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July Update 2019

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Truly hope you have all been having a wonderful summer. 
I am a bit late with my mid-July update because I have been utterly enthralled to be part of an Indigenous Algonquin canoe build at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park an hour north of Kingston for the past two weeks.  Such amazing skill.  I am so grateful to all involved – especially Chuck Commanda and Jonathan Goldnen – but also all of the amazing park staff. Thank you all so much.

1. Very Serious Concerns about Turtle Habitat and the Third Crossing
2. Sampling water at Molly Brant Point with goal of swimming there!
3. Legal Art Wall finally here as ten month Pilot Project.
4. On the Subject of Trees
5. Downtown Campus for St. Lawrence College in North Block?
6.  Sustainable Kingston Partnership to consider Plastic Free Summer
7. Online Survey on Utilities Kingston’s Hydro Plans
8. Deep Water Dock
9. Sip and Paddle, July 23
10. Belle Park Master Plan document online – deadline July 26
11. Walk N’Roll Kingston – Draft Active Transportation 5-Year Plan
12. Cataraqui Boatyard Project

1.  Very Serious Concerns about Turtle Habitat and the Third Crossing
As you know, we have upped the science of our citizen-science program this season by instituting both capture/release and radio-telemetry protocols. You may have seen one or more of the 120+ turtles with white lettering on their backs (See photo attached).  Amazingly enough, recently one of these marked turtles was observed in the quarry off Hwy 15 on the east side of the river.  We had no idea that they traveled so far!  This would be 3 kms as the crow flies – but most probably quite a bit further. 
See Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour Facebook page for more!
We are also currently gathering data about turtle range on six turtles who will have antennae glued to their backs.  We have been lent a motor boat and Matt and Kenny are going out in the boat with a receiver to document where these turtles are going after they have laid their eggs.  Quite likely the range extends to both sides of the Great Cataraqui River both above and below the Third Crossing.
As a result we are increasingly concerned about:
a) disruption of turtle habitat with the Third Crossing initiative, as well as ongoing concerns about
b) why the bridge design was changed with no public input, and
c) why the temporary floating bridge design for purposes of construction was changed to a huge amount of rock being put in for a different temporary bridge that will inevitably disturb the heavy metals at the bottom of the river.  Residents keep asking me – How come sailboats can’t anchor in the Inner Harbour because of these concerns, whereas the much more serious temporary rock bridge is being allowed?
We have contacted Susan Miller of Parks Canada in the Smith’s Falls office about our concerns as well as Holly Wilson of the city’s Third Crossing team. We are still awaiting a response from Parks Canada but here is Holly Wilson’s response from the city:
“Thank you to all those who attended our recent near neighbour meetings in June, this was our sixth near neighbour meeting we’ve held since the Kiewit / Hatch / SYSTRA team was selected in August 2018. These near-neighbour meetings and our broader engagement continue to be important community touch points for us; both to provide the latest information and to answer your questions on how we’re moving forward.
The last FKIH newsletter talked about some of the information we presented at our June near-neighbour meetings. The City has been working over the last several months with Parks Canada on the development of our environmental work through the submission of a Detailed Impact Assessment. As part of this work with Parks Canada we will be presenting and engaging residents with different public engagement opportunities, including two open houses (dates to be confirmed shortly) and the ability to submit comments online through the City’s Get Involved platform. 

At the open houses we will be providing the information from the June near neighbour meetings as well as more detailed analysis on our environmental considerations. We will walk people through our detailed considerations and analysis as it relates to how we’re going to construct the bridge, mitigate against any potential impacts while protecting wildlife and the Rideau Canal. I also wanted to reiterate that we are in an extensive environmental regulatory process, the most comprehensive level of assessment of environmental review under Parks Canada. It’s with this stringency of environmental consideration and protection that we’re analyzing and engineering the environmental aspects of our project including the aspects raised in the FKIH newsletter with respect to contaminated sediments.
In the evolution of the bridge design and construction access, we chose to hold near neighbour meetings to bring this information forward initially because those are the communities closest to the work we’re doing. In addition to holding near neighbour meetings we have been putting the presentations from those meetings and the questions and responses on our project website for the broader community to review as well. We have and will continue to respond to any and all resident questions.

With respect to public engagement and consultation generally speaking, we have been talking to the community on this project for nearly 10 years through the various stages since 2009, the start of the provincial Environmental Assessment. Over that time we have consulted and engaged the community in various forms. We hear your comments and continue to value the dialogue we have with you and others along the way. We encourage you to review the material on our website and stay connected with the project as we move into the next phases. Thank you for the opportunity to provide some information and context here.
Contact: Holly Wilson (
Third Crossing Project Team”

2.  Sampling water at Molly Brant Point with goal of swimming there!
Here is the interesting message received from FKIH member Annie Clifford:

“New neighbours, Dr. Laura Thomson and Dr. Chris Omelon and I have started sampling the water in the Cataraqui River, at Molly Brant point, with an eye to swimming there in the future.  This email is to tell you all about it, and to ask you to consider making a donation to the cost of these samples.
We spoke with our friends at Swim Drink Fish Canada about how to begin even thinking about swimming in this former industrial area.  They suggested we look into what might be in there, compile one season’s worth of water tests, and take it from there.  
So we reviewed a number of frightening papers about pollution from the Tannery lands, from Belle Park, and from the sewers draining into the Cataraqui River.  We compiled a long list of chemicals, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and nasty little bacteria that might be in the water and in the riverbed sediment.  We met with our friends at the Beaty Water Research Centre to discuss best sampling procedures.  And last week we started…
The Beaty Centre has kindly offered to run the biological samples for free, and to run the other samples at their cost. We are hoping to fundraise about $675 to cover the cost of the water samples. 
Swim Drink Fish has kindly offered to administer donations for us, and can issue a tax receipt for any donations you may wish to contribute. 
If you would like to donate and receive a charitable tax receipt, please follow this link to the Swim Drink Fish CanadaHelps donation page:
At the option to “apply your donation to a specific fund”, select “Kingston Monitoring Fund”.  This will earmark your donation for our sampling of the Cataraqui River.
Alternately, please feel free to drop a cheque made out to Swim Drink Fish Canada to my office in the Sanctuary (formerly the Queen Street United Church) at the corner of Queen and Clergy Streets in Kingston.  The address is 221 Queen Street, Kingston, but the doors are on Clergy.
Later this year, Dr. Omelon will take sediment samples from the riverbed.  Please let me know if you would like to help us with possible costs related to those tests, or if we have a surplus of funds donated, we will put the extra towards future sampling.
We hope to have a public information session this November, to share the results of these tests and talk about next steps.  Let me know if you’d like to be kept in the loop about that – and in the meantime, here’s to swimming at Molly Brant Point!
Annie Clifford”

3. Legal Art Wall finally here as ten month Pilot Project
We are really happy that this is happening!
Here is the message received from the city on July 10, 2019
“The City has officially launched its Street Art Wall pilot project that establishes the Rideaucrest retaining wall adjacent to Douglas Fluhrer Park as a temporary legal wall available for use by the community to create street art and murals. The Street Art Wall is open now and will be accessible until the end of April 2020. 
Approved by Council in March 2019, the Street Art Wall pilot project supports the City of Kingston’s Public Art Master Plan that fosters the creation of temporary public art and street art to engage people in the visual arts in different forms across the city. For the purposes of this pilot project, the City has waived Section 4.17 of the Property Standards Bylaw 2005-100 that states “written slogans and graffiti on the exterior of any building, wall, fence or structure shall be prohibited, including painted or chalked titles or messages.” This waiver applies only to the retaining wall and Section 4.17 of the Property Standards Bylaw 2005-100 remains in effect for the rest of the city.
“We’re excited to launch this pilot project that supports the creation of street art as a form of artistic expression,” says Danika Lochhead, manager, arts and sector development. “We’ve established the wall as a legal space for street art to provide an exciting new and open platform that will add to the vibrancy of the area, and present and celebrate the work of local artists and their community over the next 10 months.”
The City has developed guidelines for the use of the wall to promote a positive experience for artists, park visitors and local residents. The wall is self-regulated and managed by the community; however, the City will monitor the project on an ongoing basis to assess how the wall is being used and to ensure compliance with the guidelines. Following the conclusion of the pilot project, City staff will report back to Council on the results, which will also be used to assess the need to develop an Integrated Street Art Plan as a component of the City of Kingston’s Public Art Master Plan.
Participants are encouraged to document their artwork and share on social media platforms using the hashtag #YGKStreetArtWall.
For more information on the Street Art Wall pilot project and to review guidelines and frequently asked questions, go to:
For more information about the City’s Public Art Program, go to:
Sign up for the Kingston Public Art newsletter.

4. On the Subject of Trees
Margeret Hughes sent along the following link that is a pretty good summary of how planting trees can make a difference.
Also just in case you haven’t already seen it, do take a break and watch this wonderfully soothing and inspiring documentary – The Forgotten Wisdom of trees.

5.  Downtown Campus for St. Lawrence College in North Block?

I will leave it up to you to decide what you think of this.  There are many pros and cons.  Personally I would prefer to see it take over Providence Manor on Sydenham St. but this is a gut reaction.  In all honesty, I haven’t had the time to really consider this proposal and I’m not sure what has transpired since the July 9 Council meeting. Apologies. 
Here is an earlier message from the city.
“On Tuesday, July 9, council will consider a report that outlines a proposal for the City and St. Lawrence College (SLC) to partner on the creation of a downtown campus on what is now the Frontenac Lot across from the Leon’s Centre – also known as Block 4 of the North Block
“The proposed partnership to redevelop this North Block property at King Street and The Tragically Hip Way would seek an SLC campus that would incorporate:
an experiential learning and work environment focused on hospitality, culinary and tourism programming, public parking and a public art installation…..
Considerable planning work has been completed for the Frontenac Lot as part of the North Block Study and Design in the last 10 years and will help with the development of an SLC downtown campus if council opts to proceed,” says Lanie Hurdle, the City’s acting CAO. “This collaboration realizes the shared objectives of both organizations to support the economic growth and prosperity of the Kingston Community.”
In 2013, council endorsed some key development principles for Block 4, that align with the potential development of an SLC campus on the site, including:
Development proposals with uses that include a mix of residential type uses, hotel with associated conference space, and ground floor commercial uses;
Development proposals to be built to a maximum height between six and 18 storeys, subject to the planning approvals required for the site, including an urban design study and Heritage Impact Statements to provide the rationale;
Development proposals include developer ownership and restoration of the heritage buildings at 19-23 Queen St.
If the report’s recommendation is approved by council, City staff will initiate discussions with St. Lawrence College on establishing a downtown campus on this site based on these development principles.
In 2017, council approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and St. Lawrence College to strengthen the relationship and advance collaboration efforts to realize shared objectives that support economic growth and prosperity.
Through its strategic planning process in February 2019, Council reaffirmed its commitment to its partnership with SLC to enable the development of a downtown campus that would focus on tourism, hospitality and the culinary arts.”

6.  Sustainable Kingston Partnership to consider Plastic Free Summer
The following was received from the City on July 4, 2019
“Summer— it’s the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. If you’re looking for a way to give back to the natural environment, consider taking part in the Plastic-Free Summer Challenge!
From July 4 to Sept. 4, the City of Kingston and Sustainable Kingston invite you to examine daily (and holiday) habits and take steps to reduce your reliance on single-use plastics.
Single-use plastics, commonly referred to as SUPS, are normally used only once before being discarded. Because of their use, size or materials, they are not easily recycled. These are items like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, coffee pods, and take-out and retail food packaging. 
“Summer is a busy time. People are on the go, and single-use plastics seem like an easy option. Through this campaign, we will highlight simple ways to reduce single-use plastic waste,” says Kristin Mullin, the executive director of Sustainable Kingston.
Mullin is quick to point out this campaign is not about wagging fingers. “The goal of the Plastic-Free Summer Challenge is to share ideas and inspire action.” 
The entire community can take part in this challenge—whether you’re an individual, business, workplace or participating as a family!
“We hope the habits people develop through this challenge will remain with them year-round,” adds Mullin.
By registering and participating in the challenge, your name will be entered into a weekly draw for a chance to win great prizes! 
To participate:
Register at
Take steps to reduce your use of single-use plastics. Already doing great things? Proceed to the next step!
Share your actions and tips using #PlasticFreeYGK. Don’t forget to tag @SustainableKtwn”

7. Online Survey on Utilities Kingston’s Hydro Plans
The following was received from the city on July 3, 2019
Kingston Hydro and Utilities Kingston want you to share your input on their electricity plans, July 3-17, by completing a brief online survey.  Go to and follow the link to the survey.
See inside Substation #1
Linked to the web page is a five-minute video that offers an overview of the proposed areas of focus, starting in 2021, to improve the safety and reliability of the Kingston Hydro electricity distribution system, while reducing the number of power outages to customers in central Kingston.  The video offers a look at seldom-seen infrastructure, including underground downtown transformer vaults and the inside of Substation #1 at King and Queen streets.
Since the end of May, Utilities Kingston has been providing this and other opportunities for consumers to be informed and provide feedback on the reliability of the Kingston Hydro electricity distribution system and the spending decisions Utilities Kingston will make.
Kingston Hydro’s electricity distribution area is operated by the employees of Utilities Kingston.  Its five-year electricity distribution plan will help determine the company’s priorities and rates beginning in 2021 and will be submitted to the Ontario Energy Board. All feedback provided through this engagement will be included with the application.
The project team will be discussing and will be seeking feedback on:
a)    as-of-right development permissions within the various neighbourhood and zones in the Study Area and determine which elements should remain, change, or be included in the new framework to preserve neighbourhood character;
b)    proposed intensification areas based on the identified intensification criteria; and
c)    form/scale of intensification that may be appropriate within intensification areas and key measures which are appropriate for transition between the proposed intensification areas and existing neighbourhoods.
 For project background, please visit the project website:

8. Deep Water Dock
Apologies again that I haven’t had the time to digest this (summer being way too much fun!) but here is the link:

9. Sip and Paddle, July 23
What: Fun evening out on the water followed by social get-together
Who: Hosted by Kingston Young Professionals, KIngston Economic Development Corporation &Trailhead
Where:  Doug Fluhrer Park
When: Tuesday, July 23, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
NOTES:Cost $30.  Registration through

10. Belle Park Master Plan document online – deadline July 26
If you have any comments on the document, it can be provided through Get Involved Kingston until July 26, 2019.

The Belle Park Master Plan is expected to be presented to the arts, recreation and community policies committee at a special meeting Sept. 4.
Engagement summaries from May meetings are also online.
Contact:  Chanda Sames –

11. Walk N’ Roll Kingston – Draft Active Transportation 5-Year Plan
The following was received from the city on June 25.
“The City has published the draft Active Transportation 5-Year Implementation Plan (ATIP) for public review. Residents are invited to read the document and offer any feedback they have by sending an e-mail to or through the Get Involved Kingston website by July 19.”

My sincere apologies that this update is arriving past the deadline but do have a look. To me it actually looks pretty wonderful.
Roger and I were concerned initially that the Environmental Assessment for the pedestrian and cycling overpass (that we have worked on and that we were promised) wasn’t actually included in the plan but, despite the fact that we can’t find it, we are assured that the EA will be budgeted for.

12. Cataraqui Boatyard Project
A small group of interested individuals has gotten together to work on this over the summer. More anon……

So that’s a wrap for July.
Mary Farrar,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour