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June Update 2019

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Don’t drink? No worries!  Lots of great non-alcoholic options available! 
We would truly appreciate your support!

On a personal note, congratulations to Andre Meyer, Features and Multimedia Content, for his Silver Award at the Canadian Digital Publishing Awards for his 2018 piece on Green Burials that featured my story. Andre also won a gold award for his environmental newsletter that was considered Canada’s best editorial newsletter!  Way to go Andre!

And, last but not least, THANKS SO MUCH to Tom Richards (and his Grade 5/6 class at Amherstview Public School), Tom Bruce (shop teacher at Amherstview PS) for building wonderful nest protectors for us and to Dan Hendry and Cedric Pepelea of the Limestone Board for promoting sponsored nest covers at the Limestone Board Golf Tournament this past June 5!  Wow!  Thanks too to everyone who decided to fork out to add their name as sponsors on the nest covers!  So instead of paying for nest covers, we are receiving $300!  Amazing and wonderful partnerships!

1) Serious Environmental Concerns re Turtles and Pesticide Use!
2) Tragic Time for Ontario Species at Risk
3) Tannery Update
4) St. Vincent de Paul Update
5) More Environmental Funding Cuts
1) Friends of the Cataraqui Trail Founding Meeting, June 15
2) Reminder:  Skeleton Park Arts Festival, June 19-23 
3) New Green Deal Speaker Series, June 19
4) Reminder: Calliope Collective’s Summer Solstice Event – June 20
5) Skeye Projects’ Unique Public Art Event “Floating Archives” – June 21
6) Limelight Riders – June 21
7) National Day of Indigenous Peoples Kingston, June 21
8) Indigenous Medicine Knowledge, June 21 & 27
9) Reminder: Wheelchair Rally, June 27, 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Doug Fluhrer Park
10) Reminder: Kingston Water Walkers, Thurs, July 4
For non-drinkers as well!  Please support us!
1) Everything Drainage Workshops – July and August
2) Vision Zero Road Safety Plan now up for review
3) Problem with Inner City Water Use
4) Protective Turtle Fencing Installed around Third Crossing Project Area
5) Third Crossing Near Neighbourhood Meetings, June 25 and 26


1) Serious Environmental Concerns re Turtles!
It was brought to our attention by Mabyn Armstrong of Turtles Kingston as well as the Friends of Lanark that certain Public Works practices need to be changed for the safety of our turtle population as well as the safety of citizens. I have included the correspondence in full at the end of this update as I felt it was too difficult to summarize.  Please scroll down and look.  It is important for us to be aware of these issues as past experience has taught us that industries like tobacco and pharmaceuticals have in the past both belittled environmental and health concerns and lobbied heavily for use of their products.

2) Tragic Time for Ontario Species at Risk
Message from Ontario Nature:

On June 6, the Government of Ontario passed the More Homes, More Choice Act, a law that opens critical wildlife habitat to sprawl development through amendments to the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA). The amendments give new powers to the Minister to delay, limit and remove protections for at-risk species. Further, it creates numerous, overlapping pathways for developers and industrialists to dodge critical requirements.
Those with a vested, short-term economic interest in sprawl development now have free rein to bulldoze, dig up and pave over the habitats of our most vulnerable plants and animals.

In the face of growing opposition to the proposed law, the provincial government chose to ram the Bill through the Legislature, curtailing debate and ignoring the serious concerns of:
86 scientists
8,000-plus letters from you, our members and supporters
50,000-plus letters and phone calls opposing Schedule 5 of the bill including from our partners
28 authors, musicians, Indigenous Peoples, businesses and environmental organizations
Fierce resistance from municipalities
Calls from three opposition parties and a developer to delay or kill the bill
Dire warnings from United Nations’ state of biodiversity report about the rapid decline of ecosystems, which is threatening a million species with extinction
The ESA gutting does not reflect the values or long-term interests of the people of Ontario.
The haste with which the government proceeded ensured that Ontarians would have no say in the outcome and eliminate future opportunities for public input under the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
Today is a tragic day for these vulnerable plants and animals. But Ontario Nature promises to continue to use every means available to fight for them.

3) Tannery Issues
As you are all aware, from the outset we have had serious concerns about Patry’s proposed development in its current form that would most probably be disastrous for the turtle population.  We have been trying hard to find win-win compromises.  What we have been advocating for a while now is two 12 storey frame buildings fronting on Rideau St. and leaving the shoreline as is – not “naturalized” which to us means grass with a few trees and a few logs for the turtles – as opposed to the rich shoreline ecology that currently exists.  
There are really interesting new developments with frame buildings.  Much cheaper to build than concrete.  Have a look at this time-lapse of an 18 storey frame building in BC.
We are currently trying to convince the powers that be that the Ford government should be lobbied to change the allowed height of frame buildings in Ontario from 6 stories to 12 stories.
Win-win for sure. Cheaper for developers!  Could mean more affordable housing!  Could save the turtle habitat along the Tannery shoreline!
One further issue: We have been informed that the current “Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks” has OKd the Patry proposal to do some infill  of the Orchard St. Marsh which is considered part of the Provincially Significant Wetland in the Inner Harbour – despite the fact that it is highly polluted.  This whole situation is very complex with Parks Canada and UNESCO concerns as well as recommendations from the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.  It is up to the city to try and coordinate all of these stakeholders.  A really difficult task.  Our prime concern remains for the species, ecosystems, and habitats at risk.
Finally, Council recently unanimously supported a peer review of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Tannery project.  Patry and his team are currently revising their Environmental Impact Statement taking into consideration comments from both Parks Canada and the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.  When that exercise has been completed, the revised report will be given to city staff and they have a protocol for finding a peer reviewer.  More anon…

4) St Vincent de Paul Update
We heard recently from a reliable source that St. Vincent de Paul has purchased the land that used to house the old Bennett’s Grocery Store on Bagot Street at Charles Street.
We wish them huge success with this exciting new project!

5) More Environmental Funding Cuts
Legal Aid Ontario is cutting the Canadian Environmental Law Association’s funding by 37 percent over two years after the Ontario Conservative’s spring budget delivered the biggest cut in the nonprofit’s history.  The association provides legal support to low-income individuals and communities affected by pollution and other environmental issues.

1) Friends of the Cataraqui Trail Founding Meeting, June 15
What: A new organization!  Friends of the Cataraqui Trail has been created to allow users and supporters of the Trail to advocate for its sustainability, enjoyment, stewardship and public use.  If you are a user or supporter of the Cataraqui Trail, come out, join the Friends and support the trail.  Everyone welcome.  The K&P Trail intersects the Cataraqui Trail in Sydenham. Happy cycling all!
When: Sat, June 15, 10:00 am til noon.
Where: Sydenham Library, 4412 Wheatley St., Sydenham
More info?

2) Reminder: Skeleton Park Arts Festival, June 19-23
Check out our previous update

3) New Green Deal Speaker Series, June 19
What:  First in a bi-weekly speaker series following up on the very popular Town Hall meeting at Memorial Hall on May 27.  One of the major pieces of feedback received was that while people felt they could identify problems and potential obstacles with ease, solutions are far more complex.  This speaker series has been designed to some to explore some topics more deeply with the opportunity to join with other community members to brainstorm through solutions on an individual and community level.  All welcome.
When: Wed, June 19, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where: Main Hall of Unitarian Place, 206 Concessions St.
NOTE: Entrance is on the west side of the building next to the parking lot.  There will be someone to direct you to the accessible entrance, if needed.

4) Reminder: Calliope Collective’s Summer Solstice Event –
Wed, June 20, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Doug Fluhrer Park
More info?

5) Skeye Projects’ “Floating Archives” – June 21
What:  A giant screen suspended with helium filled weather balloons floats 70 feet above the  audience. Video art from local artists is projected onto the screen and is accompanied by live music from local musicians. The project is partnered with Queen’s University and the Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre. The screen is dynamic, gently billowing in the wind, the images shift along with its movement. Viewers have the opportunity to stand, sit, lie down, and move through the crowd, changing their perspective and experience of the event.  The project is supported by the City of Kingston and Canada Council.
When: June 21, 8:30 pm.
Where: Doug Fluhrer Park
More info? Or to see images of previous shows?

6) Limelight Riders
What: Glow in the Dark Bike Ride
When: Fri, June 21, 7:30 start time
Where:  Douglas R. Fluhrer Park
More Info?

7) National Day of Indigenous Peoples Kingston, June 21, noon – 4 pm, Confederation Basin

8) Indigenous Medicine Knowledge, June 21 & 27
What: Four trees Medicine Wheel Teachings
Who: Thunderbird Tim Yearington of Queen’s University’s Department of Indigenous Affairs
When: Thurs, June 20th and Thurs, June 27 from 10am to 12 noon
Where: Tugwood Park, Kingston (at the intersection of Division and Railway Streets right  across the street from the Metis Nation of Ontario office.
NOTES: Bring a lawn chair and/or a blanket. And spread the word too!

9) Reminder: Wheelchair Rally, June 27, 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Doug Fluhrer Park
Inclusive event.  All welcome.  Persian Wheelchair Dancers.  Light Refreshments.

10) Reminder: Kingston Water Walkers, Thurs, July 4
If you care about the water and the lack of water on many reserves, come and walk with the Kingston Water Walkers from Belle Island to the Tyendinaga Reserve in honour of Grandmother Josephine.
Walk for as long as you feel comfortable doing so.  Details still being formed.
Quote from Bruce Lee as quoted in Irshad Manji’s new book “Don’t Label Me”

“Be like water, my friend”   Water respects the obstacles in its midst by treating them as a natural part of the surroundings.  Consider all the rocks that speckle the ocean.  Water could choose to view them as the It, the Other, since they get in the way of its flow.  But to focus energy on pushing the rocks aside, or to demand that they disappear, would be to wage war against the life-breathing universe that gave rise to both the water and the rocks.  Water’s going to lose that war.  Besides, in its petulance, water never learns to be agile.  It thereby defeats itself…
Thankfully…water knows better. To keep flowing, it approaches the rocks with grace, washing over them, gliding around them, seeping into them, loosening them, reshaping them, and, with time, eroding them.  Water wins without the rocks having to lose…

11) DRINK BEER!  SAVE TURTLES!, Fri, July 5, 4-7 pm, Spearhead Brewery, Gardiner’s Road
Tickets available through Eventbrite!  Non alcoholic drinks too! Please register!  We truly need your support!
Event includes free beer tasting, free brewery tour, live music, live turtles, interesting turtle info from experts, a chance to meet and talk with fellow turtle volunteers, as well as silent auction and MIke Cole-Hamilton’s amazing glasses with his great turtle cartoons on them for sale with free drink thrown in! Should really be fun!
Don’t drink?  No worries!  Lots of great non-alcoholic options!

1) Everything Drainage Workshops – July and August
Message dated June 5, 2019

“Utilities Kingston invites homeowners to participate in the free Everything Drainage Workshop –  to help them manage excess water on their property, prevent basement flooding and comply with the City of Kingston’s Sewer Use Bylaw. Utilities Kingston is also offering an enhanced option for homeowners who have participated in an Everything Drainage Workshop in the past, or for those seeking more in-depth information.
Have standing water on your property? Notice your sump pump running frequently? The Everything Drainage Workshop is for you. It’s also for homeowners who would like to make every raindrop count to conserve tap water.
“Learning how stormwater and rainfall should be handled on your property can help you conserve water and reduce the risk of water damage to your property, while helping to protect your neighbours from basement flooding and sewage back-ups,” says Caitlin Newey, conservation officer for Utilities Kingston.
You will learn Home Drainage 101 – Simple, do-it-yourself drainage solutions
About the Preventative Plumbing Program – the popular financial assistance program to help homeowners install plumbing measures that reduce the risk of sewage back-ups and basement flooding
How to manage standing or excess water using landscaping and rain-scaping techniques
The enhanced option is longer (three hours, instead of two) and offers more detailed information about managing surface and rain water, using preventative plumbing and implementing water-wise gardening practices. You’ll get into the nitty-gritties, including calculating rainfall, and sizing trenches, French drains and basins.
The two- or three-hour workshops, offered at 85 Lappan’s Lane. Meet at the front doors to enter the building for the workshop. Events will be held on the following dates:
When: Beginner workshops: Wed, July 17, 6-8 p.m; Sat, July 27, 10 a.m.-noon.
When: Advanced workshops: Wed, Aug. 14, 6-8 p.m; Sat, Aug. 24, 10 a.m.-noon.
Register online:, or call 613-546-0000 and say ‘conservation’.”

2) Vision Zero Road Safety Plan now available for review
Message dated June 5, 2019
“The City has posted the draft Vision Zero Road Safety Plan (RSP) for public review. Members of the public are invited to read the document and offer any feedback they have by sending an email to or through the Get Involved Kingston website by June 24.
“Vision Zero can be summarized as; no loss of life or injury on our roads is acceptable,” says Deanna Green, manager, traffic division with the City. “This Road Safety Plan is the result of several months of public engagement and consultation with community partners. It outlines a strategy to address Kingston’s specific road safety challenges.”
Public engagement related to the RSP included an open house at City Hall, five “pop-up” community consultation events and a public road safety survey. The City also established a Road Safety Advisory Group made up of key stakeholder organizations that contributed to the development of the plan.
As a high-level strategic document, the RSP will inform the approach that the City, stakeholders, and community partners consider with road safety. For the City it prioritizes future road safety measures that can be integrated with active transportation initiatives and incorporated within the multi-year work plans of the Transportation and Public Works Group.
Members of the public can access the RSP on the City’s website.”

3) Problem with Inner Harbour Water Use
City of Kingston message dated June 7, 2019
River Street Pumping Station: operations stable and water use can return to normal
Utilities Kingston has pumped all sewage out of the River Street Pumping Station and operations are stable for all three pumps. Water use can return to normal levels.
“Our sincere thanks to the Kingston community for your support in reducing water and sewer use, to help reduce the risk to basements and the environment. It was amazing to see businesses, residents and organizations rallying together to assist,” says Jim Keech, president and CEO of Utilities Kingston. “We apologize for the inconvenience this issue created for our customers and assure everyone that the system is now stable and normal water use can continue.”
The issue was created when a large sewer pipe within the station failed and sewage backed up, filling the pump gallery with sewage. The system is designed to overflow at certain locations to protect basements from flooding. Multiple locations overflowed, including at Emma Martin Park (at River Street Pumping Station). As always, before you swim, fish or boat near an overflow location, check our real-time sewer overflow map for updates.
The sewer collection system has responded positively and overflows ceased at all locations before midnight on June 6. “Quick action by Utilities Kingston’s staff helped to reduce further impacts and restore the system back to stable operations,” says Keech.
Utilities Kingston called in contracted resources to help pump sewage from the station and transport it to Ravensview Wastewater Treatment Facility. Staff walked the shorelines of the Cataraqui River and Lake Ontario to pick up debris. The overflow was reported to the Spills Action Centre and the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks was on site.
“This station is critical to our system as it pumps sewage from the entire City Central system across the Cataraqui River to be treated at Ravensview. There are many redundancies built into the station, including pumps, pipes and monitoring equipment. A failure such as this one is highly unlikely. We will complete a thorough investigation of the cause. I can confirm with confidence that station operations are stable,” says Keech.
Utilities Kingston is working to reinstate the station to fully automated mode and staff remain onsite to monitor.
Utilities Kingston and the City of Kingston continue to improve infrastructure to reduce sewer overflows. Over the last twenty years, they have been working to separate Kingston’s historic combined sewer system and install large holding tanks to reduce overflows and rainwater that enters the sanitary system. These activities help reduce the sewer overflows associated with heavy rainfalls and equipment failure.
When Kingstonians or visitors plan to swim, fish or boat in Lake Ontario within 48 hours after heavy rain or equipment failure, they are encouraged to first check the map at Sewer overflow locations affecting the Great Cataraqui River, the Little Cataraqui Creek, and other surrounding bodies of water are also shown.
Force mains carry sewage from the River Street Pumping Station to a valve chamber on the east shoreline, up Barriefield Hill to the Ravensview Wastewater Treatment Facility, where wastewater is treated and released to Lake Ontario in the form of natural resource quality water.

4) Protective Turtle Fencing Installed around Third Crossing Project Area
Message dated June 12, 2019

Special turtle-exclusion fencing has been installed around the Third Crossing’s project area.
“Just as we put up construction fencing to keep people safe, this fencing is being installed to keep turtles safe in their own habitat,” says Mark Van Buren, deputy commissioner, major projects. “Protecting wildlife, habitat and the ecosystem is a key priority for the Third Crossing’s project team.”
To protect against adverse effects to Blanding’s Turtle, Snapping Turtles, Painted Turtles, Northern Map Turtles and other native turtles who may use or be in the project area, turtle exclusion fencing has been installed to prevent turtles from nesting within areas which will be used for the project. Throughout the project:
Visual surveys will be conducted to ensure the fencing is effective and that turtles are protected from construction activities and equipment on the shorelines.
If turtles are encountered in the construction area, trained environmental professionals will be onsite to assess and address the situation to minimize harm to local wildlife.
All efforts are being made to ensure activities are timed to occur outside the sensitive overwintering and nest season.
In addition, mitigation measures will be in place as the project team is committed to being environmental stewards during the pre-construction and construction of the project. These include implementing a series of plans and procedures to ensure the proposed activities are reflective of the City’s responsibility to protect and preserve lands and waters within the project area.
The project to build the 1.2 km Third Crossing bridge over the Cataraqui River – from the foot of Gore Street in the east to the foot of John Counter Boulevard in the west – is on track and early work continues to prepare for in-water construction. Expect to see construction equipment on the east and west shores as crews conduct utility work, grading and otherwise prepare these sites for activity.
Learn more about Third Crossing on our website:

5) Third Crossing Near Neighbourhood Meetings, June 25 and 26
Upcoming construction activities, in-water work and how the city will continue to inform and engage the broader community on what’s happening with the project including
Construction activities (time, location, duration), major work activities on the east and west shores, environmental protection plan, site safety/security, neighbourhood access, continuing communications
East Shore Meeting:
When: June 25, 6:00 -7:30 pm with 6:00 pm presentation followed by Q&A.
Where: Fire Hall at 211 Gore Rd.
West shore meeting:
When: June 26, 6:00 – 7:30 pm with 6:00 p.m. presentation
Where: Community Health Centre, 63 Weller Ave.

SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS RE TURTLES – message from the Friends of Lanark
“As some of you may know, for the past 3 years, the city of Kingston has used herbicide cocktails on their roads and guardrails to manage vegetation.
Last year guardrails were sprayed in residential areas and at turtle nesting sites. 
We are asking for the city councillors to restrict this action. Won’t you please send a letter?

This was the notice from last year- May 24, 2018: 
The City of Kingston will be applying pesticide to manage vegetation at guiderail locations, and control noxious weeds along roadsides. Spraying will take place between June 4th and June 29th, 2018, weather permitting.
The applications will take place along selected roadsides in the Pittsburgh, Cataraqui and Countryside districts, in an area encompassing the city’s north boundary south to the 401, east boundary west to highway 15, and west boundary east to Centennial Drive.
The pesticide to be used for roadside noxious weed control is a combination of – Navius VM Herbicide (metsulfuron-methyl/aminocyclopyrachlor reg. 31382), Garlon RTU Herbicide (triclopyr present as butoxyethyl ester, reg. 29334) and Hasten NT Spray Adjuvant, (methyl and ethyl oleate, esterified vegetable oil, reg. 28277) under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada).
The pesticide to be used for guiderail vegetation management is a combination of Roundup Weathermax with Transorb II Technology Liquid Herbicide (glyphosate present as potassium salt, reg. 27487), Truvist Herbicide (chlorsulfuron/aminocyclopyrachlor reg. 30920), Esplanade SC Herbicide (indaziflam reg. 31333) and Hasten NT Spray Adjuvant, (methyl and ethyl oleate, esterified vegetable oil, reg. 28277) under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada).

If you’d like here is a sample letter that you can cut and paste from.
Please include references to your own personal experiences and knowledge so that all of the letters are different. Information about wild parsnip management without herbicides can be found at Information about our threatened turtles can be found at
Please copy the clerk Lorie Sargeant ( on your email and ask her to enter your letter as communication. If you share this email with people you know, please remove all previous recipients! 
Here are the email addresses of the mayor and council:
 Mayor of Kingston <>, “Chapelle,Simon” <>, “Osanic,Lisa” <>, “Hill,Wayne” <>, “Doherty,Bridget” <>, “Kiley,Robert” <>, “Holland,Mary Rita” <>, “McLaren,Jeff” <>, “Neill,Jim” <>, “Stroud,Peter” <>, “Hutchison,Rob” <>, “Boehme, Ryan N.” <>
Cc: “Sargeant,Lorie” <>

Subject: use of herbicides for vegetation management
Dear Clerk,
Please enter this email as communication and acknowledge receipt. 

Dear City of Kingston Council,
I am writing in regards to my concerns about the pesticide use in Kingston. 
As a city councillor, it is imperative that you become aware of the growing body of evidence in scientific literature showing that pesticide exposure can adversely affect endocrine, neurological, immune, and respiratory systems in humans, even at very low levels.
Pesticides are designed to be toxic. The suffix ‘cide is derived from latin. It means ‘to kill’. Of the most commonly used pesticides, 19 are linked with cancer, 21 with reproductive effects, 13 are linked with birth defects, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity, and 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system.
Children are especially sensitive to pesticide exposure. Children take in more pesticides relative to their size and weight, are more physical in their environment, running, touching and playing outdoors, and their bodies and brains are still developing. Acute and chronic, high and low level exposures to chemicals in the environments of children may cause damage during periods of special vulnerability.

The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) is strongly recommending that people reduce their exposure to pesticides wherever possible.
Many studies reviewed by the Ontario College show positive associations between solid tumours and pesticide exposure, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer, among others. 
Previous studies have pointed to certain pesticides, such glyphosate, 2,4-D and related pesticides, as possible precipitants of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), and the findings of the College’s review are clearly consistent with this. Ontario doctors caution that patients  avoid exposure to all pesticides whenever and wherever possible. This includes reducing both occupational exposures, as well as lower level exposures that occur from the use of pesticides in gardens and public green space.  

Within the city of Kingston, herbicides that are not registered for use on our lawns and parks are currently allowed on our roadsides. These herbicides can contaminate groundwater, should not be used near surface water, nor on slopes. They do not always stay where they are applied. Of particular concern is the use of herbicides at guardrails adjacent to water. The Kingston region is home to one of the most important networks of wetlands in the province, and needs our protection. These wetlands house eight of the 10 turtle species that can be found in Canada, all of which are at risk.  

 Herbicides used on roadsides kill everything but grass, and destroy all of the flowering broadleaf plants which provide food for pollinators as well as poison the soil where native bees nest. Also of concern is the ability for some of these herbicides to cause tree deaths.

There is nothing in the Weed Act that specifies how you control weeds. Guardrail vegetation and wild parsnip can be managed mechanically or manually.
As a resident of Kingston, I ask you to hear my voice in determining how roadsides are managed. You can play a key role in protecting those most vulnerable and preventing diseases linked to pesticide exposure as well as preventing the contamination of our precious wetlands and waterways. I am asking you to apply the precautionary principle which denotes a duty to do no harm when it is in your power and support further restrictions on herbicide use. Alternatives to using toxic pesticides in our public spaces and roadsides exist.  

Please find attached links that are relative to this discussion. 

Sincerely yours,

Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database

Cancer Health Effects of Pesticides

Ottawa Fails to Protect Public

Non Cancer Health Effects of Pesticides

Health effects of 30 commonly used pesticides

Children and Pesticides Don’t Mix

New Thinking on Neurodevelopment

“Pesticide exposure in children.” American Academy of Pediatrics. Roberts, James R., and Catherine J. Karr.

Beyond Pesticides list of products compatible with organic landscape management      fbclid=IwAR0uA8tJhfDZMaXj1Pn2K4DRlYnVCrtnAqP1loYJPMNcgyZN1e9_I5M1W_M”

As always thanks so much for your interest in issues related to Kingston’s Inner Harbour,
Mary Farrar,
President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour