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 27, 2015
OP for Frontenac County nears completion

OP for Frontenac County nears completion
Some four years ago work on creating a “Made for Frontenac County Official Plan” was undertaken by the County’s Manager of Planning Services Joe Gallivan. Gallivan hoped to create a short document that would comply with Provincial policy and also recognize the unique aspects for development that arise in Frontenac County and each of its four townships. (North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands). Last week provided the opportunity for Frontenac County Council’s first look at what changes the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) was asking for in the county’s plan.

“The Plan was submitted last October,” Warden Denis Doyle Mayor of Frontenac Islands said citing the many meetings, discussions and e-mails of the past 10 months between MMHA and the County Planner. .” “Both Joe and MMAH are to be commended for their excellent work and cooperation. In fact they have jointly suggested changes that will make the document much clearer and avoid future disputes over wording, leaving us much further ahead in the process with a regional document that will help our townships deal with common issues.” (Much involved in the OP planning is Planner Peter Young and FYI - Frontenac County CAO Kelly Pender who in earlier years was a Planner.)

In their draft response to the Official Plan, county council accepted most of MMHA’s suggested revisions (50+). The most contentious issue being that the Ministry did not want any further building on private roads, which Mayor Doyle said would seriously reduce potential growth in the Frontenac's and other Ontario townships with a lot of waterfront. “Cottage life is attractive to many city dwellers on their time off,” he said . “Many end up retiring to their cottages, becoming full time residents of the community that they built in, on a lake somewhere in rural Ontario.”

For the past six months, the county has worked with other municipalities outside the county, and lobbied local MPP's on both sides of the house about the implications of that decision and called for changes to the OP legislation. Renfrew Highlands Mayor Brian Stewart and Mayor Doyle also spoke with the Minister Ted McMeekin at the AMO conference and received his support for changes, and his subsequent agreement on the words now in OP clause, worked out in conjunction with his staff and county staff, avoiding a possible appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. “Private Roads” The County is undertaking a private road study in 2015. The results will assist the County and its lower tiers in developing a measurable and enforceable mechanism aimed at creating reasonable and safe development of private roads.”

“This was the first time in my now 9 year’s in municipal government that I have seen a resolution so quickly,” Doyle said. “This was the one issue so important to the future of all Townships across Frontenac County that had to be resolved.” He noted that other changes are more to ensure there is a workable Official Plan that places prime planning at the Township level while the County will assume the day to day planning responsibility when it comes to overseeing land use across the County.
“When we started this OP project at the county, “Doyle said, “ our objective was to have a high level plan that
supported planning in our four municipalities, and not to duplicate efforts at the lower level, and we have accomplished that. With only a dozen clauses left to resolve we are confident that we will reach agreement quickly, finalizing the document, within the next two or three months,” he concluded.

2. Ferry Up Date. Well Folks , I was not going to do this But…. You will have read, heard or viewed MTO’s most recent announcement that the Wolfe Islander III will not be retuning the week after Labour Day as previously announced (but most of us knew that  Islanders, can you ever remember a time when there was no back up ferry?

Coming events: Domino Theatre A Play: “Bus Stop” Tickets $20. in support of WI Medical Clinic Oct. 21st ** AMBUSH CONCERT Sept. 18th…. A Fund Raiser, WI Community Centre at island businesses.** Howe Island 10th Annual Terry Fox Run Sept. 20th beginning @ 9:30 am

Posted by M Knott at 04:47 PM
August 21, 2015
Many Things Change Over Time…

Yes, ferry transportation is the single most important issue facing Wolfe Island, and, on an ongoing basis, Howe Island. Recently I was reminded by a member of the community that as far as the Wolfe Island service is concerned, islanders would not be struggling if the Township had agreed years ago that “a lengthened ferry” was the best solution to increasing much needed capacity. Perhaps in hindsight that solution offered by MTO should have been immediately accepted. A major concern was a possible increase in turn around times and reaching capacity very quickly again, which led to a township resolution for a two- boat -solution (The Wolfe Islander and a 2nd new ferry).
The recognition by the township that a lengthened ferry was MTO’s preferred solution came too late. Township officials went back to MTO with a request that the province move forward with the plan to lengthen the Wolfe Islander III which , we were told, was rather unceremoniously refused. So what happened was neither a lengthened boat nor a second one. Now Islanders wait for the Wolfe Islander, with a new bridge, to come home, and for a second ferry, of 75 cars.
Many things have changed over time. All land facilities are being updated and improved. Frontenac Islands officials and the public enjoy a good relationship and more transparency with local MTO personnel and meet with them on a regular basis. All of which led to the extras offered to island residents (shuttle bus, extra parking) and the service of wonderful students during this difficult period. Marysville businesses are struggling because the Wolfe Islander is out of service to the village and Amherst Island’s smaller, Frontenac II, ferry is in service not to the village but to the winter dock. WI residents believe the Wolfe Islander III will not be back until Thanksgiving. “Which one,” they ask, “theirs (American) or ours?”
2. Amid all this Wolfe Islanders are preparing to transition from having an incredible land fill site to a Recycling and Transfer Station. The date for closing the waste site is September 8th and its reopening with waste bins instead, is Wedneday Sept. 9th. Waste disposed of must be in bags, nothing loose is permitted. If it doesn’t fit in a bag it does not go in a bin. Shingles are no longer accepted. Organic compost bins are at the site. It is hoped that using them reduces the amount of waste for transfer (countertop organic waste containers are for sale at site or township office). Brush disposal is Saturday at the site
This is a big deal… This is a Big change … Long time islanders remember years past when garbage was left outside the gate for bird and rodents, whatever, to tear apart before it was cleared away and dumped into the great hole in the ground. Now they have been working hard for quite some time, with the dedicated help of Mae and her team, at recycling and reducing what is actual garbage from what in the future will be hauled off the island. Summer residents for the most part come from places where recycling , reducing and composting , tagged bags and bins are the norm, setting an example for others new to sorting, etc .
Capping of the waste disposal site has been awarded to Joe Smith Excavating and Haulage while the haulage and disposal of waste from the Wolfe Island Transfer station was awarded to Howard Jones Salvage. Transition Project Manager Guy Laporte, (AECOM) now retired to the island, knows the site well and stays involved. The site will be seeded for coverage before freeezing.
FYI: The Township recently passed a very comprehensive anti littering by-law, available at Frontenac Islands website. The By-Law may be referred to as the “Littering By-Law.”
Coming Events: *Canadian Plowing Championships on Wolfe Island August 26-29th Pykeview Meadows & Lollar Farm Conventual, Reversible and Junior. ** Photo Contest entries Now till Aug. 31st Info Centre/Town Hall **Nurse Practitioner at WI Medical Clinic Tuesday Aug. 25th, Sept. 1st (2:30-6 pm) & Thursday Aug. 27th; Sept. 3rd, (9-11 am) **AMBUSH CONCERT Sept. 18th…8 pm Tickets at local businesses. **Howe Island 10th Annual Terry Fox Run
Sept. 20th Jog, walk, or bike the 5km route beginning at How Island Drive $ Spit Head Road at 9:30 am Opening Ceremonies at 10: 15 am For info call 613 542-1905

Posted by M Knott at 04:45 PM
August 13, 2015
Transportation Concerns Always Present

Transportation Concerns Always Present
Frontenac Islands Mayor Mayor Doyle shared his greatest concern regarding MTO’s Regional ferry Services at the August meeting of Frontenac Islands council. “Imagine what could happen if any one of the three ferries presently in Service (Wolfe, Amherst, Glenora ) was out of service,” Doyle said as he revealed to council and members of the public the details of his personal visit to Tadoussac Quebec, where two NEW ferries will be coming into service in the near future, (Frontenac Gazette Aug. 12th) which could mean the availability, possibly “For Sale”, of the two 75 car ferries presently in service there . He reminded council members of the precarious situation that exists particularly for Wolfe and Amherst Islands if a ferry was damaged and rendered unserviceable. He has generated the interest of MTO in the possible availability of the Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine ferries. He will meet with the Mayor of Loyalist Township (which includes Amherst Island) at the AMO conference, will also meet with the Warden of Prince Edward County at the Eastern Ontario Wardens meeting, to emphasize the impact of the present ferry situation. He hopes to meet with the candidates in the forthcoming federal election to gain their support for an more immediate ferry transportation solution for Wolfe Island and the region being made by MTO, such as the purchase of an already built ferry ( or two) at the completion of the EA or sooner.
2. ‘Garden Suite’ Approved. An interesting item came up during the public planning meeting when County Planner Peter Young described a proposal for the rezoning of a plot of land to permit the establishment of one temporary garden suite, for a temporary use of lands, and the erection of a building on Howe Island. According to Young, these kinds of proposals for ‘Temporary Garden Suites’ , usually for aging relatives, is being encouraged by the province, “originally proposed for 10 years , now can be approved for 20 years” on a property at which time it must be removed or a further extension applied for. The temporary use by-law is required to ensure that the suite is occupied by specified person (s) for a designated period of time.
An interesting discussion took place since the structure to be converted to a temporary garden suite already exists as an 850 sq. ft mobile home which will, with certain changes, meet required standards. It must be one storey or 4.5 m, no larger than its present size. In this instance, a permanent dwelling will also be built on the 45 acre property, an opposite situation to the usual. A series of regulations- time frame, occupancy ,right of way access etc, are to be drawn up in a contract. It would be built into the project with the township, the by-law officer and the county planning department , in conformity with the Townships (comprehensive) Zoning By-Law). The Garden Suite by-law was approved by council. Deputy Mayor Nossal expressed appreciation for the Temporary Garden Suite concept but noted that vigilance will be required in monitoring further development, occupancy and time frames, now and in the future.
Along with a number of other planning approvals, council also supported in principle a proposal that the Cataraqui Conservation Authority provide as-needed peer review services for Frontenac Islands planning applications.
3. Planning for the formal closure of the WI Land Fill site continues, as does the work required to organize the site as the WI Waste Transfer Station. Council awarded the tender for capping the site to Joe Smith Excavating and Haulage.. The haulage and disposal of waste from the Transfer Station was awarded to Howard Jones Salvage. Guy Laporte was present for the discussion and contract decisions.
4. The meeting agenda package received by members of council contained a notice from MP Daryl Kramp, that Frontenac Islands will receive funding in the amount of $53,350.000 for a total project cost of up to $106,700 through the ‘ Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program’. The township applied and received the grant is for some renovations to Wolfe Island’s historic and centrally located Community Hall (located behind the Town Hall) on the Main Street of Marysville.
5. The establishment and importance of No Smoking Regulations came up for discussion. Mayor Doyle will bring the issue to the County for a possible county wide decision on policy. Council Meets next in September

Around Town : * Walk-in Clinic, with Nurse Practitioner Sparrow, at the WI Medical Clinic Tues. & Thurs. till Sept. 3rd. is a wonderful addition to island Health Services. If offered on a permanent basis would reduce hospital wait times, anxiety , ferry trips and reduce health care costs.
Coming events:*Historical Society An Untold Story The Navy’s Role in Winning the War of 1812 Aug. 19th 7:30 WI United Church Hall. *Canadian Championship & WI Plowing, Pykeview Meadows Farm Aug, 26-29th.

Posted by M Knott at 04:42 PM
August 06, 2015
To Build or Buy? Something to think to About…

A few weeks ago, news heard by a few Wolfe Islanders on the streets of Marysville was that a 75 car/ passenger ferry was for sale in Quebec’s Tadoussac region. Considering the kind of summer it has been for islanders transportation wise, and the news that the return of the Wolfe Islander was delayed yet again, it sounded like a great idea had been dropped our way. Don’t wait for the a plan to be completed or for the recommended 75 car passenger ferry to be built, suggest to MTO that they buy the one for sale and put it into service… as quickly as possible not just for Wolfe Island’s benefit, but for Amherst Island and Glenora, but there was no follow up at that point.

Since then, however there is also information available about new ferry development underway by the Davie Shipbuilding (Chantier Davie Canada Inc.) a leader in building harsh environment passenger /car ferries. Working with the Societe des Traversiers du Quebec (ferry operations) Davie Shipbuilding has two new ice-class ferries that will use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), plants nearing completion, and slated for operation at Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine. That could mean of course that the existing two ferries presently on that route at this time might be: For Sale. .”
* Interesting to note that a 3rd smaller ferry is in service at Tadoussac if traffic is too heavy.

Frontenac Island’s Mayor Denis Doyle and WI’s Winfield Woodman, retired Chief Engineer for the MTO ferry services and a wise and experienced Boat Man, recently drove to Tadoussac . “We wanted to have a look at the JOS-DESCHENES and the seemingly identical ARMAND-IMBEAU, the two 75 car ferries that are being replaced,” Doyle said..“We travelled on both of these ferries and they looked to be in excellent shape. We were impressed with their efficiency of the operation, the loading of two lanes at a time on the 6 lane wide vessel (13-14 cars per lane). The only thing that might need modification are the ramps or the dock. With the experience that our ferry crews have loading the Frontenac II looking at the size of the deck, it looked substantially larger than the Wolfe Islander III, I am sure that they could get more than 75 cars on the boat.”

Mayor Doyle said he had spoken to MTO about the possible availability of these two ferries.”They checked it out and said it is certainly worth considering, with the only the ramps needing modification. I hope to get the photos we took to MTO quickly, and to discuss the possibility of picking up one or both of these ferries to avoid the kind of strife experienced this summer by residents of Amherst, Wolfe, and those crossing on the Glenora ferry.

Doyle suggested this (much less expensive than a new ferry) solution might speed delivery of the 2nd ferry for Wolfe Island in that once the EA is complete there would be no need to wait for the new ship to be built. He also noted that the Frontenac II came from the Davie shipyard , has served well and will continue to do so for many more years. “I am sure these previously used 75 car ferries would also last for many years,” Mayor Doyle concluded.

2. Wolfe Island Hosts 2015 Plowing Championships
Wolfe Island’s Ken Keyes and his team are ready and waiting to welcome elite plowmen and women from across Canada coming to the island for the Canadian Plowing Championships (CPO). Competitors from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick are scheduled to arrive for the event to be held August 26th- 29th at Pykeview Meadows farm. The Canadian Plowing Championships held annually consist of three national plowing contests. They are the Senior Plowing Championship with conventional plows, the Senior Plowing Championship with reversible plows and the Junior Plowing Championship with conventional plows. Keyes last welcomed Canadian Championship competitors, friends and plowing enthusiasts in 2008 when Wolfe Island hosted the CPO. “It is a privilege for Wolfe Island to be hosting this national event for the second time,” he said.
A series of meetings and receptions as well as a site review/ practice will take place before the official 2015 CPO Opening Ceremony (which includes celebrity plowing ) Wednesday, August 26th at 10 am. The Wolfe Island Plowing Match, usually held in September, will also be held Aug. 26th with registration at 8:30 am. The actual CPO competitions takes place over 3 days Aug. 28, 29, 30.

Much is planned for the event days including an auction, a barbeque, displays, arts and crafts and vendors showing their wares and more. An Awards Banquet with prize presentations and entertainment will close the national event.

And, as Frontenac County marks its 150th Anniversary in a three-day celebration at Centennial Park in Harrowsmith, August 28 – 30, Warden Denis Doyle is encouraging all county and neighbouring municipality residents to attend this “once-in-a-lifetime event, a time to celebrate our past, present, and bright future, and for visitors to discover our region. I hope you will join us, starting the week on Wolfe Island at the Canadian Plowing Championships, and cap off your summer at Frontenac County’s 150th Anniversary Celebration!”
A full schedule of 150th Anniversary activities is available at

Coming events: *Nurse Practitioner Sparrow at the Medical Clinic Tues. & Thurs. till Sept. 3rd. * Barrett Bay Regatta Aug. 16th Check WI Boat Club on Facebook.

Posted by M Knott at 04:38 PM