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.

November 24, 2016
Howe Island Agricultural Ferry Loading Restrictions Lifted

Howe Island loading restrictions, on vehicles supporting agricultural business, have been lifted by Frontenac County thus allowing such vehicles to travel to and from the Island on the Howe Islander ferry on a first come, first cross basis regardless of the time of the day. The issue of agricultural vehicles was raised at a special Frontenac Islands November council meeting by a group of Howe Islanders involved in farming activities. They requested that current loading restrictions be lifted, which preventing agricultural vehicles from boarding the Frontenac Howe Islander ferry between the hours of 6.30-8.30am and 4.00-6.00pm, citing the Farming and Food Production Protection Act (1998,Ontario) and the ‘Normal Farm Practices Protection Board.’
The Act states: By-laws and vehicles 7. (1) A municipal by-law that has the effect of restricting the times during which a vehicle may travel does not apply to the vehicle if, (a) the vehicle is going to or from an agricultural operation; (b) the purpose for which the vehicle is going to or from an agricultural operation and the times during which the vehicle is arriving at or leaving the operation are part of normal farm practice; and © there is no road that could serve as a reasonable alternative that the vehicle may use to travel to or from the agricultural operation. 1998, c. 1, s. 7 (1).
(It would appear the ferry operation restricting the use of the ferry by any farm vehicles, contravenes rules set out in Ontario legislation governing farm activities.)

This issue was referred to the County of Frontenac Council for consideration, and after receiving advice from the municipal solicitor, County Council directed staff to lift the ferry boarding restrictions. Frontenac County operates the MTO owned Howe Islander ferry. As a result of the Frontenac County decision, the Township of Frontenac Islands held a Special Council Meeting at St Philomena’s Church Hall on Howe Island to provide an opportunity for the community to offer their comments on this decision. Members of the public voiced their concerns about various aspects of this issue, including questions about what constitutes ‘normal farm practice’ on Howe Island, suggestions that further legal opinion be sought, and how this development corresponds with the intent of the Township’s Official Plan. Members of the public voiced their intent to pursue this discussion further at the upcoming County Council meeting in December .
“The issue really is with the Provincial Legislation and not the ferry operations, and unless that act is changed, the County felt there was little choice,” Mayor Doyle said in a telephone conversation after the meeting. “While the province could be lobbied to change the act, this would take a lot of staff time and money to pay for lawyers and other consultants. We also have to consider the fact that the Province covers about 90% of the cost of the ferry system when you consider the recent rebuilds of the docks, bubbler system as well as maintenance costs, fuel and electric power to run the bubbler. We realize that not all residents support this decision, but the farming community felt that on the most critical commuter runs, in the morning rush hours, that they would seldom use those trips,” he said. “The issue is late in the day with the restrictions from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, and getting empty grain trucks on to the island in the fall of the year to transport crops. Since those trucks are empty, a further 4 or 5 cars can also board the ferry. However the trucks typically coming back later in the day usually when car traffic is lighter, and the certified gross weight of the ferry will not allow any additional vehicles to be loaded. Those who miss a trip as a result, have a 12-15 minute wait for the next ferry, or can take the HI township ferry at the foot of the island,” Mayor Doyle concluded. Check out the HI Ratepayers Association for further information as well as the Frontenac Islands website.

Around Town: *The Wolfe Island Christmas Elves have been out and about Marysville making things beautiful for Christmas **Thanks go out to WI’s Fire Fighters for their assistance with the Remembrance Day Service . **My apology to Jim Roulston, Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Volunteer, whose named I misspelled in an article about the WI Boat Club.. ** Watch for WI Historical Society Posters for Nov/Dec./Jan.

Coming Events:** The WI Historical Society invites you to join us on November 30th WI United Church Hall at 7:30 pm as Sherry Pringle discusses her recently released book EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN EXTRAORDINARY TIMES- CANADIAN WOMEN OF WWII, detailing the contributions of Canadian women during the Second World War. *** WI Christmas Parade, Sat. Dec. 3rd from WI Fire Hall. Contact Daisy 613-985-2541, questions. ** December 14: Ron Walsh will speak about VHF radio history in Kingston and its place in seaway history, December 14th, 7:30 pm —WI United Church **January 18 (tentative date): Brian Porter will speak about 'the ladies in Sir John A.'s life' with Brian’s wife Rene, both in costume. More to follow. ** Ecumenical Advent Service , this year at the Wolfe Island United Church, Sat. Dec.10th at 7 pm. A lovely way to prepare for Christmas.

Posted by M Knott at 11:22 AM
November 17, 2016
Early Years Centre: Important For Growth of Wolfe Island Community

The Township of Frontenac Islands was called upon to commit to permanent baseline funding for the Early Years program on Wolfe Island as a locally run, locally funded, and locally responsive amenity for for young children and their families which it is now. Or, alternatively to seek full provincial funding (with pending dates) and recognition for a permanent rebranded Early Years Centre (EYC) to an “Early Years and Family Centre” in the community. at their November council meeting.
The EYC program has been available on the island for over 14 years providing structured activities and support for infant and preschool children, and playing an essential role in bringing together parents /grand parents and caregivers. Presently averaging 50 persons, children & caregivers per week. The township now supports the program with an annual grant of $10,000 from the Amenities Fund, with the EYC fundraising to meet their present $14,000 budget “most of which supports the salary of a part time co-ordinator who provides support and the essential mandated programs of an EYC ,” said Sarah Greenwood, present on behalf of the EYC. “We will raise the other $4000.” Sarah noted that they had cut the co-ordinator’s hours to half days Monday to Friday reducing costs
“In option one you were asking for $11,000, I was happy to consider that,” Mayor Doyle said. Not missing a beat Greenwood said, ”we will take it.” Following was a reminder that all requests for funding must be submitted to council in advance of 2017 budget discussions. Based on the information regarding the provincial review of EYC’s , as Family Centres and funding options, municipal staff will work with the “Wolfe Island Early Years Centre” to submit a funding application to the province, at the same time the budget request for $11,000 from the Amenities Fund will be considered for the coming year.

2. Division Street Costs: Costs for Marysville’s Division Street construction were higher than the budgeted $364, 000. Public Works Manager Rob Dillabough told council the job was tendered and came 50% higher than for neighbouring municipalities, particularly for asphalt. ($160 a tonne here as compared to $90 on the mainland). Division Street paving was included as part of the overall plan for a seniors apartment complex on Wolfe Island. The township added extra items to the project; a sidewalk at $9,300, a culvert pipe into a rock change order at $21,000, and a final change order at $4,700 for a drainage culvert at the Community Centre grounds. This brought the total cost, including $35,000 engineering/survey costs, to an overall total of $424,700, which is $60,686 over the revised budget. Council authorized the transfer of $ 60,686 from the Wolfe Island Equipment Reserve to balance the Division Street budget.

3. Frontenac Islands has endorsed the Zorra Township resolution, that the current Ontario Accommodation and Review process of Rural Public Schools is not reflective of the reality of rural school and community life. School closures impact single-school, small rural communities in all educational, social and economic aspects to a far greater degree than impacts in multi-school urban communities, and for those reasons, the Township of Frontenac Islands requests the Minister of Education initiate an immediate moratorium on the Accommodation Review Process, until such time as a review of the above mentioned impacts on small rural communities, such as Wolfe Island (Frontenac Islands), are considered.

4. Frontenac Islands will submit an application $18,6520 to the Frontenac County Eco Tourism initiative on behalf of the Howe Island Trail, a community asset used by runners, walkers, bikers etc., to upgrade the trail and make it more accessible to seniors by refining its surface, providing resting benches, gates at each of the 3 roadway entrances and a small 6 car parking lot off the road.

In other business: Councillor Grant extended thanks to all involved and in attendance at the Remembrance Day Service at the WI Fire Hall. Councillor Springgay wants consideration during the budget to organizing a 150th Celebration and involving all of the township’s community groups. More next time!

Around Town: *WI resident Brigadier General David Paterson brought to the WI remembrance Service the name of another veteran, Frederick Leonard Davis, born on WI in 1895, who farmed in Joyceville, enlisted in 1916, with the PPCLI in 1918, in the thick of action at Amiens, Arras and the Hindenburg Line and Canal de Nord near Cambrai, and was struck down Oct. 10 1918, and buried one month before the war ended. He is commemorated on the Gananoque War Memorial. “We take this time to recall the hundreds of Wolfe Islanders who answered the call in the 1st, 2nd, & Korean wars, the Cold War , and in Afghanistan… We will remember them,” David said.

Coming Events: ** Shop at the WOLFE Island Christmas Market, WI Fire Hall 10 am-3:00 pm Sunday November 27th, 2016 36 vendors, a café. Bring your car. Ferry docks at Dawson Point . *** WI Christmas Parade, Sat. Dec. 3rd from WI Fire Hall. Join us after for Hot Dogs & Hot Chocolate. Santa pictures. Contact Daisy 613-985-2541 or to put in a float, questions.

Posted by M Knott at 11:27 AM
November 09, 2016
Rehabilitation of Simcoe Island Ferry Docks: Comes None too Soon!

At long last the rehabilitation of the Simcoe Island Ferry Docks began in earnest on Nov. 2nd. Over the years the docks have been maintained and repaired along with the ferry itself, many times. But this renovation, undertaken for the township by H. R. Dornekamp Construction Ltd., for the amount of $ 406,700.00 plus H.S.T., is for “Complete Rehabilitation,”It is to be paid for by the township and the Ministry of Transportation. Doornekamp’s was the only bid.
Dornekamp has advised Simcoe residents that as rehabilitating the Simcoe Island Ferry Dock will require the ferry to be out of service periodically, Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, excepting for Emergency Vehicles . No work is scheduled weekends or statutory holidays, and from Nov.7 13, and Dec. 21 Jan.4, 2017. The current schedule indicates a construction completion date of January 15, 2017.
Simcoe Island is part of Frontenac Islands (Howe and Wolfe), linked to Wolfe Island by the small Simcoe Island ferry which holds 3 cars. Frontenac Islands also includes privately owned Horseshoe Island and Garden Island. At the present time there are 25 permanent residents on Simcoe, and many more summer residents and cottagers.
Simcoe Island is home to the Nine Mile Point light house, built in 1833. Not designated a heritage site by Parks Canada, it requires much money to save and preserve it. In past years the Simcoe Island ferry was shut down for the winter leaving permanent residents to walk across the ice to go to work and to reach home. Simcoe Island children left home and were boarded with friends/family to attend school on Wolfe Island and in Kingston. That may still happen but less ice and warmer winters now make it possible to keep the ferry run open longer, if not the whole winter.
Forward concerns or inquiries to Doornekamp’s Jeff Simpson, project manager at
2. Wolfe Island’s Remembrance Day Ceremony moves location to Fire Hall this year only: The Remembrance Day Service on Wolfe Island always held in front of the Wolfe Island Town Hall will be held this year at the island’s Emergency Services Building, location on Road #95, with a reception to follow in the Fire Hall. The Town Hall location is not available due to renovations in and around the building to provide a ramp and accessible washroom facilities at the township hall.
The formal Wolfe Island observance of Remembrance Day began in 1994 when a plaque was put in place by the Township. It was proposed by John O’Shea, then Deputy Reeve, to recognize islanders who had served Canada in the military. Every year since then, a Remembrance Day Service has been held, outside the Town Hall, where the plaque is located. This year, once again, the ceremony is being organized by island resident Pat Sandford. And every year the service is much the same as one you might attend in Kingston or in other parts of Frontenac County, or in Ottawa for that matter, but it has a uniqueness that is the island. Here island clergy, local political leaders, veterans, school children, municipal staff and members of community groups gather. The number of people in attendance can be affected by the weather, or by how many people are on the island at the time. Many Islanders work off the island and have a limited amount of time to attend the island’s ceremony, and may attend Kingston’s instead. But year after year an ever increasing number of residents, friends and visitors do attend the event where, over the last couple of years quite a large contingent of young men and women from Kingston’s Royal Military College in their brilliant red uniforms, will come once again to participate with the community. The moment of remembrance begins with the bugle playing of the “Last Post”, immediately before 11:00 am. Welcome.
Around Town : Wolfe Islanders will remember well Fr. Jan Appleman, 82, (of Mill Hill Mission, Holland), pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary Parish 1986-1998, who has died and was buried in Holland where he had retired. Fr deSouza, noted in the parish bulletin that Fr Appelman had been happy to receive news and see pictures of the newly renovated Marian Grotto which was his project. RIP. * A second Flu shot clinic was held at the WI Community Medical Clinic to handle those people who did not receive their ‘shot”, they having run out of the vaccine at the Annual Flu Clinic, the previous Saturday.
Coming Events: *** WI’s Nov. 11th Remembrance Day Service ,WI Fire Hall ,Rd.# 95 10:45 am. Reception follows. ** WI’s Anglican Parish Turkey Dinner, Sat. Nov. 12th, St. Margaret’s Hall, Marysville 4:30- 7:00 pm $13.00 **WI’s Christmas Village 2016, Sun. Nov. 27th, WI Fire Hall Note—-the Ferry is now landing at Dawson Pt. Dock.***

Posted by M Knott at 10:24 PM
Expressions of Interest called for Seniors Apartments on Wolfe Island

Senior Housing was chosen as a priority by Wolfe Islanders a number of years ago. Public meetings were held throughout Frontenac County to determine need, and Marysville was chosen for a first seniors housing project under the auspices of Frontenac County. This week the Township of Frontenac Islands issued a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI), to Design-Build Contractors for the construction of a Seniors Apartment (5 unit) on Wolfe Island, a first step in the contractor selection process. The second step requires a response to a Request for a Proposal (RFP). According to the call for EOI’s , the building project will ‘incorporate significant energy saving features with contractors experienced with building standards such as Passive House, LEED, R2000 or comparable energy initiatives, likely to be ranked higher in the evaluation process. One contract will be awarded to one design-build firm for the project.’
What residents said they wanted was a facility that was affordable, in the village, operated locally and offering safety, independence, socialization and the opportunity to remain on the island.

“ This project goes back 8 or 9 years to a time when Councillor Wayne Grant, Walter Knott and I conducted a community survey that confirmed strong interest in senior accommodation on Wolfe Island,” according to Mayor Denis Doyle . “Three years ago when Frontenac County Council was working on its Strategic Plan, one of the top three projects that we decided to focus on over a five year period was to build one five unit seniors apartment building in each of the four townships in Frontenac County. This lead to County Council approving the hiring of a consultant to help us to decide how to move forward and subsequently we approved $335,000 for (each of) North, South, Central and Frontenac Islands-(Wolfe Island) Township, “Doyle added.

Doyle noted that a committee of very knowledgeable and dedicated citizens was formed to finalize the building design and construction schedule for the Wolfe Island project and that for the past couple months they have met almost weekly and will continue to do so, “so that the next step, the RFP proposal, that will outline in some detail the type of building we are looking for can be issued by mid- December. This has been more work than I think the members expected and I thank them for their effort and hard work. Committee members include Mayor Doyle, Councillor Wayne Grant, Brian Scovill, Kathy Horton, Mikaela Hughes, Walter Knott, & Darlene Plumbly, secretary, with advisor, Patrick Thompson

“As a preliminary step we have sent out a document looking for expression of interested from contractors who want to bid on this contract. In that document we asked for those companies who have experience in building similar buildings and who will finalize the design and drawings based on our specifications, Mayor Doyle said. “In the expression of interest document we did not get into much detail other than state that the building must be energy efficient, approximately 4,500 square feet, with four one bedroom units, one two bedroom and a common area for people to meet and socialize in.”

“To date we have finished the road to the site, on Division St., (just east of the fire hall and ambulance station). A water line is in, and the survey for the land that we will build on is completed, and we hope to have the contract to build signed in early 2017 to ensure that construction starts early spring when the frost comes out of the ground. This would mean that construction should be complete by late summer 2017, at which time the first people can move in,” the Mayor Doyle concluded. From responses to this expression of interest document, the township hopes to identify the most appropriate 3 or 4 contractors to work with to get a cost and a time schedule to build the Seniors Apartment. And, with the sizeable amount of money from the County, the township also hopes to finance the amount to complete the building and pay it back from rental fees, thus not requiring tax dollars to cover the costs.

Design-Build Contractors who are interested must submit an Expressions of Interest document, available by contacting the township office at 613-385-2216, . Submit your electronic copy of the completed document, to the address below. Please include resumes for key personnel proposed to be involved. The closing deadline is Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 3:00 P.M.

Coming Events: **WI’s Christmas Village 2016, Sun. Nov. 27th, WI Fire Hall Note—-the Ferry is now landing at Dawson Pt. Dock. *** Lunch Bunch Wed. Nov. 17 WI United Church Hall 11:30 am.

Posted by M Knott at 11:04 AM