by Margaret Knott
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Annual Archives
Margaret Knott's What's New on Frontenac Islands articles appear with the kind permission of the The Kingston Heritage Newspaper.

May 30, 2006
Wolfe Island Youth Plant Trees for Peace

White Ash, White Spruce, Sand Bar Willow, Easter White Pine, Cedar and Oak were among some of the 500 seedling trees planted recently at Wolfe Island’s Big Sandy Bay by nine Grade 7 &8 students from the island’s Sacred Heart School.
The event, the second of two plantings on the island this spring, was organized through the Trees for Peace program now in its 8th year. The program was inspired by Irish and Canadian youth who together planted 600,000 across Canada. Since it began in the region students have planted over 100,000 throughout Lennox & Addington and Frontenac Counties where Wolfe Island has become one of 90 tree planting sites.

Before going out to plant, the Sacred Heart students along with their teacher Adam Geris participated in a classroom presentation focusing on the importance of trees in the ecosystem, the creation of wildlife habitat, water quality and erosion control given by Trained field supervisors Kevin Hansen and Bret Coleman from the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The following day at the Big Sandy Bay site after some instruction in the proper planting method, teacher and students fanned out to plant in areas where in the past trees and vegetation had been damaged and in areas now out of bounds to vehicular traffic.

The day was cool and a gentle breeze kept the bugs away. The young people worked with enthusiasm and were well pleased at the end of the day with what they had done. “It was a good day for all of us,” Mr. Geris said. “It is amazing what can be accomplished by just a few if you really put your heart into it.”

Along with Kevin and Bret Coleman the students were accompanied by Linda Van Hal, Co-chair, Friends of Big Sandy Bay and Member, Frontenac Stewardship Council.

Landowners can apply to Trees for Peace and pay ($.60 per tree) to have sites evaluated and trees planted in the early spring, according to their plans, to prevent soil erosion, provide windbreaks, etc.

Partners in the Trees for Peace program include: Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council, Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, Frontenac Stewardship Council, Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Limestone District School Board, MNR, foundations, local companies and service clubs For information contact: Susan Moore 613-379-5958, or visit

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:10 AM
May 29, 2006
Wind Power Project Moves to Next Phase

The amenities agreement between Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. and Frontenac Islands continues to move forward. According to Mayor Vanden Hoek it is 99% complete. “It is beyond what I call the broad brush negotiating stage,” he said. “A confidential draft form prepared by our solicitor Tim Wilkins is in the hands of members of council, half of whom have already commented.” When it becomes a final document it will be received by council (in camera) where a decision will be made whether to sign it or not at which time it will become public.

“ It has been a long negotiating process but I think between members of council and the efforts of our CAO , our consultant Howard Allen and our solicitor we have come a long way,” the mayor said. “We are here to look after, in this instance the residents of Wolfe Island and we have said, well before the province changed the assessment cap to $40,000. per turbine that this wind farm project must benefit the whole community. We have never deviated from that.”

Commenting on the Public Meeting (May 31st) with regard to the proposed Official Plan Amendment, Mayor Vanden Hoek said that the Public Meeting process allows council to hear from those opposed but he noted that there has been very little opposition to the wind farm proposal. “Council has done a fair amount of homework. We are well aware of the tradeoffs and will look at it with our eyes wide open,” he said.

Musing a little the Mayor said that Wolfe Island has been waiting for something to happen noting that the agricultural component of the island had diminished from well over 100 hundred dairy farms to 5 or 6; beef farming is a second income; there are some cash crops and specialties but agriculture no longer supports the number of families it did even 10 years ago. “We don’t have the Kraft Plant or a large commercial fishery - things families earned their living from. But the land is still there, the base is still there, the people are still there,” he said. “From the comments I hear people have been waiting for something to fill the gap, and they believe wind power will do it.”

The Mayor meets the Minister a 2nd Time: Mayor Vanden Hoek and CAO Terry O’Shea were in Toronto for a follow up meeting regarding the Wolfe Island ferry service with the Minister of Transportation to make sure as the Mayor put it, “ that we are still on the same page as when we first met a month ago.”

The Mayor said the key event that has happened is that after 10 years except for one extra ferry trip which happened in 2001, “we are off ‘Status Quo’, a buzz word our residents may have forgotten, and the Ministry staff in Kingston has direction to work on the ferry issue which they haven’t had before. As a matter of fact,” he said, “they may have had direction to the contrary in the past.”

According to the Mayor , MTO will carry out a technical assessment of the 30 year old Wolfe Islander III to determine whether it is capable of a lengthening or not. “Many view her as a new boat but until we know there can be no discussion,” he said. “And after that it is going to take awhile with a lot of process and consultation before we come to a final solution. I believe the next council will have to stay focussed on the fact the community needs transportation improvement and must remain determined to keep the process moving. I think people are saying its time to make a decision.”

Mayor Vanden Howk who declared a few months ago he would not stand for re-election, now says he is reconsidering that option, “With all that is in front Frontenac Islands, the wind power project and MTO indicating they are prepared to re-visit the ferry issue , which is one of the reasons I entered politics in the first place almost 10 years ago, I will reconsider and make a decision by mid summer, “ he said. “But first I must get a sense of what the community wants regarding transportation. I need to talk to neighbours, friends, members of the community to gauge if what I think should happen compares with what the community wants.”

For your information The legislation dealing with the four year term for municipal councils in Ontario was given Royal Ascent last week. The term for the next elected councils beginning on December 1, 2006 will be four years.

Interesting to note that Mayor Vanden Hoek met with Minister Harinder Takhar. Donna Cansfield has been appointed the new Minister of Transportation.

Around Town:
* W.I.’s Fire Chief James White extends thanks to the entire community for their overwhelming assistance and contributions toward the recent funeral of a fallen comrade.
* FYI a van donated by Trudi & Case DeReuiter is now located on Simcoe Island for use by the W.I. Fire Dept and contains pump, fire hoses, fire suits and can be used for Fire Safety programs.
*Don’t you hate receiving unsigned stuff in the mail.
* Barbara Laroque has sent her Wolfe Island book proposal to the publisher. Looking to complete remaining chapters, she will be on the island May 30-June 29th call 385-2358 or 385-2656.
* Howe Island’s Garden Buds 3rd Annual Yard Sale Sat. June 3rd 8:30- 2pm at St. Philemon’s Hall. Rent a Table ($20.00) Come for Lunch. Proceeds for community projects Contact D.Higgs 548-8378
* 3rd Annual Kane/Mosier Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday June 10th, 2006, Riverfront Golf Course. Call Ward McCready @385-9925 or 385-9978 to book your foursome,.
* June 10the Friends of Big Sandy Bay Book Sale , Old Fire Hall 10-5:30 pm. Early Bird Friday 5-8 p.m.
*Plans for Art in Garden Tour June 25th well underway. Contact Liz 385-2173 *Now is the time to plant your Pumpkin seeds for the October Great Pumpkin Weigh In.
* Register now for the July 2nd Wolfe Island Classic Road Race on line @ Click on Island Classic or in person at the The Running Room, 277 Princess St., Kingston. Also looking for Race Day Volunteers Call Linda 385-1947.
* The Cancer Society’s Great Ride & Stride will once again be held on Wolfe Island Aug.13th More to follow. Contact Linda 385-1947

Posted by Margaret Knott at 08:08 PM
May 17, 2006
First Canadian Crime Writer Subject of 2nd Historic Mural

Grant Allen, known as Canada’s first crime writer is highlighted in a new mural installed in Marysville on Wolfe Island, the 2nd in a planned series. Grant Allen was born on Wolfe Island on Feb. 24, 1848 in the manor of the Baron de Longueiil family known as Ardath Castle. He was the son of Antisell Allen, the first Anglican minister on Wolfe Island and Catharine Ann (Grant) Allen, daughter of the 5th baron de Longueuil, Charles Wm. Grant. The Scene of the Crime Festival now in its 5th year is a highlight of the summer season on the island and was launched to honour Allen.

The mural was installed on the community Centre buiding beside the island’s Town Hall and Wolfe Island Business and Tourism Association’s Information Centre. It was painted collaboratively by local artists Pat Sandford, owner and operator of the island’s Stone Heron Gallery, Kim Woodman, creator of large and spectacular oil paintings of Canada and Linda Sutherland, whose work in both glass and oil is well known.

The sepia coloured mural includes Grant Allen, his hounds, his book case and an outline of his childhood home taken from pictures since the building no longer exists. “ Another exciting day for us, and again a labour of love”” according to Pat Sanford as she, Kim and Linda watched the mural being mounted in the pouring rain and later enjoying the moment over coffee at the General Wolfe Hotel. The artists gave freely of their time talent as a gift to the community.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 01:51 PM
May 16, 2006
Frontenac Islands Township Joins Frontenac County on The Internet

Wolfe Island resident David Colburn was on hand at the May meeting of the Frontenac Islands council to introduce members of council to the Frontenac Islands web site which is now up and running at

Colburn's firm, Island Design Works, under contract with the County, developed both the Frontenac County and Frontenac Islands web sites. During his presentation, he demonstrated the ease of accessibility to the drop down lists for 3 categories: residents (ferries, taxes), visitors (ferries, Big Sandy Bay) and business (application forms and marketing tools), as well as the main sections (Township Council, Emergency Services, Economic Development, Big Sandy Bay, Community Centre Board and various other links).

He suggested that it should be a member of Frontenac Islands staff, with council approval, who authorizes what is added to the site (forms, minutes, application forms etc.). “In the near future as both sites continue to develop, Frontenac Islands may want to put up contracts, bid proposals and share pages with the County,” he concluded. The future long term management of the site will be determined.

Economic Development: Mayor Vanden Hoek welcomed Frontenac County Economic Development Officer, Dianna Brattina to the meeting. “I have heard Dianna’s “Report on the Economy and 3 year Plan for Economic Development for Frontenac County” and wanted members of council to hear it,” he said.

As she started her presentation filled with facts, figures and insights, Ms. Brattina said she had read much and met with many organizations for its preparation. “As the Manager of Economic Development I work on behalf of the County and the four Townships it comprises.”

Her report identifies and profiles the main components of a plan to develop and promote The Frontenacs to attract new business and investment. It includes statistical, a socio-economic and sector profiles plus an assessment of County “investment readiness.” Each section includes goals, objectives and recommended actions resulting in a 3-year plan focusing on 3 economic development priorities: general communications; retaining and expanding existing businesses and industries; attracting new business and investment opportunities. The communications sector looks to raise the County profile and to identify what stops development and propose solutions and opportunities. The plan proposes to identify the needs of existing businesses (agriculture, tourism, forest products, water-based, talent and knowledge based as well as environmental) and assist development and expansion. And finally to attract new business investment, the plan suggests working with partners and networks; promoting County opportunities by the gathering, packaging and distribution of market intelligence to support commercial and industrial development and business planning. The entire report will be made available on the Frontenac County web site in the near future at:

In other business Councillor Calvin presented operating budget projections for Big Sandy Bay. He said that between 2004 and 2005 they saw an increase in revenues (gate fees) of $3000 because of advertising program and believes that will carry on. The BSB Stewardship Committee is forecasting $22,350. in revenues with total costs $21, 255. “That may be a little ambitious, a $4500. hike over last year’s $17,000 but we think we will clear $20,000. There are also donations and permit payments,” he said. He noted a need for maintenance vehicle at the site (lawn mower), T-shirts and other miscellaneous costs and a hoped for CPR course . “ Salaries are the biggest expenditure, and as of July 1st I will receive information regarding salaries going out are revenues coming in and as of August 1st if we are not balancing out we will begin to reduce the hours,” he said. Council approved the budget.

Councillor Calvin’s capital budget for Big Sandy Bay requiring funding from the township includes 2 major purchases, a lawn mower ($1000. used ) and a good quality $16,000. maintenance vehicle (4wheel drive 4 passenger ATV diesel vehicle with a dump box and frame that could potentially bring out an injured person on a stretcher). “I think it is time to bite the bullet. We need something to go and pick up garbage, and keep trails clean and for other uses.” A discussion followed about grants, lease to buy projects, County involvement etc. A resolution approving the $17,000. capital budget was passed and tabled until the first township budget meeting.

The bid for planning consulting services from Tunnock Consulting Limited has been accepted for a 3-year term. However Clark Consulting will retain certain ongoing files, (wind power , quarry, certain severances). A lengthy discussion ensued about severances, costs, $75. + site visits, staff input, consultant advice for both staff and client, and what council can approve.

Once again the request to purchase a small piece of property to add to an existing lot made by L. Bolton has hit a snag. A bylaw regarding the sale of surplus township lands, which requires public notice is now in place. Council declared it surplus and agreed to sell it. The successful bidder then assumes all costs including the required advertising.

1.A request for a road closure was denied. 2. Mayor Vanden Hoek declared June 1-30th Seniors Month. 2. Councillor Grant said the Community Centre Board is looking for money for the play ground. He noted that the water line to the grounds is not finished. 3. A Big Sandy Bay staff training day will be held. 4. A public meeting will be held May 31st at the Wolfe Island Town Hall regarding the Wind Power Official Plan amendment.

The next regular meeting of Frontenac Islands Council will be held on Howe Island June 12, 2006.

Around Town:
* Trinity Anglican Summer Sunday worship hours 9:15 am. Beginning June 11th worship on the 2nd Sunday of the month will be held at Christ Church, 15th Line Road.
* W.I. Tourist Information Centre Opens May 19th Coming events:
* Trinity Anglican Church Bake Sale, St. Margaret’s Hall, Sat. May 20th 11 am.
* Wolfe Island United Church Fish Fry & Plant Sale Sat. May 20th (Doors Open 4:30 p.m.). May 20th W.I. Wildlife Association Golf Tournament, Alston Moor Golf Links, Tee off: 10 am & 1:30 pm ($40.) Contact George McAllister@ 385-2879 or Danny Mosier @ 385-2460m
* Howe Island’s Garden Buds 3rd Annual Yard Sale Sat. June 3rd 8:30- 2pm at St. Philemon’s Hall. Proceeds for community projects Contact D.Higgs 548-8378
*New Wolfe Island Library hours begin June 5th, Mon. 10-1 pm; Tues. 5-8 pm; Thurs. 2-5; 6-8 pm & Sat.9-1 pm. Also Friday’s July 7-Sept.1st, 2-5 pm.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 07:24 PM