Menu Close

Mid-July 2015 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Hope you are enjoying the wonderful summer weather at last.
I am leaving at the end of the month for Poland for my youngest son’s wedding so the next update won’t be until I get back mid-August.

July Events Update
1) TGIF Family Fridays in July the Park update.
2) Caravan Stage update
Political Stuff:
3) Bailey Broom update
4) Official Plan update
5) Waterfront Working Group update
6) Capitol Theatre plans
7) Wild Parsnip
8) K&P Trail to downtown update
And finally –
9) A truly exciting and informative read!

July Events Update:
1) Three more TGIF Family Fridays in July in the Park.
All great events!  All welcome!.

a) TOMORROW! – Friday, July 17: 5-6 pm MATT ELLERBECK, Salamander, Snake and Turtle Man.
6-7 pm GARY RASPBERRY’S  ChIdren’s musical performance.

b) Friday, July 24: CANCELLED!  However, there is a chance that the KFL&A Library will be doing their “Stories in the Park!!!  Check the calendar closer to the date!!!  Also check the KFL&A webpage!!!

c) Friday, July 31: 5 – 6:30 pm¨ – QUEEN`S BAREFOOT PLAYERS production: ALL THE STAGE IS A WORLD  followed by kid`s drama workshop!

2) CARAVAN STAGE UPDATE:  As you may have heard, once again Transport Canada has refused entry to this incredible theatre group – despite the fact that they now have US pleasure craft status.  Many people are unhappy with the actions of the Canadian Government in this regard.  A 400 person petition was recently presented to Leeds and Grenville MP Gord Brown objecting to bureaucratic revisions made following 2001 that have impeded business and tourism possibilities.  US regulations are evidently much less stringent.  This theatre group would be arrested if they ventured into Canadian waters – despite the fact that they are Canadian, the boat was built in Kingston`s Inner Harbour 20 years ago and they just want to come home to perform as a 20th anniversary celebration.
SO now we have to go to the US to see them!
August 5,6 &7 at 9:30 pm in Oswego, NY at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum (315-342-0480), and
August 14, 15 &16 at 9 pm in Clayton, NY at the Antique Boat Museum
The Saturday performance in Clayton Is already sold out so buy your tickets soon!

Now for Political Stuff:
3) Bailey Broom update courtesy of Bailey Broom Factory Facebook page:
“News Flash: RAW Architecture of Toronto has put an offer on the Bailey Broom Factory. There were no other offers despite numerous inquiries. RAW has offered $1, an offer Mayor Mark Gerretsen said last June he would take, though the City has since listed the property for more. The costs of soil remediation are substantial, and ditto renovation, so RAW, which hopes to make its Eastern Ontario headquarters here, hopes that its investment in the property is worth more to the city than the direct income from sale. Look up their website and see what you think — this is NOT condos, but rather in a way a modest renovation.”
For more info and interesting pics, check out the Friends of Bailey Broom Factory Facebook page.

4) Update of the City’s Official Plan:  Input wanted
Developed with input from staff, stakeholders and citizens throughout 2015, the first draft of the Five-Year Update to the Official Plan is now posted for online commenting – until Augus16, 2015 at
City Staff are trying out a new on-line document viewing and commenting tool called Crocodocs.  This tool allows you to view the updated Official Plan and make your own notations and comments in the document without needing any special software.  As a live and interactive tool, you will also be able to see the feedback from other users.  They hope that citizens will find this to be a very effective and easy-to-use tool for providing your comments to us.  Of course, more formal correspondence (letters or e-mails) with your feedback on the updated Official Plan will also be accepted.
If you have any questions about how to use Crocodocs, please send an email to  City Staff are encouraging everyone to take a look, add comments, and encourage others to do the same.
As part of the public consultation for the 1st Draft, City Staff will be hosting an Open House on the Official Plan Update. This will take place at the Tett Centre, Rehearsal Hall (370 King Street West) on Wednesday August 5, 2015 from 5 – 8 pm. The consultant will be making a presentation at 5:30 pm, displays will be available, and staff will be on hand to answer questions from the public.

5) News from Waterfront Working Group
The City of Kingston web site has been updated to include all the conceptual panels from the June 24th open house. There is also a comment box for those of you with comments/thoughts and ideas to share.

6) Capitol Theatre Plans courtesy of the McBurney Park Neighborhood Association:
The property formerly occupied by the Empire Theatre has been sold to a development firm who proposes to re-develop the site into a 20-storey mixed use building with 223 residential units and 750 square meters of commercial floor area. The residential use is proposed to be located in a tower located along the Queen Street frontage of the property and above a proposed parking structure. The commercial floor area is proposed along the Princess Street frontage.
In case you missed it, see here to go directly to the 81-page PDF document about this development that is under consideration by the City’s Planning Committee:

A public meeting organized by MPNA at which Darryl Firsten of In8 Developments will provide information to, and solicit input from, people in the neighborhood: Wednesday, July 22 from 7pm to 9pm at Artillery Park in the multi-purpose room.

This noxious and dangerous weed is an invasive species from Eastern Europe and Asia but has spread voraciously throughout south-eastern Ontario in the last couple of years.  Most people are unaware of the danger. It can cause very serious welts on the skin and possible blindness if rubbed in the eyes.  The most dangerous locations we have noted are on the K&P trail from Binnington Court to the Sydenham Road and on Belle Island.  If your skin touches this weed, avoid exposure to the sun and wash with soap and water as soon as possible.  Lots of information is available online.  Do have a look and familiarize yourself with what it looks like both early and late in the season.  When cut it is a particular danger to dogs who might run through it or roll around in it and toddlers who might fall into it.  The serious skin reaction can last for several years.  It is truly a danger.  The Rideau Trail is currently temporarily closed in one section due to wild parsnip.  The city is looking into best practices for dealing with this scourge.  If you know of an area near you with a lot of it, do contact your local councilor as well as Damon Wells and Troy Stubinski at Kingston Public Works.  They need to know.

8) K&P Trail to the downtown in time for Canada`s 150th Birthday in 1017.
A meeting is planned for July 24th with  Neal Unsworth and Kris Hebert of the City`s Parks Department along with me, Mary Farrar, and Roger Healey of the newly formed Ad Hoc Cycling Group as well as with Don Coulter and Allan Baer of the former K&P Trail Group.  We will discuss possible options.  Stay tuned for a report in the August update.

And finally – some great summer non-fiction!
WALKABLE CITY by Jeff Speck.  This is a truly wonderful book.  Well worth the $20 cost for the paperback.  Practically every page has some new insight about how cities can be transformed to be great places for everyone – especially pedestrians.  I have a few copies I would be willing to lend out.  Do contact me if you are interested.  Or support your local book store and purchase your own copy.

Have a great summer.
Mary Farrar,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour