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.

September 28, 2017
Where do we go from here?

What a way to begin the fall season, with a Florida kind of summer heat, lasting nearly two weeks. Water kevels are down considerably and perhaps as many Islanders hope, but not all, MTO will be able to maintain the Wolfe Islander III in Marysville through the fall and winter months. Or all year for that matter. Perhaps a decision requiring more debate t might happen as the ferry and docking facilities EA moves to a conclusion. And the township, Wolfe Island ward, undertakes a Secondary Plan for Marysville.

All that aside at this point, however as right now the crops are coming off the fields at a great rate. And the trucks to transport those crops away from the islands. Too often those of us not involved in agriculture per se, other than in flowers or a vegetable garden, for whatever reason, forget that agricultural pursuits are the foundation for what the islands are today. And in terms of volume it is the farmers who continue to use most of the land.

The water that surrounds the islands, was a calling card for those interested in the island beauty it created, the opportunities for fishing, hunting, and the lumber it offered, as well as the opportunities to provide commercial services for the farmers. For instance, stores, black smiths, transportation (horses, ferries), construction ( homes, cottages, hotel, schools, etc.), drawing hundreds to the islands to work . Anyone looking over to the islands could not help but recognize what was there, and the opportunities they might hold. And/or the peace, pleasure and isolation they provided. The Indigenous saw the Islands as a welcome stop as they travelled the St. Lawrence.

When it comes to present day agricultural enterprise on the islands, unfortunately dairy is on the decline due to the prohibitive costs of operation, and retirement of the dairy farmers with no one to take over the farms. Also too few available farm workers, and the closure of the Kraft Plant as a related business. Large scale crop farming is now the order of the day with many land owners renting out their land. Beef on the land is running a close second, or is it first?
Interest in different forms of agriculture is growing and includes more organic growing, market gardening, new crops e.g. hops, seed and crop development, and grape vines. Honey and maple syrup are long time products. By way of animals, horses remain important to the community, and there is a developing interest in goats and sheep among others.

FYI - Wolfe Island’s agricultural history and the history of its peoples, is well documented in the Old House Museum located by the water in Marysville. Well worth a visit!

I Have A Bone to Pick with Kingston: For many years we had grandchildren spending summers with us, who attended the sailing programs at the Kingston Yacht Club. The joy for each of them was the end of the season, the CORK Sailing Regatta in the “best sailing waters in Canada”, so says Kingston, having hosted the Olympics. What I cannot understand is seemingly Kingston’s lack of interest in this event, this sport, bringing hundreds of young people from all over to participate along with parents, volunteers, boats, sails etc. It is an expensive sport due to equipment, and the travel and training costs. But a clean sport, to be sure. One that usually ensures in them with a love of, and respect for, wind and water. And sailors they are. But for some of them, CORK is the last sailing they may ever do, … but will remain a memory of those magnificent moments that took them, far and fast, singularly or by two, THEY controlling the wind that carried them. Why not welcome CORK it in a big way, recognizing the young sailors, their personal stories, challenges and results in The Whig. That would be a Welcome Change! To date, it seems CORK never happened.

Municipal Elections: A reminder: Have you ever considered letting your name stand for election to Municipal Council? Municipal Elections take place Oct. 22, 2018, a year from now. On May 1, 2018 the nomination period begins. It is never too early to begin thinking about what you might have to offer, if you choose to run. Frontenac Islands CAO Darlene Plumley is the ‘go to person’ for Election Information.

Around Town: ** The crowds coming over to Wolfe Island have diminished in size. Cyclists continue to come in great numbers. **The Corn Maze a great place to go now through November. ** Horne’s Ferry in operation to Oct. 17th **Riverfront Golf Course welcomes you.. **Great progress with the Frontenac Islands Seniors Apartment Project
Coming events ** Lunch Bunch. Oct. 4, 11;30 am WI United Church- topic “ Newfoundland” ** Check out The General Wolfe Inn, The Grill, & the WIPP. **VON Exercise (older adults) Wed-Fridays 1-2 pm St. Margaret’s Hall **Corn Maze Easter Seal Fundraiser Oct 7, 10am to 4pm (all proceeds go to Easter Seals Kids).

Posted by M Knott at 12:43 PM
September 22, 2017
Wolfe Island Awards Ploughing Trophies 2017

The Wolfe Island Plowing Match was held on a great day in September at the Henry Posthumus-Janine Handforth Morningsight Farms The match was attended by 37 plowers. Of this 37, their were 6 teams of horses, 11 antique plows and 20 conventional plowers, nine of whom were juniors, that is under the age of 18.
Wolfe Island's very own Hunter Chown, this year’s Youth Champion for the second time at the Canadian Plowing Championships was one of the judges.
As is always the case there was an excellent exhibit and demonstration of antique plows.On hand with a displays was sponsor BMO, and Wolfe Island’s Friends of Ferals. Bob and Harriet Corkey operated the canteen, And speaking of food, WI Early Years provided each plow person with pie for lunch.

Sponsors and winners of the 2017 Special Trophies awarded that day included:
BEST EFFORT–UNDER 18 Morningsight Farms-Braden Leeman; BEST PLOUGH TEAM WIPP Terry Linton; BEST DRESSED HORSE - George McAllister —Dave Reid; OLDEST PLOUGHPERSON Fargo’s Grocery Store—John Posthumus; YOUNGEST PLOUGHPERSON Harvey Hawkey Award -Leon Eberhard; SAFEST PLOUGHPERSON-Farm Safety Association - Kathryn Maitland; PRINCESS/QUEEN OF THE FURROW-The Grant Family- no competitor; BEST FINISH-HORSE Hulton Construction-Dave Reid; BEST FINISH TRACTOR-Woodman Machine Products-Joyce Buckley; BEST CROWN-TCO Agromart Ltd Craig Hulton; CHAMPION LAND-Lorne Hulton Trophy - Joyce Buckley The Lorne Hulton Trophy for Champion Land of the Day and the Harvey Hawkey Award for the Youngest Ploughperson have perpetual trophies. See you next year.

Posted by M Knott at 12:52 PM
September 20, 2017
A Busy Agenda for Frontenac Islands September Meeting

Too many interesting items came at Township of Frontenac Islands September meeting to let them slip by without a mention. Under the Planning Applications component for instance.

Following Frontenac County Planner Megan Rueckwald, Minor Variance application presentation for a “tear down” the old and rebuild a new 900 sq. ft. cottage with a “portable outhouse” for sewage disposal, Mayor Doyle expressed concern about the outhouse and grey water disposal because of the cottage location near the water. A member of the public also expressed similar concerns.
Deputy Mayor Nossal noted that a compostable toilet IS acceptable but is a portable outhouse? The township will ask Chief Building Officer Lavigne to clarify the situation and to determine what can be added as a condition of the building permit application before it is brought back to the November 13th meeting of council.

  1. The Frontenac Islands “Renaming of the highways, streets, roads and private roads bylaw was amended to state that where a request is made to rename a street or road ALL abutting landowners must agree in writing before a name can be changed. A complete list of ALL roads in Frontenac Islands was attached to the agenda “with thanks to Carol and Rob.”
  2. Questions also arose with Public Works Manager Rob Dillabough actions pending report. Councillor Grant questioned the slow down of the Simcoe Island dock rebuild and was informed that due to spring flooding the condition of the docks must be reviewed. “Lots more work needs to be done. Cribbing has shifted. The design needs adjusting ,” Dillabough said noting ongoing discussion is ongoing with MTO. ( Review Costs were submitted to Municipal Disaster relief.)
    Councillor Grant wants long grasses /weeds behind the WI Medical Clinic cut when possible. Mayor Doyle is also concerned about long grasses and the need for roadside brushing to prevent situations with deer, and snow drifts. “Situations where we could be liable.” Dillabough noted the work is well started.
    The long wait for County funding available for a new Welcome sign at Dawson Point RD. 7051 was questioned by Councillor Springgay. “Should we do it on our own?”

