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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.
Fiddlers and Friends have filled the Ompah Community Centre several times in the last few years and the appreciative audience left wanting more. In fact the audience joined in whenever the opportunity arose and felt that they were part of the concert too. The band has always talked about the great audience and all fun they had. They are delighted to have the chance to return to play in Ompah. Fiddlers and Friends love to entertain by sharing their joy of music and zany sense of fun. They play a cheerful set of old-time fiddle tunes that has the audience clapping, toe-tapping and singing along. Fiddlers are joined by keyboard, double bass, and cello. The irrepressible Lois Webster who makes many of her own percussion instruments and costumes, dances and keeps everyone guessing what she will do next. Mark Thursday, July 21 at 7pm on your calendar. Admission is $10 at the door. Following the concert, musicians and audience can mingle over refreshments. For further information, contact Marily Seitz, 613-479-2855.
Phosphorus Levels Victor Castro, a senior aquatic scientist from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) out of Kingston, made a presentation to Council on Thursday on phosphorus and its effect on the area's water systems. He also provided direction on the best management practices for future development on lakes. Castro explained that phosphorus, and nutrient enrichment, are the primary water-quality concerns for Ontario's inland lakes. An increase in phosphorus can result in algae blooms in lakes as the nutrients stimulate the production of algae. Phosphorus is found naturally in all aquatic eco-systems but can also come from surface runoff, upstream lakes, the agricultural industry, and atmospheric depositions such as rain, snow, or dust. Sewage treatment plants and septic tanks can also provide a significant source of phosphorous, although technology has improved dramatically in sewage treatment over the years, lessening the negative impact these systems can potentially have. Castro also told Council that climate change, invasive species, and shoreline development are some of the other threats to Ontario lakes. Removing trees along a shoreline, or building roads allows water run-off to occur more easily and this can increase phosphorus levels. Castro related this to the benefit that larger waterfront lots can have, because typically, landowners leave more of the shoreline in a natural state, which helps cut down on phosphorus getting into the water system. Castro explained that a lake is considered vulnerable to water-quality issues if it has over 20 micrograms of phosphorus per litre of water and that the MOE has designed a model to map current water quality as well as predict future water conditions. He explained that they also use the model to predict the current amount of phosphorus in the lake. They then can confirm the model’s accuracy by testing the water and making sure the numbers are consistent. If a lake is under-capacity, as far as phosphorus levels go, the model can predict how much more development the lake can take before it becomes vulnerable. “Mazinaw Lake,” Castro explained, “you could pound that lake with development and never see a change. You could develop that lake; you could put thousands of cottages on that lake and never see anything. … We've done capacity assessments on the most significant lakes in North Frontenac. We're the only jurisdiction in Canada that will set a limit and say that's enough (development).” Castro explained a few different ways that a property can still be developed on a “capacity” lake. “If the tile bed of the septic system is set back greater than 300M to the waterline, or the property drains to a non-sensitive watershed, or the land is re-developed with no net increase of phosphorus levels.” Private Roads Study Joe Gallivan, the director of Planning and Economic Development for Frontenac County, presented his report on private roads to Council. The report was commissioned by County Council in 2015 after the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) put restrictions on new developments on private lanes across Ontario. “The results of the study is that we now have the facts,” Gallivan said. Gallivan spoke about the complexities of private lanes in Frontenac County. The shift to taxpayers becoming permanent residents instead of seasonal residents puts added stress on these roads. Gallivan explained that of the 981 private lanes, or “cottage roads”, in Frontenac County, 189 of them exist in North Frontenac and that 95% of them lead to water. He also explained that North Frontenac has higher quality lanes than the other three townships in the County. Gallivan said the study revealed 178 vacant waterfront lots in North Frontenac. He also said the study projects that they will have a need for 380 units over the next 20 years and so the current supply does not meet the projected demand. This included potentially creating over 30 units from infilling and extending some existing private lanes. Gallivan suggested some potential policies for the township to develop including new private lane construction standards, infilling and extending existing lots, and even the township assuming responsibility over existing private lanes. The private lanes study offers Gallivan and the County new data to fight the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the development restrictions they are trying to put in place. “We've done some analysis and the total assessment of the County is $5 billion,” Gallivan said back in February of 2015. “$2 billion of that is on private roads...[Development] means a lot to the financial stability of the townships.” “The positions the ministry takes sometimes are blanket positions,” Gallivan explained. “They're applying it across the province the same way and that's just not right.” “There are a number of things that are happening in Muskoka that might happen here,” Councilor John Inglis said. “Land prices are extremely high, the density on the lakes...It will happen if we don't take steps to prevent it. ..We are going to need help if we want to avoid this becoming a Muskoka.” “The significant advantage that we have is the amount of Crown Land,” Gallivan said. “Almost 2/3 of the area is Crown Land. This area, relative to other areas like Peterborough and the Kawarthas and Muskoka, is different as it's still going to have that protected area.” “How do you make sure that the Crown jewels that have lake development are protected?” Gallivan said “because it will be a very unique place 100 years from now if it's well done.” Council to give $5000 honorarium to consultant Council, in a recorded vote, decided on Thursday to pay Terry Gervais, a former Napanee Fire Chief, $5000 for mentoring work he did for the township. Gervais acted as a volunteer consultant to Eric Korhonen, the North Frontenac Fire Chief, while Korhonen prepared his Operational Review of the fire department recently. “I don't feel this is proper,” Councilor Victor Hermer said. “I recall when Eric was hired, Terry Gervais volunteered his services and I specifically asked at the time 'what will this cost the township?' and he said 'absolutely nothing.’” “I don't really know where this is coming from” Councilor Inglis said. “$5000 is a good amount of money. I'm kind of against it based on its lack of transparency.” “The reason I put this together was I really appreciate the effort he put into this,” Mayor Ron Higgins said. “This is not being solicited by him. It was lots of travel, off-hour time, more of an appreciation of the volunteer work.” In the recorded vote, councilors Hermer and Inglis voted against the $5000 and Councilor Gerry Martin, Deputy Mayor Fred Perry, and Mayor Higgins voted for it. The motion was carried. Senior of the Year “I do what I do because I like doing it,” Eileen Flieler. Eileen Flieler was presented with the Senior Of The Year Award by Mayor Ron Higgins to a full house of family and friends at the June 30 council meeting in Plevna.
Once upon a time there was small lake north of Kingston and two people who lived there prompted a group of friends to get together and go for a boat ride and a picnic. While they were boating around this beautiful lake they collected money from everyone they saw with the purpose of sending an Easter Seals child to camp. Thus the Buck Lake Boatilla was born. It has continued to be a wonderful tradition each year. The results are amazing because of the generous and caring people who reside on the lake. It has become a mission to fund handicapped children and their families to go to Camp Merrywood. Over the past 11 years the Buck Lake Community has raised $162,000 and supported 63 children for 10 days at camp. The camp has amazing facilities and staff. Children who cannot walk are able to swim, sail, kayak, fish and canoe. They participate in sports, arts and crafts and evening campfires. Their families report major positive changes in social skills and independence. Chad has been to camp and been part of the Boatilla family for many years. He has completed high school and is looking forward to college. He loves to speak and hopes to be an announcer. He is delightful and humorous at our event. It wouldn't be the same without him. Kierra is a young girl who was once very afraid of water. After her camp experience she is like a little tadpole and just loves to swim. She also has an amazing voice and has sung acapella at the Boatilla. Her choice of songs have been "Hear me roar" and "My Fight Song". You can imagine the emotion generated by her beautiful voice. Izzy came to the Boatilla this past year and was hoping to attend Camp Merrywood in the summer. She was very shy and very concerned about her wheelchair which provides her with the ability to move around. Our guys lifted her and her chair onto one of the pontoon boards and she was able to enjoy the boat parade and celebration barbecue. There have been many Easter Seals children and families at the Boatilla. It is heart-warming to listen to their Camp stories and share their successes. One year they were offered Seadoo rides and they loved it. Their faces shone with joy and their voices were shouting with glee. Chad and Kierra have gone on to be Ambassadors for Easter Seals. They are poised and accomplished young people. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the camp experience has been very enabling for the children. It empowers them with confidence and optimism and helps build relationships with other campers and leaders. Our Boatilla is an important event that our community has supported in a very big way. Last year there were over 40 boats which gathered at the boat launch and paraded around the lake. It was an inspiring display of community spirit and commitment. We should be very proud of it and it is back again this year. So dig deep into your pockets and look forward to the July 2 Buck Lake Boatilla. Donations can be made at EasterSeals.org. visit http://www.easterseals.org/buck-lake-boatilla/.
On Saturday, July 23, Theresa, Katie and Becki Procter will once again swim across Sharbot Lake to raise money for cancer research and to support those suffering from the disease. Over the past 7 years the three girls have raised more than $12,000, all of which stays in our area. The girls will enter the water near Sharbot Lake provincial park at 10 am and swim 3 km. to the Sharbot Lake beach, arriving at the Farmer’s Market around 11 o’clock. Donations can be dropped off at Sharbot Lake Pharmacy, Northern Frontenac Community Services or at the beach on the 23rd. Or you can donate online at http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/hopeswim2016.
Last Friday, July 8, Arden was hot and humid, and rockin'! Those that made their way to see Shred Kelly at Kennebec Hall were in for an awesome night. It all started about a year ago when Scott Bulbrook and Peter Riehm of Ottawa went to see the band perform at Raw Sugar in Ottawa. Already huge fans, they took the band out for a meal after and jokingly asked what it would take to have the band play at Scott's cottage. To their surprise, the band agreed and “Lake Up! Arden” was born. Bulbrook quickly realized his small cottage on Kennebec Lake was not going to be big enough, so he rented Kennebec Hall. With financial support from 14 friends, the planning began. Scott Bulbrook's hope was not only to have a great night, but to hopefully have a positive impact on the community. He had been very disappointed in “The Lost Highway”, a documentary that was made about the local community and released in 2014. “I found that documentary a bit depressing and downright offensive,” he said - a sentiment shared by many members of the community. “When we first started cottaging in the area, the thriving local art scene and the few stores in Arden were something we thought of as just another nice feature of our cottage. As everyone knows, over the last few years there's been a bit of a decline,” he said. The members of Shred Kelly are also from small towns and fully understand that even a tiny concert can have a positive impact on a community. They were excited to be in Arden. Shred Kelly is a band based in Fernie, BC, and have been re-defining the term “folk-rock”. Members Tim Newton, Sage McBride, Jordan Vlasschaert, Ian Page-Shiner and Ty West come from all over the country and bring unique backgrounds and talents to the group. This allows for a depth of sound and musicianship that leaves listeners wanting more. By pushing the boundaries of traditional folk with a wide range of influences, they have created a unique sound called “Stoke Folk”. The stop in Arden was part of an extensive tour promoting themselves and their third album titled “Sing To The Night”, which was released in January of 2015. They continue to sell out shows to crowds of a thousand people or more and perform at some of Canada's premier festivals. With their high-energy and crowd-engaging live show, they are receiving a growing list of awards and recognition for their unquestionable talent. There were four opening acts Friday night, including the Burban Guerillas, Amnesty Load, Ash Perry and the Shiners, and Arden locals, Sympathy Ghost. Around 90 tickets were sold and approximately 20 volunteers helped the evening run smoothly. As the sun set, Shred Kelly took to the stage and they did not let the heat hinder what they are known for. With beautiful vocal harmonies, ambient keyboard sounds, amazing banjo riffs, dynamic guitar, bass and drums and an intense “There is absolutely no way you cannot dance” live show, there were very few people left sitting in the hall. Kennebec Hall seemed to swell with the sounds - an old hall, with great acoustics, thrilled at the music that was being played there again. “It's like a giant house or kitchen party” Peter Riehm said, “Fun for the band, fun for the crowd, fun for the town! Shred Kelly are sincerely nice people, so it is a thrill to have them and to introduce some new fans to their brand of Stoke Folk.” As the show was coming to an end, guitar player Ty West crowd-surfed on an inflatable surfboard and lightning erupted outside, bringing the show to a final peaking highlight. Guests left the show sweaty from dancing so hard and in a daze of smiles, laughter and thankfulness that they did not miss such an incredible night. Most are now officially deemed Shred Heads. Rumour has it Bulbrook is already making plans for next year. Will Shred Kelly return? If they do, you'd better not miss it.
Ken Gilpin, the owner of Frontenac Municipal Bylaw Enforcement, appeared before Central Frontenac Council this week to speak to changes that have been proposed to the safe properties and noise bylaws that the township already has in place. “All these bylaws are simply means of dealing with issues that come up. The changes that are proposed are just updates and short form wording as well to make them more effective,” he said. Gilpin explained that the inspections are only triggered by complaints, and that after investigations, non-compliance with the bylaws results in the issuance of an order with 30 days to comply. “At the end of 30 days we bring in a company to clean the property up and bill from there,” he said. Gilpin said that his company, which provides bylaw enforcement services for a number of municipalities including North, Central and South Frontenac, always uses the same company to clean up properties. “They have the necessary equipment and licenses to deal with scrap metal, hazardous waste, anything that is necessary to clean up properties that are derelict,” he said. Councilor Tom Dewey said that Gilpin should put out an RFP for the services he contracts out in order to comply with township procurement policies, leading to a discussion about whether the policy applies to contractors. The tenor of the discussion changed, however, when Mayor Smith invited Ross Halliday, a new resident of the township, to present his objections to the bylaw, which were included in a detailed written submission. Halliday said that the bylaw includes too much vague language and therefore hay fields, dandelions, cars that are unlicensed but still being repaired, and grass that may only be a few inches long, can be seen as non-compliant with the bylaw. “I moved here with my wife Mandy a year ago with the intention of farming, and this bylaw can be used to stop us from doing most of what we are planning to do. I took a tour of my neighborhood and just about every property can be seen to be non-compliant with this new bylaw, which is much more open ended and vague than the current bylaw,” he said. Council received letters supporting the changes from Gord Brown and Terry Kennedy, and one that opposes it from Sarah Hale, but the submission by Ross Halliday seemed to have the greatest effect. Councilors Jamie Riddell and Brent Cameron said that passage of the bylaw should be deferred and the matter referred to special committee of council. Even Councilor Tom Dewey, who has been supportive of the changes, agreed, and by a unanimous vote the new safe properties and noise bylaws were referred to a committee that was subsequently struck to look at them and report back later in the year.
Mike Burrell finds beauty where many people can’t. Looking past the night sky to a source of light, he admires the moths fluttering around the beam. He distinguishes their colour, size and species. He knows they are an invaluable part of nature. “We need moths for the health of our eco-system,” contends the 32-year-old zoologist. “Like anything, if we remove them, we’ll probably have issues.” Burrell was helping a group of 12 people understand moths at an evening workshop at Elbow Lake Environment Centre (ELEC) on July 16. The workshop was an initiative of ELEC and Kingston Field Naturalists. Considered a nuisance by many, moths are the quiet workers of the night. “They get a bad rap,” he admits. “Most of them are just going about their business pollinating plants. For the most part, they’re just another actor impacting the ecology of our forests.” By last July, 783 types of moths were found in South Frontenac. Burrell believes that more than twice that number are waiting to be found and identified. “I just love the diversity of them; there are so many,” he says with a smile. “You’re not going to go out and not see something new. It’s pretty neat to go out and see something new whenever you want.” A volunteer with the field naturalists who works with rare animals in Ontario, Burrell is pleased with the public’s interest in the insects. “We managed to see a lot of moths,” he says with a laugh about the workshop, which described the area’s mix of southern and northern species. “I’d say we were successful… Basically, every kind of plant you can find will have a moth feeding on it,” Burrell explains with authority. “There are all sorts of life histories with the species. There are some rare moths (too). They are just an amazing group of animals to learn about.” We only saw the Blinded Sphinx on Saturday.
Josh Bennett is a young man doing an old job. Happiest when he’s covered in dirt from working the land, Josh is the fifth generation of his family to work as a farmer. “I like tending to the animals and doing crops,” the friendly 18-year-old confirms from his family’s sheep farm, which covers 600 acres in Inverary, Ontario. “I like being outdoors.” Filled with plans to continue his family’s tradition of selling sheep meat/wool and cash crops, Josh is poised to leave the farm behind to embark on a post-secondary education. For some, it is bittersweet to leave what you love just to learn how to do it better. For Josh, he’s grateful for a show-of-support from the farming community. “It will help a lot,” he says with sincerity about a recent grant from the Frontenac Federation of Agriculture (FFA). “I appreciate the help.” The FFA says Josh qualified for the $500 education bursary because of his farming background and five years with 4-H. Josh intends to use the money to pay for two years of agriculture classes at Ridgetown Campus near London, Ontario. With a focus on agriculture, food, the environment and rural communities, the campus is a division of the University of Guelph. It has been part of the Ontario Agriculture College since 1997. Once he earns his diploma, Josh will return to the family farm to continue raising more than 1,800 sheep. “Josh is a good guy and we feel we have a good representative from Frontenac County to go on to Ridgetown,” says President Gary Gordon when asked about the FFA’s opinion of this year’s award winner. Speaking on behalf of the FFA, which is composed of farmers across Frontenac County who volunteer their time to act as the frontline of a national organization, he notes, “This farm is one to try new technology, which we like to see. “He’s going to be the fifth generation (of his family) on the farm,” says Gary, impressed. “We’re very pleased.”
Organizers from Somersault Events did not know what to expect as they set up under stormy skies on Saturday evening (July 9) for this year's Sydenham Triathlon. Fortunately, the rain, heat and humidity blew over, leading to cool, slightly overcast weather on race day Sunday. “The unsettled weather and the forecast had an impact on our race day registration, but even the participation was good. In its 7th year, Sydenham remains a solid event for us. The Point Park is really a great location. The roads for cycling are not too busy; the trail is right there for the run; and the lake is great,” said Christine McKinty of Somersault. The company runs a number of triathlons in Ottawa, where it is based, as well as the Brockville, Smiths Falls and Sydenham Triathlons. The Sydenham Triathlon includes an Olympic distance triathlon as well as a shorter sprint triathlon, a duathlon, a short Tri-a-Tri event for beginners, as well as a 5km and 10 km run. “We have events for every level of athlete, and for all ages,” said McKinty. The Sydenham Triathlon is popular with athletes from Kingston and Frontenac County, and would be more popular with athletes from Ottawa and west Quebec, according to McKinty, but for a lack of accommodations. “It is very hard to get a room in Kingston on the weekend of the triathlon because there is so much going on there,” she said. Most participants who travel from a distance stay with friends or family that have cottages in the region because there is not a lot available nearby. Even camping opportunities are limited. “We have thought about extending to a Saturday event, because it is such an ideal location and the people from Ottawa really enjoy visiting here and always say how beautiful it is. But the accommodation issue has held us back,” she said. The results from the triathlon show how popular it is with athletes from the local area, as three of the top 10 men in the Olympic Triathlon, including the winner, Jeff McCue (2:18:23), are from Kingston. In the women's Olympic event, which was won by Jutta Merilainen of Batawa, the top 10 all came from different Ontario locations, including Gananoque, Stirling, Smith Falls and Perth. Local athletes who shone in other events include 15-year-old Rayden Shelter from Syenham (3rd in the male 5 km run) and 12-year-old Avery Nelder (7th in the female 5 km run). Clive Morgan from Yarker finished 3rd in the male Sprint Triathlon event; Nick Vanderschoor from Perth Road Village finished 5th; and Patrick Gilmour from Inverary finished in 8th place. Also, Sandy Roberston from Sharbot Lake was the fastest woman in the 55-59 age group in the Sprint event. Patri Kelly from Harrowsmith was the fastest in the Swim-Cycle event. In the male Super Sprint event, Jason Nelder from Sydenham finished first; Jacob Beckwith, also of Sydenham, finished in 4th place; and Therol Peterson from Glenburnie was 9th. Among the women, Nora Bond from Battersea finished 1st and Erin Peterson from Glenburnie finished 9th.
It started steady and built from there as people trooped to the covered porch at Gilmour's on 38 in Harrowsmith for hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages at the annual barbeque fundraiser for Clothes For Kids. The event, which was held on July 8 this year, is jointly put on by Gilmour's and Friendly Fires of Kingston. In 2015, the barbeque raised over $4,000 and that total was likely surpassed last Friday afternoon. The $5 cost of the meal, for which all of the supplies were donated, was often supplemented by extra donations from the store's patrons, most of whom stopped to talk to the owner, Nick Gilmour. Clothes For Kids is a Kingston-based charity that works with partners, including Northern Frontenac Community Services, to provide snowsuits and other winter gear for children who need them in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington and Gananoque regions.
A report by the consulting group Ameresco, which was received by the board of trustees of the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) last month, recommends the closure of at least two elementary schools in Frontenac County over the next 10 years. The process for closing Prince Charles Public School in Verona is projected to begin in three years, and the process for closing Land O'Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove is projected to get underway in seven years. The report also recommends that community partners be sought to help cover costs for facilities that will remain open but will be under capacity, such as North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne, and Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake. None of the report’s recommendations have been formally adopted or even considered by the LDSB board of trustees. The report, titled “LDSP Long Term Accommodation Plan” was commissioned by the board in response to provincial directives that, in the words of the report, “require 100% utilization of schools, board-wide, year-over-year, in order to ensure that facility renewal and school operation costs (i.e. cost to heat, light and clean) are met”. Based on enrolment projections, the report concludes that within 15 years there will be excess capacity for 2,787 elementary students and 1,540 secondary students in the entire Limestone Board if changes are not made. The Limestone Board currently operates 53 elementary and 11 secondary schools in the City of Kingston, and in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington counties. While the first section of the report sets out series of facts and provincial policies, the second section, “Proposed Long Term Accommodation Plan by Family of Schools”, offers recommendations to accomplish 100% utilization by making changes in just about every corner of the board's reach. Jane Douglas, communications director for the LDSB, said that a staff report to the trustees on the recommendations is expected in the fall, and consultations with the school communities and the public at large will take place before any decisions are made to adopt its recommendations. “What's important is to ensure there is a large district-wide review before any steps are taken,” she said. “In the rural area there is a great need to bring together possibilities. There is lots of potential for partnerships with municipalities and community groups and agencies to deal with some of the surplus capacity,” she said South Frontenac Township is covered for the most part by the Sydenham High School (SHS) Family of Schools. In the Sydenham family, Prince Charles in Verona is already under the 80% utilization threshold that is considered a minimum for continued operation of a school. In 2016-17, the projected enrolment of 182 students Prince Charles is 69% of the school’s capacity of 265 students. The projections going forward to 2030 call for only a very slight decrease, to 177. However, the capacity of Loughborough Public School is 549, and it has a 2016-17 enrolment of 422 (77% of capacity), which is projected to drop to 314 by 2030 (only 57% of capacity). Therefore the report recommends that a Program Accommodation Review (PAR) process be undertaken in the 2019-2020 school year “with a view to consolidate Prince Charles PS into Loughborough PS.” Harrowsmith Public School is projected to remain over capacity (105%) over the next 15 years. In order to deal with projected decrease in enrolment at Sydenham High School from the current 719 (94% 0f capacity) to 569 (74% of capacity) by 2030, the report recommends diverting students from the portion of rural Kingston north of Hwy. 401 from their current schools to Sydenham. As far as the Granite Ridge Education Centre Family of Schools is concerned, the report points out first that all three schools in the family (Granite Ridge, Land O'Lakes and Clarendon Central) are well below the 80% threshold, and will continue to drop over time. By 2030, it sees the elementary panel at only 51% of capacity at both Granite Ridge (142 students) and Land O'Lakes (107 students). By putting the two schools together, the projected enrolment would be 268, which is still only 77% of capacity. Even though the report does not talk about closing Clarendon Central in Plevna, it allocates the projected enrolment for Clarendon Central to Granite Ridge by 2030. The report recommends that a PAR process for the Granite Ridge Family of Schools be established in 2023/23 “with a view to consolidate Land O’Lakes PS into Granite Ridge Education Centre” As far as North Addington Education Centre is concerned, the report says that the school, which has the capacity for 305 elementary and 327 secondary students, is already well under capacity, particularly in the secondary panel where there are only 106 students, and will continue to see enrolment decreases over the next 15 years. The report does not recommend closing NAEC, however, because of its location, but says the board might consider “converting two classrooms into a community hub/technology centre” in the short term, and in the longer term look at exploring “with the Ministry of Health the possibility of converting un-used space into a long-term care facility”. Suzanne Ruttan, the school board trustee for South Frontenac, appeared before South Frontenac Council on Tuesday evening to talk about the Ameresco report, along with Paul Babbin, the superintendent of building services for the Limestone Board. He said that in early September there will be a meeting that will be open to the public to discuss next steps in the process. Mayor Ron Vandewal did not accept did not accept the inevitable closure of Prince Charles Public School. “The surest way to kill a community is to close its school,” he said. When contacted, Karen McGregor, the board trustee for Central and North Frontenac and Addington Highlands, said that it is too early to talk about school closings and re-purposing since the report was just received last month. “It includes a lot of information for us to consider,” she said. The Ameresco report also calls for the closure of Glenburnie Public School but does not see any changes at Storrington or Perth Road Public Schools. The report includes projected financial savings over time if its recommendations are implemented.
