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July Newsletter 2019

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Happy Canada Day!

The picture here below is of Matt and Kenny upping the science of our citizen-science project by working to label turtles as part of a capture/release study where turtles are picked up after they have laid, measured, documented, and letters written on their shells. In this way we hope to get a better idea of turtle demographics. Are we seeing the same turtle multiple times? Or are we seeing different turtles? Thanks so much to both of them and to Lesley Rudy who is doing her MSc on Inner Harbour with Dr. Steve Lougheed at Queen’s All wonderful!

Thanks so much also to Hilbert Buist for the photo. Much appreciated!

1) Water Walk, July 4, 6 pm start with ceremony
3) Use Your Heart to Save Your Footprint, July 6 all day conference

1) Third Crossing Update and Concerns
2) Active Transportation Update and Concerns
3) Province Leaves Door Open to Support Effective Watershed Management.
4) How to Grow a Great Apartment Garden

1) Kingston is National Commuting Champion!
2) Pathways to be Mowed at Belle Park to Encourage Park Usage.
3) Watering Restrictions Now in Effect
4) Survey Invites Public Input on Municipal Discounts, Deadline July 12

1) Water Walk, July 4: 6 pm start with ceremony
In honour of Grandmother Josephine, the water, the environment, and to protest lack of water on the reserve, please join in to take part in this walk from Belle Island to Tyendinaga.
All welcome. Walk for as long as you feel comfortable. This is a relay walk beginning at Belle Island with ceremony at 6 pm and ending the following morning at Tyendinaga.
Lots of places between Belle Island and Tyendinaga where you can join in for as long as you wish.
More info?

2) DRINK BEER SAVE TURTLES, July 5: 4-7 pm
Only a few tickets left for this fun event at Spearhead Brewery on Development Drive!
Register to reserve spots for you and your friends.
Free beer tasting, free brewery tour, live auction, live music and if you buy a beer glass with Mike Cole Hamilton’s great cartoon, Spearhead will throw in a free beer!
Don’t drink beer? No problem. Non-alcoholic drinks also available along with great pizza!

3) Use Your Heart to Save Your Footprint¬if_id=1561672407699674

1) Third Crossing Update and Concerns
The following was submitted by former city councillor, Vicki Schmolka, who attended a Third Crossing “Near Neighbourhood Meeting” earlier this month
“The city held two evening meetings last week to update neighbourhood residents on the east and west sides of the river about the next steps in construction work for the Third Crossing. There have been two major changes to the plans:
1) The bridge design has been changed to a pillar design with arches only on the east side to accommodate river traffic.
2) The temporary bridge used as a platform from which to build the bridge is proposed to be made by loading stone into the river – approximately 80,000 cubic metres, requiring about 8,000 dump trucks, with a trestle gap at the east side to maintain river traffic. The stone above the riverbed will be removed after construction and used on each shoreline.
Noise and site protection fencing will be put up soon. Trees and buildings on the west side of the river have been cut to prepare the area for equipment storage. Trees on the east side of the river will be cut in August. If anyone has a use for the east-side timber or can propose a re-use tied to the bridge design – Benches? Wood sculptures? – the city expressed interest in hearing from them. Contact Holly Wilson at
Public consultations on the environmental impact of the final bridge design are likely to take place in August. A staff report is likely to go to Council in September.
Meeting attendees were told the project is still on budget.”

Concerns were also raised by local citizen, Frank Dixon, about the design change, the huge amount of rock needed for the temporary rock bridge, its cost and concerns about openness and public transparency. Here is the reply from Mark Van Buren, the City of Kingston’s Director of Engineering:

” The project team will be hosting Public Open Houses this summer as part of the Parks Canada Detailed Impact Assessment (DIA). At these meetings the team will cover aspects of the project including the bridge design evolution and the construction access methods to be used for the project. This will be an opportunity for the public to learn more about the project, our work with Parks Canada and to talk with the project team, including our subject matter experts, and offer comments on the Parks Canada Detailed Impact Assessment report.

Your questions related to the temporary rock causeway will be part of further information the team will share with respect to the construction access method during the Public Open Houses in the summer. In short, the project team has evaluated several different construction access methods that can be used to support the bridge construction and reflect the environmental considerations of the river. The use of a temporary rock causeway is deemed to be the best approach that balances several considerations including technical feasibility, cost, construction duration, environmental impacts, and worksite safety. The project team has also planned for the re-use of this material for the construction of the approach roads on both the west shore and the east shore leading to the bridge crossing…

It is important to note all procurement activities as part of the construction of the Third Crossing are now governed under the contractual agreement with Kiewit/Hatch/SYSTRA and not through the city’s purchasing requirements. Kiewit has already sought competitive pricing through an RFP process with local companies for acquiring, transporting and placing the required amount of rock aggregate needed for the temporary construction causeway. Since this element of the work is still subject to vendor negotiations I can only provide you with a rough estimate of anticipated cost which is valued at approximately $5-6m…. ”

FKIH’s overriding concern other than cost overrun is the environment. We’re wondering how all of this rock input and output can be happening when small boats are not allowed to moor in the Inner Harbour because of concerns that anchors will disturb the heavy metals in the silt that rests on top of the clay base. Surely deposition of such a huge pile of rock will cause huge disturbance to that contaminated silt? Also it seems odd that a total reworking of the design seems to have happened without public input. It appears that the public meeting in August will simply be to inform the public about decisions that have already been made behind closed doors. We are honestly concerned about openness and transparency on this file.

2) Active Transportation Update and Concerns

The five-year Active Transportation Implementation Plan identifies cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, programming, and operational investments to foster a culture of active transportation in Kingston. The plan prioritizes improvements to create an integrated city-wide active transportation network, identifies opportunities to develop neighbourhood-level connections and outlines plans for programming and policy initiatives.
The Implementation Plan transforms Kingston’s Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) into action. The ATMP introduced the concept of city-wide and neighbourhood level infrastructure, and recognized that these two components are equally important in achieving the City’s long-term goal of having at least 20 percent of all trips within the City using active transportation. This Implementation Plan provides specific details outlining the infrastructure, neighbourhoods, programs and initiatives to be implemented over the next five years. These efforts will collectively move the City closer to its long-term modal vision and goals.
A draft of the Active Transportation Implementation Plan is available for review and comment until July 19th.
If you have questions, here is the link:
In my personal opinion there are truly many wonderful things in this plan. However I remain particularly concerned about the pedestrian and cycling overpass that our group proposed to go over John Counter Blvd and the railway – east of the current Division St. road bridge. We were assured that an EA for the proposed overpass would be included in the first five year plan and we can’t seem to find it in the proposed timeline. We believe it should be included in Table 4 on pages 24 and 25. This overpass is hugely important for connecting the Rideau Heights and Kingscourt neighbourhoods and for joining the two separated portions of the K&P Trail. What is included in Table 4 is the connection of the Third Crossing going south on that part of the K&P Trail. But that should not to be confused with the overpass. We sincerely hope that the EA for the overpass will be planned and budgeted for in the 2020 budget.

3) Province Leaves Door Open to Support Effective Watershed Management.
Responding to Stakeholder Concerns, on June 6th, the Province has left a Door Open to Support Effective Watershed Management
Working with Province and Municipalities to Address Gaps in the Conservation Authorities Act.

From Conservation Ontario Staff:
“On June 6th, the Provincial government passed Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act which includes amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act. Our concern has been that these amendments don’t fully capture the watershed management approach. This would seriously jeopardize the conservation authorities’ ability to delivery on municipal and provincial environmental priorities such as flood management, drinking water protection and climate change adaptation.

Other stakeholders agreed with us, including agencies, concerned citizens and many municipalities and their influence has had an impact. The Province has left a door open to revisit and possibly add to the list of mandatory programs and services which were just passed.

While the Province did not add another priority (Conserving Natural Resources ‘aka watershed management’) as requested by Conservation Ontario and the conservation authorities (CAs), they did agree that the suggested list of mandatory programs and services may not fully capture all the elements needed for an effective watershed-based approach and, as a result, they’ve included a clause to address possible gaps through regulation. Careful consideration of what is included in this regulation could bring greater consistency to conservation authority programs and result in better service outcomes.

So now the next stage of work begins. Conservation Ontario and the conservation authorities will now work with the Province and municipalities to review and confirm that the necessary elements for effective watershed management are included in the existing roster of mandatory programs and services or propose additional mandatory programs or services to the Province to incorporate via regulation to fill any gaps.

4) How to Grow a Great Apartment Garden

“A few months ago, my roommate Alex and I had a revelation. As we were hauling overfilled bags of garbage down the hall to the disposal for the third time that week, it hit us: How were four people producing this much garbage?

Our three-bedroom apartment west of Toronto had no compost bin. Our kitchen blue bins were often overflowing with recycling, but it made little difference to the amount of trash. Single-use plastic made up a large part of our weekly garbage run and a lot of it came from packaging for produce. We decided to begin growing our own food.

Most people think that cultivating a garden in an apartment is impossible, especially being eight floors up. Some buildings have strict rules — ours says you can’t hang things off the balcony. But finding workarounds was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.

We started by creating our own vermicompost bin, which uses worms to compost food scraps. But we quickly realized how much fertilizer the worms were producing. We considered dumping it in a local forest or the flower beds outside our apartment, but decided instead to create a garden of our own.

We ran out to the store the next day, filling our cart with seeds, small compostable pots and a shovel. We began with 10 seed-filled pots sitting on our kitchen windowsill, which we watered every day with a spray bottle. We killed four within the week, but we replanted and adjusted. From over-watering to too much sun, we had to watch our emerging plants like hawks.

Within three weeks, we had 10 little seedlings, including lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, snap peas, mint, basil, a dwarf sunflower … as well as catnip for our feline friend, Dave.

Never having had much of a green thumb, my roommate and I had plenty of pots from previously owned (and accidentally killed) house plants. This proved beneficial around three weeks later. The plants had become too big and needed to be transferred to new homes.

Soon, we were obsessed. With the leftover pots, we planted more. Some wildflowers for the bees, another sunflower. We even started to plant and regrow the vegetables we were buying from the store.

We moved the plants outdoors the weekend after Victoria Day, putting them in metal and compostable planters hanging on the inside of our balcony. A few weeks later, we bought a wooden ladder and hung pots from it for the flowers. Thirteen weeks after we first had the idea, our once-empty balcony was filled with blooming life.

Soon, the benefits of our garden will be reaped and we will have delicious, fresh food — with no waste in sight.

— Taylor Logan

An apartment garden cheat sheet:
Use the space to your advantage. If you have a balcony, hang planters. If you have a large enough windowsill, keep your plants there. Consider vertical planters to conserve space. Be creative.
If you don’t have enough lighting or lack a balcony, consider using grow lights for mini greenhouses.
If you lack the funds for such equipment, grow veggies that thrive in shady areas (e.g. lettuce, carrots, garlic, potatoes).
For overly sunny apartments, grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans and corn.
Watch how your plants grow. If they’re wilting, water them. If they start to lose their colour, give them more light. To grow a successful garden, you have to pay attention to what your plants are saying to you.


1) Kingston is National Commuting Champion!
KINGSTON, ONT./June 17, 2019
The results are in…and they’re definitive. Kingston is the Commuter Challenge champion!
Thanks to the awesome support of residents, Kingston had the highest percentage of Commuter Challenge participants in Canada, and the second highest number of participants in the entire country after Winnipeg, Man. – a city with over six times Kingston’s population.
“I am amazed at how the community came together to accomplish this incredible feat,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson, who helped champion the cause.
Commuter Challenge is an annual, friendly competition held the first week of June that invites participants to leave their vehicles at home and walk, bike, bus, roll, tele-commute or carpool to work. Residents will recall that, at the start of the Challenge, Kingston entered into a friendly competition with Thunder Bay. This northern Ontario city upset Kingston’s five-year run in 2018, as the medium-sized city with the highest percentage of participants.
Mayor Paterson will be sending a Kingston flag and t-shirt to Thunder Bay’s Mayor Bill Mauro, who will wear the t-shirt and fly the flag to honour a wager set at the beginning of the competition. “I think the friendly competition with Thunder Bay helped to motivate us,” says Mayor Paterson. “Both cities pushed until the very end, and I think we showcased the difference smaller cities can make when we dedicate ourselves.”
“Our competitive nature isn’t the only factor driving participation,” guesses Mayor Paterson. “I believe a lot of residents are increasingly concerned for the environment and looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint. For a lot of Kingstonians, commuting is a great way to make a personal impact.”
Fast numbers:
1,572 people registered
96 workplaces participated
19,211 kg of emissions were avoided, which is equivalent to taking four cars off the road for an entire yea

2) Pathways to be Mowed at Belle Park to Encourage Park Usage
“KINGSTON, ONT./June 20, 2019
Crews will soon be at Belle Park to improve the park user experience by mowing approximately one kilometre of grass paths in the park’s interior. The mowing is a low-impact approach to improving the 80-acre waterfront park and allow for more active use of the park.
“This initiative is expected to allow park users an improved way to use the site and enjoy its natural summer beauty,” says Neal Unsworth, manager, parks development.
The Belle Park Master Plan, currently in development, suggests a phased approach to long-term improvements on the 80-acre site, which include increased areas for naturalization and options for recreational activities near the clubhouse and Montreal Street. The mown pathways will follow a layout similar to the long-term proposed pathways in the master plan.
Located at 731 Montreal St., Belle Park is open dawn to dusk and is accessible by Kingston Transit and the urban K&P Trail. Learn more about the park at ”

3) Watering Restrictions Now in Effect
“KINGSTON, ONT./June 17, 2019
With recent heavy and frequent rain falls, residents may not be thinking about watering lawns and gardens. But, with drier months ahead, Utilities Kingston wants the community to be aware that seasonal watering restrictions are in effect from June 15 to Sept. 15. During this time, residents and businesses with odd-numbered addresses may water on odd-numbered days, while evens may water on even-numbered days.
This precaution is in place to ensure reliable supply for adequate water reserves and pressure, and fire protection. It also helps manage the need to expand water treatment infrastructure.
The City of Kingston’s Water Bylaw allows residents and businesses to:
Use a hand-held hose, can or bucket any time on their scheduled day
Use a sprinkler between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on their scheduled day
Use water from their rain barrel anytime!
Julie Runions, Manager of Water and Wastewater Treatment explains: “While rains have been heavy and frequent, drier months are ahead. Water and wastewater treatment infrastructure is built to handle peak demand times. During summer months, we use the most treated water from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reducing use during these times delays the need to expand pumping stations and treatment facilities, while also ensuring adequate supply for fire protection.”
Reducing outdoor water use also reduces the pollutants that end up in the lake. This is because much of the water from sprinklers and hoses (such as, from washing cars) runs off into the storm sewer, picking up pollutants that end up in Lake Ontario, Kingston’s source of drinking water.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to practice water-wise gardening to make every rain drop count. Using a rain barrel, following best watering practices, amending soil with organic content, and incorporating drought tolerant plants are just some of the sustainable practices that help reduce treated water use – all with beautiful results.
Take a free tour of the Utilities Kingston Water Conservation Garden at 1211 John Counter Blvd., participate in a free Everything Drainage workshop, or check out online resources. Utilities Kingston’s conservation team is here to help, just call 613-546-0000 and say ‘conservation’.
Sometimes new yards, shrubs and trees need water at times outside the schedule and that’s why Utilities Kingston offers exemption permits.

Visit to learn more about exemption permits, how to conserve water and money, and when you can use outdoor treated water. The web resource is complete with a dynamic indicator that explains when residents and businesses can use hoses versus sprinkling devices, as well as many resources on water wise gardening.”

4) Survey Invites Public Input on Municipal Discounts
“KINGSTON, ONT./June 26, 2019
The City of Kingston wants your input on how to make municipal discounts available to more people living in poverty.
Currently, the City provides income-based and age-based discounts.
“Through public consultation in 2017, we learned 76 per cent of respondents supported raising the income threshold so more people could qualify for income-based discounts,” says Cheryl Hitchen, manager of social policy and strategic community development with the City.
That consultation also found that 28 per cent of respondents were against discontinuing age-based discounts in order to fund these changes.
‘So now, the question is, financially, how should we go about making income-based discounts available to more people living in poverty?’
We need your help!
All residents are invited to read a short backgrounder about municipal discounts and complete a survey that aims to answer how the City should finance raising the income threshold for income-based discounts.
The survey is available on or residents can pick up a paper version of the survey at a library, City recreation facility, City Hall, Kingston Housing and Social Services at 362 Montreal St. or the Seniors Association at 56 Francis St.
“I want to thank every individual who takes the time to complete the survey. Municipal discounts were created for our community, and so when it comes to their future, we need input from the community,” says Hitchen.
The survey closes July 12 at 4 p.m.
More about municipal discounts
Municipal discounts were created to ensure people in our community living in lower-income households have access to City programs and services. The City currently provides age-based discounts and income-based discounts. Municipal discounts are separate from discounts offered by businesses as well as other programs, like the high school and post-secondary transit pass programs. Council’s decision would affect discounts to City-operated services like Kingston Transit and recreational programs.”

So there we have it.
Wishing you all a very happy July with lots of sunshine.
Mary Farrar
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour