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.

August 28, 2014
Long time Howe Island Politician Honoured

It was a happy occasion at the newly refurbished Howe Island Ball Park, and base ball diamond,, where Islanders gathered to honour life long resident, and longest serving ( 38 years), Howe Island politician Patrick Norris. They were there because the park was to be renamed and rededicated in his name. On this special evening the kids were playing ball the barbecue was operating there was plenty of food.
In his opening remarks, Frontenac Islands Deputy Mayor David Jones described the decision made in 2011 with Howe Island’s 1st Proclamation Day which was to honour an outstanding resident “who gave something back to this fabulous rock we call home”. Council agreed that this individual would be doubly honoured to have this park dedicated with his name” and it came as no surprise that Pat Norris was named the first winner for this award,” he said. A statement which Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle confirmed on this occasion. But it was Bruce Higgs who outlined Norris’s years of service (1975-2013) and dedication to the community. (Higgs served 13 years on council with Pat)
”Pat Norris always had the best interests for all Howe islanders at heart when he made decisions,” Higgs said. “ Our taxes were kept low, roads were maintained, rebuilt and hard surfaced. He was instrumental in obtaining many of the amenities we now enjoy when serving as Howe Island reeve and as councillor, as Frontenac Country warden (1993), and as Frontenac Islands councillor and deputy mayor.
Among the Norris achievements over the years, Higgs noted land acquisitions for the park /diamond and for building township buildings, a new fire hall, library, new county ferry, and parks Sunset and Lighthouse . He favoured the Wind Farm on Wolfe Island, 3 cars on Township ferry, the first zoning bylaw… and so much more. “We honour Pat for his many years of service to Howe Island and name this ball diamond The Patrick Norris Community Park,” he declared.
That Pat was deeply moved was obvious. “I accept this honour with humility and thank all who played a part in it,“ he said. “Seeing the Norris name attached to this park on property owned by family members before my time is gratifying. As a kid I watched my father play on the Howe Island hardball team. Their home games were played here. There was a hay storage barn on the site. Its side wall was the backstop. There was no infield or perimeter fencing. I believe the grass cutting was done by the dairy herd who shared the site,” he said.
Pat with family members
“My goal was always to leave something meaningful for the kids , young, and old so the development of this park and Sunset park has helped us achieve that goal. I will cherish this to the end of my time on Howe Island. “
Mike Hart, long time Ball Park volunteer, was also acknowledged for his many years of faithful service by Deputy Mayor Jones during his opening remarks.

FYI- Howe Island Councillor Natalie Nossal , who replaced Patrick Norris on council following his resignation has submitted her name for election to Frontenac Islands Township Council in October. Jones is seeking re-election. Thus far no furthers names from Howe Island have been submitted.
On Wolfe Island , Denis Doyle is seeking re-election as Mayor. Wolfe Island resident Mike Bromley is registered as a candidate for Mayor. Barbara Springgay is seeking re-election as councillor. Nomination Day is Friday September 12, 2014 .

Around Town: *WI’s Scene of the Crime Board of Directors, in terminating their affairs has decided to “gift” the Wolfe Island Early Years Program and the Wolfe Island Historical Society with the remaining funds of the organization , that is $1,500 for each program. * My apologies to Sandra (O’Shea) Greenwood for calling her Marion in the recent article about her father Tim O’Shea. I obviously was thinking about Sandra’s mother. I saw her so often over the years welcoming children and grandchildren… who were frequent visitors to her door.
Coming events: **The WI Historical meeting with Don Cherry's –‘Scotch Settlement’ Wed. Sept. 3rd, 7 PM, WI United Church ** WI Ploughing Match Sept. 13th, Pyke’s Farm 8-9th line. Free Space for Vendors

Posted by M Knott at 12:37 PM
August 24, 2014
Meeting with MTO sounds good for Wolfe Island

Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle received positive news at the AMO Conference he was attending from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. MPP Kathryn McGarry - Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca, informed Mayor Doyle that the next step in the process of improving ferry service to Wolfe Island could proceed.

“We were very pleased with the news that the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the work outlined in the 2011 Planning Study Report can begin,” the mayor said in a brief telephone conversation. “We knew all along that this would be the next step to a new 75 car ferry as recommended in the study. The question was would it, could it, proceed at this time” .

The meeting with Ministy officials had been arranged in advance with the hope of moving the process, presently at a standstill, forward. “Lending us her support Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala drove up just for the meeting ,” he added.

Mayor Doyle noted the presence of MTO’s Regional Director Kathy Moore at the meeting. “We were pleased to hear that the EA is to start shortly and are looking forward to meeting in early September with Director Moore and the MTO staff who will lead the EA process.” My hope, of course, is that we can get to the RFP stage for a new 75 car boat as quickly as possible. In the meantime we will continue to help MTO in finding ways of coping with our present over capacity ferry issues, hopefully with the new boat in operation by 2017.”

Islanders might view all this with some scepticism as they have been there before. Not too many weeks ago another minister said it was time to look at bridges! Others may say investing in infrastructure is the way to go…. Now, it’s a wait and see game…….

Posted by M Knott at 12:33 PM
August 22, 2014
Frontenac slands summer catch up

Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan presented a draft bylaw for unopened road allowances, and a draft updating or creating of a new site control bylaw to help with redevelopment in certain parts of the township particularly Marysville, at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands council. The road allowances draft included two proposed bylaws, one for policies and criteria for a potential sale of an unopened road allowance, the other for their private use. A map was attached. “There is a set of criteria included to help council make those decisions,” Gallivan said. He noted some guidance in the township’s official plan in terms of public access to the water . “The general policy is not to close those road allowances or to sell them. Applications are dealt with individually, on merit, and certain criteria.” Council to establish public meeting dates where unopened road allowance bylaws are presented.. “We had no reference guide before. Better late than never,” Mayor Doyle commented..
2. Wolfe Island’s Ferguson Point Road resident Doug Franks presented a case for the Township to take over Ferguson Point Road and its maintenance (currently paid for by residents), based on material he has put together. That suggested Ferguson Point is a subdivision that was turned over to the township and where the township supposedly owns lots. If the township is not prepared to take over the road, Franks urged it to share the cost of road maintenance and snow clearing. Planner Gallivan will seek legal advice and work with the township on this file for the October meeting.

3.Howe Island Ferry: HIRA ‘s Brian Humphries thanked council for its on going efforts to improve Howe Island Ferry service. “ HIRA had offered ideas in a letter to council on how to increase revenues , ferry efficiencies and operation initiatives,” Humphries said . Jim Mills noted these initiatives were developed based on a community survey .” We want continue to keep things moving.” Dep. Mayor Jones said, “moving forward is based on timing, cost, and practicality” and
Councillor Nossal agreed. She hopes to meet farm community about their ferry needs. Mayor Doyle will respond to HIRA”s letter.

4. Five year Energy ‘ Conservation and Demand Management Plan’ prepared by Admin.. Asst. T. Quist, and adopted by council, will be uploaded on the townships website. The plan is based on electricity use, not on fuel use. “But it can be added to and changed,” Quist said. The plan purpose is to improve the energy efficiency of township facilities and processes, to reduce costs, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The plan is reviewed yearly.
5. Enforcement of Trailer bylaw: “This has more to do with people who buy a lot, put a trailer on it and use it as a cottage forever,” Mayor Doyle said. Councillor Springgay on the other hand said enforcement was not so much about licensing a trailer but about trailers being parked for which no taxes are paid .” I am sure we sought legal advice about it years ago. There is a file about it somewhere,” she said. Staff was directed to develop a bylaw that states the parameters and placement of trailers. Resident Terry Botten reminded council that at amalgamation Howe Island’s trailer bylaw was accepted for Frontenac Islands since Wolfe Island did not have one.
6. Line painting: A lively discussion took place around disappearing line painting on island roads and questions about why it happens, and what to do about it. 7. Payment Voucher was approved including 2 costly livestock losses for payment.
9. In other business Councillor Nossal announced that she and David Jones had been approached by Howe Islands Chief Quinn about a Marine proposal. HI Fire and Rescue has been called on to attend marine accidents or people on the water. They have been offered through private donation a 21ft boat that may be suitable for marine rescue. They will develop a cost analysis for setting up medical emergency boat and return to council. Chief Quinn said if the idea is too costly the boat could be raffled off with Fire& Recue benefitting.
Deputy Mayor Jones spoke to his continuing discontent with the issue of sick time at Frontenac County and will continue to members informed. Councillor Springgay had concerns about gate closure in area where brush is left. Also spoke of danger at ferry unloading times. What can we do? Councillor Grant asks what to do with round bale plastic? Who checks the municipal drain? What about our budget with no provincial money for ice storm damage? Mayor Doyle: questioned timing for 8th line RFP. A citizen asked: where else in urban Ontario does anyone have to wait to 3 to 4 hours to travel a distance of 5 kilometers? Ferry traffic nearly impossible! Good question. Council meets next: Mon. Sept. 8th Wolfe Island- 6:30 pm.
Coming Events: **Renaming Howe Island Ball Park- The Patrick Norris Community Park , Wed. Aug. 27 6:30 pm**WI Historical Soc. AGM Speaker Scotch Settlement WI United Hall . Aug. 27th 7 pm ***WI Plowing Match Sept. 13th Pyke Farm.

Posted by M Knott at 12:31 PM
August 18, 2014
Honouring a Wolfe Island Reeve

Frontenac Islands Township Council was approached in November of last year with a request on behalf of the O’Shea family that the consider honouring in some way the late Timothy O’Shea, long associated with the life and politics of Wolfe Island, He held positions as warden of Frontenac County, as a councillor and as reeve of Wolfe Island for 33 years and was well known in provincial politics throughout his years of service. On Saturday August 9th the request was honoured when the Wolfe Island Library was dedicated to Timothy O’Shea in the presence of his children and grandchildren, family and friends gathered outside the Wolfe Island Library
“We are here today to honour Tim O’Shea the longest serving - reeve in Ontario ,Mayor Denis Doyle said when he presented a granite engraved plaque outlining their father’s very notable career to Mr. O’Shea’s children, Sharon (Owen) Hogan, Marion (Leo) Greenwood and Terry (Barb Fargo) O’Shea “His accomplishments included the ferry take over by the province, a ferry to Simcoe, a fire hall , a municipal garage, dump, a medical clinic, ambulance service and a library “This plaque offers us and future generations a way to remember,” Doyle said.
A large framed picture of Reeve Tim O’Shea wearing the Frontenac County Warden’s Chain of Office held b y Owen Hogan during the event was a gift to the family from Gordon Burns who was serving as Frontenac Island's interim CAO when the process for O’Shea’s recognition began. He worked with the family on the plaque’s content.. Burn’s spoke fondly of his relationship with ‘Tim’ whom he had met years before and worked with at OMB committees and also as a counterpart with O’Shea’s son Terry. Burns presented a smaller copy of the framed picture to Sharon, Marion and Terry.
A special moment came when local resident Dr. George Merry (retired) spoke of his longstanding friendship with O’Shea . “Tim was not only a great hunter and fisherman,” he said. “He showed me how. He coached me.He was a man who fought for all the things that are good on the island, the medical clinic, the ambulance, the fire hall. He was a great friend and I miss him.”
A reception was held in the library following the dedication where posters of Reeve O’Shea’s life and times were displayed for the public along with pictures and awards. Sharon Hogan is branch librarian. The library is a stone’s throw away from the former home of the late Reeve Timmie and his beloved wife Marion. 30

Was it REALLY a Shark?
EMC news-Four guys from Bell Media turned up at Wolfe Island’s Town Hall recently to meet with Frontenac Islands Mayor Dennis Doyle. Their purpose to determine how the mayor and islanders felt about a shark in Lake Ontario and a sighting of one off the shores of Wolfe Island.

This is where it all started,” Teddy Wilson one of the team said. ”It was just a bit of fun to launch Discovery Channel’s Shark series.“ Teddy Wilson, as it turns out, is the host of In Search of Canada's Rogue Shark.
“I was very suspicious, Mayor Doyle responded “but it did look quite real on the tv footage.. Islanders thought it might be a Bull shark or a Sturgeon. ‘ A couple were reluctant to let kids swim for a day or so, but why would a shark end up here, and realized very quickly it wouldn’t,” Doyle said.
“Well said Wilson, “ the shark in the video was not real . We are here to thank you and Wolfe Islanders for being such good sports and to present you with Sharky, the rubber Shark,” he said as he handed over the shark to the mayor.

Accompanying Wilson to the island: Mike McKenna, Associate Director, Bell Media Original Video;Travis Wood, Producer, Bell Media Original Video; Cosimo Prochilo, Manager, Bell Media Brand Partnerships. The video of the life-like prosthetic model shark “spotted” in Lake Ontario was in fact, the first step of a multi-level marketing campaign for the Nissan Rogue, the sponsor of SHARK WEEK on Discovery Canada. The widely circulated TV news video of the shark sighting certainly was a topic for discussion at the WIPP, a popular local island restaurant for a number of days and confirms that islanders like most Canadians can become quite excited about sharks. “Sparky” is available for viewing at the WI Town Hall.

Coming Events: The WI Corn Maze on Wolfe Island is Open daily from 10:00am until dusk. Closed Tuesdays.Flashlight nightscan be held any evening but must be booked in advance.Call: 613-385-1998 or email: **WI Historical Society AGM Wed. Aug. 27th, 7:00 pm. After short Business meeting, Guest Speaker's Series continues with:”The Scotch Settlement” ** Check out Shanti Retreat’s great fall line up.** Barrett Bay Regatta, Su.Aug.24th, To register visit:** WI Ploughing Match:Sat., Sept. 13th, at Pyke’s between 8th & 9th Line at Windmill.

Posted by M Knott at 12:26 PM
August 10, 2014
Wolfe Island Ball Tournament all about Family

The Wolfe Island Annual Ball Tournament , this year celebrating its 29th anniversary was held the August long weekend. Sponsored by the WI Community Centre Board, the weekend brought family members from far and wide home because the ball tournament IS all about family. Parents, grandparents uncles aunts cousin and friends living on the island wait for their loved ones from away to come home on this particular weekend. And as in past years family members and friends arrived off the ferry, no telling how long they waited to get on it, from all over Canada and the US as well as places beyond. They came by car , by van, by truck, many pulling boats. And there were trailers large and small too numerous to count. Heavy traffic, long line-up’s and a full parking lot, saw people carrying their gear, scramble to get on the ferry to meet their game schedule.
I’ve been told the Ball tournament is a bigger occasion than Christmas for islanders perhaps because it is easier to get here than in the winter. Or maybe it is because coming in the summer refreshes wonderful childhood memories of island life. Wolfe Island is one of the few remaining communities where a tournament is held. The tournament was founded in 1985 by Jim Kyle, Bernie Fargo, and Elwin McKenna and the township continues to recognizes its importance to the community.
In nearly perfect weather a record number of twenty-eight (extended) family teams began playing on three diamonds in the A & B Divisions Friday evening and throughout Saturday cheered on by family, friends and hundreds of spectators. primarily at WI’s Community Centre. There were more than 400 people actually playing the game. Teams consist of 9 members each plus back-up. Four women must be in the field at one time. A larger (Melon) ball is used for play. The event concluded with the awards presentation on Saturday evening.
Community Centre Board president Lesley Mosier announced the trophy's: “A” Division winners, the Hulton family team. “B” Division winners, the Orr Family Team. The Joe Reitzel Memorial Trophy for Oldest Average Team was presented to the Hulton Team.
The awards presentation was not without tears. The Steve Hogan Family Team made up of Hogan’s, O’Shea, Greenwood’s and more, all wore a small insignia on their team shirts, and played in memory of their recently deceased beloved family member Debra (Greenwood) Knox The team was awarded the Bill Kyle Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship . This was followed by the presentation of the first annual Debbie Knox Memorial Trophy awarded by the Knox family to the Kyle ‘s, “the team with most dedication and persistence.” As evening descended families and friends wended their way home to enjoy time together through the remainder of the weekend.

FYI About the Community Centre grounds: The Township of Wolfe Island (then) had the foresight to set aside land in the centre of Marysville as community centre. A Community Centre committee (now officially a Community Centre Board) was established, and over the years the community centre grounds saw the development of two ball diamonds with lights, a small community building, a tennis court ( now displaced by the rink), a children’s playground, and an area for horse club events. Community Fund raising , community effort and physical energy by islanders is continuous. The annual WI Music Festival is held on the grounds. And YES there is a rink. And it is the rink perhaps that is the community’s greatest achievement again through fund raising, community and township effort. Like most Canadian small towns, particularly isolated communities hockey has been played locally on any kind of ice for generations and Wolfe Island is no exception. With the new NHL sized rink, artificial ice plant and now a roof over it , the rink has become a 1st class community asset.

Around Town:* Did you notice the Township’s announcement of Public meetings at Howe Island Thursday August 21st at 5:30 pm , St. Philomena’s and Wolfe Island Thursday Aug. 14th Sacred Heart School at 6:30 pm. The agenda includes Zoning By-law update, waste recycling strategy; changes at WI’s Waste site. A date for the closure of the site has been identified as April 2015. * The Book sale at the WIBC was successful.
Coming events:**Barrett Bay Regatta, Sun. Aug. 24th. “ **WI Ploughing Match , Sept. 13th. Watch for posters. ( for more events go to

Posted by M Knott at 12:23 PM
August 01, 2014
NEW Truck for Frontenac Islands and other news

1.A new truck is coming to Frontenac Islands. The township accepted the bid from Tallman Truck Centre in the amount of $203,096. plus taxes for a new International 7600 SFA, at a special meeting of council. It is understood that the truck will arrive in August. The need arose as a result of an accident in 2013 when the original truck, a 1999 Sterling, was written off by the insurance company. During budget deliberations it was agreed that it was time for a new truck. In the meantime the municipality was forced to rent a vehicle or contract out services. ($250,000 was dedicated for a truck and plow equipment in the 2014 budget.) Through the bid process, three tenders were received by the July 16th closing date. One in fact was $4000 less, but was unable to accommodate an early delivery date. ‘ It would take six months for delivery resulting in the need to rent a vehicle or contract out services,” CAO Darlene Plumley said. “With these extra costs the price would exceed that of the International.” It was noted that having the International available sooner allows employees to become familiar with it before winter. The township will also negotiate training and education time about its operation and maintenance with Tallman’s.

2. 8th LINE ROAD UPGRADE: Road work (ditches) on Wolfe Island’s 8th Line Road has come to a halt until such time as an engineer’s report about the road, and how to proceed, is received. During the process of replacing a culverts workers discovered organic matter, logs, tree branches every place they were digging and in the road bed (corduroy road) and little or no roadside ditching. “We put $200,000 in the budget for 2 roads, the 8th Line and Carpenter’s Point,” Mayor Doyle commented,” but we will be over that amount on this one (8th) alone.” Only after starting culvert repairs was the extent of the problem recognized at which time the township sought Jewell Engineering advice on how to proceed, and will seek further engineering advice on work done to date, cost to continue, project readiness, or postponement, and assist in writing an RFP. The ditching work involving Trans Alta underground wiring will be completed . “What we have learned from this is that we must be proactive and budget more money for roads, as I suspect we will find similar problems with other roads and ditches ,” CAO Plumley said.

3. AMO CONFERENCE-Minister Meeting requests: The annual AMO Conference offers opportunities for municipal delegations to meet with ministers. A township delegation, Mayor Doyle , Councillor Springgay and CAO Clerk Plumley, will meet the Deputy Minister of Transportation on Aug. 7th to provide an update regarding Island transportation services, and the urgent need for increased service to Wolfe Island as recommended in the most recent MTO study. That study recommended a new 75 car ferry operating between Kingston and Dawson Point , and a 2nd ferry for the summer months operating from Marysville until a more permanent solution is delivered. County planner Joe Gallivan is assisting in the preparation of the briefing paper outlining the rationale for immediate ferry service improvement. The delegation expects to meet with Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca to determine a solution. “We will thank them for the work already done on the Howe Island bubbler system, and its anticipated rebuild to be completed before winter,” Mayor Doyle said. “But it is the WI ferry service that’s the big one. The province has been dragging its heels for the last 3 years pleading hard financial times but we do know $6 billions has been allocated for transportation, half for Toronto, so the rest of us will be bargaining for a share of the balance, for us maybe $30 million for a new boat.” The discussion was lively. The township has also requested a meeting with Ontario Power Authority to obtain approval for the FIT project of solar panels on the new rink roof, to help offset costs.

4. MUSIC FEST: Council reviewed what has been agreed to between the township and the Music Fest Committee. Mayor Doyle suggested that a generic ‘who does what’ form (check list), be developed for all events/ activities using township property/ facilities including the rink.

5. SHARK IN WI WATERS: Mayor Doyle reminded council that Wolfe Islanders bore the brunt of the ‘Shark’ sighting gag by Bell Media’s Discovery Chanel, some with anger, fear, doubt and humour. Discovery representatives will be on WI to acknowledge the gag and to present Mayor Doyle with the synthetic SHARK at the heart of it on Thurs. Aug 7th.

Council meets next Howe Island Aug. 11th 6:30 pm.

Around Town: *The WI Rink was officially opened by Mayor Doyle prior to Ambush Concert, its first public function. He thanked many individuals and the community, offering reminders of the journey leading to the event.

Coming Events: **WI Music Fest Aug. 8-9th Exciting Time ** Fish Fry, Aug. 8th St. Margaret’s Hall 4:30-7 pm ** WI Library Dedication to T. O’Shea, Aug. 9, 10 am **Barrett Bay Regatta, Sun. Aug. 24th. ( for more events go to

Posted by M Knott at 10:01 AM