Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour, I have posted the poster for an upcoming rally at City Hall this Thursday afternoon, Aug 4, prior to the Planning committee meeting where Patry’s proposal for the old Davis Tannery property will be discussed. THIS IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION. The group No Clearcuts in Kingston is sponsoring the rally.
LOCAL ISSUES 1. Tannery Issue coming to Planning this Thursday, Aug 4. Rally opposed at City Hall – 4-6 pm Petition with over 3000 signatures to be submitted. 2. Styrofoam Issue from Third Crossing
FROM FARTHER AFIELD 3. Online Publication “Our Lakes” 4. LaFarge Canada Fund Queen’s Research on Low Carbon Concrete Research 5. Multi-Nation Effort to Restore the Great Lakes – A Watershed Moment 6. The Blue Economy 7. Pneumonia Killing Patients
FOR FUN 8. Kick and Push Festival. 9. Fun Stuff at the Agnes LOCAL ISSUES 1. Tannery Issue coming to Planning this Thurs, Aug 4. Rally opposed at City Hall, 4-6 pm. Petition with over 3600 signatures opposed to the development to be submitted to Council. For more information contact Kathleen O’Hara – firstname.lastname@example.org Here is what we received from No Clearcuts in Kingston! Regarding their rally.
“City Staff released a report last week on Jay Patry’s Tannery application. They support his proposal to clearcut 2000 trees and destroy wildlife habitat, including habitat for over 130 turtles!
The 6-member Planning Committee will vote on Staff’s recommendation this Thursday, August 4 at 6 pm. At the height of summer when most people are in holiday mode!
No Clearcuts Kingston is holding a rally from 4 – 6 across from City Hall in Confederation Park. They will present Councillor Lisa Osanic with more than 3600 petition signatures, opposing the present project.
There will also be speeches by concerned citizens! Please join them and show City Hall you care about the Tannery urban forest, protecting trees across the city, and nature!”
Editor’s notes: i) Patry is requesting a Ministerial Zoning Order for a section of the Provincially Significant Wetland which would mean that he would not have to follow environmental recommendations from the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. The request for the MZO which would override the provincial policy statement, protecting PSWs, and allow the developer to “remediate” part of the wetland and build on it. Without the MZO, the developer would not be allowed to tamper with the PSW.
ii) Here is a pertinent letter to the editor in response to an earlier letter to the editor that had praised the project, mistakenly assuming that the housing being built would be “affordable housing”. Not so. Received from the Kingstonist and the Whig Standard, July 26, 2022
“A recent [opinion piece] by Byron Emmons stated that Kingston has a housing crisis. No one disagrees with this. The crisis has many causes: the end of federal and provincial social housing programs; the mass purchase of housing by corporations; rising home costs as wages stagnate or fall; the Air BnB phenomenon. Sadly, there isn’t as much agreement on the solutions. Cutting down 2,000 trees in what has become a vibrant urban forest isn’t one of them. Emmons claims that developer Jay Patry will be building “affordable” units. This is not correct. They will be market rate. Some of the first units to be built will be high-end condos with a river view. Where is the urgency to cut down trees, including the 220-year-old white oak, for luxury homes? This huge project, consisting of four buildings, will take 12 years to build after the forest and wildlife are destroyed, 20,000 truckloads of toxic soil are shipped elsewhere, and the land and part of the wetland are paved over. This is not going to solve our immediate need for housing. Scientists have told us that the majority of the land is healing itself and, with human help through bioremediation, could continue to do so. As Kingston faces rising temperatures due to the climate crisis, maintaining our trees could be lifesaving. We are advocating building on the empty lands along Montreal Street, for example. They, too, are contaminated, but they haven’t been designated Significant Woodlands in the City’s own Official Plan, as the Tannery has. The $63 million in tax relief the City is ready to give Patry could be better used there, and on other unforested lands. We CAN have homes and trees if we stop catering to developers and put public interest first. Sincerely, Annabel Mills Kingston Resident Member of No has Clearcuts Kingston
iii) Parks Canada ‘rules’ for waterfront development along the Rideau (Principles for good waterfront development – Rideau Canal National Historic Site (pc.gc.ca)? This situation is complicated because the wetland is contaminated but Nature seems to be doing a pretty good job of burying the contaminants under layers of decaying vegetation. Human intervention with ongoing storm water overflows are interrupting Nature’s work. The overflows need fixing to reduce the problem.
iv) The 220 year old “Grandma Oak” may be within the 30 meter legislated shoreline set back for development.
v) A major problem with this proposal is that it appears to be trying to fit the development design to the site rather than looking at the site and then determining the best design to fit it. More concentrated building along Rideau St. could be a better option, leaving the shoreline for the turtles?
vii) Finally, there is growing recognition globally about the way in which Nature is reclaiming abandoned sites in a remarkable way. A new book entitled“Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape” by Cal Flyn points to the truly remarkable resurgence worldwide of desolate landscapes from Chernobyl to Detroit and including Cyprus, the former Soviet Union, Tanzania, France and others. Re-wilding is becoming a growing global phenomenon with a growing resurgence of endangered species. Nature knows how to heal itself. A quick walk through the Tannery property provides evidence of that.
2. Styrofoam Issue from Third Crossing Received from the Kingstonist, July 29, 2022 – Tori Stafford
As we move closer to the bridge across the expanse of the Cataraqui River becoming a reality, the City of Kingston’s Third Crossing Team has provided an update on the progress and status of the project that touches on items pertinent to local residents. The Third Crossing, to be officially named the Waaban Crossing upon its opening, as of late July 2022. Construction of the bridge, to be officially named the Waaban Crossing upon its opening, began in 2019, and has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to having been classified an “essential infrastructure project” by the Province. According to those with the City of Kingston, the project remains on schedule and on budget, and completion is projected for late fall of this year. Here’s a look at your Third Crossing news for July 2022: Styrofoam issues and clean-up As the snow began to melt earlier this year, those Kingston residents near the Third Crossing construction sites began to notice another fluffy white substance in the area – and not one that got there naturally. Residents on both sides of the Cataraqui River reported bits of Styrofoam along the shorelines and floating atop the water. In an ‘Ask Me Anything (AMA)’ interview with Mayor Bryan Paterson on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, Mayor Paterson was asked about the issue by a viewer. While he said he had just recently learned of the problem – which has reportedly been caused by animals chewing at the Styrofoam buoys suspending the turbidity curtain meant to contain all sediment from the construction – Paterson indicated he knew City of Kingston staff were well aware of the matter, and that he was confident it would be addressed soon (video footage of the full AMA is available on the Kingstonist Facebook page). It should be noted, however, that issues with animals chewing at the very items meant to keep from disrupting natural aquatic life during the construction began long before the spring thaw. Kingstonist first reported on the Styrofoam litter just over a year before the aforementioned comments from Mayor Paterson, and further documented the progress of clean-up efforts in mid-May 2021. Still, according to the latest update from the Third Crossing Team, Paterson’s optimism on this round of clean-up efforts being successful was seemingly well founded. “In mid-June we successfully finished removing all the problematic turbidity curtains, with the final segment removed on Tuesday, June 14. The team finished installation of the new, wildlife-resistant curtains and continued clean-up of the project site, surrounding water and shoreline,” the Third Crossing Team said in an update on Friday, Jul. 29, 2022. “The project team is encouraged that the amount of remaining debris has significantly decreased over the last couple of months. Nevertheless, regular shoreline inspections will continue upstream and downstream along the river, along with any required clean-up. The environmental team will also continue monitoring the project site and surrounding area to protect the wildlife habitat.” The Team indicated that, should residents notice Styrofoam debris at or around the Third Crossing construction site and would like to report it, it is best to take a photo of the Styrofoam that includes a landmark as a reference point – or to include a note on where the Styrofoam is located. Photos and messages about the Styrofoam can be sent to ThirdCrossing@CityofKingston.ca. Kingstonist inquired with the Third Crossing Team