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.

September 24, 2007
Its Time to Review Frontenac Islands Official Plan

Frontenac Islands Council was reminded at their September meeting that the Planning Act, requires an Official Plan Review in 2008. Township Planning Consultant Glenn Tunnock said official plans must be reviewed, (not replaced) every five years and must be consistent with the latest Provincial Policy. A review would be considered a ‘comprehensive review’ if it authorizes certain revisions to the existing document.

Tunnock reminded council of certain issues, for instance, that the law does not allow severances on agricultural land and perhaps some unused land should be rezoned rural; that a continued demand for shoreline use requires access routes and public access (fire, ambulance); possible alternate energy directions; sustainable long term shoreline management including setbacks and retaining original state. He pointed out that a review requires many meetings and a time line of 6 months to a year to complete. Tunnock will provide the township with a budget estimate. Council will begin their review in the new year.

Acting in their capacity as Committee of Adjustment council, approved an application made by Brian and Kevin Coffey to sever a lot. The alignment of the road which accesses a serviced Township road must be modified so that it extends north-south along the western limit of the land to be severed. Planner Tunnock pointed out that a new standard for private roads requires they be brought up to a level to support fire and emergency vehicles. However in this case the severance was approved with the condition that any future development would require the construction of a road to a standard acceptable to the municipality.

The Henderson application for consent was approved as a lot addition with a minimum 20 metre road with right of way at this time.

Wolfe Island resident Trevor Van Allen was at the meeting to once again request that the township assume Emma and Elizabeth Streets in the Woodman subdivision. This time Van Allen came bearing a copy of a letter dated 1988 which indicates that “the subdivision plan has been complied with and is in good standing.”

According to a report from Township Solicitor Tim Wilkin there is a $6000. balance with the township (plus interest?) to cover the cost of the works which he believes would be inadequate to complete the roads. Council will send the 1988 letter to Solicitor Wilkin with a request for further legal information. The issue will be further discussed at the October meeting, if the requested information is available.

Wolfe Island resident Corliss Piasetzski wants changes to, what she referred to in a letter to council as the 9-5 pm bankers hours at the island’s Waste Disposal Site to accommodate islanders who take the ferry to work off-island, before the site opens and return after it closes. This leaves them “gearing their whole weekend around getting to the dump on Saturday.” Piasetzski presented a petition (245 signatures) requesting that the landfill site be opened one day a week from 11 to 7pm or noon to 8 pm.
Mayor Vanden Hoek apologized for the sudden 1st Friday closure which occurred on the August long weekend. It was concluded that the hours could not change for reasons of lighting and safety at this time of year but would be reviewed in 2008. Piasetzski was invited to sit on the Landfill Site committee.

Gail Kenney, representing Wolfe Island Residents for the Environment (WIRE), was present to follow up on a request for use of the MPAC tax assessment roll. It would be used for mailing information from WIRE to landowners to alert them to certain property setbacks for wind turbine development before the Wind Plant goes forward and what that means specifically for landowners of vacant property.

During the discussion Mayor Vanden Hoek vacated the chair (assumed by Deputy Mayor Norris). The Mayor views the release of the mailing list as a major step out of the norm for the township noting that the WIRE information contains opinions. He sees the need for legal advice. A resolution by Councillors Doyle and Fiene, to provide WIRE with the labels for all Wolfe Island and Simcoe Island taxpayers, at no cost to the municipality, was defeated.

The revised Howe Island Waste Management proposal read by Councillor Fiene generated much discussion. Proposal priorities were not identified or costed. A meeting will be held to work out proposal details and be back on Council’s October agenda.

Council supported a resolution by the Town of Kingsville that the Province ensure that volunteer and part time firefighters are defined as “firefighters” and are treated equitably. Council also acknowledged two Howe Island firefighters Pete Marsh and Scott Presley recent award recipients from the Attorney General and the OPP respectively.

  • Road closure Bylaws for the Aug. 8-9, 2008 Wolfe Island Music Festival will be considered at the June 2008 meeting of council. A request for overnight tenting has already been approved.
    *Bruce Mellon will rent ($150.) the W.I. Community Hall to hold a ‘solo’ art show Nov. 30th, Dec.1-2, 2007
    *Frontenac Islands will apply for funding to Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation(FCFDC) to develop two broadband towers and a Marysville “hotspot” that will allow local internet providers to rent space and provide residents with broadband services presently unavailable.
    *Frontenac Islands will register as a First Impressions Community Exchange with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, a process that reveals the first impressions a community conveys to outsiders, (tourists, investors, retirees).
    *The City of Kingston has been asked to advise the public of exit changes to happen at the Barrack Street dock because of Ontario Street road work taking place in October, through ads in The Heritage and the Kingston Whig Standard.
    *The Howe Island Garden Buds have been authorized to spend an additional $100 plus tax and the remainder of their budget balance on a footbridge.

Council meets next on Howe Island TUESDAY Oct. 9th at 6:30 at which time council will also consider two land use zoning bylaw amendments, both requiring public meetings.

One item identified in my August council review needs clarification. Canadian Hydro did ask if the Wolfe Island Info Centre might be available for rent in the “off” season. Council did not see a conflict at the time and said they would consider the request with a signed lease provided certain issues were resolved. However Canadian Hydro has so far, NOT pursued the idea.
For Coming Events: Check the WIBTA web site

Posted by Margaret Knott at 10:09 AM
September 10, 2007
Summer is Over, What Next for Wolfe Island ?

The Stone Heron Gallery, located in the Community Hall, closed on Labour Day after another successful season marking, the end of summer 2007. The gallery houses the works of many island artists and artisans including Kim Woodman, Linda Sutherland, Pat Sanford, Jan Fitch, Maggie Crothers, Debra Krakow, Bruce Melon and many more, opened on the May long weekend and has seen a steady flow of visitors and return visitors all season long.
The island boasts two other studios in Marysville, the Summer Dock and Ferry Lane Studios as well as a Crafts Centre also located in the community hall.

Then there is beautiful Big Sandy Bay, now closed for the season, which has become a significant destination not only for local residents but for visitors seeking the wonders of a conservation area and the beauty of a beach like no other anywhere.

Throughout the summer there have been numerous events, well advertised in the community, in Kingston, on the ferry and on the Wolfe Island web site and all were very well attended, but they receive very little post event coverage.

The events included the Classic 5k –10k Road Race (and separate Kiddi Race) which annually draws 450-500 plus runners mostly from Kingston, other parts of Canada as well as the United States.. The 5-10 k races ends beside the St. Lawrence River where runners frequently take a dip before prizes and medals are distributed. Winners in the 5k: Charly Allan, Wolfe Island; 2nd Dylan O'Sullivan, Harrowsmith; 3rd Joe Turner, Brighton and in the 10 k: Cody Murray, Sydenham 2nd James Brady, Carthage, NY; 3rd Jeff Taggart, Kingston.

Another prestigious event on the island is the Scene of the Crime Festival, a two-day event focusing on Canadian crime writing. It celebrates Wolfe Island, the birthplace of Grant Allen, Canada's first crime writer and brings together a record number of authors of the crime genre, budding authors and crime readers. The event, now in its 6th year, was founded by Kingston historical crime fiction writer Therese Greenwood, who grew up on Wolfe Island, author Violette Malan and islander Maureen Lollar. This year’s recipient of the Grant Allen award was Erik Wright, scholar, author of many short stories and books including “Death in the Old Country”; “The Night the Gods Smiled”; “The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn” and “Always Give a Penny to a Blind Man.” The event always closes with a famous island church supper.

And of course this summer’s ever growing, very popular Music Festival with its Friday Night Hootenanny and a Saturday filled with a variety of musical groups, including a surprise visit from Sarah Harmer, was attended by more than 1500 people for what turned out to be a perfect weekend of music, fun and sun. Established in 1999, the MusicFest, coordinated by Sarah McDermott and Virginia Clark, Flying V productions, has been committed to bringing the best of independent Canadian music to Wolfe Island, with proceeds going to the Wolfe Island Community Centre.

Other popular events on the island include the Family Ball Tournament which this year saw 30 teams representing 30 island families playing, the Small mouthed Bass Derby, the Annual Puppy Party, Barrett’s Bay Regatta, the Annual Plowing Match, Pumpkin Fest and incredible church suppers and bake sales. Wolfe Island also hosts the Wolfe Island Day Camp.

With two golf courses, the Alston Moor Golf Links and the Wolfe Island Riverfront Golf Course, both par 35 9-hole operating on the island, players come by ferry and are shuttled to the courses and cooled by the winds off the St. Lawrence River for tournaments or a round of golf with friends.

The local stores and businesses, B&B’s, hotel and restaurants operate at peak capacity serving not only the island’s full time and summer residents but the thousands of people who come seeking the quiet of the island and the closeness to the big city. The ferry is always filled, its upper deck offering respite from the heat.

Cyclists, walkers, seniors, parents, children and students come in large numbers just for the ride, a bakery treat, ice cream, or a trip to the Information Centre, the galleries or to see the local murals, visit the churches & cemeteries, pick strawberries, go to the Corn Maze or for a ride in a White’s carriage.
All that to say that Wolfe Island is a place people come to and is recognized for many reasons, not the least of which is the Wind Plant project spoken of so often in this column. But TOURISM is fickle, dependent upon the value of the Canadian dollar, job security, the state of the world we live in, (think passports!), the free ferry, weather as to who comes and will they come again.

So the question is, what will Wolfe Island look like in 20 years?
Can or should Wolfe Island become as self sufficient as it once was ? Can we or should we grow and raise the food we eat? Should we invite strangers to come and raise and grow food on small properties? Can we power our own community by storing wind power in fuel cells? Can we build the structures we need to process the food we grow and raise? Are we ready to provide water and sewage treatment in Marysville so that we can consider new facilities like a senior’s home, health facilities, a training centre, a centre for higher education perhaps, an observatory, a theatre/arts/music centre, business centre, sports centre? Encourage new businesses or a new industry to come to the island, and what kind? What can we do for our farmers? And then there is the whole question of transportation and of course, our landfill site. If we can’t do any of this, tourism will eventually fail without local access to proper services. Does Wolfe Island risk becoming more of a bed room community ever more dependent on Kingston for its survival?

Take note: The 2-day Wolfe Island and Frontenac County Ploughing competitions take place Friday & Saturday, Sept. 14th & 15th at Pykeview Meadows Farm on Road #96, (approximately 5kms South of the Village of Marysville) beginning at 10 am. Everyone welcome. * Wolfe Island Business& Tourism Association meets at 7 pm Tues. Sept. 18th United Church Hall. Everyone welcome.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 12:49 PM
September 03, 2007
Kingston Community Foundation Distributes Funds on Wolfe Island

There were smiles all round outside the Wolfe Island Town Hall when members of the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston distributed four, $3000.grants from the Henrietta Whitmarsh Greenwood Fund.

The fund, established in perpetuity in 1998 by Francis Whitmarsh Casterton in memory of Henrietta, annually supports four island charities designated by Casterton.

“We have not been able to do that for a few years although there is a substantial amount in the fund coming to each of these four groups,” said Glen Stresman, Community Foundation Executive Director. “So this year rather than send cheques, we wanted our board members, Diane Kelly and Michael Greenwood, both with an island connection to present them, in person.”

Also present was Grants Manager Andria Coward and Anthony Greenwood, son of the late Henrietta Greenwood. He is a member of the island’s Volunteer Fire Department.

Nadine Greenwood representing the Ambulance Service Volunteers of Wolfe Island noted that they look after all donations received ”While not affiliated with the island’s Frontenac Paramedic Service we try to provide those things not provided by government,” she said. Sally Kane, the island’s Paramedic Services supervisor noted they need a projector for teaching purposes and a larger TV.

jam-es.jpgVolunteer Fire Chief James White acknowledged that there is always something they (Volunteeer Fire Fighters) are in need of while

desouza1.jpgFr. Raymond De Souza, Pastor at Sacred Heart of Mary Church expressed gratefulness for the donation. “How we use it will be discussed with the parish council but the church does depend on donations,” he said.

mil-dred1.jpg And finally Wolfe Island Medical Clinic president Mildred Hawkins Walton indicated the donation would be used for its maintenance.
“The clinic (founded in 1972), is a registered charity solely dependent on donations and gifts for its operation. We presently are operating in the black ,” she said.

Look for CFGK board members Michael Greenwood and Diane Kelly around the community. Frontenac Township CAO Terry O’Shea attended the proceedings.

Posted by Margaret Knott at 02:05 PM