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 29, 2014
Senior Housing remains Priority on Wolfe Islands Agenda

Senior Housing remains Priority on Wolfe Islands Agenda The Frontenac County Seniors Housing Task Force met on Wolfe Island to further discuss the possibility of a seniors housing pilot project for Frontenac Islands and to seek approval from County Council for the development and funding of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Business Plan to develop Senior Housing.( on Wolfe Island)

The county has chosen to address Senior Affordable Housing by being involved (leveraging/funding) in the construction of a project in each of the county’s four townships by the end of the 2015-18 term of County Council as one of 3 priorities.

The island meeting followed on the heels of a site visit made by the Senior Housing Task Force to an existing Seniors Project at Sharbot Lake . Frontenac County Councillors John McDougall, chairman of the Task Force, and Councillor John Purdon attended the Wolfe Island meeting chaired by Mayor Doyle. Both Doyle and Councillor Grant serve as alternates at Task Force meetings held in Frontenac Islands. (FYI- the 3 other townships are similarly represented and only attend Task Force meetings where housing in their own community is being considered.) Also in attendance were Frontenac County’s new Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender and County Planner Joe Gallivan

Mayor Doyle described the five unit Sharbot Lake facility at Sharbot Lake as somewhat similar to what the township has had in mind for Wolfe Island where Senior housing has continually made the list as an island priority. “A five unit facility in the village of Marysville close to services,” he said.
Councillor Grant noted a number of things he would see as important for an island project such as an inside corridor from the individual units to a common room and certain other services. Grant also included land acquisition, location, water and financing as requiring more research for a pilot project. Grant has championed Senior Housing for the isolated community for years.
Moving on to the reason for the Wolfe Island meeting, CAO Pender said the Senior Housing project must be “shovel ready” and listed some of the many components for the Business Plan including among many, size, scope, scale, community and council input, identifying target market, site locations options, site servicing/planning considerations, delivery options, funding and grant options, engagement with City of Kingston, etc. etc . Planner Gallivan supports the need for a plan and the RFP
It is expected that the RFP for a Business Plan to develop Senior Housing will be focussed on Wolfe Island but could be adopted for the other townships (kind of a generic business plan that can be altered to meet the circumstance…) The approximate time lines are: RFP council approval in June, issued and responded to during summer, acceptance and a plan drafted in the fall delivered to county council.
During the discussion it was also determined that in order to have local control of who resides in the facility it would be better to have a local “Not for Profit” association to operate the facility… preferably for Frontenac Islands, a new, non-profit association.
Ongoing work on Wolfe Island would include , as well as setting up a Not for Profit, looking at water sources, (well, from lake), soil testing, more than one site location , land donations, funding sources, grants, donations, as part of the “shovel ready” aspect. “ The important thing here is to have a plan ready,” County CAO Pender reiterated.
Around Town: +Following a presentation about Lyme Disease at the WI Medical Clinic AGM, everyone was advised to take extra precautions as Ticks are everywhere and skyrocketing. As we take advantage of the weather to get out into gardens, or to bird watch or simply to walk it is recommended that we wear long sleeved shirts, closed shoes, tuck pant legs into socks and to use bug repellent that includes Deet. Always check for ticks,(groin,scalp, arm pits)According to the presentation 23% of all ticks carry bacteria for Lyme disease (If bitten remove tick with pointed tweezers. . ) A circular rash referred to as a “bull’s-eye” rash could be one of the earliest symptoms of an infection. If you develop a “bull’s-eye” rash, fever, chills or extreme fatigue or feel like you have the flu, see your health care provider, present to walk in clinic,. For further info check KFLA Health Unit web site. *Slowly but surely businesses on Wolfe Island are opening for the summer season. *The Tourist Info. Centre is now open daily. * The Dream Catcher is open for the season. The “For Sale” sign for this lovely central spot on the island remains posted..

Coming events; Council meets next Howe Island 6:30 pm June 9th * Rummage Sale, Saturday June 7, 9am to 2pm Wolfe Island United Church… Kingston Field Naturalists’ BioBlitz at Big Sandy Bay June 13 & 14. *Time to register for WI Boat Club summer sessions. Annual Open House & Try It Day at the Club June 21st. Check events:

Posted by M Knott at 12:51 PM
May 22, 2014
Once again it is all about the Wolfe Island Ferry

There is something about being on the Wolfe Island ferry on your way to Kingston when, without much information, you suddenly are on your way back to Wolfe Island, from wherever you were on the route. The reason, of course, is an AMBULANCE call on the island, for which TIME may be of the essence. However many times, once back at the dock in Marysville, it may be any where from 5 minutes to one hour of sitting in your vehicle on the ferry before the ambulance arrives for immediate boarding and departure… OR as is often the case, (for a number of reasons), there is no need for the patient to go to hospital but the ferry has not been notified and finally the ferry you boarded, (e.g. the 10 am). to get to the city departs once again from the island at anywhere from noon to 1pm or later. It often disrupts the schedule for the rest of the day, a frustration for the Captain, the crew, and of course the public. This particular policy has been in place for some 25 years. You can imagine the backup of vehicles in line this can create on both sides of the river and the resulting frustration of the people waiting…..
Recently a review of the process was undertaken by Frontenac Islands, Ministry of Transportation (MTO), Canada Coast Guard Prescott, Marine Communications and Traffic Service (MCTS) and Kingston Central Ambulance Communication Centre (KCACC). During the study period 2011 to 2013 data was collected and analysed to understand the volume of Wolfe Island ambulance requests, the time factors (Time intervals) and distances involved. Frontenac County Council accepted the report prepared by Chief Paul J. Charbonneau Director of Paramedic Services and have initiated a 6-month pilot project so beginning June 1st when a request is made on Wolfe Island for an ambulance, the Frontenac Paramedic Services (FPS) supervisor is to be notified by dispatch, and it is the supervisor who will initiate direct contact with the Captain of the Wolfe Islander III to determine and coordinate ferry movement. If the Wolfe Islander III is on its way to Kingston and has passed the Point Fredrick Buoy (KH2, just off RMC,) the ferry will continue to Kingston, unload, then load cars and waiting passengers and return to WI’s Marysville dock (35 minutes) According to the report Calculations for the timeframe of an ambulance call total an average of 43:54 minutes.
“This new approach will avoid the ferry returning from Kingston before unloading cars in the event of an Ambulance call on Wolfe Island,” Mayor Doyle commented. “And there are other benefits such as better communications directly between the Captain and the Paramedics, instead of going through the Coast Guard in Prescott to relay information.” Presently when an emergency call is received, the ferry very often returns to Marysville regardless of where it is on its journey.
** And with regard to another MTO situation Mayor Doyle added that MTO has no problem with council’s request that MTO reduce the number of Dangerous Goods trips specifically the Thursday 2:30 pm run from Wolfe Island ( between Victoria Day –Labour Day). “But they wanted to give the fuel companies time to change any Thursday appointments. MTO is also reviewing the time of the return trip on Tuesday's with the fuel suppliers to see if they would like it changed. Hopefully discussions will be completed in time to implement changes by early June,” he added. ** With regard to Howe Island, Doyle noted that Scuba Divers will be checking pipes there during the regular maintenance shut
down May 26th. “Hopefully then it will not take MTO long to finalize their plan to deal with the problems as they have been working on it for several months. Council will then organize a public meeting to present what MTO plans to do.” It really is all about transportation isn’t it?

FYI: The Wolfe Island Community Medical Clinic held its AGM. More next time about it, and the Lyme Disease presentation. The WI Classic 5k-10k road race is now a Clinic Fund Raiser. Have you registered with the Running Room? Also take Note that Para Medicine “Wellness Clinics” will now be held 8:30am-12:30pm regularly the 1st Friday of every month beginning June 6th.** ( Blood & Specimen) Next Collection Date: Friday June 6th.
Around Town:* Flower boxes at the WI ferry dock… Just lovely. Thanks. * Busy Bicycle Rentals already * Have you registered your child for sailing at the WI Boat Club? **The Simcoe Island ferry out of service from June 3rd for maintenance. With favourable weather and clearance from Transport Canada, regular service will resume Friday June 6th. * Slowly but surely final work on the WI rink roof continues.

Coming events: * Rummage Sale ,June 7th 9am to 2pm WI United Church, **Kingston Field Naturalists’ BioBlitz at Big Sandy Bay Friday June 13, 2pm to Sat. June 14 beginning at 2pm. For details visit or call Anne 613-389-6743 AN EXCITING INVITATION ** Marysville Public School is proud to announce its 60th anniversary! Join the celebration on June 14, 1-3pm, with a formal welcome at 2pm from the principal and a guest speaker **Euchre St. Margaret’s hall Thursdays 7pm

Posted by M Knott at 12:47 PM
May 14, 2014
We Do Celebrate Our First Responders…

Moving to Wolfe Island twenty five years ago, required much thought on our part. It was a decision we did not take lightly. (We were much younger then. Invincible—we believed.) We knew at the outset that the WI Ferry Service was to become most important to our lives, our life line to healthy living, a fact of life we had to accept or we could not live on the island. We knew Wolfe Island had a Volunteer Ambulance Service (since 1974) as well as a Volunteer Fire Service which offered a measure of comfort.
We knew not purchase a home on a property too large for us to care for as we grew older, or too far away from a town line, or the ferry or those emergency services. (No defibrillators around then). We instinctively knew that TIME was of the essence and would become the most important word in our lives. We also knew that Wolfe Island was a Community with an incredible history and Walter and I dove in, head first, to become part of it.
All that to say the Emergency Services on the islands Howe and Wolfe are important to me. (Some may remember my getting stuck in the mud chasing an island fire early on.) I experience a sense of pride in the women and men who train, volunteer and proudly wear the uniform of Paramedic or of Fire Fighter, ( Our Emergency first Responders). I delight in the efforts of the WI Medical Clinic Board to integrate their skills into every day health care and safety of residents.
So it was not surprising that the sight of the bright red fire trucks and distinctively painted ambulances, ALL sitting out on the tarmac at the WI Emergency Services Building drew us to see what was up.
It was EMS Supervisor Sally Kane who explained that what was happening was a “Touch the Trucks “ event (United way Success by 6 Week), that had received very little publicity . At the same time she said that the Emergency First Responder well equipped Fire Service vehicle now accompanies the ambulance on calls. “ I think it is wonderful,” and so are they,” she said. Sally who is the heart of the service on the island, was delighted to see parents and little ones coming to touch the trucks, blow the sirens and climb into the vehicles..

Mayor Doyle who was there with family noted that even without much promotion the turnout was good. “Chief Hawkins plans to have another such event to show off the new truck later in the summer. This one was to celebrate First Responders,” he said, “The province passed Bill 15 declaring May 1st as First Responders Day providing an opportunity to recognize their contributions to the community and to thank them for their efforts. We are inclined to take their services for granted, assuming that in an emergency they will show up.”
Mayor Doyle stated that Fire Fighters on both Howe and Wolfe are part of the first responder team and support the Paramedics on serious calls and all accidents. “Given we do not have an ambulance station on Howe Island our
Fire Fighters are always first on the scene and formally trained to stabilize the patient.” Doyle also acknowledged the township road crews on stand by to clear plugged winter roads in the event of 911 emergencies.
To acknowledge the May 1st, First Responders Day Howe Island Chief Mike Quinn was at the HI early morning ferry departures to hand out material about Howe Island Fire & Rescue first responders, their training and capabilities.
Around Town: A thanks goes out to all the WI residents who informally pitched in to pick up along road routes to the west and to the east where they have picked up in the past… looks great. \*The WI Medical Clinic board continues to look into ways of providing more services into the community. Their AGM is Wed. May 21 at the Clinic. Guest to speak re: Lyme disease. Tax receipts are issued for welcomed donations. The WI Classic 5K/10K is their fundraiser. *The WI Bakery is now open for the season. * Much activity at Fargo’s these days. Amazing.. *The WI Boat Cub is looking for registrations for Kids Sailing program.. *The Info Centre will open with volunteers and one student in charge for the summer season beginning May long weekend.* Big Sandy Bay NOW open on weekends only until early June when it will open full time till Labour Day. Check out Shanti Retreat for exciting list of events…*Interesting to note that Frontenac County was recently awarded gold for Best Public mapping & GIS used for Frontenac Paramedic Services, planning, economic development etc. and Township planning, public works,etc.
Coming Events: WI United Church Fish Fry May 17th Doors Open 4:30 pm. United Church Rummage Sale 9am-2pm June 7th * Kingston Field Naturalists Great Canadian BioBlitz Big Sandy Bay Conservation Area Friday June 13, 2pm to Sat. June 14th 2pm. Purpose birds/animals identification numbers. For Info. Call Anne 613-389-6742 A fun, free event. Marysville Public School 6oth Anniversary June 21st 1-3 pm. *WI Boat Club AGM June 21st 3p.m - *Barretts Bay Regatta - New Date Aug. 24th * WIBC begins new Season: Register at:

Posted by M Knott at 11:22 AM
May 01, 2014
There really is Something about a Lighthouse!

Prince Edward County’s Marc Seguin , a founding member of the Organization “Save our Lighthouses” has had a life long interest in Canadian history and has a passion for Canada's built heritage. “ Thank you for the opportunity to speak about the fascinating past, but the uncertain future of lighthouses in this area of Lake Ontario,” he said at a gathering of the Wolfe Island Historical Society. The Township of Frontenac Islands- Simcoe Island is home to the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse.
In his presentation Marc said the Main Duck Island Lighthouse, built in 1914 was the last of 40 built on Lake Ontario. “This was perhaps the greatest concentration of lighthouses constructed anywhere in the world, and each of them has a story to tell in our history, about who we are and where we have been,” he said. “Now there are only seven and many of these are threatened.” He pointed out architectural differences, and types of construction, (height, octagonal, number of lamps, cement, wood, steel plate etc.) of the lighthouses built in the 1800- 1900’s as well as the many variables and dangers to the navigation of Lake Ontario including a lack of charts, and magnetic compass problems.
Seguin noted that these lighthouses played a key role in the history of Canada at a time when transportation by water was vital for the economy, long term growth and survival of the country. Now, however, with modern equipment and modern navigation technology, “lighthouses have been relegated to a back up position at best,” he said.
He presented a fascinating history of the many lighthouses that stretched from Kingston Harbour to Presqu'ile Point, why they were built, about the perils of ships guided by them, and why their lights were so important to Canada then, to what they have been replaced with now.
In the final period of his presentation, Seguin focused on the last lighthouses, those declared surplus, or of heritage value and Simcoe Island’s 40 foot, Nile Mile Point Light House (built in 1833), and their preservation. “Parks Canada has no intention of acquiring anymore lighthouses,” he quoted from them. With regard to Nine Mile Point, he said it is the oldest longest continuously active lighthouse in the Great Lakes, “a national treasure” that should be preserved. “It is doable,” he said.
It was suggested the township had rejected a request for assistance in preserving the lighthouse made by the Preservation of the Nine Mile Point Lighthouse committee. As the Q&A began, Mayor Doyle, who was in the audience, clarified the townships position. “We never refused to assist the group,” he said. “ What came to council was a report from our (then acting) CAO commenting on the group’s business plan and recommending that we take a serious look at it because, in his opinion it would cost the township $20,000 a year to keep the lighthouse going, and possible environmental issues. While I doubt it would be that much, that’s where it stands now. We have not heard from them but the discussion is still OPEN. We now have a new CAO ,” he said.
Simcoe Island’s Yelda Miedema, from the Preservation committee, said he is aware of the May 2015 deadline when decisions will be made on preservation of selected lighthouses noting two business plans for the lighthouse.” Ours was not considered satisfactory by the Heritage committee because it does not state that the township would be the principal owner,” he said. “We are incorporating as a charitable organization so we can raise funds. We would love to have the township involved, but if not, we hope to move ahead.”
Marc was very encouraging that the committee is moving fast. He also suggested a petition to the Federal Government through the local MP (but not for money) for preservation of history. He is writing a history of Eastern Ontario Light Houses.
2. Frontenac Islands council has completed deliberations with regard to the preparation of the township’s 2014 budget. A by-law to adopt the budget will be passed at the regular monthly meeting of council, on Wolfe Island, Monday, May 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm . The agenda will be posted on the website.

3. Camino Santiago: Deputy Mayor David Jones and his wife Wendy have been on a Walking Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. A progress report from them indicates they had walked with their team 750kms from St Jean Pied au Port in the south of France to Melide, Spain, and were 50kms from their ultimate goal…Santiago de Compostela, Spain, expecting to enter the city on Tuesday, Apr 29th.

Around Town: * The Howe Island Rate Payers and the Township, wish to thank the volunteers who participated in the island Pitch-In campaign, this past weekend. A special thanks to those who pick up, as part of their daily walk. * Marysville Public School is proud to announce its 60th anniversary! Keep this date Open June 14, 1-3pm, with a formal welcome at 2pm. More to follow.

Coming Events: *WI United Church Fish Fry, Sat. May 17th Adults $13.50 and Children $6.50.Doors open at 4:30 pm *Register for the July 6th WI Classic ON LINE at the Running Room. * WI Community Garden Open House May 9th WI Community Hall 5:30-7:30 pm.

Posted by M Knott at 11:19 AM