Area conservation authorities are for the most part still in wait-and-see mode regarding this year’s...
Mayor Ron Vandewal made $31,144.34 for running South Frontenac Township in 2016, says an information...
On March 17, 2017 at approximately 10:15 pm, Sharbot Lake, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers ...
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.
David Bucholtz, a representative from the consulting firm Cambium, made a presentation to Council on Friday morning regarding the state of the Township's waste disposal sites. Bucholtz told Council that all of their current active waste disposal sites are meeting the compliance standards, set by the Ministry of Environment, for surface water and ground water contamination. Cambium's predictions for lifespan on the Township's dumps differ significantly from the predictions that the Township's former consultants AECOM presented to Council in 2015. Bucholtz said that the 506 dump site has approximately 30 years left in its life cycle compared to the 13 years that was estimated by AECOM in March of 2015. The Plevna site also showed an increase in lifespan from 19 years to 42 years. The Kashwakamak disposal site stayed the same with a predicted lifespan of 42 years left. In 2015, AECOM predicted the Mississippi Station waste site had 46 years left in its lifespan and Cambium has now suggested that the site has 34 years left. When asked about the disparity between AECOM's predictions for landfill longevity and Cambium's predictions Bucholtz explained that it probably had more to do with the way Cambium uses the data and makes their predictions. “My only assumption at this point would be the average (of landfill) changing,” Bucholtz said. Cambium makes predictions on lifespan based on the amount of waste that has been disposed of over the last 5 years. “What helps also is the fact that we divert all of our bulky waste,” said Jim Phillips, the Public Works Manager for North Frontenac. “The fact that we're diverting all of that, at a cost, is extending the life of our landfill.” Bucholtz also explained that the Ardoch waste site, which is temporarily closed, still has approximately 37 years left in it, based on the average fill rates they have on record. Cambium made a recommendation to Council to install another monitoring well at the Plevna site to test surface water contamination south of the landfill mound and also recommended that they address the issue of a beaver dam at the Cloyne site, which is used as a transfer station. Building Permits Issued Down Slightly For 2017A report from Scott Richardson, the Building Inspector for North Frontenac, showed 8 building permits have been issued so far this year which is down from 10 at this time last year. Last year, 130 building permits in total were issued in North Frontenac which was up from 125 in 2015. Official Plan Heads to Public MeetingCouncil discussed amendments made in the latest draft of their Official Plan on Friday and didn't recommend any further amendments. A Public Meeting regarding the Official Plan has been scheduled for April 22, 2017 at 10am.
Last week’s warm temperatures and heavy rain that forced cancellation of an actual snowmobile ride, but unwavering volunteers at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club still hosted their third successful Ride for Dad event on Saturday. Donuts donated by Tim Hortons and hot coffee greeted participants registering their pledges. The 26 registrants collected $6,419 in pledges. Although Alice Gilchrist, with pledges totalling $1,285, was top pledge earner for the third year in a row, Bob Olmstead and Rob Schippert were close behind and tied in 2nd place with $1,030 each in pledges. The club wants to thank all the generous sponsors who donated cash or goods or food, those who collected pledges and those who donated, and all the volunteers who worked before, during and after the event. Corporate sponsorships exceeded $2,000 this year so the big winner is Ride for Dad with an expected donation over $8,000 to support the fight against prostate cancer. A lunch of hot dogs and several kinds of homemade soups was enjoyed and followed up by the distribution of awards and prizes. A number of snow-mobilers arrived in their vehicles, along with other club supporters, to enjoy a great spaghetti dinner. The Club plans to hold this event on February 10th next year, hoping an earlier date will mean better trail conditions for their Ride for Dad.
Coun. Vernon Hermer will be required to apologize to Council and “send a follow-up email to a resident correcting his (Hermer’s) inaccurate statement” following a charge that Hermer breeched Council’s code of conduct in an email to a resident. Specifically, the issue was referring to the matter of renovations/retrofits/additions to the municipal building. When a resident sent an email questioning the project, Hermer responded in part: “believe me, I don’t feel that the residents position or opinion concerning this project was respected or even considered in their decision to move forward.” Originally, the matter was to be discussed under closed session (identifiable individual) but Hermer himself insisted that it be brought into open session. Mayor Ron Higgins said he found Hermer’s remarks “disrespectful” and “inaccurate because we did consider the opinion of residents.” Coun. John Inglis agreed. “I felt offended,” Inglis said. “We took in all the input and decided on it as a Council. “As a person who has received a sanction in the past, I understand (and) I support his right to tell a constituent he disagreed with the decision.” Higgins also recommended to Council that the Township appoint an integrity commissioner because without one, they can’t impose penalties such as committee appointments and/or remuneration. For his part, Hermer argued that the Township’s procedural bylaw contravened the Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ provisions for freedom of speech. On North Frontenac Council, at least, it seems that speech may be free but still carries consequences Other Items From Council Higgins to replace Bedard on Joint Fire BoardMayor Ron Higgins will replace Coun. Denis Bedard on the joint fire committee with Addington Highland Township. “I wanted to do this so that heads of council from both townships were represented on this,” Higgins said. When the possibility of renegotiating the agreement came up, Higgins said: “I’m not comfortable discussing some of these things without Addington Highlands representatives at the table.” Easy PaymentsNorth Frontenac will now be accepting payments via debit and credit cards. “This is a great leap forward,” said Coun. John Inglis. Chaos at the waste sites?With new rules coming to the landfills, Coun. Denis Bedard wondered “there will be chaos for a period of time, should there be a grace period?” Public Works Manager Jim Phillips reminded Council that the new rules would be going out with tax notices.
Community dinners are certainly not new to this area. There are the regular Friday night dinners at the Sharbot Lake Legion. There are excellent breakfasts hosted by the Lions club. There are pot luck dinners hosted by community groups and recreation committees in every village. There are annual church dinners and those wonderful pancake breakfasts hosted by the volunteer fire departments. You hardly ever need to eat at home! But this year will offer something different. The Canada 150 committee sponsored by the St. Lawrence College Employment centre will provide every hosting organization with place mats promoting Canada 150. Every event using these Canada 150 place mats will be listed as a “Canada 150 Dinner” in the Frontenac News’ Northern Happenings column. They will also have the event posted on the Canada 150 Facebook page and website. And there’s more. A tear-off portion of the place mat will serve as a free entry ticket for a raffle. The draw will be held at the event “A Soiree with Sir John A” to be held On October 28th. The prize is a beautiful, hand-made wooden train set offered by a generous supporter and kept on display at the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy. The Canada 150 committee would like to thank all those who support this initiative – the pharmacy, the newspaper, the college, the anonymous train set donor and, of course, all those wonderful people who prepare and serve the meals. Community dinners are certainly not new to this area. There are the regular Friday night dinners at the Sharbot Lake Legion. There are excellent breakfasts hosted by the Lions club. There are pot luck dinners hosted by community groups and recreation committees in every village. There are annual church dinners and those wonderful pancake breakfastS hosted by the volunteer fire departments. You hardly ever need to eat at home!But this year will offer something different. The Canada 150 committee sponsored by the St. Lawrence College Employment centre will provide every hosting organization with place mats promoting Canada 150. Every event using these Canada 150 place mats will be listed as a “Canada 150 Dinner” in the Frontenac News’ Northern Happenings column. They will also have the event posted on the Canada 150 Facebook page and websiteAnd there’s more. A tear-off portion of the place mat will serve as a free entry ticket for a raffle. The draw will be held at the event “A Soiree with Sir John A” to be held On October 28th. The prize is a beautiful, hand-made wooden train set offered by a generous supporter and kept on display at the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy. The Canada 150 committee would like to thank all those who support this initiative – the pharmacy, the newspaper, the college, the anonymous train set donor and, of course, all those wonderful people who prepare and serve the meals.
On March 17, 2017 at approximately 10:15 pm, Sharbot Lake, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers responded to an altercation between two males at a residence on Clement Road in Central Frontenac Township. Investigation indicated that the two males known to each other were involved in an argument, when one male stabbed the other in the neck with a knife. The victim was transported to hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect fled the scene but shortly returned and was located by police near the parking area. Andrew STONESS (22) of Central Frontenac Township was arrested and is charged with; Assault with a Weapon under the Criminal Code Section 267(a). He was released and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston on April 25, 2017.
Central Frontenac Council approved work on the Elm Tree Bridge as part of its 2017 budget at its regular meeting Tuesday night in Sharbot Lake. Outgoing (interim) Public Works Manager Mike Richardson made the recommendation to Council, saying that “the Elm Tree Bridge replacement is recommended in the OSIM’s (Ontario Structure Inspection Manual) report for replacement by 2018. “By completing this project, the municipality will be on track to being up to date with our OSIM report recommendations.” The engineer’s estimated cost for the project is about $472,000. Treasurer Mike McGovern told Council that given the $414,000 budget deficit oversight and the $62,000 OCIF grant municipal contribution, the project would have “no impact” on the municipal levy for 2017. However, using that “found money” for the bridge didn’t sit well with every councillor. “It bugs me that we’re going to spend all of it and not use it to reduce the levy,” said Coun. Phillip Smith. “I’d like to see the money put in reserves and applied to reducing the levy,” said Coun. Tom Dewey. “We’ve got a lot of hard-top roads that need attention like Crow Lake and Arden Road,” said Mayor Frances Smith. However, Richardson and McGovern both argued that getting this particular bridge off the to-do list would produce long-term benefits for the Township. “We have 34 bridges and over the past six years, public works has concentrated on bringing the municipality up to where it should be with respect to bridge maintenance and replacement, equipment replacement and maintenance,” Richardson said. “Once this bridge is completed, the municipality can concentrate on road improvements, like Fifth Lake Road. “Roads that are commuter roads, and connecting link roads that transport commerce from one community to another should be looked upon more favourably for grant eligibility.” Another reason to do the bridge now, Richardson said is that because the bridge was cited in the OSIM report, if something were to happen on it, the municipality could be held liable for any damages incurred. In order to accommodate the project, the Armstrong-Cross Road intersection project will be put on hold. Road workBut it’s not as if none of the roads are going to get attention this year. Richardson said another 1.4 kilometres of Arden Road will get resurfacing and “Bell Line has a need for extra attention. We’ve lived with it for a number of years now.“We’ll go round and round fixing potholes until it gets dry and people start complaining about dust.” Richardson also reported that the Township needed an additional $50,000 worth of sand to get through this winter. Waste Disposal bylawCouncil passed revisions to its Waste Disposal Bylaw which reflect changes to the wording updating the Township’s Certificate of Approval to Environmental Compliance Approval, as well as changes to hours of operation, fees, garbage bag requirements and recycling policy that have been made in the past five years. Mandatory Septic Reinspection revisited?Coun. Jamie Riddell served notice of motion to reopen discussion on septic tank inspections. The motion carried.
Rehearsals are underway for our North Frontenac Little Theatre spring production under the direction of John Pariselli. The chosen play is is a comedy, Here On The Flight Path by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. This small cast adult comedy is hilariously funny and will keep you entertained from start to finish. We are pleased to have back on stage four actors that have acted previously with NFLT. Marc Veno (previously seen in Beyond Reasonable Doubt) will play John Cummings; Carol Belanger (directed Miracle Worker) will play Angel Plunkett, an unemployed actress and singer; Barb Matson (acted in The Miracle Worker) plays Gwen, who is recently separated from her husband; Ellie Steele plays Fay Davidson, a “consultant” of sorts. There will be three performances Friday April 28, 7:30, Saturday, April 29, 7:30 and Sunday, April 30 at 2:00. So Mark these dates on your calendar and plan to attend. Watch this paper for further information.
Mayor Ron Vandewal made $31,144.34 for running South Frontenac Township in 2016, says an information item presented at the regular Council meeting Tuesday night. Of that, $26,315.79 was the honorarium for being Mayor, $2,497.55 was for mileage, $1,700 for conference per diem and $631 for ‘other’ (primarily communication and travel expenses) Vandewal received no remuneration under the “meetings” heading. Deputy Mayor Ross Sutherland received $21,593 of which $14,061.42 was his honorarium, $3,150 was for meetings, $1,836.22 was for ‘other,’ $1,796 was mileage and $750 was conference per diem. Coun. Alan Revill actually took home more than the Deputy Mayor at $24,381.05. Of that, $12,128.94 was the regular councillors honorarium, $5,450 was for meetings, $4,307.60 for mileage, 1,494 for ‘other’ and 1,000 in conference per diem. As for the rest of Council, Pat Barr received $19,521.74, John McDougall $18,759.79, Norman Roberts $18,674 (which includes one month as Deputy Mayor), Ron Sleeth $18,022.79, Mark Schjerning $17,132.72 and the late Bill Robinson $10,045.28.In total, Council remuneration cost the Township $179,275.71 No ban on parking on Walker StreetA motion to ban overnight parking at the Walker Street parking lot in Sydenham was defeated with only the mover, Coun. Ross Sutherland voting in favour. “It’s sort of a small, very limited purpose lot for accessing the (K & P) Trail,” Sutherland said. “But there was an RV parked there for five days and it took up all the space so there was no place for anyone else to park. “And I notice now that it’s getting even more use now.” However Mayor Ron Vandewal didn’t like the idea of a total overnight ban. “We should allow at least one night’s parking,” Vandewal said. “If somebody makes an effort to drive here and use the trail we shouldn’t tell them after a day of using it ‘you can’t stay here.’” Vandewal also noted that “other than your RV, there’s only been one complaint about the parking lot.” Vandewal also suggested that more than one year of data would be useful in making decisions about the lot. Hockey heroesThe OMHA Ontario Novice East CC-C champion Frontenac Flyers were honoured for their victory this past weekend with a plaque presented by Mayor Ron Vandewal on behalf of the Township. Grinning almost as much as the team, Vandewal congratulated both coaches and players while noting “this is the first ‘Frontenac’ championship team since the arena’s name was changed from North Frontenac Arena.” Quinte grantCouncil supported Quinte Conservation’s bid for a grant to study to “prepare for the ever changing climate and the impacts that it has on everything that municipalities are involved in.” Coun. Alan Revill said that while he supported the grant application, he’d like to see some plans as to how the three conservation authorities operating in the Township might “mesh together” for things like drought strategy.
A report that explores options for a senior’s housing project in Sydenham came to Frontenac County council this week, and will soon go to South Frontenac Council. The report, prepared by Re/Fact and SHS consulting makes a number of recommendation based on demographic research into South Frontenac which concludes that there is likely sufficient demand for self contained senior’s units on a single level at market or near market rental rates to fill 12 units in the Village of Sydenham. The consultants also looked at a number of potential building sites in the village, and talked to representatives from local agencies. It concluded that a 12 unit complex, located on Stagecoach Road on a 1/7 acre parcel of land that is currently owned by Southern Frontenac Community Services would be the best location. It also proposes that Loughborough Not For Profit Housing, which manages two senior’s buildings in the core of the village, be approached to manage the new housing stock. Two options for the mix of housing are proposed. Under option 1, a grant from the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) capital funding progam would be sought to subsidise constructions for 6 one bedroom units in the complex. The rents in these units would therefore need to be set at 80% of market rent, in order to be eligible for $900,000 in grant money ($150,000 per unit). The other 6 units, which would have two bedrooms, would have their rent set at 90% of the average market value. Option 2 differs from option 1 by not including any of the IAH funds. In this case, rent for the 6 one bedroom units would be set at the market rate, and the rent for the 6 two bedroom units would be set at 90% of the market rate. Frontenac County has provide $350,000 in seed money for the project, and under each scenario the total estimated building costs are almost $3 million. Under option 1, the proponent of the project (ie the township) will need to invest $350,000 and under option 2 the estimated investment is about $1.1 million. According to the business plans, once built the buildings should be self sufficient, generating enough money to cover mortgage, maintenance and upkeep cost in addition to a surplus of about $10,000 a year to go towards unexpected costs. Four years ago, each of the Frontenac Townships made a commitment to work towards constructing a senior’s housing project within their boundaries, and $350,000 was set aside in a reserve fund managed by Frontenac County for each of the builds. For the South Frontenac project to come to fruition the Township of South Frontenac would have to take it on as a township project. The consultant presentation to Frontenac County, which took place on Wednesday morning at the monthly Frontenac County meeting, was not expected to result in much debate. The rubber hits the road, however, when South Frontenac council looks at the report in early April as they will need to find the money to build it. Because the proposed location for the housing project is within the boundaries of the Sydenham municipal water service, it can be a 12 unit project, and can even perhaps be added on to in the future. While it will require a large septic system, and the purchase of an additional 0.9 acre of land adjacent to the 1.7 acres owned by Southern Frontenac Community Services will likely be necessary, it will not require its own water system. Under provincial regulations, any building project over 5 units on a single parcel of land must be serviced by an expensive to build and maintain drinking water system. That is why the project being proposed for Marysville on Wolfe Islands and future projects in North and Central Frontenac will be limited to 5 units, a restriction that does not apply in Sydenham but would apply anywhere else in South Frontenac.
The disbandment of another volunteer organization is taking its toll in South Frontenac Township. “We’re losing our history,” responded Township Councillor Ron Sleeth after hearing of the closure of Kingston Area Antique Association; a volunteer club that has hosted a two-day antique show every summer for almost 40 years. Held at Ken Garrett Memorial Park before it was moved to Odessa, Homesteader Days was a showcase of the innovation and accomplishments of our farming forefathers. It was where history came alive. Where old tractors and hit & miss engines hummed the song of a bygone era when machinery was still a marvel. “It’s sad this has taken place,” said Sleeth from his dairy farm in Battersea. “Homesteader Days was such a vibrant show. People by the hundreds attended to see that old machinery working.” A member of the club for approximately 15 years, President Earl Brown noted about the disbandment of the club and end of Homesteader Days, “I’m very much disappointed that we weren’t able to continue-on.” Speaking from his home in Tamworth, Brown said, “Our finances had dwindled to the point where we weren’t able to support another show in the same way.” Brown cited declining membership and increasing costs as the downfall of the club’s signature event. “Insurance is what really took a toll on us,” admitted the president. “It came down to the finances to what actually shut us down. Our gate receipts were disappointing the last few years.” The president sees the loss of the antique show as a blow to the community. “That’s what inspired me to rejuvenate some old machinery,” he said with enthusiasm. “It was for my own satisfaction and the hope that other people would see it and really appreciate what our forefathers worked-with to cultivate the land.” One of these items, an antique hay press owned by the club, remains to be relocated. Members are considering sending it to an agricultural museum in Stirling or a working mill in Madoc. “Any funds left will be distributed among three or four non-profit organizations,” confirmed Secretary Glenn Babcock. A hobby farmer in Harrowsmith, Babcock, 65, was a younger member of the club that had an average age of 70 plus. “The club is officially disbanded,” he confirmed in early March. “Homesteader Days is officially done Citing diminishing membership and the high cost of insurance as the death knell, he admitted, “It’s killing a lot of fairs as well.” “It just got to be too few members,” he said, clearly disheartened. “It ended up being too much, for too few. I’m disappointed – we all were. But we had to deal with reality.”
Darrell Green, 61, a nearby resident, drowned after his ATV went through the ice on the East Bay of Buck Lake, north of Perth Road Village on Sunday, March 11. A family friend of the deceased became concerned when Green did not arrive to meet him at a certain location on Buck Lake. The friend began to search near the shorelines around the route that Green would have taken and observed a partly submerged ATV and a helmet in a narrow section of the Lake. Nearby this location South Frontenac Fire and Rescue recovered Green's body from the icy water. The Frontenac OPP do not suspect any foul play. This latest drowning occurred just one day after two men drowned in nearby Big Rideau Lake near Westport in the Township of Rideau Lakes. Constable Roop Sandhu, of the Frontenac OPP, said that the ice conditions on all lakes in the region are particularly unpredicatble this season, due to the mix of warm and cold temperatures. Sandhu put out a release warning about unsafe ice conditions on February 25th, during the height of an unusual February warm spell, and said this week that the warning has stayed in effect. “Ice is constantly changing in response to weather and water conditions and is effected by many different factors including thickness, currents, age of the ice, pressure cracks and snow cover,” the release said. At the time, OPP East Region Manager of Traffic and Marine, Inspector Paul Bedard said "The OPP is committed to saving lives on Ontario's highways, trails, and waterways through the reduction of preventable injury and death. This ice warning applies during any prolonged period of thaw or rain, and late in the season after ice begins to deteriorate from milder temperatures." At this time the OPP has reiterated the warning that to stay off the ice, even with this week’s colder temperatures. “The ice is very unpredictable right now,” said Sandhu.
With 6-3 and 7-1 victories on Saturday and Sunday respectively, the Frontenac Novice (8 years old and under) Flyers need only one more win to take the Lou Jeffries Trophy, as champions of their respective EOMHL division. The Flyers travel back to Wasaga Beach Friday (March 24, 6 p.m. game start, Game 4, if necessary, is March 19 at 2:30 p.m. in Piccadilly) to play the Stars in what could be their final game of the season. (In the finals, the first team to reach 6 points wins and the Flyers are up 4-0 after their wins in the first two games.) In the Saturday game, the Flyers opened the scoring in the first and never looked back getting goals from Cole Rowat (2), Jack Craig (2), Kayson Antoine and Mason Norgaard. In the Sunday game at Wasaga Beach, Craig (2), Shane Kennedy (2), Antoine, Norgaard and Zac Gardiner-Kay handled the scoring duties. But scoring prowess aside, this Flyers team seems to be more opportunistic than offense-minded and their strong suit is playing a positional game with strong basics. “That is our game,” said head coach Jamie Craig. “Passing, playing positional hockey and skating. “We’ve (including asst. coach Don Rowat) had most of these players for three years and that’s what we’ve stressed.” And there’s another vital cog in the Flyers machine — goalie Hayden Consack. “He’s been our backbone,” said Craig, singling out Consack as instrumental in the Saturday win (all three Wasaga Beach goals were on the power play). Consack was front and centre in the Sunday win as well, allowing only a single tally but once again it was strong positional play contributing to team success. “It (Sunday) was our best all-round team game this season,” Craig said. Just getting to the final is “a bit new for these guys” Craig said but it bodes well for the future of the Frontenac Minor Hockey system. “I’m very happy and proud of these guys,” Craig said. “And there are a lot of people involved in their success. “(FMH president) Al Pixley is doing a helluva job.”
Former Frontenac County Warden Frances Smith took received $26,641 in 2016, including $4,391 in mileage and over $22,226 in pay. As Warden, Smith received the highest base pay and the most pay for attending board and committee meetings. She submitted only $23.77 in claims for conference, training and other travel. Deputy Warden Ron Vandewal received $14,053, including $13,480 in pay for serving as Deputy Warden and sitting on committees and task forces and $573 for mileage. Vandewal made no claims under the conference/training line. Former Warden Denis Doyle received more than Vandewal did, a total of $15,575. Doyle received $10,887 in pay, $3,750 conference, training and other travel expenses and $936 in mileage. It should be noted, however, that the Warden and Deputy Warden attend some events and meetings as designated county representatives, and those expenses are paid from other county budgets. Among other members of council, Ron Higgins received a total of $13,702, John McDougall $12,994, Tom Dewey $11986, John Inglis $11,857, and Natalie Nossal $10,407. All told, remuneration for governance in Frontenac County for 2016 came to a shade under $117,000. By comparison, the 9 member Lennox and Addington Council took home $220,000 all told.
Jon Allison, the lead designer for the new County of Frontenac brand, has won the 2017 Applied Arts Community Award for Logo and Brand Identity Design. The announcement was published in the March issue of the Applied Arts Magazine, one of Canada’s premier publications on visual communication. The Applied Arts Magazine’s Community Awards recognize work in advertising, design, photography, illustration and interactive communications. This is the second major national marketing award for the #inFrontenac brand. Last year, the County of Frontenac earned the 2016 Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) National Marketing Award for Best Brand Identity. "To see the talent involved in creating this brand now being recognized on a national stage is great," said County of Frontenac Warden Ron Vandewal. "There’s a growing sense of pride around being part of life in Frontenac, and this new brand is certainly contributing to that," Vandewal said. Allison worked for branding agency RedTrain and collaborated with Kathleen Vollebregt of Avenue Strategy during the brand design. For an overview of previous news and related portfolio examples visit: http://www.frontenaccounty.ca/en/corporate/frontenac-brand.asp Since the brand was launched in the summer of 2016, it has been gaining popularity across Frontenac and beyond and Frontenac swag has already been shared at tradeshows in Toronto, Ottawa and Pennsylvania. One of the most successful initiatives associated with the new Frontenac identity is the brand ambassador program where local businesses sign on and commit to working together to grow Frontenac’s reputation as a great place to do business, live, and visit. More than 60 businesses have already signed on.
In Mid December, Tracey Parker took over from the now happily retired Terry Romain, as Business Development Officer with the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (FCFDC). Two and a half months into the job, Parker said she is “absolutely loving it”. She said she is able to use many of the skills she has developed in her diverse educational and working career to bear and is happy to be “working with small businesses where you can see the impact of what you are doing.” After completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s, she moved to Toronto and worked in marketing and technology. Over time, she developed interest in how businesses can make use of information to make better decisions in developing short and long term goals. To that end she completed and MBA with a focus on Information Technology. After moving to the Kingston region, she did consulting work while raising a family and then spent 8 years at Empire Life dealing with business processes. “About a year ago I decided it was time for a major shift in focus, and I left Empire Life and started my own hobby farm business north of Murvale, just inside of Frontenac County. I did that for a season and during that time I came to the CFDC as a client. When Terry decided to retire I thought this was a great opportunity.” As Business Development Officer at the CFDC, Parker is spending about half of her time overseeing the loan portfolio, freeing up the rest of her time to do consulting with local business. She said that her background in the strategic use of information, when combined with the skills of IT consultant Max Sadlowski in the use of technology, has already turned out to be useful to their clientele. “We seem to have easily come to a separation of duties and we have been working very well together,” she said. The number of businesses who are accessing CFDC services is on the rise as well. “Within a week after our quarterly newsletter came out in January, ten new people contacted me.” She has been meeting primarily one to one with business owners but thinks there would be a benefit to bringing different people together, not only to make efficient use of her time, but also to help build connections in the business community. She is setting up her first workshop for later in March. The geography of Frontenac County has made it difficult for business owners to get to know each other and despite some attempts there are no Chambers of Commerce type organisations in Frontenac County, which she sees as a gap. “A lot of businesses are doing everything on their own.” The brand ambassador exercise that Frontenac County has undertaken is making a difference, however, and it comes about as the CFDC and the County Economic Development department are forging a stronger working relationship. Out of that relationship, Tracey Parker, small scale hobby farmer, is about to learn as much as she can about the large scale goat dairy business. The county is looking at the possibility of providing a supply of goat milk for Feihe International, which is setting up in Kingston, and they came to the CFDC to talk about capacity building for this new challenge. “I am now going to be seeking some training opportunities so we have some sense of all of the issues that come with starting a goat dairy,” she said. When she applied for the Business Development Officer job there was no way she could have known that her business experience, expertise in business processes and information, and interest in farming, would all come together over goats. All that and the ability to commute for only 15 minutes in the opposite direction of rush hour twice a day. Not a bad gig so far.
Get ready for some maple-inspired fun on April 1 and 2, during Maple Weekend’s third annual sweet celebratory event. Taking place right in the heart of maple season, Maple Weekend is the perfect time to plan a trip to a local participating sugar bush and sample maple treats while experiencing some old-fashioned family activities! Hosted by the Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (LDMSPA), Maple Weekend celebrates the maple season at local participating sugar bushes throughout the Lanark, Mississippi Mills, Portland, Brockville, Frankville, North Frontenac, Sharbot Lake and Perth areas. During this popular two-day event, participating maple producers host activities, specials and events to draw visitors to their operation. LDMSPA President, Mel Conboy, explained this year will see many returning maple producers, and a new addition to the group, all with special activities planned for Maple Weekend, including educational exhibits, interactive activities, and of course, maple taffy. “You can expect to see some fun activities this year, we really want people to come out and enjoy a day at the sugar bush,” Conboy said. Visitors can head out to a participating maple sugar bushes on April 1 and 2 anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and explore how maple syrup is made, from tree to table. Make it a day trip or drop by for a few hours at a time; visit one sugar bush or visit multiple locations! Whether it’s boiling sap in a cauldron over an open fire or processing it through high-tech RO systems and modern fuel efficient evaporators, the results always taste great. Visitors are invited to chat with a local maple syrup producer and find out everything there is to know about how maple syrup is made and its long history in Canada. With Canada celebrating its 150th year in 2017, there has never been a better time to participate in such a quintessentially Canadian activity like a visit to a local sugar bush, snacking on maple taffy or even enjoying a pancake meal with fresh-from-the-evaporator maple syrup. Maple Weekend visitors can also learn more about the history of maple syrup and the impact it’s had on Canadian culture, and the local economy. “Making maple syrup is something that has a special meaning to Canadians,” Conboy explained, “A springtime visit to a local sugar bush, and even the smell of fresh maple syrup can bring back so many memories for people…it’s a special time of the year.” Check the Maple Weekend website for a full list of participating sugar bushes, and bring your family and your sweet tooth for some maple-inspired fun. Maple Weekend activities vary at each participating sugar bush; in past years, activities have ranged from pancake breakfasts to sugar bush trail adventures, sugar making demonstrations, taffy on snow, sleigh-rides and more. Visit www.mapleweekend.ca to find out what each participating producer has in store for this popular springtime event!
Addington Highlands Council is interested in a joint Councils meeting with North Frontenac, just not on the timetable North proposed. Responding to a request from North at its regular meeting Monday in Flinton, several councillors reported that they were unavailable for the suggested dates of the weeks of March 20 or March 27. Add to that Addington Highlands Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed has already booked vacation time during that period and would also be unavailable. On the agenda for said meeting would be a discussion of the Kaladar-Barrie Fire Department 2017 budget with Chief Casey Cuddy. Council instructed staff to suggest April 5 or 7 as alternate dates for the meeting. Reeve Henry Hogg even suggested a location for the meeting — Barrie Hall in Cloyne “I can walk to there,” Hogg said. Billa flint rememberedFlinton resident Dale Smart was at Council requesting a plaque be put on her house commemorating one of its earlier residents — Billa Flint, for whom the village was named (originally Flint’s Mills). “He was also our first senator,” Smart said. “The town was laid out in 1860 and I believe the house was built in 1885. “It’s the most historic place in town at the moment.” Coun. Tony Fritsch said: “we don’t have anything in place (for things like erecting plaques.)” “It hasn’t come up,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. Fritsch suggested contacting the historical society to see if they had any policies or information on heritage properties. “We’ll look into the for you,” said Hogg. Tipping fee delayFollowing the recommendation of Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed, changes to tipping fees at Addington Highlands waste sites will go into effect April 15 as opposed to April 1. “This will give attendants two more weeks to hand out notices,” she said.
Gary Radford and Robert Taylor attended council on behalf of the Flinton Jamboree. They asked if council could offer the Jamboree the use of the Flinton Recreation Centre, during the August 3-6 long weekend, free of charge. They also asked for an exemption to the noise bylaw over the festival weekend and Council agreed. “There have been some issues in the past that we hope to smooth out this year,” said Robert Taylor. Gary Radford said “we need to recruit some younger volunteers. It would help bring us some new energy and help with the workload as well.” “We are also requesting a $200 donation from the township to the hall of fame,” said Taylor. Last year, the jamboree initiated the Land O’Lakes Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame by inducting 6 inaugural members, and are planning to induct new members at this year’s jamboree. “The request is in the budget,” Reeve Hogg told Taylor. “That doesn’t mean it is approved, but right now it is in the budget. Concern over mandatory septic pump outsThe Rural Mayors Forum of Eastern Ontario (RMFEO) sent information and proposed motion regarding a proposed change to the building code requiring that all residential septic systems be pumped out once every five years and that records of the pump out be retained by the owner. The RMFEO expressed the concern not only that mandatory pump outs are not necessary in all cases, such as rarely used cottage properties. It is also concerned that administrative costs for enforcing the new provision will be foisted on local municipalities. According to he RMFEO, Premier Wynne stated at the recent Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference that the “province recognizes that one size fits all solutions do not always work in rural Ontario” and is hoping to convince Bill Mauro, the Minister of Municipal Affairs to rescind the proposed change. “This would be just another burden for residents and for the township,” said Reeve Hogg. Council supported the RMFEO motion and will communicate that to the minister. Setbacks from wetlands puzzles AH CouncilAH staff member Patricia Gray prepared a report to Council concerning the proposal by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) to begin regulating all wetlands within the Mississippi river watershed. A 30 metre setback for construction on all designated wetlands is what the MVCA plans to instigate. Gray said that the township already has provisions in their official plan for wetlands, “and we do impose a setback already.” Councilor Tony Fritsch said “I think this is just duplication that will add confusion. Not all of our township is in MVCA territory, we also have Quinte and we have some land that is not covered by any conservation authority. Do we need different sets of rules.” MPP Randy Hillier recently sent a letter to the MVCA questioning whether undertaking the new authority is a good idea. Member municipalities each have a seat on the MVCA board. Addington Highlands is represented by Councillor Kirby Thompson, who will have a vote when the matter comes up for a final decision. Arguing that even though the MVCA can take on this regulatory power it does not have to, Hillier took to metaphor: “by way of an example, the law does not prevent MVCA from selling potato chips – they would, however, require board approval and municipal support to sell potato chips.”
Freeburn named New Road & Waste Supervisor in Addington HighlandsAddington Highlands Council announced its new Road & Waste Management Supervisor at its regular meeting Monday in Flinton. The Township chose to promote from within, naming lead hand Mark Freeburn to the position. Freeburn officially begins his new duties Feb. 13. The position became vacant last November when long-time supervisor (29 years) Royce Rosenblath announced his retirement plans. Rosenblath himself took over the position from another long-time employee, his father, James (26 years as ‘road boss’ of the former Denbigh, Abinger and Ashby Township). For his part, Freeburn was optimistic. “Everything’s looking good,” he said. CondolencesThe Township expressed its condolences on the passing of former Frontenac News editor Jule Koch. In a prepared statement Council said: “Jule covered activities in Addington Highlands and reported on many Council meetings. Addington Highlands would like to recognize Jule for her hard work and integrity and express their appreciation for all she has done.” Building Code ChangesCouncil expressed concerns over possible implications proposed changes to the Building Code could have for residents as they apply to sewage systems. “My concern is there could be a huge cost for cottagers,” said Reeve Henry Hogg. “A couple of years ago, the Mazinaw cottagers association was all for it,” said Coun. Kirby Thompson. “The associations were for it because they were concerned about pollution going into the lakes,” said Coun. Bill Cox. Water ConditionsA report from the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority that “conditions (have) returned to normal (and) the watershed in no longer in drought status” prompted Coun. Tony Fritsch to observe that lack of snow in Belleville area might lead to concerns for the Quinte Conservation Authority and to suggest “perhaps we could send them some water in return for a rate adjustment.” Budget Date SetCouncil set Feb. 21 as the date to begin 2017 budget deliberations. The budget talks will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at noon to be followed by the regular Council meeting in Denbigh.