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 27, 2012
The Wolfe Island ferry at this time of year

It is at this time of year, as the water recedes, that Islanders begin planning for the relocation of the Wolfe Islander to the winter dock. Some residents look forward to the move, as it means not a shorter run from the east end of the township, but line -up and parking ease etc. But without public transportation on the island, for many who live in and around the village and are without a vehicle and some cyclists it means they must arrange rides to and from the ferry or hitch a ride to get to work, school, appointments. And for all those who normally park and ride the ferry from the village, where coffee, breakfast and the newspapers are available, it means instead parking at the winter dock. Having a second car for many becomes an absolute necessity and arranging for pick up if you don't. And of course we are all aware of the effects moving the ferry has on local business establishments and the anxiety it causes.

It certainly means islanders must coordinate pick up times with young people who want to stay in the city after school for activities and sports, provide transportation for visitors coming to the island (without a car) for events, skating at the rink, youth programs, bird watching, night skies, hiking, etc.

The winter dock is very efficient, parking is easier, loading and unloading is a roll on roll off process without delay , in fact saving time. MTO does provide basic amenities, telephone, cameras, a warm building and has increased lighting in the area. But it is a lonely place, a very lonely place. Moving there means more cars on the road, increased use of fuel, idling long periods ,environmental issues, village business anxiety etc. etc.

Through their most recent study MTO determined that Wolfe Island needed a new second 75 car ferry, operating with the Wolfe Islander III, and eventually a bridge (?) shorter route (?), etc. All dependant on what happens in Kingston (3rd crossing, military, etc.)? Dare I say we've heard it all before.

MTO continues to make improvements at both docks on the island and at Barrack street and provides a dependable ferry service, but that dependable ferry service does not adequately fulfill the growing needs of island residents, or of the island itself as a tourist destination, or as an international link to the USA, or for economic development growth.

Moving the ferry to the winter dock is another irritation that elicits a variety of opinions for and against. However, have no fear. Wolfe Island does not shut down because the ferry moves… So as islanders watch water levels…. Visit and take note of the many activities and events that take place as fall begins and join us.. . You are welcome.

Around Town: In last weeks paper. (EMC Sept.19th), I extolled the good work of the young people hired by MTO for the summer period to help make lining up for the Wolfe Island ferry and boarding it, if not a short, happy experience, at least a fairer one, which they did in good spirit and generally with a smile. And I named those students. In fact, in my enthusiasm, I also included the names of students who were with us last summer and, to top it off…..I left out the name of Queen's student, Linay Repath, who WAS with us this summer. To her I extend my sincere apologies for the omission, and say once again to Linay, Camille, Pamela, Laura and Mike, THANK YOU.

Posted by M Knott at 12:44 PM
September 18, 2012
Frontenac Islands Considered Many Issues in September

A snapshot of the September meeting of Frontenac Islands Council included, as part of the Committee of Adjustment file, a discussion regarding a zoning bylaw amendment to rezone a lot from residential to commercial made by Mike Phillips, for his coffee shop in Marysville.

A previous minor variance to allow the coffee shop as a home business was deemed invalid as Phillips does not live in the house also on the property. There were no objections to the coffee shop located in the existing small building but to any further commercial activity which could occur with the passage of the amendment. The application was deferred. Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan will work with Phillips to determine the possibility of the zoning the shop commercial and the remainder of the property residential. While accepting the approach Phillips commented that the village has a number of businesses on the main street and new businesses bring more people to the island.

- Howe Island's Austin Page submitted a “Report of St. Mary's School Committee” with regard to all aspects including historical significance of acquiring and refurbishing the school for the benefit of the community. The report recommends that the township acquire the building for $1.00 plus legal fees, facilitate its restoration and operation but provide no further funding. Instead a non-profit community organization be formed to undertake the financing, restoration, etc., under lease agreements with the township. Council will make a decision during the 2013 budget process, and received the report as information only.

- Council accepted the township's consolidated Financial statements (2011) presented by Vicki Leakey of KPMG, their auditors. She noted a number of gas tax and management issues that council must deal, but all in all it was a great presentation by Ms. Leakey'

- In response to a presentation made by Bylaw Officer Ken Gilpin in August, council will hire the firm of Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement for animal control and by-law enforcement issues at a stand by rate of $ 400.00 plus HST per month, an hourly rate of $ 25.00 per hour plus HST, mileage of $ 0.47 per kilometer and reimbursement of applicable ferry fares, provided that the firm can be added to the Township's errors & omissions insurance at no extra cost.

- A parking bylaw has been amended to say that parking is prohibited on both sides of Victoria Street north from Rd'#96 to the water, and allowed only on the west side of Victoria Street south of Rd.#96 . Victoria Street north to the water is the location of a community dock, public washrooms, a small park, the WI Boat Club and a residential cottage.

- Council accepted the revised HI Transportation Study draft RFP presented by Planner Gallivan for a consulting team to work on the study. The study will focus on the review of existing and future levels of ferry service over a twenty year period. A steering committee (staff,1-2 council members) assist in the process. In a letter to council HI resident Terry Botten noted the need for community input as well.

- The Howe Island Municipal Office is in line for a water softener and re-route of the non potable water.

- WI Metcalf Lane residents are concerned about a plan to have the Light at Quebec Head designated a Heritage site and what that means to them in terms of public access. The township will seek information about the plan from Fisheries and Oceans.

Council meets next Howe Island Municipal Office Tuesday, Oct. 8th at 6:30 pm

Around Town:

1.The Wolfe Island ferry is now operating from the winter dock at Dawson Point. It continued to dock in Marysville long enough for a number of scheduled large events to happen, allowing city visitors to attend without cars. Horne's Ferry to the USA will continue to operate until October 28th.

2. And what a season it has been with its many festivals, events (Scene of the Crime Festival, Music Fest, Road Race, Family Ball Tournament, Barrett's Bay Regatta, the Plowing Match, Historical Society's Speakers series, etc. etc.), programs and places to visit. Les Voltigeurs de Quebec came. A new business opened, a WI Garden Club was born, and so it went, one event, celebration, opportunity after another, and business thrived. .

3.Visitors came (and continue to do so), walking, cycling, by car, in numbers have not seen before. It continues to amaze that a community of 1400 full time residents have the energy, stamina and volunteers to undertake all they do.

4. The WI Network for a Healthy Community has plans underway for an exciting new fall and winter season for island adults and youth.

5. Skaters are already eyeing the weather wondering how soon there will be ice at the rink. Posters everywhere are hard to miss.

6. The Alston Moore Golf Links is closing at the end of this golfing season “with regret”, according to owner Mildred Hawkins Walton . “But it is time,” she said. The Driving Range however, will remain in operation into the future.

7. The townships' cable operated ferries are sitting very low in the water as water levels drop.

8. Howe Island held another successful Terry Fox run for Cancer Research

Coming Events: Visit and a reminder of: Community Euchre WI United Church Hall Thursday's 7 pm

Posted by M Knott at 08:43 PM
September 17, 2012
Wolfe Island Ploughing Match goes on in spite of rain

Heavy rain in other parts of the Kingston region kept a number of horse ploughmen away from Wolfe Island’s ploughing match held this year at Jack and Theresa Broeder’s farm, expecting it would be the same on the island.
“While it was a ‘fine rainy day’ luckily the ‘big deluge’ held off until most of this year’s 24 competitors were close to being finished,” said Wilma Sjongers, secretary of the WI Plowmens Association. “A lower number of competitors but a good match as always for both horse and tractor pulled ploughs on good lands.”
Gathered under tents visitors and friends had time to chat in spite of the weather and enjoy a bite to eat. Others wandered the fields to watch first hand and up close the exactness and skill of what it is to turn a furrow.
The 4 Chown boys Hunter ,Cole, Orrie and Reid (all under age 18) were ploughing this year, one or two of whom will be attending the International Ploughing Match in Roseville Sept. 16-22 along with Tom Woodman and Dan Berry.
Thanks to KFC (Nat, Kate & Paul Lollar) for the lunches provided for competitors, Tri Heat for fuel, the twenty-five business and individual event sponsors. Trophies and awards were presented at the end of the day by the President of the “WI Plowmens Association” Wayne Grant.
Competitions have been held since 1947 giving farmers an opportunity to show their skills handling their horses and walking ploughs. Now there are many classes with judges looking at the straightness of the lines and the depth of the furrow. The Wolfe Island Plowmen's Association was created in 1956.

BEST EFFORT –UNDER 18 - Morningsight Farms


BEST DRESSED HORSE -St. Lawrence Veterinary Services

OLDEST PLOUGHPERSON -Fargo’s Grocery Store


SAFEST PLOUGHPERSON- Farm Safety Association

BEST FINISH HORSE Hulton Construction

BEST FINISH TRACTOR-Woodman Machine Products

BEST CROWN Gateview Farm Equipment RON STINSON

2012 Wolfe Island Plowing Match Points


Class 1 Horses -open MARWIN ANTOINE 123

Class 1a Horses -open KAYE FAWCETT 89

Class 2 Tractor mounted Plow COLE CHOWN 124
under 14 DEREK POSTHUMUS 116

Class 3 Tractor mounted Plow HUNTER CHOWN 140

Class 4 Tractor -2 Furrow DICK POSTHUMUS 126

Class 5 Tractor 2-Furrow RON STINSON 158
Class 6 Tractor 3 furrow DAN BERRY 125

Class 7 Tractor - 4 Furrow DAVE WOODMAN 127

Class 8 Ladies JOYCE BUCKLEY 151

Class 9 Antique CRAIG HULTON 128

Class 10 Novelty REID CHOWN 105

Around Wolfe Island: * The water is still going down, George. * Business has slowed but activities have not. *Ferry lone up’s are far easier to handle now that Labour Day has passed. And speaking of the Wolfe Island and the ferry, it has been MTO’s policy to hire students to direct ferry traffic at both the Barrack Street Dock and at the Marysville dock on Wolfe Island through the summer months mid June to September Directing traffic into the proper lines in Kingston, overseeing pedestrians and cyclists and keeping track of the time of arrival of trucks and trailers for boarding during the busy summer months is no easy task, It requires diligence, good humour, a lot of walking, and a stiff upper lip. On Wolfe Island it includes all of the above including, “eyes in the back of the head” to see cars breaking into the line up, cycling up and down the line to prevent it happening every day, rain of shine and listening to islanders and visitors frustrated at being left behind. and visitors The line up (only one on the island) is long, curved, narrow along the street and can stretch to as far as the end of Marysville to east particularly on weekends.
To this year’s summer students, a Belated but Very Big Thank You for a job well done
Coming events: 1.Gardening Guru Ed Lawrence, Wednesday, Sept. 26th , WI Community Hall at 7 pm. Tickets:$15.00 , 613-385-2910 and at Fargo’s. 2. What is Seasonal Affective Disorder ? SAD? Find out with Dr. Michela David, Psychologist Thurs. September 27th, 7pm, WI Community Medical Clinic. 3. WI’s 1st Fibre Festival, Saturday, Sept. 29th, 10 am-4pm , WI Community Hall weaving ,quilting, needlework, Drop Spindle(workshop) etc.For more information: contact: 613-385-1774 OR OR 613-385-2641 4. WI Community Euchre, Thursdays 7pm WI United Church Hall, Welcome. For all events:

Posted by M Knott at 12:54 PM
September 13, 2012
Frontenac Islands Catch-Up!

Recently I took a road trip to Manitoba, in this instance to Gimli, that province's recognized Icelandic Community, at what is perhaps, its most beautiful time of year. The sight of crops still waiting to be harvested in fields that stretch for miles, an immense blue sky overhead, the vastness of Lake Winnipeg in view, an incredible night sky and the sight and sounds of the West, all kept me from the task of keeping you up to date with Frontenac Islands news. So I will attempt a bit of a “Catch-Up.”

- The August meeting of Frontenac Islands Council held on Howe Island brought forward a number of issues. 1. Ken Gilpin of Frontenac Bylaw Enforcement's was on hand to describe the (re-active) service he provides to the township at this time and his request for a $400 monthly retainer (liability, employees) billing change and to have them available pro-actively, (No retainer has been paid by township since 1997.) “You caught us between budgets,” Mayor Doyle commented. Good discussion, many issues raised, animal control, trailers, property standards, traffic violations, etc. 2. The township will erect the six no littering signs provided by the HI Resident's Association on Howe Island. 3. WIBTA's Carlyle Crothers presented a number of alternative ecotourism project options for the use of $26,000 from the County in lieu of the township funding the KP trail. The preferred option is for a trail on Howe Island. 4. The WI Historical Society will spend some of their reserve money repairing the township owned Old House (Larush) Museum and submit an application for further funding to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. 5.Investment options with respect to the “One Investment Program” entered into by the township will be presented at the September meeting. 6. WI Community Centre Board will submit a grant application to the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund for a roof over the rink. 7. MTO is asked to continue priority boarding, as in past years, for agricultural commodities on the WI Ferry. 8. The Centre Street property in Marysville, owned by the township is set aside for public use as a small park. Also - New ferry line signs going up.- Congratulations to Oueen's Jubilee Medal recipient Perry Chesney. Council meets Sept. 10th.

Around the Township: 1. WI's Sacred Heart of Mary Parish held a parish social honouring both native sons, Fr. Stewart (Tod) Laverty, OFM on the occasion of his 40th Anniversary as priest and the 10th Anniversary of their pastor Fr. Raymond De Souza. That same weekend the Pastor of the island's Trinity Anglican Church, Rev.Canon Chris Carr and Mrs. Connie Carr celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary family and friends. Congratulations to all. 2. The township held town hall meetings on Wolfe (EMC Aug. 23rd) and Howe islands offering residents the opportunity to question their council members. The Howe Island meeting was attended by 65 people and held in conjunction with the HI Ratepayers Association's AGM which included a presentation on coyotes presented by Ministry of Natural Resources representatives Monique Charette and Steve McNevin. The Town Hall meeting included a presentation by Mayor Doyle and a Q&A period with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor David Jones. (As on Wolfe Island, transportation was a major topic ) 3. Repair work on the Frontenac County-Howe Island ferry transfer bridges requires that it will be out of service overnight on approximately 14 nights over the next two months(with 3 nights' notice of closures provided.) On those nights the Township foot ferry at the eastern end of the island will operate overnight. While sufficient for regular traffic this arrangement would lengthen the response time for possible medical emergencies on the western end of Howe Island. To minimize emergency response times on those (approximately 14) night closures, the Frontenac Paramedic Service will station an ambulance and two paramedics at the Howe Island Fire Hall. Please note that to report an emergency you should still call 911. 4 The consultants report for Frontenac County's Senior Housing project , is available at (Housing for Seniors is a priority area of concern on Wolfe Island.) 5. With the presence of Emerald Ash Bore confirmed in the county Frontenac Islands council noted that to prevent ash materials from being moved there is a need for vigilance about fire wood brought to the islands . 4. Lowering water levels raise islanders concerns that the ferry might be moved to the winter dock earlier than later…

Coming Events: 1.Gardening Guru Ed Lawrence, Retired Head Gardener to 6 Governor Generals and Prime Ministers and long time gardening expert for CBC's Ontario Radio phone-in is coming to Wolfe Island on Wednesday, Sept. 26th , Wolfe Island Community Hall at 7 pm. Tickets:$15.00 are available. Call 613-385-1947, 613-385-2929, 613-385-2910 and at Fargo's. For more info:

2. Beat the Winter Blues- What is Seasonal Affective Disorder ? SAD? Find out what is 'normal' in the Winter and what are evidence-based treatment options for SAD with Dr. Michela David Ph.D., C. Psych., Psychologist, Mood Disorders Research and Treatment Service, Providence Care, on Thursday, September 27th at 7pm at the Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic, 102 Road 95

3.Spinners, felters, weavers, anyone looking for local fibre- Wolfe Island's 1st Fibre Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 29th, 10 am-4pm at the WI Community Hall in Marysville Something for everyone with weaving and quilting demos, needlework and rug hooking, learn to spin with a Drop Spindle(workshop). For more information: contact: 613-385-1774 OR OR 613-385-2641

Posted by M Knott at 08:34 PM