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.

November 24, 2011
Well now that was not so hard, was it?

Finally, after years of trying to have it happen, NineMile Point Road on Simcoe Island will be plowed by the township in its entirety, including the last 1.3 km to Carol Leonard's house. The issue was dealt with in a matter of minutes at the Frontenac Islands November council meeting when, for the 12th time, Simcoe Island resident Carol Leonard requested that the township road be plowed to the end where her home is located. The township stopped plowing the entire length of Nine Mile Point Road in 2003, when the road designation was changed to 'Limited Service' on township maps, resulting in the plow turning around 1.3 km away from her home.

Leonard has paid on average $600 per year to have plowed and it is done by the same person under contract to plow the road for the township. “Snow plowing on a township road is deemed a normal service providing emergency protection for residents. Denial of this service by the previous council seems highly irregular.” Leonard said at the meeting.

Mayor Doyle commented that he had visited Simcoe during the summer, noting that the road is in very good condition and provides year round access for full time as well as seasonal residents including Leonard. ” I can't see why it should not be plowed to the end costing less all round. Doyle said the Nine Mile Point road in the Official Plan does not show the last 1.3 km with a different designation. Council approved the snow removal request to the road's West end.

In a second situation pertaining to Simcoe Island, Ed Griffiths, initially on the agenda to talk bubble systems at the island's ferry docks and preferably all the way, spoke first about low water levels affecting the loading and unloading of the ferry particularly on the Simcoe side.

“I can no longer put a car on the ferry nor can many other people with low cars . If the water gets any lower I won't be able to get my van off to get to my house. I'm afraid at my age I can't walk it nor can my wife. I'm hoping you will take a look at it to see what can be done to the dock in the short term. In the long term it will be a big job”. Griffith renewed a request that Council continue to pursue a bubble system for the Simcoe Island Ferry, referring to $50,000 he heard during the election was set aside by the township for that purpose. Griffith talked about crossing on the ice when the ferry shuts down and the difficulties that arise with milder winters and changing ice conditions “There isn't nearly the ice, it sank, and there was 8 inches of water and my wife and I could not walk across. Ten years ago we could still do it . But now we can't. My wife and I will not be able to stay in our home unless you get it fixed. The ice really isn't safe, and sooner or later I feel someone is going to go through and drown,”

Mayor Doyle noted need for more bubble system around the docks at least to help the ferry get moving.

” We will follow up with MTO for the longer line refused last year.” Doyler added that the Simcoe situation and provincial funding requests had been outlined for MP Ted Hsu who was also asked about availability of federal funding .

“I have lived there over 50 years and the last two years ice conditions are the worst I have ever seen.” Griffith said. Roads Superintendent Leo Greenwood will inspect the Simcoe Island ferry dock to determine what repairs or changes can happen in the short term to improve vehicle boarding conditions.

In other business:

- Before approving the Official Plan council took note of some changes including reduction of Village of Marysville area (diected by Municipal Affairs & Housing), Fuller and Driscoll Roads as Local Roads on Howe, all of Frontenac Islands included as a Community Improvement Area. Deputy Mayor Jones questioned “a proposed” bridge location designation which will be change instead to “potential”.

- Prior to approval of the payment voucher it was explained that any payment for the Assessment Review Board Hearing concerning the Wind Plant are listed under Wind Plant not administration.. It was also noted that repairs to the sand dome are complete.

A Dreams for Kids Bike Race (Can. Sunshine Foundation from the WI Community Centre Grounds May 5, 2012. Details to be worked through with the Community Centre Board. Concerns raised by Councillor Springay about younger children cycling.- Howe Island resident Dave Munroe raised issues about the quarry in a letter to MNR that affect many residents. Council will be in touch with MNR on behalf of constituents.

- A request for a 4:45 a.m. summer ferry trip from Wolfe Island and a bubble system at Simcoe Island will go to the Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli, with a further letter directly to MTO's Kathy Moore, Stewart Jones and MPP John Gerretsen.

- A budget amendment will be made in December that $200,000 in Wind Plant Amenities Agreement funds will go into a reserve for use as an Investment Fund for the WI district.

- Council will create a reserve fund for any donations received for the WI Historical Society and Old House Museum. - The Volunteer of the Year Award will go to WI Hockeyville Committee at January's meeting .

- Councillor Grant said islanders are looking for a heating system in the Townships Community Hall. Councillor Springgay noted new budget year coming up.

- Councillors provided with a draft of the Procedural By-Law, suggested a number of word changes and additions.

- A draft bylaw regarding fences was distributed for comments before December meeting.,

- Three quotes rather than 3 tenders for purchasing a township truck deemed acceptable approach.

- CAO O'Shea in receipt of email from MP Hsu with regard to $5.50 entry fee (by boat) into USA suggesting at this time if trip is under 300 miles there is no charge. Council meets next: Monday Dec. 12th 6:30 pm. Howe Island.

Around Town:

Please note the Nov. 26th Turkey Supper at St. Margaret's Hall HAS BEEN CANCELLED until further notice.

Posted by M Knott at 09:05 AM
November 15, 2011
Frustration during Wolfe Island's Pumpkin Festival

A Pumpkin Festival has been an annual Wolfe Island community event for 12 years. It has always involved local farmers, vegetable growers, pie makers, the school children, young people, local businesses and a participating community who come to enjoy the fun. It includes contests that measure size, weight colour shape , best decorated and best carved pumpkins, from a variety of age groups and families. Pie eating contests, pie judging , baking and food tables, a barbecue,' Whites Wagon' rides and in the past a wide variety of children's activities are all part of the festival. And…it is held at the Wolfe Island Town Square in the Township Community Hall, a building that like the WI Town Hall, has a long history as the hub of the community and where it may be safely said island history was made.

For the last two years the Community Hall has been without a furnace, or heat from any source, and according to a study, also requires an electrical power upgrade. Even a request to use the Summer Crafts shop (a separate part of the building) for a fall/winter quilting program could not be accommodated.

So the township building has essentially been rented through the summer by Stone Heron Gallery owner and operator Pat Sanford (who undertook interior painting, ramp, window repairs etc.) and the remainder of the year is too cold for meetings or public gatherings etc. The community has continued to use the building on Remembrance Day, during Pumpkin Fest, and Christmas Tree lighting occasions…..with event organizers between shivers, showing a quiet anger and frustration with the situation on each occasion.

And in spite of the cold, Pumpkin Fest did happen with winners ( and prizes) in every category thanks to Heather Posthumus, Pumpkin Fest coordinator. Festival Winners were for: Heaviest pumpkin:1.Bill and Cathy Allen, 2.John Posthumus, Circumference:1.John Posthumus. Best Colour:1.Erica Posthumus, 2.Sierra Panetta. Best Shape: 1.Jacob Panetta, 2.Allison Posthumus. Best Carved: Family 1.Pyke Family, 2. Basil Woodfine, 3.Sarah Doyle, Best Carved:JK - 2: 1.Sonika Woodfine. Grades 3 - 5 1. Azzurah Woodfine 2. Emma Tohman 3. Sara Tohman. Grades 6-8: 1. Cara Vingar, 2. 7/8 Class Marysville Public School. Best Decorated Family: 1.Sarah Posthumus. Best Decorated: JK - 2: 1.Victoria Lumb, 2.Skeet Leeman, 3.Aaron Leeman. Grades 3-5:1.Emma Mosier, 2. Shelby milikow/Anna Vingar, 3. Emily Thoman' Grades 6-8: 1. Derek Posthumus, 2. Audrey Creighton. Best Apple Pie winners : 1.Heather Posthumus, 2.Sandy McCready, 3.Maureen Bolton. Best Pumpkin Pie: 1.Toni Vingar, 2. Heather Posthumus, 3. Nicole Clark. Congratulations to All

Although a significant amount of money has gone toward the WI rink development, budget constraints resulting it seems from the costs of the major services (roads and the landfill site) as well as administration & the general costs of operating the township has led to little else happening. A township with miles of roads to maintain was made worse with the download of roads #95 & #96. Without the wind power money coming into the township, one can only speculate whether Wolfe Island might have gone broke just trying to maintain the roads.

Wolfe Island's many Community organizations support themselves for the most part through the efforts of volunteers. Community development on the other hand has come about through the fund raising efforts of the Wolfe Island Business and Tourism association ( for signage, info centre, public washrooms, village beautification, etc.) and the many successful grant applications made by them on behalf of the community.

Most recently through a network of the many island organizations including WIBTA, and with the sponsorship of the township, the Wolfe Island Network (WIN) for a Healthy Community was the recipient of a grant to pursue their common goal of promoting the health and well-being of Wolfe Islanders through projects focused on Islanders' health needs. Now not only does the Wolfe Island tax paying community need to have the Island's Community Hall fully usable once more, the WIN needs a functional community location to host many of the programs it plans to offer. Regardless of the cost, it is time for the Township to upgrade the historic WI Community Hall on behalf of the citizens on Wolfe Island.

Posted by M Knott at 08:59 AM
November 13, 2011
Remembrance Day on Wolfe Island , an event uniquely their own

Once again the small community of Wolfe Island gathered on Remembrance Day, not in front of a magnificent memorial, but in the Wolfe Island Town Square at the historic Town Hall . There stands a simple plaque dedicated by the residents of Wolfe Island, as a tribute “to the men and women of the community who answered the call of their country to help preserve the peace and freedom we now enjoy. Some made the supreme sacrifice. Others suffered from severe wounds and hardships. Still others continued to serve in Canada’s Forces and still do today,” the plaque says. And this year as the community gathered for an event uniquely there own, the significance of those words took on new meaning.
The names of islanders who lost their lives and all those who served Canada in war and in Peacekeeping, some present wearing their decorations, were read by Theresa Broeders and Diane Hawkins. Officer Cadet Adam Goddard played the Last Post and Reveille, and wreaths were laid by Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle, Merchant Navy Veterans R.F. Fawcett and Vern Yott, Peacekeeping Veteran Major Keith Walton, the island’s Women’s Institutes, Historical Society, Emergency Services, and the school children, all assisted by the cadets.
It was at this moment when three Wolfe Islanders, active members of the military and Veterans of Canada’s participation in the Afghan Conflict, stepped forward together to lay a wreath that the significance of the wars of the past to preserve our freedom took a new meaning. A new tier of young Veterans standing with those who grow old, together remembering how fragile the peace those who went before sought to preserve. They were Corporal Simon Berry, Colonel David Patterson and Master Corporal Jamie Sanford.
There were poems of remembrance by children from both island schools, Major Keith Walton, Trudy de Ruiter, and an RMC cadet. Cadets in their brilliant red joined Wolfe Island this year in greater numbers. There were prayers and readings by Pastor Erin Burns of WI United. Fr. Ray de Souza Pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary, offered a biblical reflection “on the 11’s , of our remembrance” while Rev. Gerry Moore of Trinity Anglican gave the closing prayer and blessing. And once again, after a year’s absence serving in Afghanistan, island resident Colonel David Patterson offered a military perspective of Irwin Kelly, born on Wolfe Island in 1897 who died at the age of 21 at the Hindenburg line during the last days of World War 1.
Special thanks to Ken Keyes who led the singing of O Canada, CAO O’Shea and all event organizers, in particular this year, the WI Historical Society. A reception followed in the Community Hall.

Posted by M Knott at 10:22 AM
November 07, 2011
Kingston and the Islands MP Hsu visits Wolfe Island

Kingston and the Islands MP Hsu visits Wolfe Island
Ted Hsu, MP for Kingston and the Islands was warmly welcomed by Mayor Denis Doyle, members of council and the public who gathered at the Wolfe Island Town Hall. The special Frontenac Islands council meeting was initiated by MP Hsu who wanted to determine how he might be of assistance to council with their federal government related areas of concern. Hsu expressed his pleasure at returning to the island for the first time in his capacity as MP.
At the outset Mayor Doyle outlined areas that could benefit from MP Hsu’s involvement and/or intervention. He also was open to comments from the public.
Areas of concern included: 1. Frontenac Islands need for increased Federal Government funding and Gas Tax programs for aging infrastructure and road maintenance. To which MP Hsu noted discussions of possible funding increase to offset inflation. 2. Federal Government support for the better management of Lake Ontario water levels (important for ferries) as well as for fishing /wildlife/tourism/ boating. 3. Horne’s ferry, an International link to the US is important to business/tourism for Kingston and Wolfe Island. Horne’s Ferry operator Bruce Horne outlined problems with over aggressive customs officers and the resulting negative effects to business. A further cause for concern is the proposal to charge a $5.50 entry fee to each person entering the United States ‘by boat.’ Metal Craft Marine with facilities in Kingston, Wolfe Island and Cape Vincent, NY is looking for a designation of the Horne’s Point and Cape Vincent, NY terminals as Commercial Ports of Entry . Hsu will continue to discuss the entry fee proposal with US officials. He has been in touch with Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird. “This needs some publicity ,” Hsu said.
4.Continuous flashing red lights on the WI wind towers to alert planes concern the whole region including Cape Vincent. Mayor Doyle noted a new technology in lights activated only when a plane approaches is available. A resident suggested if the island lights can’t be changed, new projects throughout the province should be notified of the new technology. There was a suggestion that all off shore wind projects be cancelled to protect National Parks. MP Hsu will be in touch with the Ministry of Transport re lighting.
5. With regard to the preservation of Simcoe Island’s Nine Mile Point Lighthouse, Hsu indicated that a proposal may be coming to save all pre-Confederation lighthouses. (There were lookouts on Simcoe during the “War of 1812.” ) Yelda Miedema who is spearheading a proposal to save the lighthouse perhaps through Parks Canada, was invited to stay in touch with MP Hsu.
6. Important to the region including Frontenac Islands is the support of DND’s CFB Kingston. MP Hsu will be meeting with DND Kingston to discuss what cuts are expected.
Further local issues needing support include :*a village water & sewage system; water flow through Island canal ; bubble systems to keep Simcoe & Howe cable ferries winter operational; *support for WI’s ice pad, biomass / biogas production; funding for home/ municipal energy improvements and continued availability of the summer jobs program.
Judy Greenwood Speers commented that as the population ages, the availability of potable (clean-safe) water is a requisite for keeping the frail elderly accommodated on the island . Yelda Miedema spoke of the importance of bubble systems noting the difficulties (walking the ice, isolation, medical emergencies) faced by residents living alone on Simcoe. Councillor Norris wants HST removed from home heating oil. MP Hsu listened to it all, took notes and promised to assist in whatever ways he can. “I look forward to coming again. Keep in touch,” he said as he left the building.
In other business: 1. The Frontenac Islands consolidated Financial statements were presented KPMG’s Vicki Leakey. 2. Glenn Tunnock of Tunnock Consulting Ltd. presented the final draft of the Official Plan clarifying a number of word changes, village boundaries etc. It will receive approval at the regular monthly council meeting. Howe Island Ratepayers Association representative Brian Humphries reminded council of HIRA’s concerns regarding growth management.”We are not looking for a freeze on development only that you recognize the limitations of the island’s ferry service and act accordingly,” he said. 3. Council members had in their hands and interim report of financials actual to the budget, and finally Deputy Mayor Jones thanked CAO O’Shea and Roads Superintendant Leo Greenwood for questions answered and the more detailed draft council minutes he had been looking for. “I appreciate your embracing the concept,” he said. Council meets again Nov.14th.

Posted by M Knott at 09:56 AM
November 03, 2011
Fall Harvest Lunches a big hit on Wolfe Island

Wolfe Island school children have been the beneficiaries of island produce through the Fall Harvest Community Lunches project. The unique program to provide four free healthy hot lunches (one a month) through the fall school term using seasonal foods began in September for participating students from Wolfe Island's school community, (Marysville Public School and Sacred Heart Catholic), volunteers and invited guests. The lunches planned and prepared by volunteers from both schools and assisted by the island's active church and women's organizations are intended to introduce the children to the local food producers, the bounty of produce grown by them and perhaps as an aside, to encourage a whole new interest in vegetables.

“The producers of Taste of Wolfe Island (organization) have donated, contributed, and sold their produce to the program,” according to Nicole Clark, the program coordinator.”The first meal was a Harvest Soup with an assortment of almost a dozen different veggies from Okee's Farm fields, donated bagettes from the bakery, and apples from Horne's orchards. October's menu included hubbard squash soup (produce from Hank Connell and Kathy Rothermel's fields), apple muffins and pumpkindoodle cookies,” she said adding that the healthy hot lunches, served at St. Margaret's Hall, provide an opportunity for the children to enjoy the lunch together. There are two more lunch dates in this term November 17th and December 7th. Contact: Nicole Clark (Lunch Coordinator) - / 613-385-2641

(Earlier in September 15 island residents participated in a KFL&A Public Health 'Safe Food Handler Training Seminar' held at St. Margaret's Hall. The Ontario certification seminar that meets the food service training standards of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is aimed at food service workers, and community residents involved in food service at various events, Church dinners, etc. and included a post-course examination. All 15 candidates received a five-year Safe Food Service certificate. The Lunch program is an initiatives of the WI Network for a Healthy Community.

Wolfe Island was the recipient of a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, Healthy Communities Fund Grants for the WI Network for a Healthy Community (WINHC) a project bringing together community and municipal agencies and organizations to promote health and well being focusing particularly on the health needs of seniors and youth. For information: Kayo Murakami-Wood (WIN Project Coordinator). Email:

Posted by M Knott at 08:59 AM