Joe Gallivan, Manager for Planning and Economic Development for Frontenac County, briefed Frontenac County Council last week on a communal services report that will be coming their way next month. This is a file that Gallivan has been working on for years, but he wanted some of the newer members of the council to be more familiar with the issues in the report in advance of its release.

The Province of Ontario encourages rural municipalities to focus on development within hamlets. Since there are no hamlets in Frontenac County that have municipal water systems except for Sydenham, and there are no municipal waste water systems in the county at all, development potential within and near hamlets is limited.

“The potential for communal services within subdivisions has been around since 1995, but municipalities have not taken it up within their jurisdictions, because of fears over the potential liability coming back to the public if a communal water or waste system fails,” said Gallivan. “Over the years, the technology for septic systems has progressed substantially, and that cuts the risk.”

Communal services would mean there is one large septic system to cover an entire development instead of separate systems for each building. In some case, one of more communal wells could be included as well.

Municipalities in Ontario have two options for creating multiple building lots on a single piece of property, ‘vacant land condominium’ development, and ‘plan of subdivision’ development. Under a ‘plan of subdivision’, the municipality assumes ownership, and the associated costs, for the public infrastructure (roads, ditches, sidewalks, etc.) within a development, after the developer pays to build them to a municipal standard, whereas within a ‘plan of condominium’ the infrastructure remains the responsibility of the property owners after construction is complete.

Plans of Condominium, Gallivan said, could include responsibility for upkeep and maintenance of communal services in addition to roads and ditches, keeping municipal liability to a minimum.

“As well, if there are a number these systems within Frontenac County, there may also be an opportunity to put together a single municipal fund to cover potential liability from all of them. Individual projects would not have to cover as much liability on their own.”

In making his presentation, Gallivan used an existing development on the southwest edge of Inverary as an illustration of how much more density can be achieved using communal services. The Mathias subdivision is a 27 - acre block of land with 16 lots. The minimum lot size in the development is 1.5 acres, and each lot includes space for a well and individual septic system.

If a communal septic system were in place, the same block of land would be able to contain 42 detached lots as well as 9 townhouse lots and a small apartment complex with 12 units, plus a commercial lot. Gallivan said that once the study is released, he will be proposing that Council authorise him to go to the township councils to see if they are interested in pursuing the type of development that communal systems will make possible within their townships.

“It really comes down to what the local townships envision for their future,” he said, “the timing is good for South Frontenac, which is facing a lot of development pressure right now. The council is starting to review their Official Plan, and they will have the opportunity to accept communal services in their new plan”.

Gallivan said that one of the key elements for developers would be a consistent process and cost structure for communal water systems across the county.

“That would put Frontenac County ahead of other municipalities,” he said.

While South Frontenac is the jurisdiction that would be the most likely to see developments using the communal system model, Gallivan said he could see applications in Marysville on Wolfe Island, as well as in Central and North Frontenac.


After flirting with the idea of constructing a new Frontenac County Administrative building, Frontenac County Council is being asked to look once again at renovating its current building.

A little over a year ago, after considering its long-term office space needs for over two years, Frontenac County was approached by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority about a shared accommodation solution. The idea of a brand new building was raised, and late last spring the idea gained more traction when South Frontenac Township expressed interest in a three-way partnership.

This led the county’s Administrative Building Design Task Force to look at the feasibility and cost estimates surrounding a new building for the three partners, located somewhere in South Frontenac, perhaps in Sydenham in order to save on water costs.

This process carried on through the fall of 2018, into the beginning of the new term of municipal council.

At a meeting in April, South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal informed both the county and the conservation authority that South Frontenac Council had rejected the idea of a new building at their own meeting in early April.

In response, the task force decided to look again at using either the current Cataraqui Conservation Authority near Hwy. 401 or the current Frontenac County/Fairmount home site in Glenburnie for a joint office space.

“The lowest cost option would be to use the existing county site as all infrastructure and servicing is already in place,” said a report to Council prepared by Clerk Janette Amini and Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender.

Accordingly, the report recommends spending $10,000, to be taken from a provincial grant earmarked for modernisation, to look at renovating the existing county offices for use by the two entities.

If approved this week, the money will go towards, architectural analysis of the current county building, preliminary plans to meet partner needs, options for potential configuration of common areas, implications for parking, water & similar services; and initial budget-level estimates for comparison with a stand-alone option.

Strategic Plan to be presented

At that same meeting, Council will consider a draft strategic plan that was developed in association with 80/20 Consulting.

The previous plan, prepared in 2014, has become known for identifying four “wildly important goals” for Frontenac County. This new plan, by contrast, talks about three strategic priorities for this term of council.

Although the plan was prepared before the provincial government’s recent budget, which is already having an impact on municipal budgets, it is written with a sense of caution and a focus on maintaining programs and services that are already in place.

Here are the strategic priorities: 1 - Get behind plans that build community resilience and vitality in times of growth and change, 2 - Explore new funding sources and invest in critical long-term infrastructure using sound judgement, and 3 - Champion and coordinate collaborative efforts with partners to resolve complex problems otherwise beyond the reach of individual mandates and jurisdictions.

Within these priorities is everything from enhancing broadband coverage, securing the future of Fairmount Home, promoting economic development and improving planning processes across the county.


Brenda Young, the organiser of Sydenham Artfest, held her first show at her home in Sydenham last fall. She wanted to give her sister Wanda, a jeweller, an opportunity to share her work with the local community, and decided to invite a few other of her artisan friends as well. And it turned into a pretty successful day.

That was where the idea of a larger show came from, and Brenda thought the Sydenham Legion would be a primes spot to hold one.

After booking the Legion hall for the 18th of May, she hand picked the vendors for a number of spots and then put the word out for a few moew.. The hall has room for 21 tables, so that became the limit.

A wide range of items from jewellery to wood work, glass blowing, fabric and more, including some local food producers.

“It was important to me that everything in the show is hand made by the vendors,” said Brenda of how she chose the artisans.

Participating vendors include: Judys Jams, Wooden Art by JM Doiron, Jeni Juranics from Hawk Moon Healing Arts, Oh Baby Bowtique, Janice's Folk Art, Knowlton Lake Cakes, The Glass Shack, Beach Pebble Tales, Hanna’s Meat Pies, Old Country Bath and Body, Mermaid Molly Seaglass, Barb’s Handmade Pierogis, Emily Hawkins Designs, Knot your Nature, Countryside Treasures, The Knutty Knitter, T&A Condiment Co, Knotty by Nature, Wood and Water Jewelry and Kelly Whan creations.

Admission is free, and there will be food available to eat in or take home. The show runs from 9am to 4pm.


Brenda Crawford and Pam Redden came to Council on behalf of the Harrowsmith Beautification Committee with a proposal for improving the landscape of the new village traffic light section, along with other community upgrades. Crawford assured Council that none of the additions, and the list is impressive, would cost the Township money. The Public Works and Building departments will, however, have to review and approve the projects, which include a (fully accessible) gazebo with a cement base, placement of stones and possibly a fence, several benches, installation of recently-commissioned metal poppies and removal of dead tree and brush. She also listed a bench for the children's play area at Centennial park, and a flagpole on Road 38 near Alton Road, in memory of Roy Leonard. All the work and materials for the items and improvements have been donated by individuals and businesses in the community. All donations will be recognized by (locally designed and also donated) plaques.

Mayor Vandewal asked that the flagpole be located where a local resident could take responsibility for raising and lowering it as appropriate, and complimented Crawford for her energy and considerable skill at fundraising. Council unanimously agreed. Crawford noted that the Beautification Committee and Harrowsmith S&A were looking toward working in cooperation to continue making Harrowsmith an attractive and comfortable community in which to live.

Staff Changes and Additions
Council formalized Christopher Beeg’s appointment as Building Inspector: Beeg is an experienced carpenter, has worked in the building supply area, and as a site supervisor for Guildcrest Homes overseeing construction of new factory built homes.

Interviews for the position of Township CAO are slated to take place within a week.

Strategic Planning
Faced with competing demands to: enhance services, reduce costs and protect the environment, Council plans to seek public input to help with choosing priorities. CAO Orr brought the chosen timeline and a proposal for an online survey to be used as a framework for discussion at open houses in each of the districts later this summer. Councillor Ruttan expressed concern that there needed to be more focus on values, rather than a list of concrete actions. Mayor Vandewal noted that this was not meant to replace the updating of the Official Plan, which would be a major part of Council’s task in the coming year, and would include an in-depth review of the Township’s goals and values, again with public input. This StratPlan is to more to guide the Township’s current day-to-day work, within the budget that has been set out for 2019.

Dates for the district Open Houses (at which the new CAO will be introduced to the public) are: Thursday August 01 Bedford; Wednesday Aug 7 - Storrington; Tuesday Aug 13 - Portland, and Tuesday Aug 20 - Loughborough.

Women’s Institute Week Proclaimed
Council proclaimed the week of June 17 to June 22 to be Women’s Institute Week in South Frontenac. This year is the Sydenham Women’s Institute’s centennial: there will be a special celebration on Saturday June 22, at Grace Hall. Over the past hundred years, this group has made important and lasting contributions to Sydenham and its surrounding community. More info on this later!

Regional Roads
Council reviewed proposals by the County for finding a way to access funding through the County for regional Roads, particularly the former Provincial Highway 38, which was downloaded to the individual Townships at the time of amalgamation. At that time, the County had dissolved into a management committee, so there was no way, once the County re-formed, for it to access any funding support for the shared highway, now known as Road 38. Currently, South Frontenac’s road system is in good condition, but the other three Townships have smaller populations, and need more money than they have been able to raise for road maintenance and repair.

Of the five proposed options, South Frontenac Council cautiously preferred the third: to take a regional approach, with contracted engineering, and limited County involvement. They voted to endorse it, on the condition that any business plan for this option would require unanimous consent from all four Townships.

Waste Management in Frontenac County: Options
In response to a county report of waste management, Councilor Sutherland noted that while recycling depends heavily on provincial policy, diversion of organic waste from our landfill sites lies well within South Frontenac’s reach. Because half of the current Township waste stream is composed of organics, diversion could considerably extend the life of our landfill sites. As well as composting, either locally or centrally, Sutherland listed other creative approaches: the upcoming Repair Cafes (May 26 in Bellrock, June in Perth Road); roadside or landfill swaps, etc.)

The report was referred to the Public Services Committee for recommendations.


Nona Mariotti started up the South Frontenac Garden Tour last year as a kind of experiment.

Would gardeners be willing to open up their gardens for people to come and see? Would people want to come out to see the beautiful gardens.

The answer to all those questions was a resounding yes, and so the second annual garden tour is now in the planning stages. 7 gardens are already lined up for this year, including some new ones, and Nona is looking for four or five more to make the tour bigger than the one last year.

“People aren’t going to visit 12 gardens in one day, but they do like variety and they also like to explore different geography,” Nona said.

She is particularly interested in attracting some gardens in the Perth Road and Buck Lake regions to add a different dimension to the tour.

“We have some wonderful places in the North Kingston – Inverary areas, one in Battersea, and over in Sydenham and up towards Frontenac Park, and we are still looking for more in those regions, but we would like to go further north on Perth Road as well,” she said.

The tour is scheduled for July 7 from 9m to 3pm and it is only the grounds of properties that are part of the tour, not the houses themselves.

“Last year it was a great experience for the visitors and hosts alike, a chance to share information and the joy of gardens. We keep the price to the public low, only $10, and all of the proceeds go to Southern Frontenac Community Services,” she said.

If you have a garden to share, contact Nona at 613- 893-2015


Where could you find a scale model of the CN Tower, complete with elevator, a 3D modelling of your school and a working trebuchet?

That would be the Loughborough Public School Maker Faire, which was on display to the public last Thursday afternoon in Sydenham.

Teacher Alan MacDonald, who was one of the organizers of the event, said this was the third time they’ve done this and this time, it involved the entire student body — from kindergarten to Grade 8.

“This isn’t a science fair, where getting help from parents and neighbours is illegal,” he said. “Here, it’s encouraged.

“The idea is to make something you’re interested in. The spelling of ‘Faire’ is french for ‘to do’ or ‘to make.’”

MacDonald said another way this differs from a science fair is that it’s non-competitive.

“If it were competitive, kids might be more apt to make something they already know how to do,” he said. “In this, kids are much more apt to take risks.”

He said another inspiring attraction for students is that there is lots of choice in what they make.

“There’s really only one rule,” he said. “You can’t do something you already know how to do.

“Oh, and other than the odd mediaeval weapon of mass destruction, it must be school appropriate.”

The mediaeval weapon MacDonald referred to came from Grade 8er Lucas Steele, who along with fellow student Jack MacInnis, built a working scale model trebuchet, which is capable of launching a basketball 50 feet.

“A couple of weeks ago, we were studying levers and mechanical advantage in physics and math class,” Steele said. “Jack looked up plans online and drew up a schematic.

