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9 and re-open Sunday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m.  If needed, programming will be moved inside to Memorial Hall on Saturday and Sunday. Follow the City’s social media channels for real-time updates.

What to expect on Friday
All day – Experience an installation of a large-scale globe featuring NASA’s iconic “Blue Marble” satellite imagery. Inspired by photos taken by the Apollo astronauts, the globe shares the astronaut’s view of Earth from outer space, showcasing the incredible beauty of our home planet. The globe is seen in cities and spaces all around the world and is in Kingston for this weekend only. The installation is supported by a community engagement activity to inspire people to think about the world and our environment.
9 – 10:30 p.m.: Weekend kick-off dance party and performance by Kingston-based DJ Tigerstylez. Presented in partnership with Electric Circuits Collective.

What to expect on Saturday
All day: Large-scale globe installation continues
All day: Cycle Kingston Bicycle Valet; ride to Ontario Street and take advantage of a free bicycle valet service at the corner of Ontario and Brock.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Free Guided City Hall Tours, every hour on the hour. Learn more about Kingston City Hall’s fascinating history, beautiful architecture – and about the intriguing people, events and stories associated with this National Historic Site. Meet in front of City Hall on Ontario Street.
9:30 a.m. – noon: Drop-in to Creation Caravan for hands-on arts and creative activities, designed for kids and families. This event takes place again on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m.
10 – 11:30 a.m.: Join Kingston’s Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux on a poetry path walk-about along Ontario Street to discover poetry in unexpected places, like the Confederation Basin fountain, a telephone booth and in Battery Park. End the tour back on Ontario Street for a poetry writing session led by Jason. Bring your notebooks. All levels welcome. 
This workshop and poetry session will be offered again on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m.
10:30 a.m. – noon: Public Art Talk – Join Taylor Norris, public art coordinator at the City of Kingston; Professor Tarah Wright, Dalhousie University; local artists Noah Scheinman and Adam Biehler; and performing artist and environmentalist, Tracey Guptill for a panel discussion titled Imagined Futures, Pressing Times: Intersections of Public Art, Climate Change and the Environment.  The panelists will explore the importance of the arts in broadening public discourse around the environment and climate change, from both a local perspective and in a broad context.
Noon – 3 p.m.: Live Painting/Mural Jam – Watch live painting by the DEAD ON, a collective of local emerging visual artists, who will create new work onsite. Materials will be provided to create your own mini-mural. This activation supports the City’s newly launched Street Art Wall, a pilot project that establishes the Rideaucrest retaining wall adjacent to Douglas Fluhrer Park as a temporary legal wall available for use by the community to create street art and murals. The Live Painting/Mural Jam takes place again on Sunday, Aug. 11 at noon.
2 – 3 p.m.:  Pump House Museum Curator Talks and Tours. Join curators Melissa Cruise and Tom Riddolls for two, 20-minute talks about current PumpHouse exhibition “Ontario Street: Brewers, Bakers and Boilermakers, 1830-1970.” Following the talks, they will lead a walking tour along Ontario Street, ending at the Pump House.

What to expect on Sunday
All day: Large-scale globe installation continues
11 a.m.  – noon: Facilitated by Cultural Service’s Arts Programming staff, the Two Islands workshop is a dynamic and interactive drama session based on the children’s book “Two Islands” by Ivan Gantschev. The workshop offers an opportunity for participants to not only engage with the story but to think critically and creatively about sustainability. Designed for children aged 6-12.
Noon – 3 p.m.: Live Painting/Mural Jam 
1 – 3 p.m.: Kingston’s Poet Laureate Poetry Path and Writing Session
1 – 3 p.m.: Creation Caravan

13. Important Delegation to Council on Behalf of Turtles 
Five minute delegation by Turtles Kingston in support of Council motion to ban motor vehicles passing at the Westbrook Marsh.  Serious need to protect turtles there.
When: Aug 13, 7:30 pm
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, Kingston
NOTES:  All Welcome!  Please come to support.
The following was received from Mabyn Armstrong of Turtles Kingston, Aug 5, 2019
“Turtles Kingston representatives will be presenting a five minute delegation to Kingston City Council on Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 at 7:30 pm to support a motion that Princess St.- between Collins Bay and Westbrook roads at the turtle crossing in the Westbrook Wetland – be designated a ‘Posted No Passing Zone’. That stretch of road was identified as a ‘hotspot’ (high rate of turtle mortality) in the MacIntosh Perry Environmental Report commissioned by the City in 2012 and continues to have the highest mortality rate in the city.
This past nesting season, Turtles Kingston monitored almost 80 turtles and had to help 43 of the turtles to safely cross the road. In addition, members of the public assisted more turtles to cross the road when Turtles Kingston was not present. Almost 80 turtle nests were identified as well. Turtles Kingston conducted an informal traffic study and estimate that more than 1,500 cars, including 300-500 heavy construction vehicles, use that road on a daily basis. Environmental Road Ecologists state that traffic volume exceeding 300 vehicles per day requires the implementation of mitigation measures (exclusion fencing, eco passages and alternate nesting sites). 
Turtles Kingston personnel were very pleased that the City installed ‘Solar Flashing Turtle Crossing’ lights last year.  The speed limit is set to 60 km per hour which unfortunately is not respected. With the volume of traffic ever increasing because of recent housing developments (and with more to come) the fact that the road remains unmitigated (without the recommended exclusion fencing as stated in the MacIntosh Perry Environmental Report) the appalling rate of mortality will not only continue, but will rise. The huge volume of cars and heavy construction equipment traveling at speeds in excess of the posted 60 km per hr speed limit, severely reduces ‘reaction time’. This is further reduced when vehicles attempt to pass one another. The passing driver will not be aware that the vehicle in front of them is slowing down because of a turtle on the road and will create a dangerous situation for all involved, including the turtle because of their reduced reaction time. Until exclusion fencing is installed, every effort must be taken to reduce the road mortality of an endangered species.
Turtles Kingston is inviting all interested persons to attend the Council Meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019 at 7;30 pm in support of the motion.
Councillors Lisa Osanic and Simon Chapelle will present the motion. 
Thank you for your support.
Turtles Kingston
FYI: A ‘delegation is a written or verbal presentation that residents, community groups or any interested party can present to City Council’s Standing Committees or Boards. Presentations are five minutes and must be about a topic that is on the agenda. Delegations allow Council members to listen to the people who elected them. In this way, city governments demonstrate they are open and accessible to the views of its citizens. Making a delegation is a great way to educate members of City Council about your issue and ask for change.”

So that’s it for now.  Hope the rest of your summer is truly wonderful.
Mary Farrar,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour