There's going to be a big bash to kick off the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Frontenac Commun...
In 1973, Winston Cosgrove published a 60-page book on the history of Wolfe Island. Wolfe Island Past and Present outlines how the island came to be settled, how it remained in use by indigenous peoples as fall and winter fishing and hunting grounds until the middle of the 19th Century, and how the population peaked in the late 19th Century before beginning a long decline that has only recently been reversed. The book is written in a kind of discreet manner that suggests its focus was more in the past than on what was then the present, and of course 40 years have passed since it was published. It contains, however, much information about how the island community developed from the late 17th until the 20th centuries. In 1685, Robert Cavallier, Sieur de Lasalle, having been granted the Signeury of Fort Frontenac by King Louis the 14th ten years earlier, conferred ownership of what would become known as Wolfe Island on James Cauchois. It was the “first conveyance of any part of Ontario from one subject to another”. The land remained in the Cauchois family for over 100 years, until it was sold in the early 1800s to David Alexander Grant and Patrick Langan for one shilling an acre. Grant had married the Baroness of Longeuil in 1785, and although the sale of the island to Grant and Langan severed all ties to the French monarchy it did establish the Baron of Longeuil as a major force on Wolfe Island. In 1823, David Alexander's son, C.W. Grant, the 4th Baron of Longeuil, owned about 11,000 acres on the island. A similar amount was split among the three daughters of Patrick Langan. Two-sevenths of the land had been turned over to England's King George when the British overturned French rule in the entire region. Grant sold off 100 acre lots starting in 1823, and settlement began in earnest. He also had a large house constructed near Marysville. The house, which was called Ardath Chateau, was known locally as the “The Old Castle”. It had 25 rooms, a dungeon, a carriage house and servants' quarters and was the “focal point for many years of life on the island”. In 1929 the house, which had been unoccupied for at least 15 years, was razed in a fire. “Being a native born Islander, this writer recognises the staunch loyalty among the Islanders for one another and out of respect for this tradition, would prefer 'to let sleeping dogs lie' rather than delve further into the matter.” This suggests that Winston Cosgrove knew more about the fire than he was willing to say, and in all likelihood further information about what happened that dark night in 1929 is still carried by any number of Wolfe “Islanders”. Although “The Old Castle” was certainly grand, the housing situation for Wolfe Island settlers in the early to mid 19th Century was more modest. Fifteen settler families lived on the island in 1823, and this increased to 261 persons by 1826. The population grew steadily, peaking at 3,600 by 1861. When the island was being settled in the 1820s and 30s “the typical house was a log cabin, 20 feet long by 16 feet wide, 6 logs high, with a shanty or sloping roof. Some had glass but most often the windows were only holes in the wall, which could be covered in the winter.” During the 1850s, demand for lumber for D. D. Calvin's shipbuilding operation on nearby Garden Island led to a lumbering boom on Wolfe Island, and the boom ended when the trees were gone. The population began to dwindle at that point, and by the time Cosgrove's book was published in 1973, it was down to 1,200. It had dropped to 1142 by 2001, and the 2011 population survey lists Frontenac Islands (including Wolfe and Howe Island) at 1864. The current permanent resident population of Wolfe Islands, according to Wikipedia, is 1,400, although it is twice that or more in the summer (perhaps excluding this past summer due to the Ferry Fiasco of 2015). Wolfe Island Past and Present contains a wealth of information about landmarks and renowned island residents. It explains how Marysville was named after Mary Hitchcock, who lived all of her 92 years on the island and was its first postmistress between 1845 and her death in 1877. The General Wolfe Hotel, originally known as the Wolfe Island Hotel, was built in 1860. It was renamed the General Wolfe by the Greenwood brothers in 1955, and benefited from the results of a liquor referendum in 1957, which was won by “the wets”. The hotel remains an island landmark and a major part of the hospitality industry. It's 130-seat restaurant has won a number of provincial awards. The final chapter of the book deals with a crucial subject, one that has been top of mind on the island this summer and was also the subject of a discussion and slide show on Wednesday, December 2, “Ice Travel” with Kaye Fawcett and Ken White, which was organised by the Wolfe Island Historical Society. Throughout Frontenac County the history of road and railway construction is full of colour, hardship and a fair taint of corruption and scandal. On Wolfe Island there is an added dimension - the water that separates the island from the mainland and the City of Kingston. It was 50 years ago, in 1965, that a year-round ferry service financed by the Province of Ontario was established on Wolfe Island. Until then the ferry service ran only until freeze up, and during the winter an ice road was the way across. In 1954 the winter was so warm that the ferry was only inactive for 2 days, but between 1955 and the onset of the year-round ferry in 1965, the range was 60 to 110 days, with an average of about 80 inactive days each winter. Over the years, tragedies and near tragedies occurred on the ice on many occasions. One of the more famous events was the near drowning of entire families on Christmas Day in 1955. The ferry was out of commission because of an early winter, but a tug boat, the Salvage Prince, waited at the edge of the ice at Barrett's Bay for families who had come to the island for Christmas Day and were returning to Kingston late in the afternoon. They were being drawn across the ice in a sleigh, but just before reaching the boat, the sleigh went through a wet spot in the ice, forcing a hurried and dangerous rescue, as children, adults and seniors, were luckily all pulled out of the freezing water back to the tug and a boat ride to Kingston. Some were taken to the hospital for observation. An account of the trip by Brian Johnson is available at thousandislandslife.com. In the concluding pages of his book, Winston Cosgrove makes the argument that the economy of Wolfe Island will be doomed unless a bridge is built. “In the past the economy of the island has been purely an agricultural one, with hunting and fishing and summer residents as minor items. Under this system the population has dwindled. The key to the problem is transportation. There is much beautiful undeveloped shoreline and land that is is well-suited for permanent homes but better ways are needed to get to and from the mainland if the community is to develop and grow. A ferry service is not efficient enough ... Meanwhile the Islanders who want a bridge must be content to await future developments while acting as guardians of a great land developed by pioneers, to whom all are indebted.” Although Cosgrove's views may have had a lot of currency this past summer while the Wolfe Islander ferry was in dry dock, Wolfe Island has reversed the population slide over the past 10 years and a number of tourism-related businesses are thriving.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. (An account of the life and times of the Kemp family can be found at Frontenacnews.ca under the “50 Stories/150 Years” tab) The level of poverty among late 19th Century settlers is reflected in some of the minutes of meetings of both Hinchinbrooke and Loughbrough Townships. In the minutes there are accounts of grants for as little as $1 for families in need after the death of a partner or a debilitating illness. Families who had settled on the worst pieces of land, who suffered from any kind of ill health, or for some reason were not able to keep up with the demands of clearing land, building shelter, keeping warm in winter and raising enough food, ended up in desperate straits. That is why settlers would take over abandoned fields and houses and only settle the ownership later on, if they decided to stay. Far from disputing this practice, as long as the property taxes were paid the local townships did not question the ownership of the properties. Mining was one of the few means of getting money for labour, and was also a major impetus for the establishment of the K&P Railroad. The village of Godfrey, to the west of Frontenac Park, was originally called Deniston after the name of the post office but it was known as Iron Ore Junction by the local population. The Glendower company mined 12,000 tons of iron ore between 1873 and 1880, and later the Zanesville company took over and a spur line was constructed between the mine and the Bedford Station (renamed Godfrey in 1901) of the K&P. A large deposit of Feldspar was found between Desert and Thirteen Island Lakes, and it was mined, on and off, between 1901 and 1951, producing a total of 230,000 tons in that time. In and right around the park, it was mica that was the most commonly mined mineral, in small mines as a kind of cottage industry and on an industrial scale as well. There is an account of how a mica mine operated in one of the issues of “The Frontenac News” (not this newspaper but the newsletter of the Friends of Frontenac Park) Below is an excerpt: 1905 - early in the morning Tom Gorsline, the foreman at the Tett mine, is checking the steam piping as a worker starts a wood fire in the boiler that will provide the steam that runs the drill and the water pumps. The miners had been following a vein of amber mica (phlogopite) since 1899 - the main pit now plunged close to 80 feet into the rocks and water sometimes was a problem. Fortunately, the price for mica is on the rise again and the main vein is still good. The hand drillers are already at work. Their job is to make holes in the rock to receive the explosives. The drillers are working in teams of two using a method called "double-jacking". One person, the holder, manually holds a steel drill against the rock. The other, the striker, swings an eight-pound sledgehammer hitting the end of the drill. In between the blow, the holder twists the drill to loosen the rock chips so it does not get stuck in the rock. Then the next blow comes with a sharp clank when steel meets steel. They are drilling at a rate of 1.5 to 2 feet per hour. After a half-hour, the holder and striker exchange places so the striker can have a rest. As you can imagine, accuracy is crucial. If the striker misses, the holder could be maimed for life. This is dangerous enough when they are drilling on the floor of the mine, but often the veins are at the roof of a drift or on the wall of the pit. As soon as the steam from the boiler reaches the right pressure, a miner starts the steam drill. It is faster and easier than hand drilling but the steam drill is enormous, unreliable and unwieldy because of connections with the steam pipes that come down from the surface. As a result, the steam driller is assigned fairly open spaces while the hand drillers work in tight quarters. Drilling is hard and dangerous - there are no hard hats, goggles, or electrical lights - but the dollar a day they are earning helps to feed their families. Now that the holes are in place, Tom calls the blasters. They make sure the holes are dry, otherwise the charges may not go off. They put the black powder in waterproof covers, attach a proper length fuse, and place it down in the hole. They pack the rest of the hole with clay. The length of the fuse is important or they could meet their maker faster than expected. After a few minutes, all charges are ready. The head blaster gives a signal to Tom Gorsline who orders all miners and equipment out of from the mine. When all is clear, the blaster lights up the fuse and moves quickly out of the way. The explosion rumbles and the ground shakes. After the smoke and dust settle, Tom sends in the muckers. They have a hazardous job. Everyone knew of George Amey, a mucker at the Birch Lake mine, who lost an eye when his pick hit a charge that did not fully explode. Some muckers sort the ore from the waste while others, with picks and shovels, load the waste rock in a large bucket until it is full. Then one of them yells: "BUCKET." Upon hearing the signal, a man at the surface gets the horse moving on a circular track so that the winch can hoist the bucket up to the top. The bucket is dumped on the tailings pile. As soon as the muckers are finished clearing the debris from the last blast, the drillers begin to make new holes. Cleaning the mica is the job of cobblers who work on the surface. Some cobblers "thumb trim" the mica by the pit while others are working at the cleaning shop attached to the main mine building, "knife trimming" the mica to remove all traces of unwanted material. They store the clean mica in barrels. The mica is shipped down the Hardwood Bay Road to Perth Road then north to Bedford Mills. There, the mica will be shipped to a buyer in Ottawa via the Rideau Canal. The Tett mine operated from 1899 till 1924. It produced 99 tons of mica for a value of $27,279.00. For a few months, it was the largest mica producer in Ontario. By the 1940s the mica mining boom had passed and most of the homesteads in the area had been abandoned or were on their last legs. It was then that the idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty-seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty-five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter Lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park. Among the features of the park, and on the nearby Gould Lake Conservation Area, are hiking trails that pass by and over mica mine sites. In the Park, the 10 km Tettsmine Loop passes by remnants of a log slide from the lumbering days, abandoned mica mines and the remains of McNally Homestead. At Gould Lake, the Mica Loop passes over several small mine sites and mica minerals can still be seen sparkling in the rock faces.
There were a number of distinguished Frontenac County wardens from the Township of Wolfe Island during the first 133 years of Frontenac County history, and since municipal amalgamation there have been two more from the Township of Frontenac Islands: Jim Vanden Hoek for two years, and the current warden, Denis Doyle. Although Tim O'Shea was only county warden for a single year, the centennial year in 1967, he was a member of the council for 33 consecutive years as the long-serving reeve of Wolfe Island. He retired from politics in 1991 and died in 1996 at the age of 78. His son, Terry, who served as the clerk of Wolfe Island and Frontenac Islands for over 20 years, starting in 1986, described his father as someone who enjoyed people and was able to remain calm in tense situations, which might explain why he was able to win election after election. He worked for most of his life as a hunting and a fishing guide on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and in the evenings he tended to township matters. As well as presiding over Council, he was the welfare officer for the islands as well as the manager of the ferry, all part of the functions of the reeve. Perhaps his most lasting accomplishment was convincing the provincial government to take over the ferry service from Wolfe Island and make it a free service. He also presided over the construction of the first library, medical clinic, ambulance base and fire department on the island. Because of all his accomplishments and longevity, he is still considered to have been the dean of Frontenac County councilors. One hundred and two years before Tim O'Shea served as county warden, another Wolfe Island politician held the post. The first ever Frontenac County warden was Dileno (Dexter) Calvin, the proverbial self-made man. He was orphaned at the age of eight in Rutland, Vermont. When he was 20 he moved to the State of New York where he worked as a labourer until he entered into the lumbering business when he was in his mid-20s. He started in 1825, squaring some timber with a neighbour and transporting it by raft to Quebec City. Slowly, he built up the business, and in 1835 he moved to Clayton, NY, and established a lumber transport business. Soon after, he became involved in a company based on Garden Islands, the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company, which was later renamed Calvin, Cook and Counter, and then Calvin and Cook after the men who owned it. In 1844, Dexter Calvin moved to rented land on Garden Island and took control of the company, taking advantage of the island's location, its sheltered port, and the fact that it was within the British rather than the American trading system. Out of its base on Garden Island, the company maintained agencies in Sault St. Marie, Quebec City, Liverpool and Glasgow, operated 12 -15 ships and employed as many as 700 people in its peak years. It became a generalized shipping company, and also operated a large tugboat service. The move to Garden Island took place soon after the death of Calvin's first wife, Harriet Webb, in Clayton, New York, in 1843. the couple had been married for 12 years and had six children. He remarried Marion Breck in 1844. They also had six children between 1844 and her death in 1861. His third wife, Catherine Wilkinson, whom he married in 1861 when he was 63, had two children, and lived until 1911. Of his 14 children, only six lived to adulthood. During the last 40 years of his long life (he died in 1884 at the age of 86) Calvin was a sort of patriarch to the inhabitants of Garden Island. He bought 15 acres of land on the island in 1848 with his partner Hiram Cook, and by 1862 they owned the entire island. Calvin bought Cook’s share in 1880. Garden Island became a model company town, with its own school, library, and post office. Although it was made up of people from different national origins and religions, it was reportedly remarkably peaceful and well managed. It was also a dry community, under the express orders of Calvin himself, who became a prohibitionist at the same time as his conversion to the Baptist Faith about a year before the death of his first wife. Since most of the inhabitants of Garden Island worked for Calvin, he was able to shield them from economic turbulence in two ways. For one thing, since he was more involved in lumber transport than buying and selling, the fluctuations in the price of lumber did not affect the business in a substantial way. He also chose to use the company's reserves to shield his employees during serious downturns, such as one that took place in 1873. At that time he cut wages but did not lay any one off, which was as unusual then as it is now. He was strongly opposed to organized labour, however, and when sailors on his ships started a union drive, he hired replacement workers from Glasgow and eventually sold some of his schooners and bought great lake barges to cut down on the need for labour. His political life, which began when he was in his early 60s, was quite distinguished. He had become a naturalized Canadian within a year of moving to Garden Island. By the time Frontenac County was established in 1865 after the amalgamated County of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington had been disbanded, Calvin was already ensconced as reeve of Wolfe Island and the surrounding islands. He became the first warden of the County, a position he also held the following year and in 1868 as well. He then took a turn at provincial politics, as a Conservative MPP for the riding of Frontenac. He served from 1868 until 1883, with the exception of the years between 1875 and 1877, when he lost favour with the party. In those days, becoming the Conservative candidate in Frontenac was more difficult than winning the election against opposing party candidates. He was also one of the first directors of the K&P Railroad. He was a man who was known for his eccentricities, such as a dislike for short men “for no other reason than that they were short” according to his grandson, as well as men who bit their fingernails (author's note – I'm sure we would have gotten on famously) as well as dogs and people who own them. “When a man's poor,” he said, “he gets a dog. If he's very poor, he gets two.” Dileno Dexter Calvin died in 1884, and despite his great success in Canada, he was buried next to his mother and his first wife in Clayton, NY.
Rightly so, Frontenac Park is considered the hidden jewel of Frontenac County. It is located in the midst of an array of communities and cottage lakes, within a stone's throw of Sydenham and is a short drive from Kingston; and yet it is a backwoods park in a unique geological and climactic location. It features the best canoeing, camping and hiking this side of Bon Echo Park, which is also a jewel but one that is less hidden and is also shared between Frontenac and Lennox and Addington. In his definitive book on the back story about the land where Frontenac Park is located, “Their Enduring Spirit: the History of Frontenac Park 1783-1990”, Christian Barber extensively researched all of the development that took place in and around the park before the idea of a park was floated and eventually acted upon in the 1960s. In doing so, Their Enduring Spirit is not only a valuable resource in terms of how the park was developed; it is also an account of the difficulties posed by the Frontenac Spur of the Canadian Shield on those who were unlucky enough to attempt homesteading in its rocky terrain. The park is located in what were then Loughborough and Bedford Townships, now both part of the Municipality of South Frontenac. Many of the settlers who attempted to make a life in that region did so in the mid-to-late 1800s. There were some Loyalists among them, but there were also a number of Irish immigrants who made their way first to St. Patrick's Church in Railton, and then headed into the wilderness north of Sydenham in search of a new life. What greeted them was brutal and difficult. The history of a number of homesteading families forms the core of Their Enduring Spirit. Based on historic records, interviews with descendants who lived on or visited those who lived on the farms, and by walking the land and examining the remnants that are being reclaimed as wilderness lands, a picture of life in the back townships during the first 100 years of Frontenac County emerges. The first family to be profiled in the book is the Kemp family, who arrived at their farm at Otter Lake, near the west gate of the park, sometime in the 1860s. By the time of the 1871 census, William and Jane Kemp, both 47, had six children living with them. The land they laid claim to, in addition to other properties taken on by their son George, was very good by local standards. Over two decades of work, making use of the efforts of the entire family, 30 acres of the 95 acre property had been cleared. “That might not sound like much to show for 20 years of labour, but in that district most farms worked 15 or 20 cleared acres. In fact the clearing was usually completed in relatively short order. But it was back-breaking work, without mechanical means. It involved cutting down the trees and clearing the brush, then burning the stumps that could not be wrenched from the ground by a team of horses or oxen and hauled away to form a first fence row. In the meantime the job of raising a crop to feed the family over the winter had to go on, and the first seeds were usually sown among the stumps ... it was no wonder that among the first settlers it was axiomatic to hate trees,” wrote Christian Barber in Their Enduring Spirit. The Kemp family prospered, and by 1900 the original log cabin that was built in the early 1870s had disappeared beneath white, painted clapboard, and numerous outbuildings had been constructed as well. There was a root cellar below, and fields that extended right to the front doorway. Still, cash was not easy to come by. A ledger from M.A. Hogan's General Store in Sydenham illustrates this. In late 1912, Mary Shales Kemp, George's wife, who managed the family finances among numerous other tasks, purchased dishes, a pair of overalls for a dollar, and the indulgences of walnuts and a vase, for a total cost of $7.32. Her custom was to pay for her purchases with butter and eggs from the farm. However on this occasion, after the eggs and butter were factored in there was a shortfall of $1.45. Back went the overalls and the extra 45 cents was paid in cash. During the mica mining year in the first decade of the 20th century, George Kemp found a number of small deposits on his farm, and even took on investors to pay the $70 that was needed for drills and blasting powder at one site. However, enough mica was never found to make a profit on the venture. To the extent that there were roads in the area, they were built and maintained by all of the farmers living in there, sometimes as part of their taxation responsibilities, which, in the late 19th century, included putting in some time improving the local roads. While the Kemp family were able to establish a successful farm in what is now Frontenac Park, it was ultimately unsustainable. Mary Kemp lived on the farm after George died, but moved away in 1928 and sold the property in 1941. The last people to occupy it were a family from Wyoming in the late 1940s. By the time Mary Kemp died in Sydenham in 1952 at the age of 93, the property where she had made her life had been abandoned and the house and barns had burned down. When Christian Barber went to the property in the late 1980s as he was preparing his book, it was mostly overgrown with vegetation, and it required effort on his part to find the remnants of what had been a going concern for 60 or 70 years. He notes this at the end of his chapter on the Kemp family of Kemp Road : “... the fields, so painstakingly cleared and planted and harvested by generations of settlers, are overgrown with sumac and birch, locust and juniper. Rusted barbed wire – embedded by years in the centre of the trees that it was originally stapled to the bark of – is stretched to the breaking point by fallen trees, and there is no one to cut them away; no farmer in overalls, with strong, knuckly, barked, and sun-tanned hands to walk the line on a summer day between haying and harvest and maintain a fence.” The Kemp family's story is similar in outcome to others told in the book - struggle and some success followed by a move to better farmland elsewhere in the region or to work off the farm in Sydenham or beyond. Mining and logging were also prevalent in the park. Logging started in the early 19th century and mining later on, with the logging having the greatest impact on the land, as it did elsewhere in the region generally. In the interesting chapter on mining, Barber touches on the story of Antoine Point on Devil Lake. Francis Edward Antoine and his wife, Letitia Whiteduck, built a log cabin on the Point in the mid 19th century and they are buried there. One of their sons, John Antoine, is listed, along with the government, as the owner of Antoine Point in the 1883 Meacham map, one of the best source materials for information about land ownership in those years. John, with his wife Elizabeth Hollywood, had 11 children. According to Antoine family lore, it was John who found mica deposits at Antoine Point, although there are competing accounts about who found the ore at that location, and it seems that the Point became of interest to mining interests in the early 1890s. There is an entry in the land registry indicating that John Antoine sold his interest in the land to William Jones for $50 in 1897, and the Antoines moved to Godfrey, and eventually back to Sharbot Lake, where another branch of the family was already located. The idea of establishing a wilderness park on the lands in Loughborough and Bedford township that had resisted settlement, and whose lakes (Devil, Big Clear, Otter, and Buck) were not already cut up into cottage lots, was first floated in the 1940s. In 1954 a Parks Division was created within the Department of Lands and Forests of Ontario (the precursor to the Ministry of Natural Resources. In 1957, the Kingston Rod and Gun Club submitted a proposal for a new park to serve the growing numbers of people in Kingston and southern Frontenac County wanting to experience the great outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing and the enjoyment of a sandy beach. The proposal included twenty seven 200 acre lots in Bedford and twenty five 200 acre lots in Lougborough, a total of 16.2 square miles, with an option to increase it to 23.7 square miles if the area below Otter lake was added. That effort was not successful, and seemed to be dead when Murphy's Point Park on Big Rideau Lake near Perth was established instead. Five years later, in 1962, another group, the Kingston Nature Club, put forward a similar proposal. This time, even though the cost of purchasing private land for the park had ballooned to $200,000, the proposal was successful. It eventually cost over $1 million to create Frontenac Park, which opened in the late 1960s. The park's first superintendent, Bruce Page, was the great grandson of Jeremiah, one of the first settlers on the land in the vicinity of what became Frontenac Park.
Good news is bad news in township fight to prevent possibility of industrial wind turbines being installed within its borders. In its quest to rid itself of the potential for industrial wind turbine development, North Frontenac Council has enlisted the efforts of Joe Gallivan, the Frontenac County manager of Planning and Development Services, to draft an Official Plan amendment to state that large-scale industrial development is contrary to the township's long-term plan. Gallivan responded with the following paragraph, to be added at the end of Appendix 4.18 - Energy, Air Quality and Sustainability: “The landscape character of North Frontenac is unique and unspoiled. The large tracts of Crown land, hundreds of lakes, wetlands, and the hills of the Madawaska Highlands all combine to create a sense of place. This character is a key foundation for the future economic development opportunities including accommodations, high tech remote offices, recreational outfitters, small businesses, and specialty businesses such as craft breweries and artisan foods. In order to maintain this place, it is a policy of Council to not support any large-scale renewable energy project, along with mining and large-scale manufacturing plants that will have a negative impact on the overall landscape of the township.” After Joe Gallivan read out the new paragraph, Deputy Mayor Fred Perry asked Gallivan if the provincial government will react when, as is likely, Frontenac County Council approves the change. “It is within our jurisdiction to do this. But the Green Energy Act over-rides the Planning Act so no matter what the Official Plan says it will not limit the government's ability to approve a renewable energy project in North Frontenac if it wants to,” said Gallivan. “What this language does do, however,” he continued, “is make a pro-active statement about the kinds of development that the township is trying to attract and how heavy industry is not compatible with that vision. It puts the township on the leading edge of municipalities and makes the kind of statement of intent that cannot be ignored.” Seniors' housing task force Janette Amini, from Frontenac County, outlined how North Frontenac can work on developing a small seniors' housing complex in the township in order to fulfill its part of a county-wide goal to establish a new seniors' housing project in each of the Frontenac townships. Mayor Higgins and Councilor Vernon (Micky) Hermer will join with county representatives Tom Dewey and John McDougall on a task force that will consult with North Frontenac Council and the public with a view towards coming up with a made-in-North Frontenac solution. “Frontenac Islands was the first to get started and they are building a five-unit complex that will be a market rent facility,” said Amini. South Frontenac began looking at a project in February and are focusing on a location within Sydenham, which has a public water supply. They are also looking at a market rent project. “North Frontenac is starting just now, and I presented to Central Frontenac last week,” she said. Joe Gallivan, who accompanied Amini, said that one of the first things that the task force will need to decide is if it wants to develop a market rent facility, or a rent-subsidized facility. “There is more grant money available for a rent-subsidized facility,” said Gallivan. “Jeanette has all the information about the grants that are available. Frontenac County also has seed money put aside to help each of the townships fulfill the pledge to develop a new facility. The township would not likely find a not-for-profit corporation to take ownership over any housing complex that it helped build. A public meeting will be set up to gauge interest in a North Frontenac housing project. Canada 150 funding application Council authorized Cory Klatt, the manager of Community Development, to apply for an grant under the Canada 150 Infrastructure granting program to help fund the $1.375 million upgrade/renovation to the township office complex. The grant can provide for up to 50% of the cost of a so-called shovel-ready construction project, up to $500,000. North Frontenac is seeking the maximum grant.
The Ompah Community Library has been operating for three years now, and while well patronized by summer visitors and its faithful Ompah readers, it would love to have more visitors. Operated completely by volunteers, it provides a little bit of a different experience than the public library that it has replaced. No membership is required; no overdue notices will ever be sent out. Everyone is simply invited to choose whatever books, DVDs or audiobooks they might fancy, and bring them back whenever they are done with them. Although the space is small, anyone wishing for a comfortable place to sit and explore some of the collection will find what they are looking for. There is a comprehensive collection, with Mystery, Fiction, Science Fiction, and Non-Fiction sections all well stocked, and all from donated materials. Continuing donations ensure that new materials are constantly available. Only new-ish (not more than 5 years old) and excellent condition donated materials are accepted. There is a computer available if you need one, and wifi connection is being improved so that this link will also be possible. So come on in and enjoy! It’s Local, it’s Free and it’s Easy! Summer hours are Fri, 10–12, Sat 12-2 and Wed 10-12.
The Blue Skies Music Festival has been around for 43 years, but for many people it is a phantom event. Day passes have been available at locations in Perth, Kingston and Ottawa, but they can be sold out by mid-July. A schedule of performers is never published until a few days before the festival, and although people who make the trip up to Clarendon always report that the performances are memorable and the vibe is more than friendly, many people feel that the festival is not accessible. That is all changing, as Blue Skies finally joins the 1990s (it may even make it to the new millennium in a few years). Not only is the schedule of performers available online at blueskiesmusicfestival.ca, tickets are also available at the same location. Camping passes are still hard to come by, as many of them are reserved for committed volunteers and the rest are allocated by lottery in May of each year, but Friday night, Saturday and Sunday tickets are now readily available. In addition to being available online, they can be purchased at the front gate to the festival, on Clarendon Road off Road 509, on the Saturday and Sunday morning of the festival, which takes place on July 30 and 31 this year. The festival has a new artistic director this year, Danny Sullivan, who may be familiar to some readers because he has programmed several music series at MERA in McDonalds Corners. Sullivan, who lives with his family off the Bennett Lake Road north of Maberly, served as the artistic director at Blue Skies once before, he recalled when interviewed earlier this week, in the mid-1980s. At that time the music director at the festival had less authority than they do now. The bands they wanted to hire were vetted by a committee. “I left the job after one year, even though it is usually a three-year term,” Sullivan said, “because it was hard to program the way I wanted to while pleasing a group like that.” Since taking on the job after last year's festival, Sullivan has attended different kinds of music conferences and showcases in Montreal, Toronto, and elsewhere. “I made sure to see a live performance by every band that I booked this year. You can't tell how a band performs in front of an audience by their recordings and videos,” he said, “and I not only had the job of booking the bands, I also have to put together programs that fit together well.” He also decided that, for his first year, he would not book any acts that have already played at Blue Skies in the past. “One of the performers I am most looking forward to seeing, Corin Raymond, was at Blue Skies with the band, the Undesirables, several years ago but he is coming back as a solo act. He always brings something different to the stage,” Sullivan said. Another act that he mentioned was Akawui, who will be closing the festival on the Sunday night. “Akawui is a former mixed martial arts fighter of Chilean heritage, who has indigenous roots through his Mapuch grandmother. He performs in a Latino-urban-electro style with a hint of the Chilean star-band Inti Illimani. At the end of his show he is joined by dancers from Akwasasne in full mask. It should be a spectacle that will get people moving.” The final act dovetails with the opening of the festival on Friday night. “Blue Skies is one of the only festivals that owns the land where it takes place, and this is the 10th anniversary of the year when the land was purchased. In order to celebrate that, and the 40 years before that when the land was owned by Oskar Graf, as well as the Algonquin stewardship of the land for thousands of years before that, we will be holding a drumming ceremony to start the festival with members of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation.” Danny Sullivan said he already has plans for next year's festival, but for now he is looking forward to seeing how all the pieces he has assembled will come together in 2016. And for the first time ever, everything anyone needs to know about attending the festival can be found at their website.
Fiddlers and Friends have filled the Ompah Community Centre several times in the last few years and the appreciative audience left wanting more. In fact the audience joined in whenever the opportunity arose and felt that they were part of the concert too. The band has always talked about the great audience and all fun they had. They are delighted to have the chance to return to play in Ompah. Fiddlers and Friends love to entertain by sharing their joy of music and zany sense of fun. They play a cheerful set of old-time fiddle tunes that has the audience clapping, toe-tapping and singing along. Fiddlers are joined by keyboard, double bass, and cello. The irrepressible Lois Webster who makes many of her own percussion instruments and costumes, dances and keeps everyone guessing what she will do next. Mark Thursday, July 21 at 7pm on your calendar. Admission is $10 at the door. Following the concert, musicians and audience can mingle over refreshments. For further information, contact Marily Seitz, 613-479-2855.
Taking a cue from a campaign in Kingston, the Leadership in Training volunteers with the Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) Youth program have set up collection baskets at three locations in Sharbot Lake to encourage donations of toiletries for the North Frontenac Food Bank. “Many people don't realize that it is not just food that people need from the food bank, but items like toilet paper, toothpaste, razors, and soap are also important,” said Brian Dunford, youth co-ordinator with NFCS. Leadership in Training (LIT) is a program at NFCS that is funded by the United Way. Youth are volunteering at the NFCS summer program and at other programs throughout the year. “It was our LITs who had the idea for the Toilet Paper the Town project,” said Dunford. “They have developed materials for the campaign, and have placed collection bins and written materials explaining the program.” Bins are located at Sharbot Lake Pharmasave, the NFCS adult building (behind the Oso Hall) and the St. Lawrence College Employment Centre. The group is looking for new locations as well. The program is set to run until August 18, the date of the annual NFCS Community Barbeque, when a presentation will be made to the North Frontenac Food Bank. “We kind of have a soft deadline for this on the 18th, said Dunford, “but we may keep it going after that.”
On July 18, Owen and Cari Tryon opened their family farm to the public as a fundraiser for the Parham Fair. The 200-acre farm, located on Wagarville Road, has been in the Tryon family for three generations. “My grandfather bought the farm in 1943 and my father grew up here. Cari and I took it over in 2004,” Owen Tryon told us. The Tryon family sells produce, pork, chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, beef and lamb, which are all government inspected. Owen and Cari, along with their four children, gave guests a look into their daily lives and routines. Owen acts as the 2nd vice-president for the fair and said they decided a few weeks ago to put this Family Farm Day together. “We have done a baseball tournament in the past, but it became less and less popular, so we thought we would give this a try. Hopefully it becomes an annual event.” Kids had their faces painted by Ashley Hickey and ran around with big smiles on their faces after jumping in the bouncy castle or taking a trip down the giant waterslide put up by the District 4 Rec Committee. They also enjoyed a trailer-ride around the farm behind an ATV and some tried out the pedal tractors that will be used in a new event at the Parham Fair this year; the Pedal Tractor Pull. Bob Teal of the District 4 Recreation Committee manned the grill at the canteen, where there were barbequed hot dogs and sausages, cold drinks, Black Kettle Popcorn and other treats for everyone to enjoy. The barns and paddocks were busy with grown-ups and kids taking tours, meeting the animals and learning how a family-run farm works. Pepper the goat was a favourite, as well as the baby bunnies and the border collie puppy, which greeted everyone with a soft, wagging tail and a lick. Hanny the donkey foal seemed to be the most photogenic of the farm animals and took a shine to the kids looking to give her some attention. With her soft fur, big eyes and big ears, she was a crowd pleaser. “She loves to have her neck rubbed” said Wendy Parliament, the president of the Parham Agricultural Society. The Parham Fair will be held on Friday & Saturday, August 19 & 20 this year. The schedule includes the cattle show; sheep shearing; hay wagon rides; the popular horse draw; and the Best-Dressed Cowboy & Cowgirl event. There will be baked goods, local crafts and artisans and much more. The midway will be in full swing, and live music will be performed on Friday night by the Old Habits and on Saturday night by One Busted Ego and HD Supply. There will not be a demolition derby this year, however. “We tried really hard to have it again this year since it is always so popular,” explained Parliament. “We had the sponsors lined up, but it takes a lot of manpower to set up and clean up the derby, especially the clean-up! We need volunteers out patrolling during the event too because we don't want drinking to be a problem.” The agricultural society is considering having the derby as a separate event from the fair in the future. “We really want it for the community and are always looking for volunteers!” Parliament added with a bright smile. The Tryon Family will be bringing some of their family farm friends to the Parham Fair. Everyone can meet their sheep, goats, poultry and more from 10am – 4pm on Saturday in the Critter Corral.
On Saturday, July 23, Theresa, Katie and Becki Procter will once again swim across Sharbot Lake to raise money for cancer research and to support those suffering from the disease. Over the past 7 years the three girls have raised more than $12,000, all of which stays in our area. The girls will enter the water near Sharbot Lake provincial park at 10 am and swim 3 km. to the Sharbot Lake beach, arriving at the Farmer’s Market around 11 o’clock. Donations can be dropped off at Sharbot Lake Pharmacy, Northern Frontenac Community Services or at the beach on the 23rd. Or you can donate online at http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/hopeswim2016.
Organizers of the 1st Annual Northern Classic Car Show were pleased with the turn out on July 24 at Harrowsmith Centennial Park. With over 65 vehicles registered, plus silent auction items donated from local businesses, the organizers were hoping to raise enough money to help a few kids with the cost of registering and playing hockey with the Frontenac Flyers Minor Hockey Association. Rick Law of the Godfrey Social Club was in attendance and had motorcycles on display for the kids to get their picture taken on. Law played classic 50s and 60s music throughout the day, which added to the relaxed feel at such a great location. With most of the cars in the shaded, treed area of the park, car enthusiasts were able to get a really good look at all the vehicles and have a bite to eat at picnic tables and benches. Organizer Larry Teal felt it was a great first year and is optimistic it will grow next year.
There's going to be a big bash to kick off the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Frontenac Community Arena on Saturday August 6. Doors open at 7pm, and the cash bar will be open, followed by a sit-down dinner catered by Linda Bates. There will be some informal speeches and presentations after the dinner, and a commemorative book about the history of the arena will be launched. In the meantime, the silent auction will be going on, featuring, among other items, gift certificates and gift baskets, a signed hockey stick courtesy of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the featured item, an autographed Mike Smith jersey that was donated by the Smith family. As well, more items are coming in every day in the run up to the event. At 9 p.m. or so, Tamworth's own Texas Tuxedo will take the stage, performing highly danceable country rock until around 1 a.m. There will be shuttle buses heading north and south at the end of the evening. Tickets are $30 for the dinner and show. They are available at Gray's Grocery, the Central Frontenac Township Office, Asselstine Hardware, Leonard Fuels, Sydenham One Stop, Verona Hardware, Godfrey General Store and at the Arena. For further information, call 613-374-3177 or visit Frontenacarena.com
Reflections on 40 years of the NFCA Jim Stinson's first involvement in the North Frontenac Community Arena (he has trouble using the new Frontenac Community Arena moniker) was as a fund-raising volunteer in 1974 or 1975. “I was assigned Desert Lake Road because that is where I live. I went door to door asking for money,” he said when interviewed at the arena this week. He recalls that the idea of building an arena in Frontenac County had been kicked around since the mid 1960s but there were always obstacles in the way. There was talk in the early '70s between Hinchinbrooke, Oso, Olden and Bedford townships. According to Dave Hansen, who was serving on Hinchinbrooke Council at the time, the townships went together to Frontenac County for funding support. “We were told that if we agreed on a site and invested $100, they would put up the rest of the money. They were convinced we would never agree on a site, but we did agree on the Parham fair grounds as a site. When we went back, they said it turned out it was illegal for them to make the funding promise, so they backed out,” said Hansen, when contacted at his home on Tuesday. According to Jim Stinson and Dave Hansen, there was also talk between Loughborough and Portland Townships about building an arena but they couldn't agree about locating it in Harrowsmith or Sydenham. The logjam was broken when Portland came to the northern group after Grant Piercy offered them a piece of land on the border between Portland and Hinchinbrooke. Portland also committed to funding 41% of the operating costs, and that was that. Frontenac County offered up $100,000 ($20,000 for each township involved) and $25,000 came from the Lions Club. Wintario was offering up $2 for each dollar raised through fund raising. That, in addition to the already strong support for the project, kicked off a highly successful fund-raising drive. Between door-to-door canvassing, dinners, draws and corporate donations, $80,000 was raised, of which over $1,600 came from school children. In the end, only $14,000 of the $492,000 budget came from local taxation Although the arena is not located within the boundaries of any existing hamlet, it has the advantage of being located within a reasonably short drive from Arden, Sharbot Lake, Parham, Verona, Harrowsmith and Sydenham. Once the arena was built, it needed a manager. At that time Jim Stinson, like so many others from the region, commuted each day to a job at Alcan in Kingston. One day while sharing a ride to work, someone said he should consider applying for the job as arena manager. Since he had refrigeration and electrical training, he was a prime candidate for the arena manager's job, which at the beginning was only about maintaining the building, making the ice, keeping all the equipment running, etc. “I knew how to turn on the compressors, but what I didn't know was how to make ice, and an arena needs ice,” he recalls. The ice-maker at the Cataraqui arena came up and showed him how to make ice by flooding the rink in stages and slowly building up the surface, and in the fall of 1976, the North Frontenac Arena opened with a fresh sheet of ice. North Frontenac Minor Hockey started up right away, with Dick Steel as the driving force, with both girls and boys playing. Over 300 kids played hockey in that first year. At the same time Faye Steel started up a Figure Skating club, which lasted over 20 years. In the 1980s, there was a curling club at the arena for several years. The Frontenac Flyers, a Junior C team that competed in the Empire B League with teams from Amherstview, Napanee, Picton, Madoc and Campbelford, ran for almost 20 years before folding about ten years ago But it has been recreational hockey that has been the mainstay of the arena's success, and it remains busy seven days a week during the season with a men's league, an Over 30 league and boys' and girls' hockey leagues. Last year over 350 kids were enrolled in hockey at what is now known as the Frontenac Community Arena. Ten years ago, the arena was upgraded thanks to a fund-raising campaign known as Project End Zone, and more improvements are planned, including the current campaign to pay for heaters for the stands. The campaign has a $20,000 goal and now sits at $13,000. The arena will be marking its 40th anniversary this season, starting with a gala dinner and dance on August 6 (see the ad on page 12) and continuing into the coming season. We will have more details about the dance in next week's edition of the Frontenac News. For more information, go to Frontenacarena.com
Mike Burrell finds beauty where many people can’t. Looking past the night sky to a source of light, he admires the moths fluttering around the beam. He distinguishes their colour, size and species. He knows they are an invaluable part of nature. “We need moths for the health of our eco-system,” contends the 32-year-old zoologist. “Like anything, if we remove them, we’ll probably have issues.” Burrell was helping a group of 12 people understand moths at an evening workshop at Elbow Lake Environment Centre (ELEC) on July 16. The workshop was an initiative of ELEC and Kingston Field Naturalists. Considered a nuisance by many, moths are the quiet workers of the night. “They get a bad rap,” he admits. “Most of them are just going about their business pollinating plants. For the most part, they’re just another actor impacting the ecology of our forests.” By last July, 783 types of moths were found in South Frontenac. Burrell believes that more than twice that number are waiting to be found and identified. “I just love the diversity of them; there are so many,” he says with a smile. “You’re not going to go out and not see something new. It’s pretty neat to go out and see something new whenever you want.” A volunteer with the field naturalists who works with rare animals in Ontario, Burrell is pleased with the public’s interest in the insects. “We managed to see a lot of moths,” he says with a laugh about the workshop, which described the area’s mix of southern and northern species. “I’d say we were successful… Basically, every kind of plant you can find will have a moth feeding on it,” Burrell explains with authority. “There are all sorts of life histories with the species. There are some rare moths (too). They are just an amazing group of animals to learn about.” We only saw the Blinded Sphinx on Saturday.
Frontenac County staff presented a report last week that outlines the projected costs for three different options to reconfigure the county's administrative offices. As usual with reports concerning potential construction projects in the public sector, it provoked sticker shock among members of Council. The county offices are located in what is known as the Old House, a building that the county purchased in 1965 on a 7.7-hectare lot for $78,000. At that time the property was located in Pittsburgh Township, which was part of Frontenac County. The Fairmount Home for the Aged was built on the property and an annex was built between the two structures. In 1998 Pittsburgh Township joined the new City of Kingston, but Frontenac County maintained ownership of Fairmount Home and the Old House, which was, and is still being used to house Frontenac County’s administrative offices. The complex also houses the administrative offices of Frontenac Paramedic Services, which was established in 2002 to provide land ambulance service to Frontenac County and the City of Kingston. The Old House still looks and feels like a house, with offices located in renovated bedrooms off a circular staircase to the second floor. There is also an unused living room that is located between the administrative wing and the Clayton Room, a medium-sized meeting room that was used for County Council meetings when there were only four members of Council but is now only used for committee meetings. Accessibility issues throughout the building, in particular access to the second floor, as well as operating expenses are what led council to start looking at long-term options to bring the offices to an efficient, modern standard. The most inexpensive option that was presented is to make minimal changes the building, and simply “Renovate for washroom accessibility + improved reception + improved office productivity.” The cost estimate for that project is over $833,250. The second option was to abandon the second floor of the Old House, move the staff that are housed there to the current Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS) offices, and move the FPS headquarters to leased space in the City of Kingston. The cost estimate is $854,000 for construction, but this option would also result in extra annual leasing costs for FPS. The final option was to completely renovate the Old House and turn it into a two-storey, accessible office building and build an addition. The cost for that project is an estimated $4.4 million The report also presented two related, lower-cost versions of this option. One of them includes the addition but limits the renovation to the Old House to making a first-floor washroom accessible. It comes in at $2.5 million. The final option presented was to do some renovations to the existing Old House building and build a small addition. It comes to $2.8 million. County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender, who wrote the report, recommends the final option that was presented, for $2.8 million. He said that it “provides the best value by ensuring that all current deficiencies are addressed while providing for all space needs for the foreseeable future. It also keeps FPS administration within the current facility, while not eliminating future options for alternate uses of the FPS suite and/or the second floor.” Although Council agreed to set up the task force, the prospects that the project will proceed according to the time lines that Pender included in his report are minimal. The task force is expected to report back in time for the project to be included in this year’s budget deliberations in the fall. “I haven't seen a number here that I can support,” said South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal. “We could build a stand-alone building for less. There is no way I would support this.” Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said, “I've got a worry about the cost of all this. Once we get into this it could lead to a levy increase. It should be deferred until budget at the very least.” Councilor Natalie Nossal from Frontenac Islands, the council point person for Frontenac Paramedic Services, said, “It is not optimal to move FPS to a new location, away from the administration. That would make [the second option] unacceptable.” Councilor John McDougall said that the task force should be given leave to look at other options as well. “I think the options are somewhat limited,” he said. A motion to set up a task force to work with staff to come up with a recommendation was approved. It is unclear if the task force will report back in time for the 2017 budget. New personal support worker shift at Fairmount – Yes Council supported a recommendation from Lisa Hirvi, the interim administrator for Fairmount Home, to increase the complement of personal support workers in the home by one 7 ½ hour shift per day. In the report that accompanied the request, Hirvi said that the increasing frailty of residents when they enter the home has made it hard for staff to keep up with the demand for care. She also wrote that the home has received more in transfers from the province this year than budgeted. She recommended that the position be brought in on a trial basis until the end of the year so a more permanent commitment can be considered when the 2017 budget is being considered. Councilor John Inglis from North Frontenac said, “I support this position. At the same time I think we should look further at the fact that Fairmount remains at the high cost end for municipally-run homes.” The vote in support of the new position was unanimous. Second communications officer – Not now Council did not accept a staff proposal to create a new communications officer position. The staff proposal was to fund the position partly from the Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS) budget, which would have only a minimal impact on Frontenac County ratepayers who pay only a small portion of the FPS budget since the Province of Ontario and the City of Kingston pay the lion's share. They were also seek support from the Frontenac townships through individual fee-for-service agreements. One of the larger parts of the new position’s responsibilities would be to manage the ever-increasing county and FPS social media profiles. The net impact on the 2017 budget would be an increase in the Communications budget from $80,000 to $115,000. Council was in not in a mood to spend the money. “I think I need to hear from my Council before I support this,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle. South Frontenac Councilor John McDougall noted that the proposal did not come with an endorsement from the four township CAOs, who meet regularly to discuss prospects for shared services among themselves and the county. North Frontenac Councilor John Inglis had the line of the day, when he said that North Frontenac does not need help with Twitter and Facebook because, “We have a mayor who is pretty slippery when it comes to social media”, a reference to Mayor Ron Higgins, who uses Twitter on almost a daily basis to comment on municipal and other matters. Although Council did not agree to set up the new communications position, they did not reject it entirely either. The proposal will be forwarded to each of the townships for review and comment by October 19.
The OPP Frontenac Detachment is urging all residents to be vigilant with their personal information. In the past month, Frontenac OPP has investigated several complaints from residents who have become victims of Identity Fraud. Culprit(s) obtained personal information such as, full name, date of birth, Social Insurance Numbers, full address, driver’s license number and credit card information. The information is then used to apply for credit cards at various large chain department stores. How to protect yourself: Do not provide personal information to unknown persons over the Internet or telephone. Familiarize yourself with billing cycles that you receive in the mail. If bills that are expected to arrive at a certain date do not arrive, inquire with the company or financial institution. Ask yourself if you need all of the identity documents you carry in your wallet or purse. Remove any you don’t need and store in a secure place. Trash bins are a goldmine for identity thieves. Ensure you shred personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage. Your best protection method is to monitor your hard copy or on-line financial accounts frequently and to check your credit report regularly for any unusual activities. If you receive calls from collection agencies about unfamiliar accounts, or if you applied for credit and were unexpectedly turned down, you should investigate further. If you think you have been a victim of Identity Fraud: Step 1 - Contact your local police force and file a report. Step 2 – Contact your bank/financial institution and Credit Card Company. Step 3 –Contact the two national credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Equifax Canada. Toll free 1-800-465-7166 TransUnion Canada. Toll free 1-877-525-3823 For more information about Identity Frauds and recent scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) website. www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
While the kids played games, adults took the opportunity to visit at events throughout the region on a Canada Day where the rain held off, for the most part. The oddest event this year was certainly the best legs contest for men at Harrowsmith. Top left - waiting to get into the bouncey castle at Centennial Park (Harrowsmith) - top middle - Cooking up a storm at Gerald Ball Park (Sunbury) - top right, riding the Water Slide at the Point Park in Sydenham, and bottom right, the 2017 150th anniversary committee already promoting their plans for next year at the beach in Sharbot Lake
A report by the consulting group Ameresco, which was received by the board of trustees of the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) last month, recommends the closure of at least two elementary schools in Frontenac County over the next 10 years. The process for closing Prince Charles Public School in Verona is projected to begin in three years, and the process for closing Land O'Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove is projected to get underway in seven years. The report also recommends that community partners be sought to help cover costs for facilities that will remain open but will be under capacity, such as North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne, and Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake. None of the report’s recommendations have been formally adopted or even considered by the LDSB board of trustees. The report, titled “LDSP Long Term Accommodation Plan” was commissioned by the board in response to provincial directives that, in the words of the report, “require 100% utilization of schools, board-wide, year-over-year, in order to ensure that facility renewal and school operation costs (i.e. cost to heat, light and clean) are met”. Based on enrolment projections, the report concludes that within 15 years there will be excess capacity for 2,787 elementary students and 1,540 secondary students in the entire Limestone Board if changes are not made. The Limestone Board currently operates 53 elementary and 11 secondary schools in the City of Kingston, and in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington counties. While the first section of the report sets out series of facts and provincial policies, the second section, “Proposed Long Term Accommodation Plan by Family of Schools”, offers recommendations to accomplish 100% utilization by making changes in just about every corner of the board's reach. Jane Douglas, communications director for the LDSB, said that a staff report to the trustees on the recommendations is expected in the fall, and consultations with the school communities and the public at large will take place before any decisions are made to adopt its recommendations. “What's important is to ensure there is a large district-wide review before any steps are taken,” she said. “In the rural area there is a great need to bring together possibilities. There is lots of potential for partnerships with municipalities and community groups and agencies to deal with some of the surplus capacity,” she said South Frontenac Township is covered for the most part by the Sydenham High School (SHS) Family of Schools. In the Sydenham family, Prince Charles in Verona is already under the 80% utilization threshold that is considered a minimum for continued operation of a school. In 2016-17, the projected enrolment of 182 students Prince Charles is 69% of the school’s capacity of 265 students. The projections going forward to 2030 call for only a very slight decrease, to 177. However, the capacity of Loughborough Public School is 549, and it has a 2016-17 enrolment of 422 (77% of capacity), which is projected to drop to 314 by 2030 (only 57% of capacity). Therefore the report recommends that a Program Accommodation Review (PAR) process be undertaken in the 2019-2020 school year “with a view to consolidate Prince Charles PS into Loughborough PS.” Harrowsmith Public School is projected to remain over capacity (105%) over the next 15 years. In order to deal with projected decrease in enrolment at Sydenham High School from the current 719 (94% 0f capacity) to 569 (74% of capacity) by 2030, the report recommends diverting students from the portion of rural Kingston north of Hwy. 401 from their current schools to Sydenham. As far as the Granite Ridge Education Centre Family of Schools is concerned, the report points out first that all three schools in the family (Granite Ridge, Land O'Lakes and Clarendon Central) are well below the 80% threshold, and will continue to drop over time. By 2030, it sees the elementary panel at only 51% of capacity at both Granite Ridge (142 students) and Land O'Lakes (107 students). By putting the two schools together, the projected enrolment would be 268, which is still only 77% of capacity. Even though the report does not talk about closing Clarendon Central in Plevna, it allocates the projected enrolment for Clarendon Central to Granite Ridge by 2030. The report recommends that a PAR process for the Granite Ridge Family of Schools be established in 2023/23 “with a view to consolidate Land O’Lakes PS into Granite Ridge Education Centre” As far as North Addington Education Centre is concerned, the report says that the school, which has the capacity for 305 elementary and 327 secondary students, is already well under capacity, particularly in the secondary panel where there are only 106 students, and will continue to see enrolment decreases over the next 15 years. The report does not recommend closing NAEC, however, because of its location, but says the board might consider “converting two classrooms into a community hub/technology centre” in the short term, and in the longer term look at exploring “with the Ministry of Health the possibility of converting un-used space into a long-term care facility”. Suzanne Ruttan, the school board trustee for South Frontenac, appeared before South Frontenac Council on Tuesday evening to talk about the Ameresco report, along with Paul Babbin, the superintendent of building services for the Limestone Board. He said that in early September there will be a meeting that will be open to the public to discuss next steps in the process. Mayor Ron Vandewal did not accept did not accept the inevitable closure of Prince Charles Public School. “The surest way to kill a community is to close its school,” he said. When contacted, Karen McGregor, the board trustee for Central and North Frontenac and Addington Highlands, said that it is too early to talk about school closings and re-purposing since the report was just received last month. “It includes a lot of information for us to consider,” she said. The Ameresco report also calls for the closure of Glenburnie Public School but does not see any changes at Storrington or Perth Road Public Schools. The report includes projected financial savings over time if its recommendations are implemented.
It started with a conversation between Northbrook's Bob Taylor and musician Bill White of Kingston, who is originally from Plevna. They were talking about their mutual friend Reg Weber, a musician and music store owner who has been ailing, but with some new medication has been able to play again. “Bill said it would be great if Reg could play at the Flinton Jamboree this year and it got me thinking about all of the great musicians and promoters and singers from the region who are getting older and those who have passed on. I spent all night thinking about it and by the next morning I had the idea,” said Bob Taylor. He called Bill White back the next morning, and “within two hours we had the whole thing worked out,” said Taylor. The Land O'Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame will not be housed in a physical building, but will include a website, some memorabilia that will be offered to museums in Tweed, Napanee, Cloyne and Hartington, and will be expressed mostly through an annual ceremony on the Saturday afternoon of the Flinton Jamboree each year. “We went all out with the plaques that will be presented to the inductees,” said Bob Taylor. “They are made of rosewood; they include a good picture, and are something substantial that we expect will be much appreciated.” Taylor and White recruited musicians, promoters and music lovers from the Land O'Lakes region to help them. The first thing they did was put together a list of names, people who have made their mark locally, nationally and even internationally in traditional country, bluegrass and gospel circles. This is the pool of people they will choose from over the next few years as the virtual hall is being populated The board of directors has representatives from Verona, Arden, Plevna, Yarker, Cloyne, Tweed and Madoc and for the first year the names that they came up with were done through consensus. “We are setting up a more formal process for future years, and will be including previous inductees as part of it,” said Taylor. The names of the inaugural members of the hall are no secret, however; they were announced at the same time that the establishment of the hall was announced back in early June. Reg Weber is the inductee in the instrumentalist/ entertainer’s category. Reg has owned music stores in Northbrook and, more recently Perth, and is a guitarist who has played in numerous bands and one off situations for decades throughout the Ottawa Valley and southeast Ontario. Cathy Whalen, in the band leader/ entertainer’s category, is the founding member of the Land O'Lakes Cruisers, a group that has been active for 49 years. They have raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity over that time, and are performing at the Jamboree as well this year. The late Floyd Lloyd, radio host/ recording artist /band leader/ entertainer, made his name internationally after moving from Northbrook to Oshawa for a job at General Motors. In Oshawa he formed the group the Golden Boys, and eventually recorded four albums and toured through Canada and the United States. George Yorke from Marlbank, the first inductee in the promoter category, is known as an auctioneer and for his tireless efforts organising concerts and festivals over the years. Finally, the lifetime achievement awards are going to Charlie Pringle and Harold Perry. “The Lifetime Achievement awards are set aside for older performers who have contributed to the music scenes in their communities over many years even if they never have had a commercial career,” said Taylor. “Everybody loves old Charlie. He's played everywhere and keeps on going even though he is almost 90. And Harold has done so many things over the years as a mentor to youth, from playing music and teaching guitar to judo and woodworking. We thought it would be great to honour them both.” The ceremony, which will be held on Saturday July 30 at the Flinton Jamboree from 3 until 5 pm, will feature a number of performances and reminiscences by friends and colleagues of the inductees in addition to the presentation of the plaques. MP Mike Bossio will be on hand to make the presentations. “We wanted it to be more like a show than just a break in the regular music to present an award,” said Taylor. Tickets are readily available for the Flinton Jamboree (see page 6 for details) and there may be special pricing available for the Saturday matinee.
Mazinaw Lake and Bon Echo Provincial Park have drawn artists to its shores for hundreds of years. To maintain the example of the aboriginal peoples, the Group of Seven and the many artists who still come to appreciate and create, the Friends of Bon Echo Park is sponsoring the 21st annual Art Exhibition & Sale of original Canadian art on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 22, 23 & 24 from 10am – 4pm daily. Over 45 exhibitors will be displaying their work at the sale, and in addition, there will be presentations from Sciensational Sssnakes on Saturday & Sunday at 11am; kids’ activities; a barbeque; and live music from 1pm daily, Park admission applies. For information please call 613-336-0830 or visit www.bonechofriends.ca/artshow.html The Friends of Bon Echo Park is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Bon Echo Provincial Park. The Art Exhibition and Sale is one example of how we carry out this mission.
Melissa Dakers and Chloe Lajoie of Watersheds Canada were in Cloyne July 16 to outline the natural shoreline program. They explained the structure of a natural shoreline, and how it protects our waterfront properties, cleans our water and supports the natural inhabitants of our waterways. They offer a service that will come to our properties and discuss with us our goals for shoreline development. Using photos they will work out a waterfront plan, recommending species and placement of plants ranging from flowers to trees. This plan is discussed with the property owners and modified to their wishes. The most exciting part of the program is that they then will order the plantings and come and plant them on our properties. The landowner pays 25% of the cost of the plants and agrees to maintain them. The Waterfront Canada staff remain involved to offer suggestions if any difficulties arise with the plantings. They can be reached at 613-2641244 or www.watersheds.ca.