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January 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
It’s looking like a really exciting year ahead!
I’m struggling to type one-handed with my broken wrist. 
Thankfully the cast comes off Jan 16!

1) Traditional Algonquin Birch Bark Canoe Build –
Exciting New Living History Project with Chuck Commanda!

2) Cataraqui Boatyard Project – Living History Long-Term!
3) The City’s Climate Change initiative
4) Sister Org’s Petition for Stone Dust Paths – Deadline Jan 20
5) Density by Design – Building Heights in Kingston
6) Welcome to my Neighbourhood – new online tool
7) A Few Words about the Tannery Project
8) Turtle Pics from the Amazing Work Completed Last Season

1) Traditional Agonquin Birch Bark Canoe Build –
Exciting New  Living History Project with Chuck Commanda!

We are especially thrilled to have received a grant from the city’s Heritage Fund to pay Chuck Commanda, Algonquin Traditional Knowledge Keeper, to lead a community build of a traditional Algonquin birch bark canoe in Doug Fluhrer Park this April!  So far we are partnering with the Limestone Board’s alternative Indigenous High School (The River Program), with RMC’s Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY), and with Indigenous Programming at Joyceville Minimum and Henry Trail Halfway House.  Planning is in the early stages.
Sadly we didn’t get the Community Foundation grant we applied for to cover costs for possible workshops and activities for the official launch day (Sat, June 13) related to learning about Algonquin culture.  We will try and find funds elsewhere – not sure where? It is really hard to find funding!
If you have suggestions for possible sources of funding we would truly welcome them.
And if you would like to help out personally, donations are always welcome to the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour through Canada Helps.
Last but not least – If any of you would like to help out with the organization and content of possible launch day activities do contact Mary at or 613-544-1246.
We will be putting together some sort of organizing committee towards the end of January.
One exciting offshoot: Chuck Commanda will be partnering with renowned canoeist, James Raffan (, to use the canoe as part of an educational display on Exploration to be held at the Science Rendezvous at the Leon’s Centre this May.
To see some great pics from his past summer build at Murphy’s Point, check out this link.

2) Cataraqui Boatyard Project – Living History Long-Term! In a previous update we mentioned the official launch of this exciting group project – currently a subgroup of the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour.  Members include Joe Calnan, Heritage Boat Builder, Tom Wroe, Co-founder of Metalcraft Marine, Dave Short, Brigantine Inc (Canada’s Original Tall Ship and Summer Camp Program), Andy Soper, renowned  sail maker, Maurice Smith, Curator Emeritus of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, and Dave More, Maritime Historian.  Dave More is the chair of this group. Through living history projects, the broad goal is to celebrate Kingston’s Inner Harbour as  Canada’s oldest continuous boat building location – at least from the time of Count Frontenac – and most probably before.  We are assuming that due to the ideal conditions for boat building in the Inner Harbour (calm waters and the sand spit) most probably the site was also used by Indigenous groups for boat building prior to contact.
We are very excited that the group’s first project (2020) will be the traditional Algonquin birch bark canoe build and that it can act as a vehicle for educating the broader public about Algonquin culture, the incredible art of birch bark canoe building, Canada’s iconic boat.  We are also hoping that community members will have the opportunity to actually get out on the water to see what it feels like.
In the wings for future years are a traditional  “batteau” (for 2021) and ultimately a replica of LaSalle’s boat, “The Frontenac”.  It’s all very exciting.
One final note: We are very happy to announce that members of the group have met with staff from the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes and have reported back that our Living History initiatives are now being seen as complimentary to their efforts rather than as competition.  Great news!  The mayor is also very happy with this new development!

3) The City’s Climate Change Initiative
Received Dec 18, 2019
A new graphic at, which outlines the City of Kingston’s current climate actions, is aimed at inspiring you to make similar changes to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
“One of our strategic priorities is to demonstrate leadership on climate action. We’re taking action and it’s important that we communicate those steps to our residents. That’s what this graphic does. It shows the changes the City is making in a clear and effective way,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
On March 5, the City declared a climate emergency to add urgency to existing plans to reduce its carbon footprint and has since set ambitious targets to reduce GHGs. Council has directed staff to reduce corporate GHG emissions by 15 per cent from 2018 levels by 2022, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. Work on meeting these targets has begun and is highlighted in the new infographic.
“We have so many exciting projects happening across the City and this graphic puts them all in one place. We wanted to let people know about the work we’re doing – and to show them reducing GHGs is about the daily choices we make: how we manage our spaces, what we buy and how we get around the city,” says Julie Salter-Keane, Community Projects Manager.
GHG emissions are changing our climate. Reducing GHGs can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

4) Sister Org’s Petition for Stone Dust Paths – Deadline Jan 20
Brad Diak and his group are hoping for 1000 signatures. They have 500 so far.  A worthy cause to keep sections of city trails more natural!  Have a look.  The petition will be presented to Council Jan 21 so the deadline is Jan 20!

5) Density By Design – Building Heights in Kingston
Received December 12, 2019
The City invites your thoughts!
The city has extended the deadline for input on the Density By Design project’s Issues & Options Report until Jan 31, 2020

  “This project is about making it easier to build density – more mid-rise and taller buildings – in a way that has been agreed upon by Kingston’s residents and the development community,” says Paige Agnew, Director, Planning, Building and Licensing. “Thanks to everybody who has already weighed in! If you are interested in where, when and how taller buildings grow in Kingston, now is the time to speak up.” 
Mid-rise and tall buildings are an efficient way to house more people. When they are located in areas that are already well-serviced by the City, they also help keep the community’s carbon footprint in check.
Do the height mapping exercise and you could win a gift card!
The Density by Design Height Mapping Exercise at asks participants to show where they think the City could encourage buildings in the five height categories, below (please note you must be registered on this site to participate):
4 to 6 storeys
6 to 9 storeys
10 to 15 storeys
15 to 20 storeys
20+ storeys
If you complete the height mapping exercise by Jan. 31, 2020, you will be entered in a draw to win a $25 gift card for the Black Dog Hospitality Group of restaurants.
Read the Report and offer input
The Issues & Options Report, also now available for review and input on the Get Involved site, is the document that lays the groundwork for the Mid-Rise and Tall Buildings Policy, which will guide the development of buildings of more than four storeys. It was the subject of a Nov. 21 open house. Those who offered input there can look for a feedback report to be posted on the site later this month.
“We are working on an executive summary that will speak to some of the recurring concerns and comments we’ve heard so far,” says Agnew. Her team will be meeting with stakeholders through the end of January.
Come talk to us about tall buildings
City Planners will also be available to discuss and receive input on the Issues & Options Report – and where and how tall buildings should grow in Kingston – at these upcoming events:
Climate Change Symposium – Jan. 16 at the Grand Theatre, 218 Princess St.
Two workshops for interested residents set for:
Workshop 1: Wednesday, Jan. 15 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Central Branch (meeting room 1)
Workshop 2: Wednesday, Jan.  22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Invista Centre (meeting room A/B)
Completing the Mid-Rise and Tall Buildings Policy is one of the City’s initiatives to pursue development of all types of housing city-wide through intensification and land-use policies. The initiative falls under the strategic priority to increase housing affordability.
Find out more about this project at

6) Welcome to my Neighbourhood – new online tool
Received Dec 9 from the City of Kingston
Have you been to My Neighbourhood? This interactive online map lets you explore City services, facilities and projects within a selected area of Kingston.
“We are working to make My Neighbourhood a handy tool for everyday use by residents. We are moving forward with our plans to add more data, filters and layers,” says Jeff Bumstead, Chief Information Officer.  The online map makes use of many of the data sets now available in Open Data Kingston’s catalogue (at

Explore My Neighbourhood!
Right now, you can use the interactive My Neighbourhood map to explore and find:
government offices
fire, police and ambulance stations
recreational facilities
your waste collection day and places that sell garbage bag tags
bus stops and parking lots
construction projects
development activity
Find it anytime at

7) A Few Words about the Tannery Project
As you know, Jay Patry, developer, is interested in building 1500 units on the old Davis Tannery site north ofthe Rowing Club in Kingston’s Inner Harbour.  The city is deferring taxes for an unspecified number of years to help him pay the considerable costs associated with the brownfield clean-up.
Clearly the city needs more affordable housing and some sort of development should happen. 
Our concern remains with the shoreline.  We are advocating that the shoreline (where up to 100 turtles bask at any one time during basking season) be left as is with “natural” berms put in place to discourage pedestrians from approaching the shoreline here.  There is a precedent for this on the Ottanabe River in Peterborough. There is lots of water access for residents along the K&P Trail, immediately adjacent to the south.  In addition a bridge will be built crossing over to Belle Park for residents to access the water there.  The particular stretch of shoreline at the Tannery is arguably one of the most stunning small stretches in all of the 200 kms of shoreline the city has.  For a  look check out the kayaking video on our webpage –
Clearly this is a complex eco-system.  And clearly the turtles also have a right to their habitat!
We are looking for a five-way win here – for housing, for pedestrians/cyclists/kayakers as well as for the environment and species-at-risk. We have met with the developer and his team as well as with Parks Canada as well as with City Staff but we seem to be hearing different things from each of them.  We are hoping for a meeting this month where we can all be in the same room and on the same page.  Silos can make life complicated.

8) Turtle Pics from the Amazing Work Completed Last Season

So that does it for now.
Happy New Year,

Mary Farrar,
Friends of Kingston InnerHarbour,