There a brief discussion related to the Howe Island foot ferry a barge with an open concept compartment that Transport Canada’s says should be a bilge ferry. “Rob is stick handling this with them and MTO. I suggest we just wait and see,” Deputy Mayor Nossal said.

FYI- The annual Road Tour takes place Howe Island, Oct. 5th, Wolfe Island, Oct. 12th both beginning at 9 am.
# Further business: *Speed limit changes from 70 km to 60 km on WI Rd.96 and 725 meters west of on Rd.95 to the 2nd line were approved *A change to the WI Transfer site bylaw related to costs to be assumed for waste disposal (waste bin, haulage, tipping fee) for events requiring an application submission by the event organizer was deferred to Nov.13th. meeting of council

  • Are there benefits to growing Hops in Frontenac Islands? That’s what CA Plumley will be searching out now that new WI residents have bought property, planted hops and seek to establish production facilities at the east end of the island for the product that also requires Hydro 1 for 3 phase power *Frontenac Islands authorized 24/7 service at the HI (Foot) Ferry during dry docking of Frontenac Howe Islander and wants MTO’s financial support for associated costs.

Other Business: *Councillor Springgay requested a report of municipal expenses/revenues associated with the Wolfe Island Music Fest. * A letter outlining Councillor Grant’s concerns relating to inconsistent Ambulance
/Paramedic Service on WI and instances of no coverage, nor was Fire& Rescue service called Is going Chief Paramedic/Director Emergency Services Paul J. Charbonneau requesting a resolution to the problem. * A site visit to Big Sandy Bay, revealed limited beach improvement and many trees uprooted. “The summer students maintained the trail to the beach very well,” said Administration Assistant Quist. An expression of thanks to Public Works for a completed LOWER Side Road to Public Works from Councillor Higgs. *WI Resident W. Knott again expressed concern re Rd.7051 and its need to be straightened and his intention to contact MPP Kiwala.

Around Town: The Council Meeting was held in the Community Hall recently vacated by the Stone Heron Gallery. * The Seniors Apartment project continues to move forward. Its looking good.* Sacred Heart Sunday Services are being held at Sacred Heart School Sunday’s am 9:30 am during church renovations**A Reminder- Celebrate Claire Muller’s 90th Birthday Sat. September 30th at 5:30 pm, at a Pot Luck supper. ** October 15-21, 2017is Ontario Public Library Week and ours is among the best. Thanks
Coming Events: Lunch Bunch. Oct. 4, 2017, 11;30 am WI United Church-“ Newfoundland”** Check out The General Wolfe Inn, The Grill, & the WIPP for upcoming Musical Entertainment.

Posted by M Knott at 11:45 AM
September 14, 2017
Frontenac Islands- Small Community - Big Issues

What a month its been! What a summer really. Even without Big Sandy Bay open, people have sailed over to Wolfe Island in great number and enjoyed all the island has to offer. And it was good. Now as fall is upon us, the realities of Public Work Manager Rob Dillabough’s “To do “ list, for Wolfe and Howe Island, confront the township. All of those, as well as the ongoing Ferry EA ferry study, are big time issues for a small municipality and weigh heavily on our elected representatives.

CAG Meeting: The Ministry of Transportation and Morrison Hershfield study team held a last Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting on Wolfe Island, to review what had been presented at the recent open houses with regard to the Environmental Assessment for the Wolfe Island Ferry and Docking \Improvements study, and to receive the opinions of the members. They now have 3 preferred options for Marysville, Kingston, and Dawson Point, and are now proceeding with the next steps of municipal, provincial and federal agency consultation. From those consultations they will prepare the Transportation Environmental Study Report-(TESR) and, if accepted they will prepare documents for tender issue for the rebuilding the three ferry docking terminals. They hope to achieve the TESR by year end.

Concerns of the CAG members included: truck turning in Marysville, lighting, the very long distances to walk in Marysville and Kingston to get to the ferry lineup, thus more vehicular traffic, and deep concern that there is no parking in Marysville or Kingston on the docks. Passenger building designs received criticism: too big, too far apart, too much window. As did the spit at Dawson Point: dangerous, as well as the need for more security, telephone, cameras, etc., there. Also no docking spaces indicated for other boats that might come into Wolfe Island, Dawson Point, or Kingston was noted, as was the lack of a WI municipal boat launch. Also noted was that the plan does not include any improvements in Marysville, road, lights, parking, etc. All such were said to be instead the responsibility of the township!

MTO welcomes your input and opinions at this time, and asks that you fill in a short survey as part of their ongoing operational study available at:
Private Road Policies Meeting: According to Frontenac County Planner Joe Gallivan, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs determined that they would no longer approve any development of private roads. So to that end the county undertook a Private Roads (Lanes) study, with regard to the continuation of possible development on such. “Frontenac is waterfront development. Socially and economically it is part of who we are and we wanted it to stay that way. The study has provided a series of legal and land use planning rules and tools for that purpose, as a way we could continue to have some kind of development on private lanes across the county,” Gallivan said.

He noted that in the last number of years there have been lot changes with cottages from seasonal to permanent residential, with building permits being given out in the townships. The consultant was required to produce draft OPA’s (Official Plan amendment) for the 4 townships including policies that deal with: seasonal use private roads; road construction standards for extensions of existing private lanes; infilling and extension policies for new lots on existing lanes; policies for the creation of new private lanes. It’s up to the County now. A major step forward.

Frontenac Community Planner Megan Rueckenwald provided some of the numeric details i.e.: that Frontenac Islands has 81 private lanes, 414 residential dwellings, 43.8 km of private roads, etc. As well as an overview of the proposed amendment and the “decision tree”, that is to be used in the planning process for private roads. Will all of this solve the problems the township has with some private roads now? Generally, no. A Q&A followed. All public comments from citizens will be received and considered as will those at the Tuesday, October 10th, Council meeting on Howe Island where Proposed Official Plan Amendment Private Lane Policies will also be presented, and considered for adoption. The proposed bylaw amendment is posted on the Frontenac County Website under Planning at: The regular September Council meeting followed. Next week: Council news

Around Town; *There was wonderful weather for the WI Plowing Match held at Morningsight Farms. Competitions have been held since 1947. **And speaking of plowing matches, Hunter Chown won the Youth Championships for the 2nd time at the Canadian Plowing Championships held in Walkerton. * * Frustration with the ambulance service has been noted in the community. . **Kingston and Wolfe Island friends— come Celebrate Claire Muller’s 90th Birthday Sat. September 30th at 5:30 pm, at a Pot Luck supper in her home in Marysville, Wolfe Island. Best Wishes Only.

Coming Events: Lunch Bunch. Oct. 4, 2017, 11;30 am WI United Church-“ Newfoundland”. ** The WI Historical Society’s AGM takes place Wed., Sept.20th, 7:30 pm WI United Church Hall. ** Check out The General Wolfe Inn, The Grill, & the WIPP for upcoming Musical Entertainment

