Menu Close

July and August Events 2018

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour
Six upcoming events + serious Issues!
1) Official Opening of Gord Downie Pier:  Breakwater Park, Thurs, July 26, 11-3 pm.  Canada’s first deep water urban swimming pier! The culmination of over 20 years of work, transforming the deteriorating shoreline into a fully accessible public swimming area.  

2) Water Access Group’s Mass Swim 3: Breakwater Park, Sat, July 28, 4 pm. 
Live music with Spencer Evans and the Goat Stepper’s Parade Band. For everyone who loves public water, public space and public spirit. No need to swim, just be there to show your support for a faster rollout of the Waterfront Master Plan.

3) Vision for Kingston’s Huge Yard Sale:
74 Regent St., Sat, July 21, 9 am. 
Help pay the $100,000 OMB legal bill for helping save Kingston’s downtown from inappropriate development.
Stuff to donate?

4) Book Launch@RCHA
“House Beautiful  Terra Cotta Tiles in Kingston Architecture” by Dorothy Farr: 
Thurs July 26, 4-6 pm.  45 minute tour
followed by book signing and refreshments.

5) Princess St. Promenade, Sat, Aug 4, 10-5.

6) Belle Island Clean-Up: 
Caretakers of Belle Island, Sun, Aug 5, noon.  All welcome.
2) To mow or not to mow – That is the question.
3) John Duerkops’ great piece on 9 North St. 
Who would have thought…?
4) Tree Cutting in the Tannery – right now?
5) Accessibility Concerns coming down into the park from North Street
6) Doug Fluhrer Park recognized on the City’s webpage as a premier park?
7) YourTV Public Service Announcement about Doug Fluhrer Park.
8) Residential Licensing Survey
9) Population, Housing and Employment Projections Study
10) Bailey Broom Company ongoing…
11) Water Management Update – Rideau Canal
12) Hawley House in Bath saved – for now.
13) Wellingtonx Recent Survey
a)  Totally unbelievable video of in-the-nest- overwintering hibernating Painted Turtles
How can you actually freeze and then come back to life?
b) Kenny on CKWS!  Yey Kenny!
c) Local road grading destroying turtle nests
d) Warning from Sea Turtle Studies
e) CKWS interview for World Turtle Day
g) Symbiotic Relationship between Snapper and Painted turtles?  Biologists at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station have observed Painted Turtles eating algae and leeches off of Snapping Turtles. During this cleaning behaviour the Painted Turtle gets a meal and the Snapping Turtles benefits from a reduced parasite load. Such a ‘win-win biological interaction is called a symbiosis. To date, this is the only known example of a reptile-reptile symbiosis in the animal kingdom.
Full article available at:
Krawchuk et al. 1997. Observations of a possible cleaning symbiosis between Painted Turtles, Chrysemys picta, and Snapping Turtles, Chelydra serpentina, in central Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist 111(2): 315-317.
g) Susan Irving’s amazing adventure releasing a very large snapping turtle
See the whole story at the end of this update.
2) To mow or not to mow – That is the question.
We have been truly delighted with the cooperation from Damon Wells, Troy Stubinski and Chris Rothwell  in the city’s Public Works department for their help in not mowing in the Doug Fluhrer Park area during turtle hatching and nesting seasons.  Now that both the hatching and nesting seasons are over, mowing is commencing again.  Some community members have come to love the wild flowers and the unmowed sections of the park and trail.  Others are worried about ticks and their dogs and tidy appearance. 
I recently asked Neal Unsworth, Manager of Parks, if it might be possible to have a compromise where the central section in Doug Fluhrer Park between the Wellington St. Extension Right-of-Way and the K&P Trail could be left to nature and here is the reply received:
” Basically the type of seed blend that’s in turf grass, when it grows beyond its structural capacity, hummocks and then we’re sure to get problems with invasives, woody plant structure, litter, needles and dog dirt…so it could be a costly mistake and one that would hurt the future acceptance of the kind of public space planned for the park.  We did city-wide public consultation on this specific subject years ago and as a result of the extensive feedback we received, we were able to solve a lot of the technical challenges of doing it the right way.
You may not recall, in those early consultations on the DFP master plan, we explained that managed meadow grass or wildflower areas in parts require cutting to propagate them.  When we eventually develop the “Articulated Wild”, there will need to be a management plan to go with it that will involve over-seeding or injection of the right seed blends, grass cutting and a litter and invasive management plan plus Public Works will need an associated budget to go along with that.  Grass can be long, but you can’t just let grass grow long on its own.”
Personally I can agree that we don’t want a situation that allows for invasive species like wild parsnip  and those thistles that can become overwhelming.  There is already a small patch of wild parsnip just north of the old stone building known as 9 North St.  But it does seem a bit sad when the butter-and-eggs, the Queen Anne’s Lace and the gorgeous blue corn flowers are all cut down.  I guess in the end, you can’t please everybody.
3) John Duerkop’s great piece on 9 North St.  Who would have thought…?
Would you have believed that the original owner was the great grandfather of today’s media mogul, Ted Rogers?    Read more about the amazing history of this designated heritage property on our webpage:

4) Tree Cutting happening in the Tannery?
As most of you are aware Developer Jay Patry purchased the Tannery property last November and has plans to cut down every tree, cover the property with asphalt and built four six-storey units on the land. I had heard via the grapevine that tree cutting had already begun.
Here is what I received from Greg Newman in the City’s Planning department when I asked him about this issue:
“A tree permit application has been received by the City for limited tree removals on the Tannery property. City Forestry staff visited the property with representatives of the CRCA and the owner’s environmental consultants from XCG Consulting Ltd. in order to confirm the extent of tree removals required. The intent of the permit is to request the removal of approximately 15 trees in order to support additional environmental testing. It’s important to note that there may be additional clearing of trees/shrubs which are not subject to the Tree By-law (i.e., being less than 15cm diameter at breast height) in the vicinity of the trees subject to permitting. Compensation will be required by the City as part of the issuance of the Tree Permit and monitoring of the removals will occur as part of the conditions of the permit.”
5) Accessibility Concerns – the steep path coming down to the park from North Street
The following communication is from Luke Follwell, Director of Parks and Recreation.
“When developing the existing pathway we had to take into consideration the significant underground infrastructure through this right of way.  We were able to achieve very close to 6% which was hard to do.  The paths were deemed exempt under the FADS (Facility Accessibility Design Standard) and AODO (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) as it is/was in a road allowance, subject to all the immovable infrastructure underneath and pinned between property limits” 
Thanks so much also to Don Mitchell for the following additional insights:
” The city is not compelled to meet the OADA until they significantly renovate/rebuild or new-build/construct. This is one of the flaws of the legislation which is you can simply ‘not-touch’ a non-compliant building or public space and there is no legal requirement to meet a level of access for all…..but I’ve come to trust City staff make the best choice given all the information and data…  Positively the plan is to upgrade the path.  It’s just a question of when is optimum for the Community and City to decide.”
6) Doug Fluhrer Park recognized on the City’s webpage as a Premier Park?
Neal Unsworth, Manager of Parks, has agreed that being able to access information about the park on the city’s webpage would be a good idea.  Currently Doug Fluhrer Park is difficult to find on the city’s webpage.  Stay tuned…..

7) YourTV’s 15 second PSA (Public Service Announcement) about Doug Fluhrer Park.
Have a look at this lovely PSA put together by Mike Pontbriand of YOURTV.  It will be airing throughout the summer.  Thanks so much Mike!

8) Residential Rental Licensing Survey
A great new initiative by the city to try and get a handle on the actual number of rental properties in the city to protect both landlords and tenants.
Residents can share their feedback through an online survey available July 10 to 23
Contact: Sukriti Agarwal –
9) Population, Housing and Employment Projections Study
What: An overview of the 2018 study objectives, process and key findings.
An update is conducted every five years as the projections provide the foundation for the City’s long-range land use, transportation, infrastructure and capital expenditure planning. The study was last updated in 2013. This 2018 update is particularly significant as the projections made in 2013 were substantially higher than what Kingston has reportedly experienced, as identified by Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census.
As a result, this projections study will include a thorough analysis as to why the 2016 Census data is at such odds with the 2013 projections. In addition, the 2018 update will provide an analysis of the City’s rental market, including an estimate of the change in student population to forecast the impact on housing demand to 2046. Also included will be an evaluation of employment trends to provide insight into key employment sectors.
When: Tuesday, July 17, 5-7 pm
Where:  INVISTA Centre, 1350 Gardiners Rd.  Presentation at 5:30 pm.
Who:  Consultants – Watson & Associates Economists Ltd.
Contact: Andrea Furniss –
10) Bailey Broom Company ongoing…
This from Greg Newman in Planning:
“There’s not a lot to share on the Bailey Broom file at this point.. The project is still under technical review and items requiring a response have yet to be fully addressed. As such, planning staff are not in a position to advance a recommendation on the proposal. I cannot comment on an anticipated timeline at this point.”

11) Water Management Update – Rideau Canal
The following is from, July 9, 2018

“Parks Canada’s water management team continues to actively monitor water levels and flows, and weather forecasts across the Rideau Canal. These factors are used to determine dam operations on a daily basis for the Rideau Canal. For more information regarding watershed status, please visit the website of your local conservation authority. These are the  Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and the 
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
Weather:  Rainfall amounts for May and June have been below normal. The 14 day forecast suggests continued high temperatures with little to no rainfall in the first six days and some potential rainfall in the 7 to fourteen day range.
Great Cataraqui River: The lack of rainfall and high temperatures is resulting in continued water level declines on the Cataraqui Lakes. Based on the current forecast, the boat draft on the Cataraqui Lakes will decrease. Forecasted draft can be found on the Parks Canada Water Management InfoNet:
12) Hawley House in Bath saved – for now
News from Shirley Bailey of the Frontenac Heritage Foundation:
“We can report very good news from the Monday night Council meeting in Loyalist Township where Council was considering what properties should remain on their municipal register.  You may have read recently that people were very concerned about dropping the Hawley House in Bath from the register.  Kudos to Gus Panageotopoulos for raising awareness about this issue. While some other properties were dropped from the register, Council voted unanimously to keep the Hawley House on the municipal register. 
Kudos also to another FHF board member, Ron Tasker and his wife, Bonnie Cronk, who decided to purchase the Hawley House. Many will recognize these names as the owners of another important heritage building in Bath, the Ham House. Well done!!  Much appreciated.
While I don’t agree with everything stated in this editorial, it is the latest on the issue. 18/07/11/regions-loyalist-heri tage-worthy-of-protection/”
13) Wellingtonx Recent Survey
Attendees at the Skeleton Park Arts Festival were asked two questions:
What do you like most about living in Kingston?
What are you most worried about in Kingston?
Check their webpage for results –
As promised:
Susan Irving’s fun account of the release of a very large snapping turtle:

“Well, I guess that the very heavy rock holding down the already heavy lid on her “rehabilitation” tank should have been an obvious clue…
When I lifted this 10 kilogram snapper into her travel bin for travel to her home wetland for release, she was absolutely placid.  A real easy going gem.  It was simple to lift this sweet turtle and her very large bin in my trunk and close the cargo holder.  The bin had a heavy towel firmly taped in place and came up almost to the cargo holder lid. 
On a hunch, I called Sheila and asked her to accompany me to Verona area for the release.  This turtle was about the biggest snapper I’ve had in my car for release and is the upper limit of turtles that I can safely carry without danger of dropping the turtle.   So having an extra pair of hands, just in case, seemed like a good plan.  It turned out to be a VERY GOOD plan.
Well, our turtle was lovely and calm leaving Napanee but once we got rolling and nearing Kingston to pick up Sheila, she became agitated and I was worried that she was going to lay her 35 eggs, which Leah had seen on xray, in the back of my car. 
In glancing in my rear view mirror, you can imagine my surprise and shock to see a moving bulge was pushing up the heavy nylon cargo cover on my hatchback.  I reassured myself that the turtle had simply pushed against the nice heavy toweling that I had strongly taped to the top of her travel bin and that this was pushing against the cargo cover – although it was alarmingly pointy and moving from side to side.  Imagine my surprise and shock, about 10 minutes from picking up Sheila, in looking in my back mirror again and seeing a huge snapping turtle head emerging from the cargo cover and definitely showing intent to climb right up and out and into the back seat.  Somehow, I managed the traffic lights without crashing up and I pulled over to the side of the road.  Houston, we have a problem…. I took my snow brush and tapped her very big snout until it went down below the cargo cover.  I then drove like hell for home. 
I picked up Sheila, told her that the turtle’s travel bin was definitely not working out as well as I had anticipated.  The plan:  Sheila would drive north and I would stay in the back seat, encouraging (with the help of the snow brush) the very big snout and the very beady reptilian eye to stay beneath the cargo cover.  This worked pretty well but it was stressful.  North of Harrowsmith, I exclaimed, “Oh, shit!” rather loudly, because the large head with the beady eyes AND the very large powerful front claws were all poking well above the cargo cover.  “Help, we need a plan!”.
Sheila pulled into a driveway and a man came out to greet us.  “Help”, I said, ” we have a twenty pound snapper loose in the trunk!”  I decided that it was time to open the trunk and see what we were really up against.  To my relief, the back end of the turtle was still in the travel bin, but she was big enough and determined enough to be heading up and out of the bin.  She had ripped the towel covering the bin to shreds.  We found a big plastic cover with air holes for a woefully inadequate turtle bin in my trunk and the man ran and got some cord.  We tied that lid on top of that bin so thoroughly, and with so many knots, the turtle and her bin lacked only sufficient postage to be ready for Canada Post shipment overseas.   Phew.  We thanked the man for his rope and his knowledge of knots.  Off we went.  Getting closer to home water in Verona.
Scratch, claw, hiss, hiss.  “Oh, shit, she’s coming out and over the top again”.  I kept the snow brush “encouraging” the snout to stay low and she kept hissing.  Our new but not improved updated book of maps was not helping us find suitable waterways in Verona area – well, they were on the map, but didn’t seem to pan out on the ground.  None of us were exactly relaxed or having a good time….
We finally saw a gravel road leading promisingly to a private cottage.  “Take it!”, I shouted.  Zoom, into the driveway.  The owners were clearly into July 1 Party Mode but were Friendly.  “Hello”, I said, “I’m from Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre”.  “We love Sandy Pines”, the jolly owner exclaimed over his beer,  “I’m happy to give you money…!”.
“I’ll take your money”, I said, “but I have a snapping turtle in my trunk that I need to release.  Do you have water access where I can put her down so that she can walk into the water by herself?”  “Absolutely” the man replied.  Sensing that help was at hand (or by now too exhausted to care), our snapper was the epitome of politeness and gentility as I carried her (without any cover on her bin) to the water’s edge.  After quieting down the fairly enthusiastic group of reveling guests who were on the waterside deck and their 3 friendly but too enthusiastic dogs, we lowered the turtle into very shallow water.  She looked around and stuck out her head.  And quick as that, she pushed off with enthusiasm into the shadowy water depths. 
And that is the end of the release of the 20 pound snapper that shredded my cargo cover.  As for the $20 donation the man gave me – I put it toward alcoholic refreshments for Sheila.  I thought that Sandy Pines would be OK with that. ”
In all honesty I don’t know how it is possible that July has been SO busy.
Looking forward to a quieter August!
Mary Farrar,
President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour