Levy increase sits at $400,000 or 6.2%, but reserves remain at 2015 levels Central Frontenac Counci...
Appeal period passes without incident The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has clarified t...
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.
Over 60 people of all ages attended the dinner and Chinese auction fundraiser at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club on January 16. The event included a full course meal and as well, close to 20 items, most donated by club members, were auctioned off. By the end of the night over $500 was raised and the proceeds will go towards the cost of keeping the club operating. Club organizers have also been busy preparing for the club’s second annual Ride For Dad fundraiser for Prostate Cancer, which will take place at the club on Saturday, February 27. Last year’s event attracted close to 100 riders and club president Ruth Wark says she hopes to see that number rise. “We're shooting for 150 riders this year and it looks as though the snow and cold will help the trails freeze down and make for a great day of riding for those who come out.” Local businesses are invited to sponsor the event. Registration takes place the day of the ride from 8 –10 am. The $30 registration fee includes a trail lunch at the Civitan Club in Lanark, and riders who raise over $100 in pledges will get their registration fee returned, or, if they wish they can donate it to the cause. The club will be serving a full course spaghetti dinner the night of the ride for $8. Riders will depart from Snow Road and follow the trail to Sharbot Lake, then head east to Perth and north to Lanark, where they will stop for lunch. They will then continue on to Middleville, Hopetown and meet back at the club. The 100km ride will take riders through some fabulous scenery and terrain. Participants can pre-register at www.ridefordad.ca and supporters can also make pledges on line there. For more information, contact Ruth Wark at 613-278-0477.
Tom Neal Sr. served on Council for the Township of Barrie for thirty plus years between 1953 and 1997. He served as reeve for at least 28 years and as the warden for the County of Frontenac in 1972. Reeve Neal was the last municipal officer to wear the Chain of Office for the Barrie Township before the municipality amalgamated in January 1998 to form the Township of North Frontenac. A framed picture and certificate honouring former Reeve Neal was dedicated and hung in the Harlowe Community Hall. Mayor Higgins advised it was a pleasure to be able to celebrate former Reeve Neal’s dedication and hard work within the township and the county, and is honoured to be able to recognize the contributions Reeve Neal made in making our community what it is today. He also informed the family that we appreciate what Tom accomplished for our community.
Ompah Fire Hall In Need Of Repair Jeremy Neven, the Chief Building Official, did an inspection of the Ompah Fire Hall in early December 2015 and pointed out 13 violations of the Ontario Building Code that need to be addressed. The issues range from caulking the shower stall, moving pressure valves, electrical outlets, and water lines, to venting laundry traps and insulating the floor. “I just can't believe this,” Councillor Wayne Good said. “On a brand new rebuild of a building...This is just ridiculous.” “Council made a decision not to go ahead with a professional project manager and to use a volunteer instead,” Mayor Higgins said. “The Township itself is ultimately responsible for this as we never followed up on inspections.” “Our existing building inspector pretty much refused to do interim inspections,” Councillor Gerry Martin said. “The biggest and most major issue is the fact that the floor was improperly installed,” Councillor Bedard said. “We spent a pile of money on a concrete floor with the chances now of it heaving and destroying the in-floor heating system.” “We were not willing to spend the money on a contractor to come in and do the whole thing,” Councillor Inglis said. “We went with this process because it was going to save us money.” “The cost of fixing this, compared to the (quoted) cost of that building,” Inglis said. “We still have a 100% success rate with this.” “For all this is going to cost us it's nothing compared to what it would've been with a major contractor,” Councillor Good said. Bathroom Built Without Permit Causing Grief For Cottagers Joe Gallivan, from the County planning department, made a presentation to Council on Monday morning regarding the request for a by-law amendment, made by Beth and Bo Mocherniak, cottagers on Lake Kashawakamak, to allow them to keep the bathroom they built in their garage. The Mocherniaks built a two-storey garage on their property in 2014 and added a bathroom to the structure in 2015. The project, excluding the bathroom, was constructed with a building permit, allowing them to build a garage with sleeping quarters upstairs. The bathroom was built in 2015, without a building permit, and was tied into the existing septic system of the original cottage. The Mocherniaks purchased their cottage approximately 12 years ago although Beth has been cottaging in the area since the 1960's. When they first purchased the cottage their family was 5 people. It's now 9 people and soon to be 10. “We've been cottaging here for a number of years and we've continued to support the local economy and use local builders and suppliers,” Mr. Mocherniak said. The Mocherniaks made a plea to Council to allow them to keep the bathroom. They suggested that it wasn't practical to expand the current single bathroom in their cottage as it would mean possibly eliminating one of their bedrooms. They also said that the original cottage bathroom setup made it difficult to bath a child in, a concern of theirs since they've now got grandchildren. The new bathroom in the garage includes a bathtub to alleviate this problem. “It is almost impossible to bath a child in a shower stall,” Mr. Mocherniak added. The garage is considered an accessory structure and therefore isn't allowed to have a sanitary, or cooking, area in it, under the local zoning regulations. “We didn't realize we needed a separate permit for it,” Bo Mocherniak said regarding adding the bathroom to the garage. “Our contractor didn't mention it to us.” “I would say the majority of the area is habitable and insulated,” Gallivan said. “There is no kitchen but there is the tub and the shower and running water in the summer time.” “I would argue that 'majority' is not correct,” Bo Mocherniak said. “It is a garage. We store stuff there. Maybe a significant portion (is livable)” Brad Taylor, a neighbour to the Mocherniaks, raised concerns during the meeting. “What it comes down to is the building code and the by-law,” Taylor said. “If you do allow special exemptions to one person then you're opening the door to everyone else.” “If we allow this to go through we might as well scrap the zoning by-law,” Councillor John Inglis said. “The word 'shall' would be replaced by the word 'should'.” “The washroom addition doesn't impact the environment. The septic system can handle it,” Councillor Dennis Bedard said. “Why wouldn't our by-laws change to accommodate situations like this?” “That's something to consider, changing the by-law,” Mayor Ron Higgins said. “That would include the planning department and the building inspector but the point is we have an existing by-law we need to go by right now.” “We just built a cottage next store. It's 1300 square feet,” said Louis Armstrong, a neighbour of the Mocherniaks. “They just built a garage that's 1344 square feet. I'm thinking I'm going to pay high taxes on my brand new cottage and they're going to pay taxes on a garage that's bigger than my new cottage. I just don't find it's fair to skirt around the rules. The by-law amendment request for the Mocherniaks was voted on by Council and defeated 5-1. Plugging In The Ministry of Transportation is investing $20 million into installing public electric vehicle charging stations throughout Ontario through their Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario program (EVCO). The program is a one-time, competitive, application-based grant program designed to cover the costs of purchasing and installing a public charging station and is accepting applications up until February 12th 2016. “The Economic Development Task Force (EDTF) recommended that the Township actually apply for the grant,” Councillor Inglis said. “If we get a grant to do something than we'll scramble to find a private partner. I'd like permission for the Township to pursue the application and that we deal with the question of ownership if we get the grant.” “Our choice was Cloyne,” Councillor Inglis said regarding a potential location for one of the charging stations. “We'd be lucky to get one here.” The Township could apply for 100% of the costs to cover the project through the EVCO and there is no limit to how many chargers they can apply for. These charging stations allow an electric vehicle to reach 80% charged in 20-30 minutes. Potential Ompah Picnic Area Councillor Bedard met with members of the Ottawa ATV group last week to discuss the idea about developing a trailhead and picnic area with a washroom in the Ompah area. “The Ottawa ATV group officially committed a minimum of $2500 towards the project,” Bedard said, “I also have a meeting with the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance on Thursday and will be discussing it more formally with them to see if they're interested in participating.” “It might be an opportunity to combine all these partners and put this together,” Bedard said. “It's not intended to be used just by that group (ATV's),” Bedard said. “A picnic area and washrooms would allow people coming into the community to stop and maybe look at a map, use the washroom. The biggest structure would be similar to the pavilion at the park in Plevna.” “We don't have to do anymore than the Malcolm Lake boat landing,” Councillor Gerry Martin pointed out. “That's being used all the time. Families are using the picnic tables, the washrooms. They stop there.” The project has been budgeted to cost between $13,000-$14,000.
Those curious about local family-run farms will be pleased to know that they are invited to explore the 200-acre, three generations old Tryon Family Farm located on Wagarville Road near Parham. This is a new event at this year's 10th annual Frontenac Heritage Festival and the owners, Owen and Cari Tryon, along with their four children, will be generously opening their farm gate to guests to come and see what takes place at their farm, which has been in operation for close to 75 years. The couple, who farm the property along with the help of Owen's father Boyd, will be showing off their sheep, goats, pigs, horses and cows to those interested in visiting the paddocks and the barns where the animals are front and center. Guests will have a chance to feed, pet and observe the animals, and who can resist the sight of the newest farm animals, which appeared on the scene just a few weeks ago? These include a squealing brood of young piglets and a number of very feisty kid goats. There are also donkeys, rabbits, ducks and the three family dogs, who will also be in attendance. Visitors will also have a chance to learn about the various types of farming equipment used to help keep this family-run operation in good working order. The Hinchinbrooke Recreation Committee will be setting up a number of outdoor activities at the farm, which the whole family can enjoy. Guests will also be invited to sip a cup of hot cider and warm up by a bonfire. Visitors are asked to park their cars at the Wagarville Road fire hall, where a free shuttle service will be offering guests lifts to and from the farm every 20 minutes. The fun takes place on Sunday, February 14 from 1p.m. - 4 p.m. Boots are a must since the weather has been spring-like, and make sure to dress for outdoor weather. Also, don't forget the many other favourite activities on offer as part of this year's festival, which include historical re-enactments; free open mic events; a craft show and artisan demonstrations; and an Empty Bowls fundraiser event in Arden. As well, a number of special festival meals will be available at various local restaurants, community halls, and the local Legions. There will be a Valentine's Day dance, plus a number of outdoor activities like snowshoeing, a walk/run event, and also new this year, a leisurely snowmobile ride along the historic K&P Trail. The festival opens on Friday, February 12 with a special ceremony at the Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake at 6:30 pm, which will be followed by the ever popular Variety Show at 7pm. The show will feature a star-studded line up of well-known musicians, singers and entertainers of all ages from in and around the community. For a full listing of all of the the events including dates, times and locations, consult the blue Frontenac Heritage Festival brochure that is inserted in this week's paper.
After a well-attended kick-off in November, Music and Friends, hosted by Feral Five, will be starting up again at The Crossing Pub in Sharbot Lake with a series of musical evenings. The evenings are designed to showcase good quality, local, amateur musicians, and will take place on the 4th Thursday of the month in February, March and April. Entertainment involves the musical antics of Feral Five along with performances by invited guests, and the opportunity to hit the dance floor if the spirit moves you. The evenings run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. keeping in mind that some people need to get up for work the next day. Thursday, February 25 will feature TRXTRS: the husband and wife team of Jerrard and Diana Smith. The repertoire of this dynamic duo consists of rootsy country tunes mixed with blues, some old standards and even some reggae. The audience is sure to enjoy Jerrard's resonant voice and instrumental work coupled with Diana's melodic vocals. A $5 cover charge will be collected at the door with seating limited to 85. Drinks are available from the bar. Anyone interested in a meal before the music starts should make reservations at the Sharbot Lake Country Inn (613-279-2198) in advance. Other guest performers include The Bedhead Buskers (Gabby White & Nathan Paul) on Thursday, March 24, whose music is a mixture of East Coast, Folk and Bluegrass tunes sung to the accompaniment of guitar, fiddle and mandolin. We certainly look forward to hearing the efforts of this new duo. Thursday, April 28 brings Julia Schall and Shawn Savoie back to our stage. Julia and her endearing musical talents accompanied by Shawn on stand-up bass are always entertaining, but, as an added feature, they will also be joined by Amy Gillan (vocals and mandolin) and Bruce McConnell (vocals and banjo). So if you're looking for something to do over the cold, dark winter evenings, join us for Music and Friends. You won't be disappointed.
Performers are storytellers at heart. One way or another every song tells a story of some kind. Performers also tell stories between songs, and often develop a kind of patter that works for them as they travel from town to town. It seems that singer songwriters who, like Matthew Hornell, are from the Maritimes, also like to tell funny and heartfelt stories between the songs. The stories help to cement the relationship between the performer and the audience. They tend to have an off-the-cuff feel even if the same story is told night after night on tour. In Hornell's case, at least on Friday night, he would begin stories, then digress to another story, then shift to a different location at a different time in his life, and then say, “Don't worry, we'll get back to the story eventually.” I'm pretty sure he always did, and it was a fun ride along the way. His songs have some of the melancholy edge from the East Coast, and a musicality and zip that comes from the mix of east coast Celtic and bluegrass influences. Hornell has been touring with dobro player Andrew Sneddon, but as he kicked off a mini-tour of eastern Ontario that continues in Picton, Wakefield, Ottawa and Peterborough, he performed solo, as Sneddon has backed out of the tour because of a family matter. Hornell was more than capable of performing solo. His guitar work, singing voice, original songs and a few covers had enough variety to keep the evening flowing with no let up. He also paid tribute to the late Newfoundland songwriter Ron Hynes, the first performer ever to grace the Crossing Pub stage, with a tune during each set. Near the end of the second set, local fiddle and mandolin partners, Gabrielle White and Nate Paul, joined Hornell on stage, and a different side of Hornell was shown, as a singer and player who loves to share the stage, on both Celtic and bluegrass-tinged numbers.
In an effort to inspire local students with the message that they too can realize their dreams while helping others, former Sharbot Lake resident Dorothy Buchanan Quattrocchi has been visiting area schools to speak about her son, Mark Quattrocchi, who for the last 18 months has been cycling solo across the globe in support of the international charity and educational partner, Free the Children. The charity aims to empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty by developing collaborative and sustainable programs both at home and abroad. Dorothy, who was a former teacher, principal and vice-principal for 30 years with the Catholic District School board of Eastern Ontario, was invited to both Granite Ridge Education Centre and St. Major Catholic School in Sharbot Lake on February 1 to tell students about her son's incredible story. Mark Quattrocchi grew up in Rideau Ferry and has taught English in both South Korea and China. On July 7, 2014, he set out from Sanya, China on a bicycle he purchased there, and armed with a tent and other supplies began a two-year journey across four continents. Inspired by a wish to explore the world and to bring education and literacy to children along the way where schools do not exist, he is hoping to raise $50,000 to support the building of five different schools in five separate locations. To date Quattrocchi has biked over 26,000 kilometres and raised over $33,000 in support of Free the Children. He traveled from China westward along the old Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and India before flying to Turkey and then continuing his trip through Eastern Europe. He entered North Africa and cycled across the continent. He then flew from Cape Town to Argentina where he continued his journey. Currently he is in Peru, working his way towards Ecuador. From there he will head north through the United States and Canada and is hoping to arrive home in Rideau Ferry in time to celebrate his 28th birthday in June of this year. On his website, www.oneadventureplease.com he blogs about his experiences and keeps interested followers up to date about his whereabouts. He writes, “Through my experiences, thoughts and ambitions about adventure, I strive to give motivation to people to follow their dreams. It is not just about travel, but showing people the tools available to succeed in life and find their true calling. To find what we are all looking for. To make life happen for yourself, to live your dreams and open yourself to new surroundings. I love this world. It is an amazing place and I hope you are able to find power through my experiences.” In Dorothy’s presentation to the students, which included a number of Go Pro videos that Mark filmed from a camera mounted on his bike, the students were able to get a glimpse of many of the exotic places that he has visited. Dorothy explained to the students that Mark is surviving on $5/day and also relies on the hospitality and support of people he meets along the way. She spoke of the challenges he faces riding on average 130 km a day; challenges not only from the extreme heat and cold in certain places, but also from having to be 100% self-reliant and prepared for whatever comes his way. For Dorothy, Mark’s trip has opened up new worlds for both her and her husband. They have met up with him three times so far on his journey, in China, India and South Africa. Mark’s trip is a great way to show students how to realize their dreams. Lori Bryden, vice-principal of St. James Major, said that the students at the school were looking to do some fundraising this year on a global level, and Mark’s trip has given them the perfect opportunity. “In the past the students have done a lot of local fundraising and the oldest students this year have expressed an interest in fundraising globally. When I learned of Mark's trip through Facebook I thought that it would be the perfect thing for them to support.” The students are planning to do just that and others who may want to support Mark's efforts can visit his website at www.oneadventureplease.com
Appeal period passes without incident The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has clarified the wording in a clause they inserted into the Frontenac County Official Plan, and South Frontenac Planner Lindsay Mills has informed his Council that an appeal is no longer necessary. The issue that concerned Council was over a clause prohibiting development within settlement areas or hamlets where public water and sewer services are not available. As Mills pointed out to members of South Frontenac Council at a meeting on January 26, this clause would affect development in all South Frontenac hamlets (and all hamlets in the entire county) Even Sydenham, the only hamlet in South Frontenac that provides water for residents, does not have a sewer system in place. The clause included an exception, however, permitting new development in cases of “infilling and minor rounding out of existing development”. Mills wrote to the ministry on the morning of January 27 asking for clarification, and on the same day Damien Shaeffer of the ministry’s Kingston office replied, saying in part, “The terms 'infill' and 'minor rounding out' are not defined and allow flexibility for implementation based on local circumstances.” Shaeffer added that proponents of development within hamlets would “need to demonstrate that there will be no negative impacts associated with the provision of individual on-site services before the development can proceed.” Since this is already how development is done in South Frontenac, Mills did not feel it necessary file an appeal of the Frontenac County Official Plan by the Monday deadline. Instead he sent an email to members of Council late last week, along with a copy of Shaeffer's response. In his email, he said, “This letter addresses the Committee of the Whole’s requirement for written confirmation of the meaning of the wording. Accordingly, no appeal to the passing of the County Official Plan is necessary.” The Frontenac County Official Plan came into effect on Tuesday, February 2, having cleared this final hurdle.
Council supports Basic Income Guarantee In response to a presentation at a Committee of the Whole meeting last week by Debra McAuslan, Council considered supporting a motion that was forwarded by the City of Kingston in support of the concept of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in the Province of Ontario. Speaking to the motion, Deputy Mayor Ross Sutherland said that the BIG would be an improvement because a lot of people who have little or no income, “own some property, and “are ineligible for support under current programs that insist applicants need to have no assets before they can obtain benefits.” The BIG motion was approved, in a split vote. Insurance extension The township's insurance policy is due for renewal in June, and Treasurer Fragnito told Council that the chief administrative officers and treasurers from across Frontenac County have been discussing joint tendering for insurance services. “I suggest we renew our policy for only six months to allow that process to take place. Then we can decide which way to go,” she said. Council agreed. Surface treatment The contract for surface treatment of a number of roads in the township this year, as part of the already approved capital projects for the year, has been granted to the lowest bidder, Smith Paving, at a price of $2.53 per metre for a single surface and $4.74 for a double surface. The prices are up marginally from last year. “I'm a bit surprised that the price has gone up when oil, which is the major cost in paving, is now at $30 a barrel,” said Mayor Vandewal. “I wonder about that myself,” said Public Works Manager Segsworth. “The pavers asked us to commit to paying more when oil was going up, but now that it is going down they are still bumping up the price. Interim Chief Building Official appointed The township has appointed Jeremy Neven as interim chief building official (CBO). The duties are an addition to Neven's CBO role in Central and North Frontenac. CAO Wayne Orr said that before hiring a full time CBO, he would like to see the first draft of an administrative review that is currently underway. “We can't wait too long, though,” said Orr. “We can get along like this in the winter, but things change when the weather warms up.” No Canada 150 grant The township has received a letter from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario informing them that their application for funding under the Community Infrastructure Program for Canada 150 has been rejected. The township was seeking support for a $200,000 upgrade to the Storrington Centre in Sunbury. More about Johnson's Point In response to a report for information from Frontenac County CAO, Kelly Pender, which will be considered by Frontenac County Council later this month, Deputy Mayor Ross Sutherland asked South Frontenac to make one more attempt to influence how the County deals with a plan of condominium that has been languishing at South Frontenac Council for over 18 months. The developer has taken Frontenac County, which is the approving body for plans of condominium, to the Ontario Municipal Board because no decision on their application has been rendered within the prescribed time frame. Although the County is the approving body for plans of condominium, it is South Frontenac that has been working on the file until now. Pender's report outlines two options for County Council: do nothing and let the developer win at the hearing, in which case the county may have to pay all the applicant's legal costs; or engage a lawyer and make a presentation to the municipal board. A decision on those options will be made at a meeting on February 17. Sutherland proposed a motion that South Frontenac Council inform the county that “South Frontenac Council has significant concerns with approving waterfront lots in the vicinity of provincially significant wetlands.” “When County Council looks at this, they need to be aware that this is a major concern we have with this plan of condominium,” said Sutherland. “I have pointed them towards all of the material that we have received on the matter,” said CAO Wayne Orr, “and it is also available to the public.” The motion was approved. The municipal board hearing is set for April.
Seven years ago, the Southern Frontenac food bank was nothing but a few shelves in a closet in one tiny office. Now, thanks to dedicated volunteers – currently over 20 – and community support, it provides food for over 50 families in need every month. For the past year, the food bank has provided healthy snacks and lunches for school children, and local skier Dave Linton, wants to see that continue. “Super Dave,” as he is called by his close friends, feels strongly that feeding children healthy snacks helps them learn and perform better, and he will be competing in a 51 km cross-country ski marathon in the Gatineau Hills in late February to raise funds for the snack program, which is not eligible to receive external funding support this year. “As the food bank grew, it became eligible for grants from the Ontario Association of Food Banks,” states Dave, whose wife, Jennifer Linton, founded the food bank and volunteers as the warehouse coordinator, “A year ago the food bank accessed funding to enhance its existing children’s snack program with fresh food items. Unfortunately, those funds are no longer available this year.” The school snack program provides healthy and fun snacks to children in families with limited incomes to ensure kids receive the fuel they need for their bodies and brains to succeed. For five years, the food bank has been providing children with non-perishable snacks, such as pudding and applesauce. In 2015, thanks to the one time grant, these snacks were enhanced with perishable items like yogurt, cheese, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, and celery, making them even healthier. The cost of these purchased items is about $4 per snack, with an annual cost of over $2,400. A 51 km international level ski race sounds daunting enough, but it can be especially challenging if you are 75 years old. “I’m an advocate of daily exercise and physical activity,” says Dave, “I’ve been able to compete at this level for a long time and still hold my own. I’m excited to race again this year and dedicate it to this cause.” Dave – a long-time volunteer with SFCSC – has a goal of raising $2,500 to support and enhance the kids’ healthy school snack program. “At 75 years old, this may be my final Loppet of this magnitude,” says Dave, “I want to dedicate it to helping kids in our community achieve greatness, and often that starts most simply, with active living and nutritious food.” Dave is challenging his friends, family, local businesses and the community in general to support his fundraising efforts by pledging to donate an amount per kilometre, or a flat rate donation. “I’m also offering to wear logos of businesses who want to sponsor my race and support this cause,” offers Dave. To support Dave, you can reach him at 613-376-6883, drop in to the food bank at 4419 George Street in Sydenham or go to his fundraising campaign page: www.sfcsc.ca/superdave. Dave adds, “If this international race is cancelled for any reason, I’ll ask sponsors to continue to support me in a 100km kayak relay race from Kingston to Smiths Falls.” Super Dave indeed!
(note - after this article was posted, the township received a response from the ministry and did not proceed with an appeal) see the following update) http://www.frontenacnews.ca/frontenac-county-news/item/10168-ministry-response-satisfies-sf-council-frontenac-county-op-to-come-into-effect-tomorrow After a four-year lead-in, South Frontenac Council seems to have thrown a spanner into the works. A last-minute decision to appeal one of the provisions of the Frontenac County Official Plan may stop it from coming into effect next week, on February 1. Joe Gallivan, Manager of Planning for Frontenac County, wrote several drafts of the plan, pressured at all times from above (the Ministry of Municipal Affairs), and below (the townships' planning departments) The pressure from below was expressed most emphatically by Lindsay Mills, the head of planning for South Frontenac. His intention was to keep the County Plan from being a prescriptive document that ties the hands of the planning departments in the township, and to make sure the wording was clear. “I think the plan has come a long way in that regard,” said Mills when contacted this week. On the other hand, the ministry was pressuring Gallivan to include provisions and language that would have made it difficult for residents and developers to build in the county. On many occasions Gallivan talked about an urban bias in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. “They do not understand what is happening on the ground in rural Ontario, in places like Frontenac County,” Gallivan said in an interview with the News in 2014. The final document that was presented to Frontenac County Council at their January meeting in Glenburnie last week, on January 20, included language that reflected a successful resolution of at least one major issue. Based on a still to be completed private roads study, and under specific conditions, the ministry has agreed to permit further development on private roads within Frontenac County. “It is now in our hands to determine what development can take place on private roads,” said Gallivan. While the final version still contains provisions and some language that Gallivan said he would like to see changed, the benefits of having the plan in place right away outweighed his concerns. “My recommendation is to live with this plan as it is. In my opinion there are no provisions that are in the way of the county doing what it needs to do. Compared to the opportunities that come from bringing the authority to approve township Official Plans to this table, our concerns are minimal,” he said. In order to adopt the plan, the council only had to receive Gallivan's report. “We only need to take action if we want to appeal it,” said County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender. “If we want to we could but Joe and I don't see a benefit to appeal some things that are maybe not perfect but are close.” With the plan in place, the county would be in a position to approve the Official Plan updates from North Frontenac, South Frontenac, and Frontenac Islands, which have been in limbo for up to four years. “Once our plan is adopted, we become the approval authority for the township plans, and for Official Plan amendments as well. What took months, even years to approve, will now take weeks,” said Gallivan. But before the appeal period ended, the plan was considered by South Frontenac Council on Tuesday night (January 26). South Frontenac Planner Mills pointed to two concerns he has with the document. One of them, a typo in the document, had been sorted out before Tuesday's meeting took place. But the other issue is a deal breaker for South Frontenac Council. The proposed Official Plan stipulates that development within hamlets in Frontenac County will require that public water and sewer services are built except “for infilling and minor rounding out of existing development..” “This is a real concern,” said Mills, “because the hamlets in Frontenac do not have water and sewer services. Does that mean that development is prohibited in hamlets, or can the definition of 'infilling and minor rounding out' be taken broadly? I don't know.” Councilors Alan Revill and Mark Schjerning both said the township needs to get clarification of this latter wording before the document comes into effect. After more discussion, the consensus seemed to be that the matter is too significant to ignore. In view of the February 1 deadline to appeal, the direction to staff was to draw up an appeal to the OMB, in respect to this clause (section 220.127.116.11) regarding development within settlements. After the meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Wayne Orr said that he will attempt to get clarification of the matter before Monday's deadline, but otherwise he is bound to proceed with the appeal. The debate at South Frontenac Council took place in a bit of a vacuum because the two members who sit on Frontenac County Council and did not oppose the Official Plan at the county meeting on January 20, Mayor Vandewal and Councilor McDougall, were both absent from the meeting on Tuesday night in Sydenham.
Mike Bossio, who won election over long-time incumbent Daryl Kramp by 225 votes to become the MP for the new Hastings, Lennox and Addington riding, has taken on a new role. Earlier this week he was elected as chair of the National Rural Caucus by 50 of his fellow Liberal MPs. “We need to take a holistic approach to rural Canada. Rural Canada includes agriculture, forestry, and fishing of course, but it also includes access to high-speed Internet, cellphone coverage, tourism, small business development, mining and many other issues. There are common issues in rural Canada, but no rural riding is completely alike,” he said in response to his appointment. Bossio, who lives in Tyendinaga Township, located between Belleville and Napanee in Hastings County, has visited the northern townships in his new riding since the election, including Addington Highlands. He has set up a riding office in Napanee and has a satellite office in Bancroft.
As part of his efforts on behalf of the Rural Mayor's Forum of Eastern Ontario (RMFEO), North Frontenac mayor, Ron Higgins, has been looking at some of the details in the OPP billing model. North Frontenac is one the biggest losers under the new billing model, as their policing costs are to go from less than $250,000 in 2015 to over $1 million by 2020, and several details are among the issues of concern to the township. The largest cost factor for the township is the fact that seasonal residents are billed the same as permanent residents, but there are some other details that affect all municipalities. For example, a shopping mall is billed the same amount as a private home - $250 to $300 (or more) depending on the crime rate within the municipality. However, if a private home also functions as a retail outlet, it is billed for twice. As well, cell towers are billed at the rate of a private home, and it turns out that wind turbines are as well. Frontenac Islands is the only township in Frontenac County that has wind turbines within its boundaries. The 86 turbines on the island can generate up to 197 megawatts of power, making them the second largest wind installation in Canada, measured in wattage. At a meeting of Frontenac County Council last week, Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle said that he had been surprised when he saw the OPP billing for 2016, which arrived in December. “We were dumbfounded by how high the bill was. When our staff looked at it we saw that we were billed for the turbines as well as the residential and commercial properties,” said Doyle. Not only was Higgins interested in what Doyle had to say because he has been working on the OPP costing issue in his role with the RMFEO, he also may be looking at an added cost in North Frontenac. The township was approached last year, as part of the latest Large Renewable Procurement for the Independent Energy Service Operator of Ontario, by a company, NextEra, that is hoping to put up 40 to 50 turbines in North Frontenac and create 100 MW of power. The township has taken a stand against the proposal, which resulted in NextEra pulling an offer of an annual cash payment to the township. However, the township might still see a cost of $10,000 to $15,000 each year in added policing costs if the project ends up proceeding without municipal support. Lanark Frontenac Kingston MPP Randy Hillier has been critical of the OPP funding model. He said it is unfair to rural municipalities. "What is new to everybody is when you actually dig into the minutiae of these policing contracts," Hillier said. "This foolishness exposes the unjustifiable and often contradictory elements of this funding model." In responding to media reports about the charges for wind turbines, OPP superintendent Marc Bedard of the Municipal Policing Bureau, took a step back from the issue, saying it is not a matter that comes from them but from the way properties are assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) He said, in a letter to the Whig Standard, “Municipal policing invoices are comprised of household, commercial and industrial properties. The OPP will update the property counts annually based on MPAC data.” Bedard also presented an alternate calculation of the amount Frontenac Islands is being billed for turbines. “Frontenac Islands' base cost for turbines actually decreased from 2015 ($12,231) to 2016 ($11,970).”
Just before Christmas, the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area (CFKA) announced they were awarding a record $251,000 in grants to support 23 different programs. Of those, 21 were located within the City of Kingston and two in Frontenac County. The largest grant in Frontenac County was a $21,702 grant to Southern Frontenac Community Services. In announcing the grant, the foundation described the organization's scope: “Southern Frontenac Community Services will purchase, move and retrofit three former school portables to its new Grace Centre site in Sydenham, Ontario, allowing the organization to reduce costs associated with operating two sites, increasing organizational efficiency, providing better networking and shared services with other agencies cohabitating in the facility, increasing the community profile of the organization, and ultimately, providing more and better health and social services to seniors, at-risk and low-income families in need.” The second grant in Frontenac County went to Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS), which is facing an aging vehicle problem. The CFKA granted NFCS $7,500 to help them purchase a used vehicle. “This capital request for funding for a replacement vehicle will provide outreach playgroups and youth recreation programs to residents of the many small hamlets and villages throughout Frontenac County. This service will ensure that rural children and youth have access to local programs where they have opportunities to play and socialize together, attend special events and build social networks,” said the foundation in announcing the grant. The grant from the Community Foundation is not the only one that NFCS has received for vehicle replacement. Early this week it was announced that NFCS has received a $45,000 grant from the Trillium Foundation for a new vehicle to be used by staff serving seniors, adults, youth and children who use the services of the agency, which prides itself on providing 'cradle to grave service' in North, Central and parts of South Frontenac. Its youth programs are delivered throughout the County. NFCS staff travel 5750 kilometres a month throughout the 3150 square kilometre County. “With this grant we will be able to replace one of the aging 2006 vans that we have. We will be purchasing a seven-seat van so we will be able to transport clients as well as staff. The van may also enable us to enhance the services offered by Frontenac Transportation Service, which is one of our programs,” said Louise Moody, executive director of NFCS.
Everyone has heard or read stories of pioneer families and their hardships. Among the few highlights were the visits to the nearest neighbour. That might occur once a year. Traditionally the visit was not pre-arranged as there were no phones or any means of communication. The horse and buggy or sleigh would have to be freed up and the weather suitable. Because the day was not certain, the visitor always prepared a batch of biscuits or a loaf so that the hostess would not be embarrassed at not having something to serve. She would make tea and they would catch up on news and gossip for another year or longer. Inspired by this practice, the Cloyne and District Historical Society would like you to bring a sandwich and we shall treat you to a bowl of soup on Monday February 15 in celebration of local history. Because it is Heritage Day/ Family Day and a statutory holiday, the Cloyne hall will be the place to gather. The doors will be open at 11:30 and soup should be ready at 12:00. There shall be old music in the air, old photos on the screen, sharing of stories and memories, and a discussion of Flinton history with Glen Davison. There shall be a social tea time around 3 pm. It's a day off for most, so come on out and experience the event. Everyone is welcome.
On January 18 there was an incident at Pine Meadow Nursing Home that required staff to act quickly. When a carbon monoxide alarm went off, residents were moved away from the wing of the building where the alarm was located while staff addressed the problem and called in the fire department. “The fire department gave the all clear after doing a thorough check, and the residents were allowed to return,” said Margaret Palimaka, the home's administrator. “Families, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Labour have been informed. Medical follow-up was done and all concerned staff and residents are fine. We are also having a fire consultant review the incident.” Palimaka added that the home often consults with community members and service providers, and seeks the expertise of their management contractor, Extendicare, on matters of safety. “We would like to thank all our residents, their families and staff for their patience as we resolve this issue. We would also like to thank the fire department for their quick response and everyone else who responded in such a timely manner to keep everyone safe,” she said.
In order to encourage local residents to share their unique experiences of local history, members of the Cloyne & District Historical Society have begun inviting area residents and society members to speak at the group’s regular meetings, which take place every third Monday of the month at the Barrie hall in Cloyne. The talks take the form of an interview, with society president Red Emond leading the questions before opening up the floor to queries and additional personal offerings from guests. On January 18, Evelyn Petzold was the group’s special guest and she spoke about her unique childhood growing up in Denbigh and the Mazinaw Lake area, where her parents Gene (Pettifer) Brown and Irven Brown owned Brown's General Store at the head of Mazinaw Lake. Petzold spoke of many fond childhood memories when she helped out with chores around the store: pumping gas, hauling ice, packing groceries and other tasks. She recalled the busy Fridays that were always special and memorable since that was the day that the weekly delivery of Foster's Ice Cream arrived by truck, packed and smoking with the dry ice used to keep it from melting. “It was the best ice cream you could imagine and I remember that kids would be waiting around the store on those days to buy a cone, which at that time cost about five cents.” The store was especially busy in the summer months because of tourists and locals arriving to cash cheques and buy their groceries, which Evelyn's mother Gene would order in. Evelyn's father Irven also worked at a local saw mill, guided hunters in the fall and ran trap lines in the winter months. When the store required moving years later, Evelyn's father and Cole Cummings built a second store in 1947 and ran it until 1971 before selling it to Ron Pethick. Petzold recalled spending much of her summers at the beach and in the water and that back in 1949 Denbigh was a much busier place than it is now. She and her husband William lived in Denbigh where William worked in construction and logging, and she recalled what a huge undertaking it was when they needed a bigger home and property because of their growing family of nine children. “William came up with the bright idea of moving our entire house.” So William, with the help of a mover who had experience moving homes on the St. Lawrence River, together moved the entire home with all its contents from a corner lot in the village of Denbigh to a property three miles out of town. “They brought in a truck with three large timbers on it and jacked the house up off its foundation. .loaded it onto the truck and drove the entire house, intact, three miles down the road. I remember there was a guy standing on top of the house as it was being moved, whose job it was to raise the hydro lines with a long stick as the house passed underneath them.” She recalled that a glass of water sitting on a table inside the house remained undisturbed for the entire trip and that the event attracted more onlookers than the local Denbigh fair. Petzold spoke of long walks to school and later of an army truck that took her to high school. “The truck was wired closed at the back where you could see the snow coming in.” Following her talk, Shirley Pettifer Miller, a cousin of Evelyn's, presented her with a collection of stories, yarns, songs and poems put together by Evelyn's mother Gene titled “Old Logs Leave Good Memories Sometimes”, which tells of the history of Denbigh and the many local events that took place there. “To me this is very valuable and for that reason I copied it all and will include it in a book that I am making of our family's history and memories”, Miller said when she presented the collection to Petzold. Tales of local history tend to attract outsiders looking for information about their own family histories and that was the case for one Belleville resident who made a special trip to Cloyne for the talk. Dwight Malcolm heard about the event through his daughter-in-law and came out to find out more about his grandparents, John and Alice Malcolm, who he thinks settled in the Denbigh area in the 1870s. Following the talk Malcolm joined the society and said that he plans to come back to learn more about the history of the area. Coming up at the society’s next regular meeting will be an interview with Glenn Davison, who will be speaking about early life in Flinton on Monday, February 15 at 1pm. Anyone interested in joining or learning more about the society can visit pioneer.mazinaw.on.ca or call Red Emond at 613-336-8011.
Concerned over the well-being of tenants as well Two families of five were left with nowhere to live and lost all their belongings when a grease fire got out of hand and quickly swept through a 150-year-old home in Flinton on December 21. A quick community effort ensured that the families had places to stay, clothes to wear, and presents under a Christmas tree just three days after the fire levelled the home. Since then one of the families is living in Napanee and the other is in Northbrook. They have already received clothing and many other necessities but there may be a need for furniture in the future. Janis Douglas, who lives across the road from the house, and whose son Brady went into the burning house to save one of the cats, is helping to collect donations for the families at her home at 3651 Flinton Road. Pastor Thomas Eng of Pineview Free Methodist in Cloyne is also taking donations for the families. The building’s owners, George and Carolyn Powles, live on a farm just outside of Flinton. “When I got the call from Janis saying the house was on fire, I thought she was joking,” said George this week of how he first heard about the fire. “She said no, it was no joke, and I jumped in the car but by the time I got there it was already pretty much gone.” The Powles are not sure what they will do, as they are still waiting for the final insurance settlement on the building. They are considering the option of re-building but right now they are still getting over the loss of a building that they purchased 10 years ago and lived in for five years before turning it into a rental property. They moved to an 80 acre farm with a smaller house near town. “I loved living in that house,” said Carolyn, “it had so much history to it. It was one of the first houses in Flinton, as far as I know. I can't believe it's gone.” The original house was about 1,200 square feet and was built around 1874. It was owned by generations of the Casey family and was still known as the Casey house. It may have been used as a bank or even a municipal building in the early years of the 20th Century, and when the Casey family owned it they sold Avon and operated a sort of coffee shop as well. In the late 1960s an addition was built, which turned it into a 2,500 sq. ft. building. “We have done a lot of work to the building since we bought it, and quite a bit more when we decided to turn it into rental property,” said George Powles. It took a couple of tries to find good renters for the building, and this led to it going up for sale last year. However, the two families who moved in last fall were the kinds of tenants that George and Carolyn wanted. “They were excellent; two young families that could take advantage of the house. It was good for them and it was good for us to have the rental property generating an income. We were about to take it off the market and looked forward to the next few years. It's hard to believe all that history is gone,” said Carolyn. The couple are considering rebuilding on the same site but are waiting until the insurance claim on the house is settled before making any decisions. “Right now we are still concerned with the well being of the two families. They did not have renters’ insurance and were wiped out by this. But the community has been great and we want to make sure that the Leewens [one of the families], who really want to stay in this community, are able to find a place and get it furnished,” she said.