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A number of old industrial heritage buildings and sites still exist in the Inner Harbour area including the Bajus Brewery, the Davis Drydock, 9 North Street, the National Grocer’s Building, the Bailey Broom Company, the Woollen Mill, and Maplehurst, the residence of Thomas Burrowes, the 19th century clerk of the Rideau.

The Queen City Oil Company at 9 North Street and the Bailey Broom Factory have designated heritage status. In addition, a number of locations have a storied past, rich in intangible heritage, such as the sites of the former houses of Molly and Joseph Brant and the Canada Dredge and Dock Company. Thirty-four sites of Aboriginal, French, British, Industrial and Natural Heritage are described briefly in the Tours and Trails section of this web page.  Each year in the first weekend in May, an Inner Harbour tour is conducted as part of “Jane’s Walks” to celebrate some of these sites.

Our Heritage Initiatives:

Davis Tannery Development

Following a last-minute panic when the Patry proposal to develop the Tannery property seemed about to pass Council at the September 9th Council meeting, the following motion was moved by Councillor Glover, seconded by Deputy Mayor Neill, “That Council hereby directs staff to halt the RFP process with respect to the redevelopment of the former Davis Tannery lands.”

The effect of this direction is that the City of Kingston has concluded the RFP process without any award. The City’s option with current owner, Rideau Renewal Inc, expires on December 10, 2014, after which the City will no longer have any rights under the redevelopment agreement for the former Davis Tannery property.

According to John Bolognone, City Clerk – “The City remains committed to seeking solutions for brownfield site redevelopment and confirms that the former Davis Tannery Property remains eligible for tax assistance under the City’s Brownfield Community Improvement Program.”
(For background on this property, see the President’s Report at the 2013 AGM last year.

Davis Dry Dock

DrydockAgain, John Grenville, former employee of Parks Canada, has given us the following information: “Designation of the Davis Dry Dock as a National Historic Site needs to demonstrate that it had a nationally significant impact on Canadian history, or must illustrate a nationally important aspect of Canadian history. This should not be hard to do given its central importance for industry in the Rideau Waterway during the 19th century.
The nomination process is not particularly onerous –

The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour could consider preparing a submission with help from interested community members. It would also be useful to have letters of support from other organizations such as the Kingston Historical Society and the Frontenac Heritage Foundation. We are looking to find members of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour interested in taking this on as a project.

The Outer Station

Considerable controversy currently surrounds this building and its future. Hank Doornekamp of ABNa Investments has stated that he has purchased this heritage property from the Federal Government. Only a few bureaucratic details need to be worked out before he takes possession sometime in 2015! His dream is to take apart the stone section of the building stone by stone and transport it into Doug Fluhrer Park where he will repurpose it as an office building. It is a designated heritage building. Hank feels that the northern part of Montreal St. will not be developed for 100 years and therefore that restoring the building in situ is not worth his while economically. As he will begin work on 9 North Street in September 2015, he would also like to work on the Outer Station at the same time and in the same place. Hank’s work is truly excellent. He is a reputable builder, is interested in history, and has an eye for interesting detail. He would do an excellent job. Questions remain:

  1. He wants to build in Doug Fluhrer Park. Many community members are opposed to him building in a park – period! However, he has suggested that he would give the City more parkland from his Woolen Mill property than he would use in the development. He will give a wide ribbon of waterfront park land that he owns at his Woolen Mill property immediately north. The community remains divided about this.
  2. Some community members feel that it would be better to let the building rot in site than move it.