“We built it at my grandparents’ house.”

Edie Hillman and Caitlyn Ball turned their love of all things Harry Potter into their project — butter beer.

“We had butter beer at the Universal theme park,” said Hillman. “We found a recipe online and changed it around a little bit.”

The projects on display ran quite the gamut.

There were plenty of dioramas, but also a Nimbus 2000 (Harry Potter again, it’s a broom favoured by quidditch players), horse treats, homemade cleaning products, a refracting telescope, bath bombs, jams, cookies, homemade essential oils, maracas, a catapult, a guitar and stomp rockets.

One of the more fascinating projects came from Keagan Leonard, who got dad Wade to fly the family drone around the school and then took the data collected to map the entire school yard, complete with elevation and vegetation components.

He then printed out a 3D version of the school.

“The idea just came to me,” he said. “I asked the principal if it was OK to use 3D printers and he said sure.”

Wednesday, 01 May 2019 11:25

What’s Happening at New Leaf Link?

On February 5, New Leaf Link (NeLL), with the support of a United Way grant, started delivering Tuesday programming on “Adapted Diabetes Awareness, Prevention and Management” to our (dis)abled adult participants. The endless Snow Days in February resulted in cancelling some program days, but we persevered and have successfully delivered a diverse range of program activities on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church. Every day is an adventure! In addition to learning about diabetes, we are experimenting with healthy food choices and have added new exercises to our program. Our amazing Program Facilitator, Chris Boal, has developed a Healthy Snack Series, where everyone participates in cooking and taste-testing. So far this term we have made guacamole, hummus, and egg muffins. We practice karate with Marty Tucker from the Sydenham Academy of Martial Arts. Deb Donaldson, a certified diabetes educator, dance teacher, and fitness & nutrition specialist brings joy and laughter to each session she teaches. Sara McHattie visits regularly from the YMCA as an adapted fitness instructor.

Our Adapted Technology Instructor, Linda Alford, helps us do online research on diabetes related topics. Shen Xiao Bing from Long Road Ecological Farm did a Chinese dumpling demo & tasting with us. Tom Jack taught us about raising backyard chickens, and volunteer Bonnie MacNeil presented on sewing period clothing.

We’re doing soap-making with Ryan Donovan. Christine Harvey, the Drama Queen, Sid Anjilvel, Gabriel Deerman & Gary Rasberry fill our Wednesdays with drama, art and music.

We have had visits from many community members, organizations and local businesses, including OPP Community Service Officer Curtis Dick. He was a big hit at NeLL. He answered questions, told us about local policing & online safety. Participants got to sit in the cruiser with the lights flashing.

On March 16, our St. Paddy’s Day Dance/Fundraiser at the Sydenham Legion was sold out. Greg Simpson and Pat Lalonde organized a spectacular and unforgettable evening.

Carol Sparling, Heather Gillespie, & Christine Kennedy from the Sydenham and District Lion’s Club did an informative Diabetes talk with the NeLL group. The St. John’s Ambulance Therapy Dogs were a big hit. One therapy dog that lives in Harrowsmith may visit regularly during the summer program. We have gone on outings to Annie Milne’s Puppet Studio and the Seniors’ Centre on Francis Street.

New Leaf Link will be adding a summer program starting in July. We are always looking for instructors, guest speakers and volunteers. If you have an idea for fun activities or topics that would be of interest to our community, please look us up on Facebook or on our website. We would love to hear from you! Community members are invited to attend our upcoming Donor Appreciation/Open House on Thursday, May 16 from 11 – 2. Check out the poster in your Frontenac News!

Wednesday, 24 April 2019 16:37

South Frontenac fire ban lifted

Fire Chief Darcy Knott has announced that the Level One burning ban in effect across the Township of South Frontenac has been lifted as of April 23.

“Residents are reminded of the importance of complying with the burning bylaw 2012-68 which is available on the Township website or at the Township office at 4432 George St. in Sydenham.

This current status will remain in force until otherwise notified.


The Annual “Dump Report”
Stephanie Reeder, of Cambium Consulting and Engineering presented the annual update on the township’s waste disposal sites. Currently, South Frontenac has five active sites: Portland, Loughborough, Bradshaw, Salem and Green Bay. All were found to be operating in compliance with the Province’s environmental requirements. Due to operational improvements over the past five years, the overall estimated life (capacity) of the municipality’s active landfill sites has increased by six years over the estimate last year. It now sits at 26 years.. Four of the five closed sites are still being monitored for groundwater and surface water quality, erosion, seeps, litter and vermin, but none have shown problems.

Reeder indicated that although diversion of organics would certainly reduce waste volume, it would not make much difference to the problem of contaminants, for organics produce virtually no contaminants.

Mayor Vandewal asked whether a pollinator-friendly seed mix was being used when reseeding capped-over sections of the landfills.

Verona Cenotaph Improvements Proposed
Wayne Conway, Chair of the Verona Community Association, outlined community plans to make the Cenotaph more accessible and attractive by adding concrete walkways, more benches, a flowerbed and a 30’ flagpole - possibly a small roofed shelter or gazebo in the future. The cenotaph is located in McMullen Park beside road 38. McMullen Park belongs to the Township. The Verona community is supporting the project by fundraising; Council relaxed visibly when Conway said they were not asking for money - only permission to proceed with the work on Township property. Led by Councillors Morey and Leonard, full approval was granted for the project; “Keep up the good work,” said Vandewal.

Development Charges Presentation
The Township’s current Development Charges by-law expires this September, and as part of the by-law updating process, Claire Dodds, Director of Development Services, presented an overview of the issues and timeline. Development charges are levied to recover the capital costs associated with both residential and non-residential growth within a municipality, and are in addition to the costs that would normally be incurred by the developer as part of a subdivision/condominium, etc.

(However, some services cannot be included under this act, including arts, culture, museums and entertainment facilities, tourism facilities, hospitals, and parkland acquisition.) A consulting firm, Wilson and Associates, has been engaged to draft an updated by-law: their background study will be released by the end of May, an Information Open House is planned for June 19, and the public meeting for the revised Development Charges By-law will be held July 2.

“You’ve asked for detailed information reports,” Vandewal said to Council, “and now you’re getting them.”

Six-unit Rental Building Planned for Sydenham
Council agreed to pass a by-law to enter into a site plan agreement with RKR Landholdings Corp. (Rob Morgan) for his proposed six-unit residential building in the Valleyview Subdivision, which lies south of Rutledge Road in Sydenham. The property’s zoning permits a residential multiple dwelling unit, but requires a site plan control agreement which specifies the location of all buildings and structures, septic system, lighting, garbage areas, landscaped buffers, parking and entrances. Council’s only concern was the location of the garbage enclosure; it was agreed that if at all possible the garbage bin should be moved to the back of the building, not installed at the front. Vandewal questioned the need for a separate garbage bin for six units. Sutherland and Ruttan asked for the motion to be deferred to give the current residents time to comment on the site plan, but their amendment to defer was rejected.

Quarterly Report: Fire and Rescue
As requested by Council, Chief Darcy Knott presented a seven-page first-quarter 2019 Operational Review. In the first three months of 2019, the medical response level has remained high, and there has been a rise in the number of fires: nine in total, five of which have resulted in major property damage. Knott outlined a number of organizational accomplishments, chief of which has been a very successful media drive to recruit volunteer firefighters. From the initial 100 attendees at the information sessions, there were 78 applicants: the final 25 will be selected and begin their in-depth training on May 8, which will continue until the end of October.

Council complimented Knott on the breadth and quality of his report, and on his management of the department.

“Touch a Truck”
Watch for more information on this Public Education Event which will be held at Keeley Road on May 9, in the evening, from 5:00-8:00.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 13:12

Almost Home Café opens in Harrowmsith

Mayor Ron Vandewal will cut the ribbon this Saturday morning at 10 am to officially open the Almost Home Cafe, Harrowsmith’s newest business establishment. It’s on Road 38, just opposite the road to Sydenham, with a side entrance off the parking lot. (Look for the balloons).

Owner/operator Cindy Murphy prepares all food on the premises; the menu includes macaroni and cheese, chili, nachos and a daily special, as well as a variety of salads, sandwiches, wraps and soups. There are all-day breakfasts (beginning at 6:00 am weekdays), homemade sweet treats, and jars of old-fashioned candies. Cindy’s taco salad is already winning praise from those who’ve tasted it!

Currently, the cafe is take-out only, but the Wolsey family has donated a bench for outside, and a there will soon be a picnic table.

“At last, Harrowsmith folks can get an ice cream cone within walking distance!” says one local resident.

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