Letter from the Publisher The summer season is a crucial part of the year for all the businesses that are the lifeblood of our communities. This week, I've been calling many of the business owners that we deal with on a regular basis to ask them for help. There is a good possibility that this will be the last Frontenac News that readers will receive in their mailboxes for a while, as Canada Post and two of the bargaining units with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers are at an impasse in negotiating a contract. As of this coming Saturday, July 2, the union will be in a legal strike position. What will result is anyone's guess. It could be a contract; the union may launch a strike; or Canada Post might lock them out. We distribute 9214 copies of the Frontenac News through Canada Post each week, to the far corners of Frontenac County, Addington Highlands and western Lanark County. On some weeks, we distribute an extra 2920 papers to the Inverary and Perth Road regions. While this is an expensive way to distribute newspapers, in our experience it is the only way to reach all the hamlets and back roads properties in the region. For us to set up our own distribution system would be [prohibitively?] expensive and would also be difficult to monitor effectively. So, as we face a shut down at Canada Post, we’ve been on the phone to ask for help. Thankfully, all the businesses we approached have been understanding, and below is a list of locations that have been lined up as of early this week. We will expand our distribution further as we contact more businesses but you can count on the ones listed here to have the Frontenac News available for free every Thursday until Canada Post is back up and running. DISTRIBUTION POINTS: KINGSTON FRONTENAC PUBLIC LIBRARY branches during open hours – Sydenham, Hartington, Sharbot Lake, Parham, Arden, Mountain Grove, Plevna, and Cloyne. TOWNSHIP OFFICES for Addington Highlands (Flinton Recreation Centre – basement), North Frontenac (Road 506 between Ardoch and Plevna), Central Frontenac (Sharbot Lake), and South Frontenac (Sydenham) RETAIL OUTLETS - Denbigh – Glaeser's General Store Cloyne/Northbrook – Nowell Motors, Grand's Store, Bishop Lake Outdoor Centre, Hook's, Yourway, Northbrook Gas and Variety, Northbrook Foodland, Addison's Restaurant Kaladar – Kaladar Shell Plevna – North of 7 Ompah – Palmerston Lake Marina Arden – Arden Batik? Sharbot Lake – Petrocan, Ram's Esso, Mike Dean's Superstore, Pharmasave, St. Lawrence College Employment Centre, Cardinal Cafe, Maples?, Sharbot Lake Country Inn, and our own office at 1095 Garrett St., rear building. Parham – Parham General Store Godfrey – Godfrey General Store Verona – Asselstine Hardware, Verona Hardware, Food Less Traveled, Nicole's Gifts, Verona Foodland Hartington - Leonard Fuels Harrowsmith – Gilmour's on 38, The Pizza Place Sydenham – Sydenham One Stop, Trousdale's Foodland ? We are also constructing some special temporary boxes, which will be located at roadside postal locations, such as the Snow Road Community Centre, the Mountain Grove Library (outside), the Arden Post Office, etc. Also, readers can always read the articles online at frontenacnews.ca and at that site can also access a flash version of our paper that is a .pdf copy of the newsprint version that comes to your door each week under normal circumstances. If there is a strike, this distribution system will remain in place for at least the July 7 and 14 editions. If there is a stoppage that extends beyond mid-July, we will take stock of the success of our system and may consider changes. We thank our readers in advance for their patience, and hope that those who enjoy the Frontenac News each week will be able to continue to do so next week.
Canada Day is on a Friday this year, so July 2 is a big day for events as well. Not only will the farmers' markets in Verona, Sharbot Lake and McDonalds Corners be open for business as usual, there are many other events scheduled as well. On the grounds of the Crow Lake Schoolhouse in Crow Lake Village, Primitive Catering is hosting a new event, Lost Trades and Handmades, which is billed as a “gathering of the finest food and products created by hand.” Dean Fredette, one the principals at Primitive Catering, describes the event as a tribute to the skills of traditional crafters, whether they work with fabric, metal, in the garden or in the kitchen. Fredette sees an appetite for products that are made by hand by skilled people, and while Primitive Catering is a food company, the same kind of commitment to function and aesthetics is found in a skewer of meat barbequed on an open fire as in the production of fine knives, baskets or any other artisanal product. In addition to fine food sizzling on the fire pit there will be music by ALAN BRIAN, Alan Kitching on saxophone and clarinet and Brian Roche on guitar and vocals; knives made by Brian Connolly; the Enright Cattle Company; St. Paul United Church Quilts; Dragonfly Herbs; basketmaking demonstrations by Jule Koch; preserves, baked goods, a book sale, and more. The event runs from 12 noon to 7pm. Meanwhile, 10 kilometres north of Highway 7 on Road 509, down the Gully Road in Mississippi Station, the long-awaited grand opening of the Back Forty Cheese Creamery and Bakeshop will take place from 10 am to 4 pm. The new home of Back Forty Cheese is on an old farmstead on the Mississippi River. The large drive shed near the farmhouse has been converted into a cheese factory, with an adjoining retail space. Upstairs there is a loft space that is a screen printing studio. Jenna Fenwick, who runs Jenna Rose Screen printing, and Jeff Fenwick, who makes Back Forty Sheep's milk cheese, have been working on the shed, establishing gardens and feeding a drove of young Berkshire pigs with the whey from the factory. “We thought it would be nice, in this new location, to set up a storefront that we can open on Saturdays throughout the summer, to let people see how the cheese is made, and all the related activities that make for a sustainable operation,” said Jeff about setting up the shop. “We will be holding tours of the cheese factory and the grounds, and we are having some friends join us as well.” In addition to five Back Forty cheeses – Flower Station, Bonnechere, Highland Blue, Madawaska, and the newest Back Forty Cheese, Ompah, there will be some fresh cheese available on the 2nd. Mike McKenzie of Seed to Sausage will be on the barbeque, grilling sausages, and providing meat for Charcuterie plates. Thanks to a special occasions permit, Stalwart Brewing from Carleton Place will be on hand, serving some of their popular brews plus a new summer beer, which is appropriately named Down by River. Three Dog Winery from Prince Edward County as well as MacKinnon Brothers from Bath will also be represented. Black Kettle Catering is bringing their popcorn. And to wash all that food and drink down, Elphin's own Joey Wright, fresh from a year in the countryside near Avignon, no doubt drinking too much Rhone and Rousillon Valley wines and eating much too well, will be performing on guitar, mandolin and banjo.
VCA comes calling Wayne Conway of the Verona Community Association (VCA) appeared before the monthly meeting of Frontenac County Council last week (June 15). He was looking for support for a new electronic sign project in Verona. The sign, which will be used to promote community events and public service information from the Township of South Frontenac and the County, will be located at the same location as the existing VCA sign at the corner of Road 38 and Burnett Street. The VCA has raised $30,000 to purchase the sign; the Verona Lions Club has committed $2,500 for the installation; and the Township of South Frontenac has agreed to pay the ongoing power bill to keep the sign shining. Conway was looking to Frontenac County to cover the $1,000 (approximate) one-time cost of installing power to the sign. Conway pointed out that the location of the sign in Verona is central to residents of Frontenac County who travel to Central and North Frontenac, as well as residents of South Frontenac. “The county would be interested in using this sign to promote their events as well. Notices may include information relative to public awareness; warning messages such as severe weather recovery; unforeseen disaster circumstances; K&P Trail information; county events; plowing match; Open Doors; special celebrations, etc. ,” he said. Council received Conway's presentation and will consider the proposal. Comprehensive Private Lane Study One of the key elements in the development of Frontenac County's first ever Official Plan was a concession by the Province of Ontario over further development of residential properties on privately owned lanes. As a matter of policy, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing had been insisting that all new building lot development be restricted to roadways that either become township roads (through a plan of subdivision process) or form part of a vacant land 'plan of condominium', wherein a corporation made up of adjacent landowners is responsible for their maintenance. Both of those options are expensive and would hinder the ability of existing county residents to create small numbers of new lots, one or two at a time, and bring new construction and new people into the townships. Joe Gallivan, Director of Planning and Economic Development Services for Frontenac County, promised the Ministry of Municipal Affairs that if the ministry was willing to temper its demand that private lane development be banned, the county would undertake a study of the issue with a view towards creating a set of rules that satisfy the underlying concerns of the province. The main concern has to do with ensuring that the roads are up to a reasonable standard and that emergency personnel – ambulance, fire and police – can get through when necessary. A study was commissioned to look at the existing private roads in the county, and make recommendations for future development. Brian Whitehead, of Jp2g Consulting of Pembroke, prepared a comprehensive report on the matter, which included an inventory of all the private lanes in the county, and looked at which of them are candidates for further development. The study concluded that only 15% of existing private lanes have the potential for further development and recommends that only up to three new lots should be added to those lanes. It also recommends that lanes that are or are likely to be used for permanent year-round residential use should not be privately owned. Whitehead said that while the inventory shows that there should be only limited increase in development on existing private lanes, once the measures are adopted there will be potential for the development of new private lanes in remote areas of the county where there is still waterfront available for development. In receiving the report, members of council noted that it represents a major effort on the part of the consultant and Joe Gallivan. “I think we have persisted in our efforts, and by working with the ministry but not backing down to them, we have saved ourselves the expense of an OMB hearing on our Official Plan, which would have been expensive and might not have yielded a good result. This way we have served our residents' interests while satisfying the ministry. I think we have Joe, and Brian, to thank for this,” said Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle, who was serving as Warden when the County Official Plan was being finalised. Planning Advisory Committee formed Council dealt with the deferred matter of forming a planning advisory committee, the makeup of which was a contentious issue at their meeting in May. One of the changes made to the original proposal was to soften the requirement that each of the four mayors who sit on county council must sit on the advisory committee. In the new version, the mayor can designate the second member of council from their township as the committee member. As well, the scope of the committee's role will be subject to review in two years. On one potentially contentious matter, the version of the committee's mandate that was passed last week is the same as the proposal that was deferred in May. It is the Planning Advisory Committee's role to conduct public hearings on plans of subdivision and plans of condominium, as outlined in the following proposal in the document: “It is also recommended that the PAC also hold the formal public meetings as required by the Planning Act for subdivision and condominium applications. Currently these meetings are held by each township council at the request of the county. Having the PAC hold these meetings will result in a more transparent and accountable process, as the public will be aware that they are speaking to a committee of county council, and that four of the eight county council members will be present at the meeting.”
Mazinaw Lake and Bon Echo Provincial Park have drawn artists to its shores for hundreds of years. To maintain the example of the aboriginal peoples, the Group of Seven and the many artists who still come to appreciate and create, the Friends of Bon Echo Park is sponsoring the 21st annual Art Exhibition & Sale of original Canadian art on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 22, 23 & 24 from 10am – 4pm daily. Over 45 exhibitors will be displaying their work at the sale, and in addition, there will be presentations from Sciensational Sssnakes on Saturday & Sunday at 11am; kids’ activities; a barbeque; and live music from 1pm daily, Park admission applies. For information please call 613-336-0830 or visit www.bonechofriends.ca/artshow.html The Friends of Bon Echo Park is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Bon Echo Provincial Park. The Art Exhibition and Sale is one example of how we carry out this mission.
Melissa Dakers and Chloe Lajoie of Watersheds Canada were in Cloyne July 16 to outline the natural shoreline program. They explained the structure of a natural shoreline, and how it protects our waterfront properties, cleans our water and supports the natural inhabitants of our waterways. They offer a service that will come to our properties and discuss with us our goals for shoreline development. Using photos they will work out a waterfront plan, recommending species and placement of plants ranging from flowers to trees. This plan is discussed with the property owners and modified to their wishes. The most exciting part of the program is that they then will order the plantings and come and plant them on our properties. The landowner pays 25% of the cost of the plants and agrees to maintain them. The Waterfront Canada staff remain involved to offer suggestions if any difficulties arise with the plantings. They can be reached at 613-2641244 or www.watersheds.ca.
The 2nd annual Sail Mazinaw was challenged by thunderstorms and torrential rain on Saturday, July 9. Even just getting to Mazinaw Lakeside Resort for breakfast without getting wet was nearly impossible. However, despite the inclement weather, a few hardy (or foolish) sailors were still able to get a couple of hours on the water while thunder rumbled in the background. The fleet was back out in beautiful conditions on Sunday with a couple of additional boats making a showing. The recipients of the 2016 Mazinaw Cup are Danielle Richard (Bridgenorth) and Michelle Simpkin (Scarborough), cottagers on Washing Machine Point. The duo exhibited enthusiasm and skill while sailing the smallest boat of the fleet in threatening conditions. Michelle is a rookie sailor and Danielle is currently making the transition to sailboarding. Additional photos and commentary are available at Facebook/SailMazinaw.
As far back as the early 1800s, this area was logging country. Men traveled hundreds of miles through rugged terrain in uncomfortable conditions to carve out a living in lumber camps. Some came with families; others' families joined them later. To accommodate the increased population, the companies built living quarters, hired women to cook and eventually schools and churches began to spring up. The stories of these early settlers come to life in the Cloyne Museum. When you are at the Sawyer Stoll display, you'll want to glance at the grocery and supply invoices. The prices are difficult to believe, as is the payroll ledger. Some of the available tools used in logging and farming will make you wonder how anyone could work with them. An old solid steel McCulloch #47 chainsaw testifies to the challenges men accepted as routine. The chainsaw was donated to the museum by Frank Meeks. It had been used by James Hawley Meeks until he was 94 years of age. He bought the saw brand new and cut a cord of wood with it every day until he was 94. The museum is open every day all summer from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is on Hwy #41 directly across from the Cloyne Post Office. We look forward to your visit.