| Mar 19, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - March 19, 2009 South Frontenac Council – Mar 17/09by Wilma Kenny

The Rideau Canal: a world treasure

Melissa Francis, project coordinator for Parks Canada, spoke to South Frontenac Council about the rationale for developing a landscape strategy for the Rideau Corridor, which passes through the eastern corner of the Township. Her presentation reminded all present that it’s easy to take a familiar phenomenon for granted. In the past few years, the Canal has gained national and international recognition: it’s recognized as a National Historic Site, a Canadian Heritage River, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last year, the National Geographic Society declared it the 2nd most authentic, sustainable tourist designation in the world. Francis noted that the quality of the original construction has been so well maintained that all but two of the locks are still being manually operated.

Development pressures are creating challenges for the municipalities along the Rideau corridor, as there is growing interest in residential and commercial development in the region. Following the recommendation of the World Heritage Committee in 2007, Parks Canada has committed to undertaking an assessment of the visual character of the canal corridor as part of what is being called the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy. The goal of the strategy is to work with First Nations, federal, provincial and municipal governments, property owners and others to develop guidelines that can be implemented by everyone with a stake in the future quality of the corridor.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is sponsoring a workshop in early April, to which over 300 ‘stakeholders’ have been invited. Francis emphasised that they are not asking the municipalities for money: the goal of the workshop is to develop a common vision and terms of reference for further study this fall.

Mayor Davison said that he has been told that South Frontenac is considered to have one of the best plans along the canal, in terms of setbacks and protection of shorelines.

Councillor York asked about the control of water levels along the canal. Francis said the Rideau is a "slack-water canal", which means its operation depends on water drawn from lakes along its route. "As a result," she said, "water levels are a constant concern."

Pan Fish Regulation

Council agreed to endorse the Tay Valley Township’s resolution requesting that the MNR postpone implementing any limit on sunfish until 2012 to allow further studies to be conducted to determine the effect a larger sunfish population could have on walleye and bass. Also, they ask that the Ministry of Tourism study the impact a fishing limit would have on the American tourism industry.

Heritage Properties

Council endorsed Kingston’s request that the Federal Ministers of Finance and Environment establish tax incentives to encourage private sector investment in rehabilitation of heritage properties.

Bridge Projects

In view of the Township’s plan to reconstruct the Loughborough Lake Bridge and upgrade the Bear Creek Culvert on Perth Road, Council endorsed a resolution from Middlesex requesting that the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans review and shorten their approval process for such projects, which involve navigable waters. The resolution also suggests that it might be appropriate for such approval to be delegated to the local Conservation Authorities.


The motion to advertise for a part-time Building Inspector was deferred, because Councillors Vandewal and Hahn were both absent. Vandewal had earlier announced he would be taking a week’s holiday: Hahn had been rushed to hospital for an appendectomy. (Particularly bad timing for a maple syrup producer!)

The Mystery of Petworth Bridge

Council approved a by-law in conjunction with Lennox and Addington to restrict the weight of vehicles passing over Petworth Bridge. The Traffic Act requires that this must be updated every two years, where a bridge falls under the joint responsibility of two municipalities. Mayor Davison noted that this is particularly interesting, given that the bridge in question is at least 200 yards east of the South Frontenac/ L&A border...

Line Painting Tender

Council agreed with Public Works Manager Segsworth to award the line painting tender to Metro Pavement Marking, for $61,026, even though it was the highest of the three bids received. The bids were less than $1,000 apart, and of the other two companies, one appeared to have little experience, and the other had done the job last year, but had been very difficult to maintain contact with.

In reply to Councillor Robinson’s question about street sweeping to remove winter sand, Segsworth said this is usually done in April and May, for we could still have storms requiring sand application, but given the amount of dust this year, he expected to initiate street cleaning in the next week.

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