Wednesday, 13 December 2017 12:11

The Cookery coming to Inverary early in 2018

Christine Lavallee opened Lavallee’s Inverary store last January 1. The store is located in the centre of Inverary in the location of the former Inverary store. It carries what you would expect to find in a convenience store, but over the last year it has also brought in dozens of local products, and has become an enthusiastic supporter of the Infrontenac branding initiative.

“We have found that there is a market for excellent local products, such as the salsa that T&A Condiments make, Hanna meat pies, and other products both from Frontenac County and nearby,” Christine Lavallee said, when interviewed the store last week.

While running the store, she has also noticed there is a market for fresh baking as well as quality take home food. And that is where the idea for a new, complementary business came in.

“We can’t keep up with the demand for baked goods, and I thought if we could have a kitchen to work out of it would be good for us and the community.”

Not one to wait too long for the dust to settle, Lavallee, who ran a restaurant in Kingston between 2003 and 2008, jumped at the opportunity to be an anchor tenant in a new commercial building that has been completed just south of the hamlet, on the Campbell property, which is located next door to the Northway Home Hardware/LCBO store and includes the 24 hour gas pumps. The building is also set to house a pharmacy in the new year.

The Cookery includes a retail space of about 1,000 square feet as well as two commercial kitchens, one for the cookery and a second for other commercial food businesses in the area who need to use shared, approved facilities to make their products.

“This new building is a tremendous space. There is lots of parking, lots of light,” she said, showing off the still to be renovated space (a building permit from SF township is pending) on a sunny day last week.

The Cookery will be open early in the morning with coffee, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and take out lunch items for large commuter traffic on Perth Road/Division street as they head into Kingston for work. It will also be open when those same commuters head home.

“These are busy people that work full time. Everybody that I talk to, seems to be in the same boat. The are driving home, wanting to cook a good meal for their family. We will be offering good quality, well prepared meals for people to bring home and serve,” she said. “and we won’t stand still. The Cookery will change what it offers to keep things fresh, and to bring new products on the market.”

Look for the Cookery to open early in 2018.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 12:14

Pick a pie, any pie

Perth Road Village Crafters draw a crowd for annual show and lunch

No one at the annual craft sale and lunch was too sure how long the Perth Road Village Crafters have been in operation but it’s been quite awhile now.

“My mom was in the Crafters in the late ’70s but I’m not sure how long it was going before she joined,” said Faye Barr at last Saturday’s annual craft show and lunch.

The Crafters are a combination social and activity group, Barr said. They’re always open to new members and pretty much open to any craft someone wants to try.

“You name a craft and somebody will probably do it, including knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, sewing . . .,” she said.

Often, for the craft show, they’ll do a group project such as the ‘fascinators’ wacky headwear featured a few years ago. This year’s project is a large quilt worked on by many of the members.

“We probably have 40 or so members but we have some snowbirds so there’s about 20 people on a regular basis,” she said. “We’d be glad to welcome new members, especially if you’re new to the community.

“We’re a welcoming and warm group.”

She said the best way for somebody to join is simply to show up at the Harris Memorial Park Hall on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. til noon.

They’re not a fund raising group per se, but they do some fund raising and this year were recognized by the Buck Lake Flotilla in support of Camp Merriwood for their contribution.

“We’re essentially a combination social and activity group,” she said. “But when we do make money, it’s very much used in the community.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:07

South Frontenac Committee of the Whole

Outdoor Furnace Issue
Neighbours Mary Royer and Jim Varrette made presentations about their neighbour’s outdoor furnace, which Royer says has caused her ongoing health and comfort problems with its smoke. She uses an inhaler and sometimes a mask, cannot open her windows, and has had her indoor smoke alert set off. Varrette, who lives on the other side of the furnace, although aware of the smoke, says he’s upwind of it much of the time. Royer asked why Council couldn’t enforce its recent bylaw which forbids operation of an outdoor furnace which interferes with ‘any reasonable enjoyment of the environment.’

Mayor Vandewal called on Councillor McDougall, who said that he had talked numerous times with the furnace owner, and felt the man had tried hard to minimize emissions: “The furnace is small, very efficient, and he uses wood that’s dry, well-seasoned,” said McDougall, recommending that Council continue to monitor and assess the situation. Considerable discussion followed.

Councillor Revill said they needed to set specific time limits on any expectation of improvement. Although all agreed that an objective assessment of the problem would need to be made, no one had a concrete suggestion of how to measure, on a 24-hour basis, the frequency and density of the emissions. It would also be necessary to be able to establish and then measure an unacceptable level of smoke.

CAO Orr added that as long as the furnace owner was making serious efforts to improve the situation, it would be legally difficult to shut the furnace down.

Council will seek further information and agreed to try to find a way to resolve the problem. Orr added that if something was deemed to be “a public nuisance,” there is a process to address it, but the process must be able to be seen as fair and transparent.

Budget Delegations
Although Council had invited public delegations to address issues related to the township’s 2018 budget planning, only one delegate appeared: Jeff Peters read a letter from the chair of the Inverary Lake association, asking Council to grant them $15,000 toward the cost of preparing a lake assessment study of Inverary Lake. In reply to the letter’s reference to the Sydenham Lake Association’s study completed this year, Councillor Schjerning said that there had been no cost to the Township: the study had been heavily funding through the Source Water Protection program, because the lake is a reservoir for the Sydenham water system.

CAO Orr confirmed that the Township has never given money to any of the local Lake Assessments. Mayor Vandewal added that the studies for Buck and 14 Island Lakes had cost $80.000 or more, and all the area lake studies done so far have shown a drop in phosphate levels. There was a brief informal exchange about the recent rise in algae growth in some area lakes.

McFadden Subdivision Draft Plan Changes
Planner Mills recommended two minor changes to a draft plan which has already been submitted to the County for approval. The subdivision proposal in question is located near Perth Road on McFadden Road, between Norway Road and the Cataraqui Trail. A recent letter from the CRCA has asked that no direct accesses be provided to the Trail, as there are already two access points reasonably nearby. (Councillor Sutherland said he felt this was an unfortunate request, for it meant residents would have to go by road to get on the trail.) However, a 1-foot reserve is to be placed along the rear portions of the two lots that abut the trail. Also, a provision for widening McFadden Road needs to be added, for the current roadway is only 9 metres wide at one point, instead of the required 20 metres.

Accessibility Presentation
Jannette Amini presented the annual Accessibility Advisory Committee report from the County. Among South Frontenac’s accomplishments, she noted the accessible features incorporated into the upgrade of facilities at the Point Park, the Sydenham boat launch ramp and planned for the new Perth Road Fire Hall. Councillor McDougall thanked Amini for keeping the Frontenacs informed of accessibility requirements and encouraging councils and businesses to continue making their facilities more accessible to all.

Cataraqui Trail Video
Council enjoyed a six-minute video produced by the CRCA about the Cat Trail from Sydenham to the Opinicon. It began with a great series of archival photos taken when the rail section near the Opinicon was first constructed, then moved into drone videos taken this September along the present-day trail.

No Council Meeting Next Week ..
but Saturday’s special budget meeting’s still on, beginning at 8 am!

Orr asked Council’s permission to cancel the November 21 Council meeting, because there is nothing on the agenda. Councillor Revill’s suggestion that they could “get together for tea and cookies” had no takers.

Thursday, 27 April 2017 11:23

Citizen Science in the Woods

On Saturday, May 6, enjoy the great outdoors with a spring walk in the woods and a new citizen science project offered by the Ontario Woodlot Association. The distinctive topography of the Frontenac Axis is the setting for families to take part in a half day of exploration and learning. Registration is required.

The Woods Walk will feature forester, Justin Smith, leading an examination of how the geology and the soil shaped the forest on his family’s property. The property is relatively untouched; the last timber harvest was 80 years ago, so this is a good example of a natural Frontenac Axis mixed forest. Wildflowers will be in bloom, so the group can put their heads together identifying flowers and forest plants.

In addition, the Limestone Chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association will introduce their new “Citizen Science” project. Professional forester, Thom Snowman, will demonstrate how to set up a permanent test plot in your woods and use it to conduct a long term study of the growth characteristics of various species. This is an important step in understanding how a forest develops over time, and has applications in forest management planning and determining carbon sequestration capabilities.
Professionals will be on hand to answer questions about forestry and local resources. During lunch hour, there will be a short Annual General Meeting to discuss the program for the coming year.

