Kyle Ainsley started out playing soccer in the Storrington League when he was very young but by the ...
OPP - Impaired at Bon Echo Park(Addington Highlands Township, ON) - In the early morning hours of Ju...
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.
Arguably the biggest block of North Frontenac Council’s debate time at last Friday’s regular meeting in Ompah centred on the Frontenac News story two weeks ago in which Mayor Ron Higgins discussed his thoughts and plans for community development. The Mayor laid out a futuristic vision that he’s been working on involving aquaculture, hydroponics and electricity generation that certainly would be unique in rural Ontario municipalities if nothing else.But, as sometimes happens, it would appear his Council isn’t entirely on-board with the concept as of yet.“The mayor can do independent research but this was not approved by Council,” said Coun. John Inglis, starting things off.“I’m going through research to see if it is feasible,” Higgins said.“I find that arrogant and disrespectful of everyone on this Council,” said Coun, Vernon Hermer. “You sanctioned me for discussing (Council business) with one resident.“Here you are presenting inaccurate information with the world.”“We told you very carefully we did not approve,” said Coun. Denis Bedard. “I’ve had callers ask me if we’re remaking The Nutty Professor or if we’re on drugs.”“When I see a picture of the Mayor with the chain of office (on a story) it makes it look like we endorse it,” said Coun. Gerry Martin.After some more back and forth discussion, Higgins offered to write a letter to the editor of the paper clarifying his, and Council’s, position.“I will clarify that this was my initiative, not Council’s,” he said. Fire RostersIn a report to Council, Fire Chief Eric Korhonen acknowledged that there are some concerns with the current roster of firefighters in terms of training and attendance but said “the fire roster continues to remain stable” and he has plans to address any deficiencies.“I appreciate the roster has been deficient for five years,” he said. “I have been chief for a year and a half.“We are attempting to make training and recruitment priorities but I’m not going to go all heavy handed on volunteers.“I hope to have it all addressed by Dec. 31, 2017.”He said they should be reviewing the makeup of the department.“Currently, medical response is not a problem and that makes up about 85 per cent of our calls,” he said. “Some members don’t want to carry hose and they’re content to be first responders at accidents and that’s much of our business.”“The Chief and the Personnel & Audit Committee are dealing with it and I’m happy to shut up about it,” said Coun. John Inglis.“If you want to support the fire department then get on board and don’t go on a witch hunt,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry. BylawsCouncil passed bylaws restricting the use of flying lanterns and changing fees and charges and changes to its municipal waste and recyclables bylaw.
While many rural municipalities are still looking to squeeze more dollars out of tourism and Frontenac County wants to turn us into a community of goat farmers, one of our township mayors is definitely thinking outside the tourism/agrobusiness box.North Frontenac’s Ron Higgins is gradually bringing together a concept that, if successful, could effectively re-write the blueprint for municipal governance. It’s a bit out there, and something that you might more expect to see in a science fiction magazine than the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) bulletin, but strangely enough, it almost ‘feels’ possible. Higgins freely admits that there are still ‘I’s’ to be dotted and ‘T’s’ to be crossed but he’s now at the point where he’s bringing a working concept to paper. “North Frontenac, like other small rural communities are struggling to meet the needs of the community due to ever increasing taxation, cost of living and downloading of services from the provincial to the municipal level,” he says. “As a result the quality and level of services provided to the residents and visitors are being impacted in a negative manner . . . we struggle to have basic services not only at the municipal government level from from a social level as well. “This includes access to health care, food, restaurants and affordable housing as some examples.” To counter this situation, Higgins has adopted a kind of Ubuntu philosophy. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu word often translated as “humanity towards others” that Desmond Tutu argues was a formative influence on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “My mandate is to strengthen the community with the intent to enhance economic development,” he said. “We have many ideas to address this but we are limited in our financial capability to do so. “What we do have is a strong human resource capital to make this happen.” In other words, he sees the community contributing to the plan’s success by working together and restoring the political influence back to the people “so they can control the destiny of the economy.” To do this, Higgins encourages the use of ‘Earthship’ eco-friendly building techniques (ie lots of solar tech and dirt) to create a vertical farming facility for aquaculture (fish farming) and vegetables. He’s already had meetings with companies who specialize in such things and claims to have “$62 million in financing lined up.” He’s looking at the North of 7 site to house a community operation/warehouse/restaurant. The technologies for such a thing do exist in many countries such as the Shauguan Liran Fish Farm in China and the Kharp facility in Siberia. There are also vegetable/grain operations in existence. And, he says he’s very close to a deal with an electrical generation company which would allow the Township to generate its own electricity. “This step in the process is the one that will be the catalyst for resurrecting our community,” Higgins said. “I will be asking each resident to commit to three hours a week minimum to work on a community related project. “Those who sign up and honour their commitment will receive free electricity for as long as they stay in the program. “This concept allows us to resurrect our community that will be second to none in the world and begin to provide products and services to our resident and allow for income from providing these outside our community and to those who do not sign up for three hours a week.” Higgins said he’s about “two months” away from presenting the actual plan.
St. Kilian’s Catholic Church in Ardoch celebrated 125 years as a parish last Sunday with special guests, a special mass and luncheon. The current building celebrated 50 years. Wayne Manion, chair of the cemetery board has been around for many of those years and shared some of his memories. “I’ve known Father Murphy for a long time — I was at his ordination,” Manion said. “That’s why I was picking on him (during the service). “In the city, they probably would have thrown him out of town but he fit right in here — always joking around.” Manion said St. Kilian’s is a “mission parish” of the Flinton parish. “This goes back to the days of horse and buggy,” he said. “Now it’s a short trip but in those days it would take at least half a day to make the trip so we had to have a place here in Ardoch where the priest could sleep.” He said it was hard for him to put into words what the church has meant to the community and how things have changed. “It helps keep the faith,” he said. “But it’s mostly older people now. “When we were kids, Plevna was mostly Protestant and Ardoch was more Catholic. And now, the parish serves a much larger area, from Vennachar to Myer’s Cave and up to the Mazinaw.” But, he said, there are some changes for the better, for one thing the way different faiths are coming together. “When we were kids, Protestants were ‘evil’ and they thought Catholics were ‘evil,’” he said. “But now ecumenical services are becoming more popular. “Churches are starting to emphasize the things they have in common.” The church’s current pastor, Rev. Paul Njoku, had similar sentiments. “We’re just the chief actors in the joy we’re celebrating,” he said. “I send my greetings to parishioners in all parts of the world.” But he also had thoughts for the men and women who built the church and those who kept it going. “The many founding mothers and fathers couldn’t be here to see this today,” he said. “May the Good Lord grant them eternal repose.”
Saturday July 8 was the third annual Sail Mazinaw. 14 different sailboats and dozens of sailors participated. The weather was very cooperative. There had been repeating thunderstorms through the night, but the skies cleared and a very sailable wind set from the northwest. The fleet included a couple of sailboards, a variety of singlehanded dinghies, and a fleet of keelboats. Many of the crews met for breakfast at Mazinaw Lakeside Resort. Then later, a few boats made their way to the lagoon in the provincial park for the Friends of Bon Echo barbecue. After an afternoon of sailing, crews and friends met for dock drinks and a meal. This year's winners of the Mazinaw Cup are single-handed sailors Kerry Skipper of the Lower Lake and Terry Napier of the Upper Lake. The cup will be presented at a separate ceremony in the near future. For additional photos and comments please visit the Sail Mazinaw Facebook page.
Central Frontenac Council authorized the go-ahead for a septic system and canteen/washrooms/warming/storage area at Oliver Scott Memorial Park in Sharbot Lake with the intent to complete construction in the fall of 2017 at its regular meeting on Tuesday July 11 in Arden. Specifically, the resolution authorized Chief Building Official Shawn Merriman to apply for the appropriate septic permit, issue a purchase order and proceed with the construction of the canteen building. “I hope the canteen can be built this fall but September might be too optimistic,” Merriman said. “November is more realistic. “If I’m lucky I’ll be able to present a plan at the August Council meeting but it will more likely be September’s meeting.” In 2016, Council set aside $30,000 for facilities at the park, which is adjacent to Granite Ridge Education Centre. Merriman said that a well will cost $7,500 and the septic about $12,500 including the cost of permits and such. That won’t leave much for the actual construction as well as the necessary drainage and other costs to be taken into consideration. “It’s not like the old days when you could put up whatever you wanted and nobody cared,” he said. “Today you have to factor in accessibility, emergency parking and I’m especially concerned about drainage there.” Coun. Tom Dewey asked about the $10,000 the District 3 Rec Committee has raised for a rink on the site. Clerk/CAO Cathy MacMunn said that money is for the rink itself. “The volunteers are not responsible for anything else,” she said. “The canteen will be a Township building and therefore it’s our responsibility.” Several councilors were concerned about parking. Much of the the available parking area on-site will be taken up once the rink is built and much of the plan involves a partnership with the school to use their parking lot. “I’m sure the Limestone Board will want to enter into some type of agreement,” said MacMunn. “They use the ball field now for some activities and we have had a similar agreement in the past for the tennis courts (beside the former Sharbot Lake Public School.) Merriman said he too was concerned about parking long term because it is conceivably possible the school might not want its parking lot used sometime in the future but “I’m more concerned about drainage.” Coun. Phillip Smith said he was concerned that “we’re not treating all the rec committees the same. “District 4 has raised a lot of money for facilities and I’d like to see more money from District 3.” Merriman said that he was impressed with all the work and plans District 3 has already done and “this is a worthwhile project and the District 3 committee should be applauded for their amazing endeavor and commitment to raise what will probably be between $250,000 and $500,000 (depending on the inclusion of an in-pad cooling system. “In addition, the Township may have an obligation to make sure that which was removed is returned and so that even if the rink/pad never occurs thus this building should be constructed regardless.”
On July 1 of this year, Sharbot Lake Lions Bill and Linda Zwier travelled to Chicago, Ill. But this wasn’t any regular Lions convention. You see, this year’s gathering of Lions featured a ceremony wherein Bill would be inducted as the Governor of District A3, a large geographic area stretching from Courtice to Storrington, Denbigh to Cherry Valley. It’s an area that contains 50 Lions clubs, seven Lioness clubs, three Leo Clubs and some 1,300 members. Needless to say, it’s a time commitment but so far, so good for the new Governor. “I get a lot more emails and phone calls,” he said. “There’s a lot of paperwork and a lot of visiting other clubs for activities and fundraisers.” But he’s fine with that. After all, it takes seven years to become Governor, starting out with being club president, then moving up to zone chair, region chair, 2nd vice-Governor, 1st vice-Governor and then Governor. “Then, after a one-year term as Governor, you become immediate past Governor and then you’re on an honorary committee that finds solutions,” he said. This is the second time the Sharbot Lake club has provided a District Governor. Dave Hansen filled the post in 1976-1977. As Governor, Zwier will be able to set priorities aided by his advisory council as Lions International enters its second century. “I’d like to see us doing more service, as opposed to fundraisers,” he said. He cites several Lions programs in that, such as vision and hearing screening, environmental programs, youth programs and two new programs — diabetes and pediatric cancer. “We managed to raise enough to send 11 athletes to the Special Olympics last weekend,” he said. He’s also big on the vision and hearing screening programs in schools, citing examples of children who were doing poorly in school before screening programs identified a need for glasses or hearing aides. “And we do a lot of disaster assistance,” he said. “For example, during the Ice Storm, we had $10,000 here in 10 days.” And while all the Lions programs are important to him, there is one that seems to have a special place in his heart, judging by the way he talks about it — the Lions Foundation Guide Dog program that provides service dogs free of charge to those with vision or hearing impairments, epilepsy, seizures, diabetes or autism. He tells a story about collecting bottles at the Beer Store one day when two people from B.C. came up and thanked him personally. Their son has autism and they got a dog and training for free. “That’s what I get out of this,” he said. “It’s not money, it’s things like those two people from B.C.” Zwier retired five years ago from Home Hardware in Perth. He didn’t have any aspirations of becoming a District Governor at the time (“I joined to serve”) but there is some pride there when he shows off his new blazer with the governor’s patch (as well as the Helen Keller pin and Founder Melvin Jones pin). But, Linda puts it all into perspective. “He’s not a put on fancy clothes kind of guy,” she said. “He’s a blue jeans, T-shirt, scramble the eggs kind of guy.” Bill nods in agreement.
Chances are if you’ve been to an area event where food is being served in the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen a converted motorhome with a pig on top of it. There’s only one and that belongs to Cota’s Mobile Catering. And since they got the operation up and running two years ago, business has been growing and growing. “It’s getting busier all the time,” says Tim Cota, chef/vehicle converter/entrepreneur. Cota, who still lives in the house he grew up in on Eagle Lake, was a maintenance supervisor at RKY camp for 24 years. In the year 2000, he and his wife Penny got married. “We couldn’t find a caterer,” he said. “So we decided to do it ourselves with some help from Glenna McGill.” At their wedding, the Cota’s must have done a good job because they got offers from “several guests who wanted us to do their weddings,” he said. That got Cota to thinking. “I’ve always been a big fan of cooking,” he said. So, in 2008, he got his chef’s papers. Now, you can’t just start cooking and selling it, there are a lot of regulations involved. “Food has to be cooked in an inspected kitchen, there are requirements for time and temperature and pest control,” he said. “Now there are places, like Oso Hall, that have inspected kitchens and that’s fine. “But we started to get calls for events where there was no inspected kitchen like out in a farmer’s field and barn dances.” So, . . . Cota got the idea to bring an inspected kitchen with him. He bought a good used motorhome and started to work on it getting it to the point where it fulfilled all the required regulations, and the next thing you know, he’s booked solid every weekend into October. “We already have some bookings for next summer and one in 2019,” he said. Cota is big on preparation. Sometimes the mobile unit is used for just that and sometimes the preparation is done on site. He has an assortment of smokers and barbecues he can use that can do 30-40 steaks, 50-60 hamburgers, 100 pieces of chicken all in one go. He has propane and charcoal units depending on the demand. He also has the necessary gear to cook pulled pork overnight and he has developed something of a reputation for being the go-to guy if you want an entire pig roasted. He does admit to needing a bit of help with a whole pig though. “Pigs are heavy,” he said. “At about 220 pounds, that’s a lot for one guy to lift.’ Although his mobile unit could be used as a chip truck, that’s not his thing, he said. It’s get back to the preparation thing. “I like to know if I have to have 300 tomato slices ready,” he said. “And I don’t like the idea of waiting around for customers only to be swamped all at once.” He does use local suppliers for some things though. For rolls and pies, he uses Gray’s Grocery. “They’re up to my standards,” he said. “And I’m pretty particular.” And he’s especially particular about his meat. He tells a story about buying a pig that came with only one ear. “That was unacceptable,” he said. “Presentation with something like a whole pig is a big part of it. “We had to take the whole head off.” Now he gets all his meat from Gilmour’s on 38 in Harrowsmith. While he can make things like coq au vin, he said his business is more geared towards the foods people in this area are used to, things they grew up with and expect to see when they’re out for a meal. “I can cook fancy French things but it doesn’t work here,” he said. “When the dinner bell rings, you gotta have a lot of good food on a plate. “And we’ve never run out of food.” By the way, the pig on the motorhome . . . it’s a lawn ornament that came from Mike Dean’s. Tim Cota’s converted motorhome with the pig on top has become a familiar sight at many area functions.
James Godin, 55, was convicted on one count of driving with blood alcohol over 80mgs per 100mL's of blood, and one count of driving while under a suspension order. He will serve 60 days in jail and his license will be suspended for a further 3 years. Godin, who lives outside of Arden, was stopped at a ride check in May and pulled to the side when it turned out the plates on the vehicle he was driving did not match the vehicle. It turned out his license was under suspension, he was uninsured. After noticing an odour of alcohol, he was given a roadside breath test, which he failed. Later a breathalyser results showed blood alcohol of 123 and 111. Judge Griffin accepted a joint Crown and defence submission for 60 days jail time, and warned Godin that if he come to court again on similar charges “the sentence will be measured in months”. Two “drive while uner a suspension order”, and single charges of driving without insurance, driving without a permit, and using an illegal plate were all withdrawn. Charges withdrawnA charge of possession of an illegal substance against Chloe Lellemand-Brasseur, 22, was dropped after she completed court ordered diversion. Christine Webster, 56, agreed to sign a peace bond with the condition that she stay away from her brother Martin for 12 months, and a charge of assault against her was withdrawn. OngoingJeremy Pershaw, 33, is facing two charges of operating a ehicle while disqualified, two charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle, two charges of failing to comply with court ordered conditions, and one charge of failing to appear in court. He has a lawyer and will return on August 21. Allison Potter, 40, is facing charges of possession and production of an illegal substance and un-authorised possession/storage of a firearm. She also has a lawyer and will return on August 21st to deal finally with charges that have been before the court for a year. John Texiera, 65, is charged with “Theft under $5,000”. He will return on August 21.
MPP Randy Hillier was on hand, along with Mayor Vandewal and Mike Howe, Chair of the SF Recreation Committee, for the celebration of the revitalization of The Point in Sydenham. Hillier represented the Provincial Government’s role in providing a $77,000 Canada 150 grant, which the Township matched. Howe praised Tim LaPrade, the Township’s Recreation Director for his quick action in applying for the grant. Vandewal also recognized the Lions’ gift of money for benches, KFL&A Health Unit’s new water bottle filling station and the attractive new bike stands designed and welded by SHS students. Neil Allen, chair of the township’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, confirmed that all the improved facilities at the park are fully accessible. Several members of the Sydenham and District Women’s Institute sat in the seats of honour; without the foresight of this group there would be no public access to Sydenham Lake today. In 1947, when the former Mace’s Point and traditional village swimming hole on McCallum’s farm came up for sale, members of the WI and the now long-defunct Sydenham Board of Trade put up money from their own pockets to place an option on the property. (It took until 1955 and an uncounted number of bake sales to finally pay off these personal loans.) In 1971 the Township accepted ownership of the property from the WI which had named it Loughborough Memorial and Recreation Centre, as a living memorial in perpetuity to local men who died in the wars. The official name remains, although old habits die hard, and the area is still affectionately nick-named “The Point”. Keeley road Break-in For the second time this year there has been a break-in and theft of Township property at the Keeley Road Public Works department, according to South Frontenac Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth. Until recently, there has been no need for a security system at the site, says Segsworth, “But unless someone comes forward with information, it may now be a necessity.” No time wasted – fire hall ground breaking tomorrow Just a week after giving final approval to the project, South Frontenac Township will be holding an official ground breaking ceremony for thenew Station # 6, Perth Road Fire Hall on Friday July 28 at 10:00. The location of the New Hall (and Ground breaking) will be on the West Side of Perth Road north of Wilmer Road but South of Perth Road Crescent. Those to be in attendance include Mayor Vandewal, Councillors, the Contractor Bill Anglin, the Architect Ron Awde, Fire fighters, and staff. On Tuesday July 18 Council approved the construction of a new fire hall. The contract is for $1,465,569 and construction is anticipated to be complete in spring 2018.
On Monday, July 17, a newly-created street in Harrowsmith was opened and named in honour of Bill Robinson, popular long-time Portland representative on South Frontenac Council, who passed away earlier this year. It was a simple but colourful ceremony: first Mayor Ron Vandewal dragged aside the ‘Road Closed’ sign, then former Mayor Phil Leonard drove the first car along the street: Bill’s lovingly restored bright turquoise 1972 Volkswagen Bug. Bill would have approved.The new street, connecting the Star Corners road to the Colebrook Road, is part of the Harrowsmith revitalization plan, which will eliminate the dangerous 5-way corner in the heart of the village.
Culinary skills for healthy living was the topic of the day as clients, staff, friends and family gathered at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church last week. Recently, New Leaf Link (NeLL) received a $7,000 grant for a one-year pilot project to help its community build culinary skills and nutritional awareness using locally produced foods from the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area and the Regina Rosen Food First Fund. NeLL is a not-for-profit charitable organization based in South Frontenac Township that supports continuing education and meaningful occupation of youth and adults with developmental disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, acquired brain injury and other neurological conditions. Karen Steiner, founding executive director of NeLL said the project is rooted in NeLL’s overall philosophy of ‘eat wisely, move naturally and be socially connected.’ “This program will combine practical skills, such as following a recipe, with broader learning around a theme of introducing plant-based colour into one’s diet throughout the seasons,” Steiner said. “All of our cooking over the year will use this theme to generate recipes and as the basis for decision-making around meals such as grocery shopping or eating in a restaurant.” The program one of two current NeLL initiatives, the other being an arts program, and is offered in partnership with Community Living Kingston and Extend-a-Family Kingston. “We are delighted to have the support of these groups in our initiative,” Steiner said. “Community Living residents will take part in our programming and Extend-a-Family has offered access to it community garden for produce used in the cooking classes.” Steiner is also hoping these partnerships will lead to other joint ventures and programs. “We’d like to see the building of other partnerships that we can grow in together,” she said. “It’s a chance for NeLL participants to socialize, and grow social networks with common interests. “For example, if we have outings — like birdwatching or trips to farmers markets — some of the other groups might join in.”
It was several years in the making, and not without several roadblocks, but last week the Verona Community Association celebrated the official unveiling of its new electronic message sign. The new sign sits exactly where the old manual sign sat. The old board was serviceable but it was partial to one particular problem. Changing the letters was fine in the summer, but in the winter — not so much. “Snow tended to cover up the box where the letters were kept and it also covered up the ditch,” said VCA president Wayne Conway. But because they wanted to promote local events, they soldiered on. The idea of going digital started several years ago when the VCA started putting away funds for a new sign, Conway said. The land the sign was on belonged to the Township and there were concerns that it might have negative effects on traffic. It also turned out that Hydro One needed an address to provide power but these got worked out. “The VCA is very active,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “We hear from them a lot. “But the selling point for us on the sign was that we could use it for messages concerning road work and closures and such. “We do a lot of work together with the VCA.” “It’s absolutely amazing what you can do,” said Coun. John McDougall. “We’re so lucky to have an organization like the VCA.” In the end, the Township gave the VCA use of the land, installed the poles and provided access to power. The Verona Lions Club provided financial assistance for the installation and Reid’s Foodland cuts the grass. The VCA is a registered corporation which promotes community involvement and the welfare of the area. It is governed by a board of eight members elected for two-year terms. Membership is open to anyone living within an area roughly bounded by Verona, Godfrey, Desert Lake, Hartington and Bellrock.
A week ago, just before Canada Day, the Frontenac News teamed up with Frontenac County to launch the Frontenac Five, a web page that is hosted on our Frontenac-live site. The Frontenac Five are signature events or features of Frontenac County that are being highlighted each month. The page includes links to information about the event or feature and links to other information. It will be promoted on our social media feeds, including the newly launched Frontenaclive Instagram page, as well as those of Frontenac County, as well as in the newspaper each month. The initiative is part of an effort to promote the Frontenac County brand ambassador program as well. The Frontenac Five for July are the Canada Day events, The Cardinal Cafe Thursday Night music series (don’t miss Tara Holloway tonight, by the way) The Lakes and Trails Festival in Sydenham on July 15 (see page 8 for details) Dark Skies in Plevna on July 22, and Wolfe Island Culture Days all month long. Look for the Frontenac Five for August to go up the last week of July. For more details visit: www.frontenac-live.ca/events/frontenac-five
10 years ago Frontenac County made a commitment of $540,000 over ten years towards the re-development project at Kingston General Hospital and the Ontario Cancer Centre. Since then, a lot has changed in the operation of hospitals in Kingston. Last week, Denise Cumming, Chief Executive Officer of the University Hospitals Foundation of Kingston, led a delegation to the monthly meeting of Frontenac County Council. The Foundation is the fundraising arm for the amalgamated Kingston hospitals. Cumming talked about all of the improvements that came from Phase 1 of the redevelopment campaign, and then moved on to talk about Phase 2, which is getting underway. This phase, which is a $65 million campaign for which $52.5 million has been raised to date, will bring new operating rooms, new labs and a new emergency department, neonatal birthing suites and a new neonatal intensive care unit to Kingston General Hospital. At Hotel Dieu, it will be used to update the operating suites, the consolidated cardiology and the ophthalmology departments. Also planned is a redesign of the endoscopy centre, the children's outpatient centre and the diagnostic imaging suite. The pharmacy is also slated to be relocated. At Providence Care, fund raised dollars will be used for a number of equipment upgrades. Cummings said “I am here to provide you with information about the success we have had in the past thanks to the support of municipalities such as Frontenac County, and to talk about our current and future projects.”But the pending request for a new commitment was on her mind as well, and that of members of council as well. Cumming pointed out that 539 staff members at the Kingston Hospitals live in Frontenac County, there were almost 42,000 visits to Kingston hospitals in 2015, the most recent year for which such statistics are available, and that represents a 94.6% increase since 2006, the year when the last funding commitment from Frontenac County was made. “You are going to be looking for more money from us, I expect” said Warden Ron Vandewal Cumming said she would, but not until the fall. She said the request we will be for about $200,000 per year. The City of Kingston has made a commitment of $1.3 million per year to the foundation. Cumming said that the foundation is going to base its request to Frontenac County, which will be forthcoming in the early fall, on a formula that uses that $1.3 million commitment as a base. Since the ratio of visits to the hospitals from Frontenac County residents as compared to the amount of visits from residents of the City of Kingston is a ratio of about 1 to 6.5. The $200,000 requests therefore comes from dividing $1.3 million by about 6.5 Cumming then said, when interviewed after the meeting, that she is of course aware that $200,000 per year request is much higher than the $54,000 that has been paid by county residents through property taxes for the last ten years, but added “we asked for $220,000 the last time, and the county council of the day decided on $54,000. The amount they donate is going to be up to them, but we thought the comparison with what Kingston City Council has committed is something to go on.” Frontenac County will be entering into budget deliberations in October for the 2018 budget, at which time a request for funding support from the University Hospitals Foundation will certainly be on the table. 10 years on, hospitals want more cash
As befits a crowd of entrepreneurs, the breakfast Annual General Meeting for the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation started early last Thursday morning (June 15) with Marty G Sensations breakfast pies on the menu, starting at 7:30. By 8 the meeting was underway. One of the key note speakers, Ryan Reynolds of Capital Waterfowling had to back out because he was pulled in another direction as his company continues its meteoric rise. Billy Day, whose high tech custom metal and 3d print shop on Sydenham Road came along in time to help Capital Waterfowling get underway, and now does work for a number of new companies, was also scheduled to speak. He asked to go early so he could get back to his shop to fill an emergency order. He credits the CFDC with helping him get his start. “They got me the funding for my first machine, helped me get the ball rolling. I try to tell everyone to go and see them as long as they are working in Frontenac County. At that time the banks had no interest in supporting what I was doing, but the CFDC was interested in a big way,” he said, when interviewed a few days after the meeting. In terms of overall numbers, CFDC Board Chiar Jan Dines reported that the corporation loaned $1,776,925 to Frontenac businesses in fiscal 2016/2017, an increase of 38.75 over the previous year. Combined with $1,257 that the 21 businesses that received loans collectively invested from their own funds, it represents over $3 million in business spending in the county last year, impacting a total of 100 jobs. A further $454,454 was injected in the local economy trough Eastern Ontario Development Program projects. Adide from loans and grants, business advice and counsellling are also a major focus for the corporation. Anyone starting, expanding, or shifting their business to fit the times is welcome to call 623-372-1414 (1-888-372-9962) to find out what services they might be able to make use of.
Daryl Kennedy said that he has nothing against the K&P Trail, but as a cattle farmer working land that the trail bisects, he wants a fence put up to block access to some of his pasture land. And since the trail is located on former railway lands and is a continuous stretch, he feels that the Ontario Line Fences Act, as amended in 2006, stipulates that the current owner of the trail must put up a fence if he asks them to. “What I am asking for is a fence along 1750 feet of pasture land, only on one side since that is all I need. I requested on April 6/2016 to Anne Marie Young, who was dealing with the trail for Frontenac County at the time, that the work be done. I was expecting it would be done last summer.” Kennedy also asked that a gate on his property that had been severely damaged while the trail was being constructed, be repaired by the contractor working on the trail. He also wants the county to pay for some of the work involved in lining up crossing gates on the trail near the north end of his property, for him to use as a cattle crossing. But none of that happened last summer, although Young remained in contact. On July 19th, Young sent him and email, saying “Thanks Daryl … the act [Ontario Line Fences Act] also says the farmer must be the one to request and provide a Farm Registration Number … This can happen...we just need to have the information as requested.” The next morning, Kenedy emailed back, providing his farm registration number. On October 11th, Kennedy received another email from Young with an attached drawing marking off the section of land that required fencing. “Please take a look at the attached and verify that what I have marked is what you want fenced. I have estimated the length to be approximately 1750 feet. I want to make sure before I send it to the contractor,” said Young in the email. Nothing happened last fall, and after Anne Marie Young retired in December, Kennedy has been corresponding with Frontenac County though Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender. On March 15th Frontenac County Council met and discussed the matter. According to a letter to Kennedy from Pender after that meeting, the council, based on a legal opinion, now feels it is only responsible for half the cost of the fence. They took this position because even though the Line Fences Act says that the owner of an uninterrupted section of former rail line that is purchased from a railway company is subject to pay 100% of fencing costs for farmland that abuts the fence, the county did not purchase the former rail line from a railway company. CP rail sold the line to Bell Canada, and the county purchased it from Bell Canada, which is not a railway. This new position is being taken by the county on the basis of a legal opinion from the county solicitor, Pender said, in a letter to Daryl Kennedy on March 16/2017. The key item in the letter is item 2, which reads, “where a land owner provides proof of farming activities and where trail lands were purchased from a person or entity other than a railway company, that the county will be 50% responsible for the construction and maintenance of fencing along the property line, with the property owner having the choice of sharing equally in the construction and installation or the fence or having the county supply the fence.” The letter concludes: We have confirmed with our solicitor that the trail lands adjacent to your property were purchased from Bell Canada, not a rail company and as such option #2 above is applicable ... I trust this clarifies the county’s position.”Kennedy does not accept this. In his view, the obligation does not end with the first purchaser of a former rail line. His position is supported by the Christian Farmers Organization, with which his farm is registered. Kennedy has also been in touch with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the body which over-sees municipal governments. In a recent email, (June 15) Carol Church, Municipal Advisor MMAH, said she “would encourage the owner of the farming business to continue to bring his request for a fence to the County of Frontenac” and she attached the decision from a landmark court ruling in southwestern Ontario which ordered the municipality of Tilsonburgh to pay the full cost of a fence for a farm located on either side of a former rail-line which had been converted into a recreational trail. “I talked just last night to Peter Sizov from the ministry, who said he has never heard of a case where the fact that a rail line had been sold twice was used as a reason not to pay for a fence,” Daryl Kennedy told the News on Tuesday, June 20. The News called Mr. Sizov’s office on Tuesday afternoon, but got his voice mail and did not hear back in time to confirm he had made the statement that Mr. Kennedy attributed to him. In fact, however there is a precedence for Frontenac County to pay the full cost of a fence along the K&P trail, a recent one. On July 20/2016, Council passed a motion authorising the construction of 850 feet of fence to separate the trail from farm property owned by Frank Goodfellow, at a cost of up to $10,000. The motion came about as the result of a staff recommendation by Anne Marie Young that was submitted to council by CAO Pender himself. It included the following explanation: “Fencing is a concern of some landowners. The costs involved in the installation or repair of fences along a right-of-way can be significant and fencing can be required for pasture and farmland registered with the Ontario Farm Business Registration. In the development of the Cataraqui Trail, the Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority split the cost of fencing 50/50 with the landowner, supplying the materials while the landowner installed the fencing where required.” But in the Goodfellow case, the cost was not split. The County paid for it. When contacted on Tuesday evening (June 20) Frank Goodfellow said it took him three years to get the county to construct the fence, and “they did offer to pay half, but I held my ground since I had the Line Fences Act supporting my claim. Eventually they came through.” When asked, Goodfellow said that not once in the three years was the fact that the former rail line was purchased from Bell Canada raised as a reason for not doing the fencing. “I own or rent quite a bit of farmland along the trail, near Godfrey and up by Tichborne as well, but I only asked for fencing where I pasture cattle, not along hay fields, even though I could according to the Act,” said Goodfellow “I don’t want to go to court, but I think it is very clear the county, by the terms of the line fenced act, and their own actions in the past, need to pay for this fence,” said Darryl Kennedy, “I don’t want to add legal fees to all of this, but if I go to court I will certainly do that.” The estimated cost of the Kennedy fence is about $19,000. A further three landowners, who are registered farmers, are located within the vicinity of the Kennedy farm. Kennedy’s property is located about 5km north east from the point where the K&P crosses Road 38 at Cole Lake, 10 km from Tichborne. The section between Tichborne and Sharbot Lake is not county owned, and has required individual arrangements with numerous landowners. Looking further north, the trail from Sharbot Lake to the township border is owned by Central Frontenac Township. The township purchased the former K&P lands directly from CP, and has paid the full cost of fencing on several stretches of the trail, at significant cost. The build out of the trail continues to be a complicated, and expensive process, and one way or another all the fencing issues between the county and farmers with land abutting the trail will need to be sorted out, at further expense, both Goodfellow and Kennedy said that the section of trail between Godfrey and Tichborne has turned out to be very popular among cyclists, hikers, and ATV’s since it was built.
If you haven’t witnessed majestic Mazinaw Rock with your own eyes then you’ve missed out on one of the natural wonders of eastern Ontario. Just 20 minutes north of Northbrook within the bounds of Bon Echo Provincial Park, the gorgeous granite cliff rises 100-metres straight out of the depths of one of the province’s deepest lakes. It’s truly an awe-inspiring sight, and one immortalized by generations of artists. The Rock is itself an enduring canvas; at water level there are more than 260 pictographs painted in red ochre by the area’s indigenous people. These paintings, some of them believed to be more than 1,000 years old, are images of a rich cultural tradition. Park visitors can see them up close as part of the fully interpreted Wanderer tour boat ride. But the appeal of Bon Echo extends well beyond the splendour of the Rock. With numerous trails and activities to enjoy, the park has something to offer adventurers of all ages. For anglers, Bon Echo boasts excellent fishing opportunities, for which it earned a nod from Outdoor Canada magazine. Those new to fishing are invited to join in on the Learn To Fish program being offered by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on the weekend of Aug 5 and 6. No experience necessary and equipment is provided. For art lovers, there’s the annual Art Exhibition and Sale, taking place this year from Fri, Jul 28 to Sun, Jul 30. With the theme “Canadian nature, wildlife and countryside,” the event will showcase original works from 40 artists and include activities for the whole family. Plus there’s the Colin Edwards Memorial Art Gallery, inside of Greystones store, that showcases local artists all season long. For those looking for some lakeside lounging, there are three natural sandy beaches from which to enjoy a refreshing swim or just soak up the gentle sounds of the waves on the shore. Canoes and paddleboats are available for rent in the Lagoon. Nature lovers can be on the lookout for the wide variety of wildlife that inhabits the park, including the peregrine falcons that circle Mazinaw Rock, the Blanding’s turtles and the elusive five-lined skink. The skink, Ontario’s only lizard, is being celebrated all-season long with a kids’ colouring contest (entries available at the Visitor Centre) and special events on Sun, Jul 30 and Sat, Aug 26. Visitors who choose to stay overnight in the park can choose from a wide range of amenities, including cozy lakeside cabins, spacious yurts, RV and car-camping facilities as well as hike-in and paddle-in camp sites for those who want to explore the backcountry. The season includes a variety of special events, including those presented by the Park’s Natural Heritage Educators and those presented by the volunteer organization the Friends of Bon Echo Park. For more information check out Ontarioparks.com/park/bonecho and Bonechofriends.ca. Julia Garro lives just south of Tweed and is a board member of the Friends of Bon Echo Park.
The 15th annual Pine Meadow Charity Golf Tournament took place on June 24th at Hunter's Creek Golf Course on Hwy. 506 near Cloyne. As in previous years, this year's tournament was generously sponsored by numerous businesses and community members, raising over $17 000. These funds are used for a variety of items at Pine Meadow which cannot be included in their regular budget and which enhance the lives of the residents at the nursing home. Funds raised this year will be used to subsidize the monthly excursions planned for the residents and to purchase active therapy mattresses, slings for lifts, blood pressure monitors and a new half wall shelf unit in the entrance area. This year, 69 golfers participated in the tournament on a beautiful sunny day at Hunter's Creek Golf Course. Raffle prizes included a beautiful quilt made by Treadle Quilters and valued at $1300 which was won by Helen Yearwood and a BBQ donated by Lookout Home Hardware and valued at $1000, which was won by Allison Legeault. There was also a 50/50 draw with a prize of $167.50, won by John South. The microwave, donated by Smitty's Appliances, was the prize for the golf ball toss contest and was won by Cole Maschke. The members of the first place team at the tournament (pictured) were Paul Andrews, Hailey Andrews, Marty Lessard and Matt Lessard. The second place team included Randy Andrews, Mike Sagriff, Derek Maschke and Cole Maschke who donated their winnings back to the Pine Meadow Special Needs Fund. The men's closest to the pin was won by Nelson Gould and the women's closest to the pin was won by Karen Stacey, who donated back to the fund. The men's longest drive was won by John South and the women's longest drive was won by Karen Tryon. The raffle sales brought in close to $6000.00 and we are especially grateful to the many ticket sellers, who gave of their time and enthusiasm. Special thanks to Mike Donahue and the staff at Hunter's Creek for all their hard work in support of the Pine Meadow Golf Classic.
“KFL&A Public Health has no plans to get out of the septic inspection business,” Director of Programs Ed Gardner told Addington Highlands Council at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in Flinton. Reeve Henry Hogg said he’d invited public health officials to the meeting because “people were asking us why we weren’t doing it ourselves, which prompted this discussion.” Gardner begin his brief presentation by giving a short history of septic inspection in Ontario highlighting that the responsibility was downloaded to the municipalities in 1998 and is now governed by the Building Code. “(But) KFL&A has been doing septics since the early ’70s,” he said. “We do all nine municipalities in our catchment area.” Coun. Tony Fritsch asked what effect there would be on the health unit if municipalities opted to do their own inspections. “It would have a very deleterious effect,” Gardner said. “We have three septic inspectors as well as Public Health Inspector Gordon Mitchell and support staff. “It would mean a big part of our budget would be gone.” Gardner said they’d had to raise fees a few years ago to cover costs and costs are still rising but “we’d like to keep in it. “We have no immediate plans to shelve the system.” Coun. Bill Cox asked if there were any benefits to a Township for handling the inspections themselves. Gardner conceded that townships could charge fees but suggested any profit gained would likely be more than eaten up by training people and especially with the inevitable litigation that occurs. “We’ve had years and years of experience and we know what to do when it goes to court,” Gardner said. “It’s built into our fee structure. “It’s very difficult to go cold into septic inspection and our inspectors train for years and are used to a lot of travel and litigation.” Gardner said he didn’t know if there was a right or wrong answer to who should handle septic inspections but he’s seen municipalities take it over themselves or go to the conservation authorities, but most come back. “Stone Mills opted out but ended up asking us to take over again because they were facing more and more litigation,” he said. Mitchell said that of the 20-30 septic permits issued for Addington Highlands in an average year, most were for new systems and one-third to one-half are for replacement systems. Overall, he said KFL&A issues about 550 permits in an average year. New tandem truck, just shy of $200,000Council approved the purchase of a tandem axle cab and chassis truck with complete roll-off hoist package plus an optional tarp system. Road & Waste Management Supervisor Mark Freeburn told Council there was only one quotation received, that being from Winslow Gerolamy Motors Ltd. for $190,348 plus GST. “I think this is money well spent,” Freeburn said. “Especially for the safety of the drivers.” “Especially if we’re entertaining the idea of moving bulkier items ourselves,” said Clerk-Treasurer Christine Reed. Dust suppressionFreeburn said they’re putting down dust suppressant as weather permits. “This has been an abnormal year,” he said. “I can’t understand how a road gets so dusty when it’s raining all the time.” Fire crews nice and quietFire Chief Casey Cuddy told Council that aside from the Canada Day weekend, “it’s been quiet and call volumes are down.”
They went all-out in Cloyne Saturday to officially open Benny Lake Heritage Park, with several musical guests ranging from a First Nations drum group and the Pickled Chicken String Band, poetry readings and a host of politicians including Shabot Obaadjiwan Chief Doreen Davis, two MPs and two heads of council. On Aug. 2, 2002 a microburst tore through downtown Cloyne, destroying a grove of 200-year-old white pines. The public space has been renewed as a joint project of the Township of North Frontenac, the Land O’Lakes Garden Club, Mazinaw-Lanark Forest Inc. and the Cloyne and District Historical Society. It now features a 5-foot-wide, 600-foot pathway constructed with stone dust with very little slope follow integrated accessibility standards. They also planted a lot of new pines “If you come back in 150 years, it will be just as beautiful as it was several years ago,” said master of ceremonies J. J. (Red) Emond. “Today you’ll hear a lot of ‘I remember.’ “Let’s not forget the people that swung the axes, ate the food, the people that came before us.” Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MP Scott Reid quickly picked up on the fact that this is Canada’s 150th birthday year. “We have the third oldest written constitution in the world,” he said. “After the U.S. and the Swiss. “And we were one of the first jurisdictions in the world to abolish slavery.” Cloyne is a rather unique hamlet in that it straddles two federal jurisdictions split right down the main road (Hwy 41). Cloyne’s other federal representative, Hastings-Lennox & Addington MP Mike Bossio said: “This is a valuable asset for Cloyne (and) it’s all about you.” Cloyne also straddles two townships — Addington Highlands and North Frontenac. Since the park is on the North Frontenac side, Mayor Ron Higgins got to cut the ribbon. “This (Benny Lake Heritage Park) shows the dedication, hard work and perseverance of our volunteers,” Higgins said. “Thank you to Scott, Mike and MPP Randy Hillier for providing financial assistance. “Before taking office, I didn’t realize the amount of work our volunteers do. “I’m very proud of them.” But perhaps the best speech came from Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg. It was, in typical Hogg fashion, short and to the point. “I live (literally) right across the street,” Hogg said. “I remember the devastation. “Acknowledge the hard work the volunteers have done and have a good day.” Before the proceedings got underway, Hogg recounted a bit of what that day in 2002 was like. “I was there that day,” he said. “We must have lost 40 trees, it was a mess. “I don’t know how it missed the little house right across the street. “It wasn’t just us that the microburst hit, though, I have a friend on (Lake) Kash(wakamak) who had five buildings. “There was a tree on each one of them.”