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.

October 20, 2016
We Really Are Part of Frontenac County

We Really Are Part of Frontenac County It should come as no surprise to learn that many Frontenac Islands residents are unaware of our township’s relationship with Frontenac County, except for the very essential Paramedic Service. And many of them might be surprised to know that Frontenac Islands utilizes, to a great extent, Frontenac County’s Planning and Economic Development services, as well as tax billing and accounting. Information comes to the township from the county through their information and community development services, along with the provincial program and funding information the county provides. Islanders do know Frontenac County’s Fairmount Home is supported with municipal taxes but to date the home has had few islanders reside there. They appreciate the KP Trail although they may not feel particularly involved.
Frontenac was originally proclaimed on July 16 1792, joined by neighboring Lennox and Addington counties, as one of the original nineteen Upper Canada counties when it dissolved in 1865. In 1998, the eighteen former townships were restructured to form four –North, Central and South Frontenac and the Frontenac Islands, on a four-member (now 8) Frontenac County Council.
Frontenac County’s web site states that Frontenac County residents “enjoy the advantages of a rural lifestyle, living, working and travelling in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of Ontario province, yet benefit from the region’s proximity to a number of major urban centres. They have access to the county’s numerous lakes, parks, camping areas, forests, trails including the KP Trail, unique businesses and services.
Considering the makeup of Frontenac County, located mostly to the north of us, and our island locations to the south, it sometimes feels as if we are out here surrounded by water, and on our own, when in fact where we sit in the water suggests we might be, or could be part of the City of Kingston, or even attached to Leeds & Grenville County.
North, South and Central are accessible by a number of roads and highways to most of what Frontenac County has to offer. Frontenac Islands to the south is accessible by ferry in down town Kingston. WI accesses Simcoe Island by a ferry; Island; Horne’s ferry (WI) goes to Cape Vincent, NY; Howe Islander (ferry) Kingston -Howe Island; HI (foot) ferry to Leeds Grenville County (Gananoque). Kingston however is a primary destination for the ferry travellers.
Recently Frontenac County issued a Community Engagement Survey, and began a campaign of encouraging all county residents to complete it by the Oct. 21st deadline. The survey was designed to gather views on the programs, services and operations of Frontenac County and to help the county in setting priorities and reviewing its five year business plans. Questions in the first instance related to services presently delivered by, or through the county government; possible shared services by local agreements. Economic development questions pertained to how much should the county be involved and in what ways, whether farming, food, tourism, events, small medium businesses, and community improvement plans. Next was health and social services, why, how, and how much. Transportation services, around the county and into the city. There were Quality of Life questions and, finally, a few personal (prefer not to answer) questions about a age, gender, income, where you live, rent, own. If you have questions about county services or about the survey, call Kelly Pender, CAO Frontenac County, 613-548-9400 ext.300 FYI: The survey remains posted on the Frontenac Islands website under news:
Around Town: * The Anglican Parish of Wolfe Island is offering children and youth the opportunity to make music together with the island’s Murray McNeely, an experienced music teacher, and expand their musical talents or to learn new ones. Practice is held at Trinity Anglican Church Sundays at 11 am for young musicians with any level of experience. The emphasis will be on MUSIC and offering youth a safe place to gather. For more information call: 613-484-1553, or 343-333-4440 ** Frontenac Transportation Service (FTS) and Senior Transportation. FTS provides subsidized transportation at minimal cost to seniors by connecting them with volunteer drivers to get where they need to go. Operating in South, Central and North Frontenac, FTS hopes to extend this service to Frontenac Islands. The program depends upon recruiting community volunteer drivers, and clients who need the rides. If you are interested in participating ( as a client or volunteer),contact: Gail Young, 613-279-2044,Toll Free: 1-877-279-2044 Email: *** Due to ongoing work at WI’s Town Hall Community building the Remembrance Day service will be held at WI’s Fire Hall, Rd 95.
Coming Events: *Lunch Bunch Oct. 19th 11:30 am WI United Hall. ** Turkey Supper WI United Church Oct. 29th (doors open 4:30 pm) ** Flu Shot Clinic 9-12 pm Oct. 29th ** Remembrance Day Nov. 11, 10:45 am WI Fire Hall

Posted by M Knott at 11:39 AM
October 13, 2016
Howe Island News and More!

Frontenac Islands council members and staff gathered for their regular meeting on Howe Island. Earlier in the day, council members and a number of HI residents went on a tour led by Public Works Manager Rob Dillabough. They looked at work underway, or completed, along HI’s highways, byways, and ferry areas (signage, guard rail projects, Spit Head Road reconstruction, public works yard fencing, etc.). According to all, it was a good tour, to be followed with one on Wolfe Island.

In short order council gave final reading to 2017 fees and fares bylaws for Howe and Simcoe ferries and for a Stop sign at WI’s Easy Lane and 3rd Line Road South. There was some discussion around fees and fares for Howe Island. As to why residents concerns & input into Frontenac County’s process were not acknowledged, Mayor Doyle noted that there was some urgency to get on with the budget. Council will request a Public Meeting with county officials on Howe island. “So,” Deputy Mayor Nossal commented, “this as an issue for next year?” Howe Island ferry boarding and rush hour restrictions for truck and farm vehicles (on the agenda) were postponed until the proponents meet with county officials, the operators of the ferry and, are well prepared for December’s Council meeting on Howe Island.

Frontenac County Legislative Services Manager Jannette Amini presented an overview of the work and successes of the county’s Accessibility Committee, made up of representatives from each of the townships and two county councillors. The committee is there to advise and create awareness regarding the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act), its requirements and time lines. And to work with councils and municipal staff, as well as with community businesses and groups, in all areas where the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities must be addressed. “ We are taking a proactive approach to letting everyone know about the requirements of the AODA.” Nominations are open until Nov.3rd for the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities Access Award for
Frontenac persons, groups, organizations who are improving access for persons with disabilities.

Public Works Projects for Wolfe Island indicate that the one tender received was accepted for the complete rebuild of the Simcoe Island ferry docks (services, materials to complete the design proposed dock upgrades) at a cost of $406,700. “Anything that is there has to either removed, replaced, cleaned i.e. rocks, boulders, cement, plates, lights, everything to bring it up to standard. It has to be environmentally sound. All of that material has to be taken off the island.,” Manager Dillabaugh said. “The township is budgeted for its part of the project and MTO is looking at different ways to deal with its 80% for the rebuild.. Council accepted the tender information based on the premise that the project would go forward with MTO’s 80% support, just received. The money is to be awarded over a two year period.

OPP Billing: Mayor Doyle updated council regarding 2017 OPP billing, assigned by household and estimated at $302,975, and efforts to bring some of this cost inline regarding particularly wind turbines. All across Ontario OPP is charging the same fee for policing wind towers that require no policing. And the same fee for an apartment building that may have 50 to 100 families in it. “The way the formula works they take the whole cost and divide it up by the number of households, counting a wind tower, cell tower or apartment building as a household,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Nossal noted “that even when some of the issues affecting particularly rural areas OPP costs will remain very high. We will still be paying $300,000. Rural OPP costs need to be kept front and centre.”

Action items, Mayor Doyle responded to Mayor Bryan Patterson’s request for a letter supporting Kingston’s ‘Third Crossing Initiative’. The letter cited reduced traffic congestion on Ontario Street, faster unloading of the Wolfe Island ferry, relief to the bottleneck at the LaSalle Causeway for Howe Islanders in both directions. And to provide an additional access route to the Causeway and Hwy. 401 (both prone to delays) for Ambulance, Paramedic and Emergency Services. The letter was to be circulated to Provincial Minister of Infrastructure Bob Chiarelli, and Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi.

Questions: Mayor Doyle invited questions & comments: Councillor Grant asked about county money ($300,000) taken from reserves, and for what. In response Deputy Mayor Nossal said “There was a (Federal)Renovate program administered by the city for low income persons allowing them to remain in their homes…. The County feared the program’s elimination so put money into reserves for it. It was not and its not new money. The KP Trail needed money for acquisitions. The motion was to take 75% of the reserves for the trail. I felt it should be used for social programs. Mayor Doyle, and I, and North Frontenac Mayor Higgins voted against” . We were incensed.” she said. | “It was morally wrong. It was tax money,” Mayor Doyle added. Nossal has asked how the trail has thus far been funded. To be con’t.
Coming Events: *Lunch Bunch Oct. 19th 11:30 am WI United Hall. ** Turkey Supper WI United Church Oct. 29th (doors open 4:30 pm) * Flu Shot Clinic 9-12 pm Oct. 29th * Remembrance Day Nov. 11, 10:45 am WI Fire Hall

Posted by M Knott at 11:36 AM
October 09, 2016
Wolfe Island Ferry Moved to Dawson Point Terminal

Wolfe Island Ferry Moved to Dawson Point Terminal It’s that time of year on Wolfe Island, dreaded by many, appreciated by others, when the Wolfe Islander ferry moves to the Dawson Point dock, same schedule but away from the village of Marysville. MTO determined it was time to do so because of lower water levels. As stated in MTO’s public communique, “This move is necessary due to the sudden seasonal decline in the water levels of Lake Ontario. Reports show an ongoing downward trend. The safety of the Wolfe Islander III passengers and ferry vessel is always a priority for this Ministry. Moving to the winter dock at Dawson Point on Wolfe Island will ensure the continuation of the ferry's operation during the seasonal low levels of Lake Ontario.” MTO leaves the ferry operating from Maryville to at least Thanksgiving, or Christmas, water levels permitting. Some years it never moved at all.

2. Community Events You may have missed:

The history of the Wolfe Island Boat Club (WIBC) is like the story of ‘The Little Engine That Could’, beginning with a few enthusiastic boaters saying, we can do this . And they have. Most recently MPP Sophie Kiwala visited the WIBC along with Jim Roustel, Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Volunteer, to join with WIBC’s Commodore Tom Wroe, Nicole Clark, Treasurer, Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle , Councillor Wayne Grant, members and friends for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the results of a $19,800 OTF Capital grant used to install a new dock, buy rowing equipment and Laser sailboats. MPP Kiwala expressed delight with what the OTF grant has allowed to club to accomplish not only with regard to infrastructure and equipment but to provide opportunities for people of all ages to engage in water recreation and sport. Tom Wroe noted its impact, first the new dock allowing rowers to launch skulls and with new oars, then the club adding sculling to their list of coached rowing programs. “With the addition of the Lasers participation in family race nights exceeded our expectations and all the boats were sailed all summer. With the added safety equipment the club was able to reach out to younger members of the community,” he said.

As an incorporated not-for-profit, the WIBC is a volunteer-run, community organization that aims to provide a variety of sailing and rowing camps and programs, as well as drop-in Dragon Boating, canoeing and kayaking, from pre-school age onward. WIBC programs include After School Sailing, Summer Kid’s Camp, and ‘Little Kid’s Camp’ for preschoolers, Learn to Row Clinics, Coached Rowing, Family Race Nights, drop-in Dragon Boating, canoeing and kayaking. For information: WIBC hosts the annual Barrett Bay Regatta, sponsored by local businesses .
THE WOLFE ISLAND PLOWING MATCH sponsored by the WI Plowmen’s Association was held at Henry and Janine Posthumus’ Morningsight Farms in September. There were 27 plowers. Of those, one plowed with a team of horses and another with a team of mules. There were 7 junior plowers (under 18), and 18 senior plowers. The antique class was the largest with a total of 13 plowers made up of 3 junior members and 10 seniors. The Wolfe Island’s Princess of the Furrow Amber (Mosier) Lumb attended, and plowed at the event. The judges for the day were Mathew McGuire and Ken Mosier. Displays/Vendors: WI Friend’s of Ferals, Shelley Fowler, antique tractors and machinery; canteen (Harriet & Bob Corkey). Rain fell the day before the plowing match , with no further rain till the plowing match had ended. A group of sponsors too long to list support the WI Plowing Match.
Class Winners: Horses- Kim Hadwen; Tractors (Junior)-Orie Chown; Tractor ( 2-furrow)- Clare Dracup; (2-furrow, previous 2 time winners of previous 2-furrow class)- Allen Hills; (3-furrow)- Garry Posthumus:(4-furrow)- Dave Woodman; Ladies-Amber Lumb; Antiques-Craig Hulton. Special Trophies: BEST EFFORT UNDER 18- Morning Site Farms-Caleb Knox; BEST PLOUGH TEAM WIPP- Kim Hadwen; BEST DRESSED HORSE- Greg McAllister, Kim Hadwen; OLDEST PLOUGHPERSON Fargo's Grocery Store— John Posthumus; YOUNGEST PLOUGHPERSON Harvey Hawkey Award- Amber Lumb; SAFEST PLOUGHPERSON Farm Safety Association —Rebecca Pemberton; PRINCESS OF THE FURROW The Grant Family - Amber Lumb; BEST FINISH HORSE Kim Hadwen; BEST FINISH TRACTOR-Woodman Machine Products-Hunter Chown; BEST CROWN-Gateview Farm Equipment- Allen Hills; CHAMPION LAND -Lorne Hulton Trophy-Allen Hills. (The Lorne Hulton Trophy for Champion Land of the Day and the Harvey Hawkey Award for the Champion Land are perpetual trophies.) Of special note A week previously, WI’s Hunter Chown won the Junior Section at the Canadian Plowing Championships, including a scholarship to Old’s College in Alberta.

EARLY YEARS: One final event you may have missed was picking apples at WI’s Annual Apple Festival held at Horne’s Orchard. Every penny raised by the Early Years Committee (EYC) (matched by a resident) supports the WI Early Years Program. And a great year it was for apples. The EYC holds many fund raising activities throughout the year to keep this important program going, not only for the benefit of the children but for the parents, grandparents and caregivers who bring them.

Coming Events: Coming Event: *Lunch Bunch Wednesday’s, (Oct-Nov.) 11:30 am WI United Church Hall. *WI Christmas Village, Nov. 27th. Contact: * Flu Shot Clinic Oct. 29th

Posted by M Knott at 11:26 AM
October 02, 2016
Good News Day- MTO Issues RFQ for Wolfe and Amherst Island Ferries

It was a long hot summer without a news update about the Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking Improvements EA . So it was news indeed to be informed that the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) continues to move forward in the process of procuring two new ferries, one 40 car ferry for the municipally operated Amherst Island Ferry Service and one 75 car vessel for the Wolfe Island Ferry service. MTO issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the design-build of the two ferries promised some months ago. It is first of two stages in the procurement process and interested bidders have 6 weeks (September 27- November 8) to respond.

“These vessels are not part of the current Wolfe Island EA, but the project is related,” MTO’s Heather Roebuck, Regional Operations Officer said in a notice to Wolfe Island Citizens Advisory Group Members. “ we posted the RFQ for the two new vessels, which will go forward as one project,” she said. The procurement process for the design-build firm is running concurrently with the ongoing Environmental Assessment for the Wolfe island ferry dock improvement project. That EA is scheduled to be completed in 2017. The procurement process to acquire the design-build firm could take up to 10 months. When a short list of qualifying shipyards is developed, the second stage of the procurement process, the (RFP) Request for Proposals will be issued. Designing and building the new ferry for Amherst Island is expected to take approximately 24 months, while the 75 car ferry for Wolfe Island will take an additional 12 months. It is expected the contract will be awarded in late spring 2017.

Public input into the design of the new ferries is also an important part of the RFQ process. MTO has posted separate passenger surveys on ‘Survey Monkey’ for the two vessels, according to Roebuck. “I have attached the link below and I encourage you to complete the Wolfe Island survey before October 27.” While comments from the public are encouraged during both processes, Roebuck noted that the ferry procurement process has no Public Information Centres to gather information. “So the WI Passenger Survey is our opportunity to gather input into the needs and wants of the ferry users. Please forward the link to the survey to anyone interested in the new vessel. We welcome all suggestions and opinions. Of particular interest are responses from those users who have accessibility challenges.” (

2. Wolfe Island Ferry Line Enforcement. The question of Wolfe Island ferry boarding particularly at daily peak times (which seems to be most times on certain days, and all weekends,) has now become an issue significant enough that at a meeting recently a resident suggested that the only fair way to deal with the ferry line parking problems is to move the ferry out of the village to Dawson Point. An expression of sheer frustration no doubt, not only for ferry users but for the township as well. A recent township notice stated that given the lack of compliance with the |Parking By-Law regulations, that Frontenac By-Law Enforcement will come to the island more often to assist in rectifying the situation, leading to fines. The township has provided clear signage outlining ferry line parking rules all along the route through Marysville, with the route itself and the spaces, including the no parking spaces, all clearly identified.
Mayor Doyle spoke of ongoing disregard for the rules. He said residents are increasingly unhappy with people parking cars wherever they please in the lineup. “This leads to people queuing up behind that car leaving spaces further up, with people then butting into the line to fill them, rather than going to the end of the line as they should. That results in someone at the end of the line not getting on the ferry, who otherwise would have,” he said. Following the rules means a more efficient and safer loading process and help keep the ferry on schedule.

Around Town: *The Frontenac Islands website is now up and running. A recent letter posted on the WI Network face book site states: ‘The School Enrolment/School Capacity Committee (SE/SCC) of the Limestone District School Board voted to approve reaching out to the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB) to explore the possibility of a joint-use facility on Wolfe Island’ (declining enrollment). There was a previous arrangement between Marysville Public School and Sacred Heart Catholic School. The decision to initiate the consultation has to be approved at the next regular ALCDSB meeting scheduled for Oct. 19, 2016.

Post Script: *Water Low… Wolfe Islander III now operating from Dawson Point.

Coming Event: *Lunch Bunch Wednesday’s, (Oct-Nov.) 11:30 am Wolfe Island United Church Hall. * The 2016 WI Christmas Village, Sun. Nov. 27th. Interested in booking a table contact:

Posted by M Knott at 11:19 AM