The event runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at 8333 Canoe Lake Road in South Frontenac.  Bring a lunch to enjoy at the lake shore. This event is free for all OWA members; a $5 donation is requested from non-members to be used for landowner kits for the Citizen Science Project.

Register in advance; due to restricted parking, the number of participants may be limited. (Carpooling please!) Contact Dave Sexsmith at 613-373-9334 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more on the organization, visit


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. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 23:04

Fantasy in The Forest Art Show

The air sparkles a bit brighter here, I notice as soon as I get out of the car. Trees bend towards each other and whisper friendly little nothings; I am instantly engulfed and welcomed into the land of ‘Fantasy In The Forest’. Wait, did the maple over there just sigh a greeting to the coming weekend? As I stand and look around me, it is easy to envision the happy gathering of huts and booths that become home to participating artists for the duration of the show.

The 21st Fantasy In The Forest Art Show will open its gates again Saturday & Sunday, July 16 and 17. It is the third time in its new location, only minutes west of Perth Road Village in a lovely woodland setting. Fifty-four artists, many of whom will be in costume, will bring their finest work to display and tempt you with. Several little shops that look like they have just grown out of the trees are scattered around the property.

Meet Jamie Brick, the founder of this magical show, whose sculptures range from the mystical and the sublime to the irreverent and wacky. Jamie Brick tears down the veil between the worlds. His more serene sculptures are often allegories of nature spirits, meeting the human heart, whereas bunnies from sugar cups and silver spoons seem to have jumped out of a fairy-tale and decided to stay on awhile, just because the company is so compelling.

Holly Dean (mixed media painting) and Larry Thompson (print maker) have participated in this show from the very beginning. Here are just a few of the other artists and what you can look forward to: Jayne Ayre (Kismet Clay Designs); Tony and Kathleen Deluca (goldsmiths); Harvest Pillows (buckwheat pillows); Claude Bouchard (wooden buckets and pails); Deb Stagg (Leaf Relief, concrete fountains and bird feeders). Christine Geauvreau repurposes silver into wind chimes; Blake Richardson paints to reveal the hidden images on rocks; and Nicole Hearns paints fantastical paintings of fantastical landscapes.

Every year the show sponsors an emerging artist. This year features two new artists: Don Johnson, emerging medieval furniture maker and Stephanie Harper, photographer.
There will be creatures and things, romantic or down to earth, colourful or natural. It is easy to find the booth one wants to stay a little longer at or the artist one wants to speak a little more with. It is easy to find the special something one wants to take home as a gift or to remember the sparkly air at the show.

While you stroll and enjoy the scenery and fine skills of the artists present, the live music of Alberts Vitols will surround you and enchant you even more. Why don’t you go for a drive and visit the fantastical show in the forest!

The show is held at 1029 Bear Bottom Lane and admission is free. From Perth Road Village go west on Wilmer Rd to Norway Rd. and follow the signs. For information call 613-353-1997 or visit

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 22:24

Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre

A Night of Exploring and Understanding Moths will have you amazed by their incredible diversity at the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre on Saturday, July 16 from 8:30 pm to midnight. Learn about the life cycle of a moth, their favourite foods and creative ways of deterring predators, as well as their role in the ecosystem as pollinators and indicators of environmental health. This event is co-hosted by the Kingston Field Naturalists.

Learn about Nocturnal Life at the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre on Friday, August 5 from 8:00 - 9:30 pm. This interactive, hands-on and family-friendly program will introduce visitors to Ontario's most recognizable nocturnal animals, beginning with an indoor presentation and then heading outside on a guided night hike, rain or shine.

For information on both events, visit: Drop-ins are free, or book a cabin for $60/night. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 613-353-7968.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 23:45

Buck Lake Boatilla 2016

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


Thursday, 31 March 2016 10:07

“Character Capes” at Perth Road PS

Designing, sewing and donning “character capes” is a unique art project that is giving one class of grade six students at Perth Road Public School not only a chance to learn how to sew, but also an opportunity to better understand their own and their fellow students personal potentials.

On March 29 the students in Miss Grahams classroom split up into groups to resume the work they began a few weeks ago on their “character capes”. The project is one of the Issues Based Arts Projects made possible through a grant created through a partnership between the Limestone District School Board and the Ontario Arts Council. The idea of a group sewing project based on the theme of character capes was developed by PRPS teacher Kelly Graham and long time textile artist Elinor Rush.

For a number of weeks the students have been designing and sewing character capes as a way to develop their own personal characters while learning to respect the personalities and traits of their fellow students as they work together in teams. The character themes are based in native folklore, specifically the teachings of the seven grandfathers. The names of the capes include: honesty, love, wisdom, growth, self control, courage and respect. Each group has designed the lettering and imagery to fit their trait and the idea is that when a student in the class demonstrates a trait they will be acknowledged by donning that particular cape.

Prior to splitting up into their sewing groups, the students discussed the basic personality traits. Then, based on a test that each took, they were placed into groups where different personalities in the class could have a chance to work together as a team. The project has encouraged students not only to learn the hard skills of how to design and sew a wearable cape but also to better understand their own personal strengths and weaknesses while also learning to respect those of their fellow students. Miss Graham explained how the idea for the capes came about.

“The goal here was for the students to explore personal strengths and group dynamics and to create an object that could recognize their special achievements”, Graham said. “Earlier in the year I recognized a common dynamic in many classrooms where certain students tend to get a lot more air time than others and it concerned me. Through this project, the students have learned to listen to each other and to see that every student in the class has a special and important role to play. The result has been a more diverse, inclusive and respectful classroom community.'”

Textile artist Elinor Rush's role has been to help the students to learn the skills of designing and sewing fabric and she began by providing each group with a sewing kit and showing them the basics of sewing. Students also learned basic pattern drafting skills. The result has been seven colourful capes with images that include an owl (wisdom), a heart and a dove (love), a bluejay (honesty), a leafy tree (growth), a white and brown bear (courage), a wolf (respect) and a dog balancing a bone on its nose (self control).

“What has developed here is much more of a team community, one that is more inclusive and respectful compared to how it was before the project began', Graham said.

A number of students spoke to me about what they have learned both about themselves and their fellow classmates through the character capes project. Jaxon Stonness who worked on the self control cap,e said, “the whole point of the project was to learn how to work together as a team”. Nick Johnston who worked on the cape of wisdom said that he learned “how to value everyone in the group.” Miss Graham hopes that the students will take these special “character cape” traits out with them into the bigger world, along with a new and a better understanding of how every person, no matter their personality type, has something of value to offer.


November 12 marked a special day for the Buck Lake Boatilla and the Buck Lake community. Kingston’s City Hall honoured the community for its 11 years of support in sending kids with physical disabilities to Easter Seals Camp Merrywood.

Annette Paul, president of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals, Easter Seals Ontario, Southeastern Region, stated “The National Philanthropy Day Awards were created to recognize people, organizations, institutions and corporations that have made an enduring and impactful commitment to our community through the generosity of their time and talent and in support of causes and issues that affect many of our citizens. Our admirable and worthy nominees were named and touted because they embody the true spirit of giving, and through their philanthropy, contribute to making our communities and society a better place. Nominated by Easter Seals Ontario, South Eastern Region, it is our pleasure to give the Award for Outstanding Corporation/Organization 100 Employees/Members and Over to the Buck Lake community.”

“It was my pleasure to nominate the Buck Lake community for this award” observed Krista LeClair, development officer for Easter Seals Ontario. “The Buck Lake community has fundraised for the last 11 years. The organization committee was originally the local Community Watch but they transitioned in to the Buck Lake Boatilla fully in support of sending kids to Camp Merrywood. The Buck Lake community donates 100% of all funds raised to the Easter Seals ‘Send a Kid to Camp’ program, giving kids with physical disabilities the opportunity to boat, swim and fish at the fully accessible Camp Merrywood on the Big Rideau. Since its inception the annual Buck Lake Boatilla has raised over $162,000 for Easter Seals Ontario and has sent 63 kids to Merrywood”.

The Boatilla Committee would like to thank all local and extended members of the Buck Lake community for your support of the Buck Lake Boatilla over the years. You have truly gone above and beyond in supporting our cause and by doing so have made our community a better place and ensured a better life for kids with physical disabilities.   

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