about the new turbidity curtains (what they’re made of and if they include Styrofoam), as well as how much Styrofoam was removed from the Cataraqui River and shorelines during the clean-up efforts. No immediate response was received by time of publication. New public input opportunities The July 2022 update also included information on upcoming community engagement opportunities that will allow for public input. The Third Crossing Team hinted at plans for the west shore, noting that the next public engagement opportunity will launch on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. During this, the Team will share “scheduled site restoration plans and landscaping works,” they said in the update. According to the Third Crossing Team, the site restoration and landscaping will include: Planting new trees Building new and enhanced accessible connections to promote active transportation and healthy living Re-vegetating impacted areas Restoring the shoreline More information on the public engagement opportunities will be released in the coming weeks, the Third Crossing Team said, and those wanting to participate can register at the City of Kingston’s Get Involved Kingston website. For more information on the Thurd Crossing project from the City of Kingston, visit their Third Crossing website. Kingstonist will update this article if/when more information on the Styrofoam removal and new turbidity curtains becomes available.” Editor’s Note: For more information on the ongoing problem of very small bits of styrofoam still on the shorelines visit Carl Hanna’s FB page as well as the FB page of River First YGK
FROM FARTHER AFIELD 3. Online publication “Our Lakes” https://ourlakes.ca/data/documents/July-2022-Our-Lakes.pdf This is a really interesting publication for anyone interested in lakes in the Kingston Area. Mabyn Armstrong, formerly of Turtles Kingston, is a regular contributor and we are very grateful that they recently included a poster about our Turtle Awareness Day – that we did in partnership with Turtles Kingston.
4. Lafarge Canada Funds Queen’s University Low-Carbon Concrete Research Business Wire, July 26, 2022. Lafarge Canada is proudly co-funding a low-carbon concrete design research project at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) and providing the company’s specially designed concrete to the initiative. The project, which aligns with the company’s decarbonization strategy and brings together a number of industry partners. Rob Cumming, Head of Sustainability, Lafarge Canada (East) and Abdurahman Lotfy, Innovation & Development Manager, Aggregates & Construction Materials, Lafarge Canada, are quoted.
So, what’s happened in the years since?After more than a decade of research, negotiation, shifting perspectives, goal-setting and law-making, a revised agreement in 1987 highlighted 43 of the most polluted areas in the Great Lakes: 26 in the U.S., 12 in Canada, and five binational “They put a magnifying glass on those 43 areas and had a laser-like focus to bring stakeholders together to cooperate and reach agreement on the problems,” says Hartig. Still, dedicated funding took time. Canada was faster out of the blocks with the Great Lakes Cleanup Fund in the late ’80s (which became the Great Lakes Protection Initiative in 2017). The U.S. didn’t see major dedicated funding until after the millennium. However, by 2019, Canada and the U.S. had spent a total of C$6.5 billion and US$17.5 billion, respectively, to clean up and restore the Great Lakes. It’s a fair amount of money. But if the Great Lakes region were a country, it would have the third largest GDP in the world behind the U.S. and China. The combined US$22.78 billion spent on cleanup over the last 34 years represents less than 0.4 per cent of the annual economic activity generated by this natural resource. And the Great Lakes Commission and Council of Great Lakes Industries estimate these investments will offer a threefold return. In the Toronto region alone, decades of cleanup and collaborative planning “have led to the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront with substantial economic and social benefits,” according to research published in 2020 by Hartig and colleagues — yielding jobs, tourism spending and tax revenues. So far, three Canadian and six U.S. sites have improved enough that they’re no longer listed as areas of concern. “It’s really important to celebrate 50 years and recognize how far we’ve come,” says Hartig. “But, you know, the ultimate goal is sustainability. That’s where we want to be, and we’re not there. So, we’ve got more to do.”