Posted by M Knott at 11:28 AM
September 06, 2017
Last Days of Summer Island News

It has been a wonderfully busy summer for Frontenac Islands in spite of the flooding and rather inconsistent weather. The saddest outcome of the flooding was the closure of Wolfe Island’s Big Sandy Bay for the season due to high water levels, essentially no beach. (Many residents were also affected by the flooding.) Another weather situation with heavy rain left overnight campers attending the WI Music Festival soaked but the sun shone bright an. beautiful for the Main Stage event the next day. And in spite of rain visitors come and music slated to play outdoor patios simply moves inside.
*For the last number of years Howe Islanders attend a barbecue marking the end of the children and youth baseball program organized and run by resident Mike Hart who also organizes the barbecue, and the fun, games and awards of the event including fireworks This year’s late August event, was a “little different”, according to Deputy Mayor Natalie Nossal..
“The ball games began at 6:30 with the youngest teams and played right through to the final youth game. We all wore FRONTENAC glasses (promotional glasses from the County) It became a Canada 150th event once the ball games were over and the 50-50 draw was done (won by Robin Clark). The lights dimmed and the best ever fireworks ” she said. “Mike really knows how to put on a good show, I tell you it was a great night. Lots of fun for all. Along with the barbecue and the extras there was a Howe Island Celebrates Canada’s 150th cake and 150th souvenirs. “I’m glad we twinned the Canada 150th with the Ball League’s end of season, already a really an important event for the community. Mike. deserves a lot of credit,” Nossal concluded. (Mike Hart is recognized for his good work with children and youth as well as leading the community in other sports activities.)
*Deputy Mayor Nossal also spoke of a recent community meeting called by the township to allow Howe Island residents to offer suggestions and proposals concerning the collection of fees and fares for the two ferries that service the island.(Howe Islander & Foot Ferry). County representatives included Director of Corporate Services/Treasurer Susan Brant, Chief Paramedic/Director Emergency and Transportation Services Paul J. Charbonneau, Deputy Chief of Performance Standards Gale Chevalier. The meeting was chaired by Mayor Denis Doyle . All members of council were present.

“This was another great community gathering and the idea of people submitting ides and proposals ahead of time was very good,” she said. “ It started out with a brief presentation by Susan Brant outlining how money (passes,tickets etc.) is allocated. We had some of that information out ahead of time but it was good of her to do that. Then HIRA’s Bruce Humphries spoke to a proposal already part of the agenda highlighting parts of it for county consideration . This was followed by a presentation by HI resident Terry Botten. A back and forth open and varied discussion took place on fees and fares. This was an opportunity for everyone to put their cards on the table… This was a brainstorming meeting, what I like to call the start of the conversation. It was not a meeting to make any decisions, We heard from people we haven’t heard from before and from others with commercial concerns. It was good to have so much of the community together and appeared not a problem that it was a summer meeting Deputy Mayor Nossal concluded. FYI Once approved the minutes of the meeting will be posted on the Township website.
Around Town: *Its time to acknowledge the hard work of the MTO summer students with us on Wolfe Island and in Kingston through out the summer. While it is considered a good job it’s not always an easy one. Public tempers flare with the long waits, the long line ups with no parking left close by if travellers choose to walk on, and others try to slip into the line up. Thank you for your service, Adam Moodie, Jake Patterson, Mairead Corrigan, Emilie Turner, Zoe Tremblay Good Luck as you begin another school, college/university year or train for another job. We will miss you. **Kingston and Wolfe Island friends are invited to Celebrate with Clair Muller on the occasion of her 90th Birthday Sat. September 30th at 5:30 pm at a Pot Luck supper at her home in Marysville (Wolfe Island. Best Wishes Only. ** WI Community Medical Clinic- Summer Walk-In Clinics Tues. (4:30-6:15pm), Thurs. (5:30-7:15pm. **Jason’s ‘hops’ are way up there.. ** Harvesting has begun. ** The Community Garden group and MPS and SH schools made sauce with Okee’s Farm tomatoes hopefully for a joint school lunch in fall.

Coming Events: Lunch Bunch begins for another season. Oct. 4, 2017 Watch for details ** WI Plowing Match Sept. 9th. **Wind Tower Appreciation Barbecue 209- 4th line Sept. 10th 11am-2pm ** Frontenac Islands Council meets Sept. 11th Special Meeting 5pm, followed by regular meeting at 6:30 pm. Check Frontenac Islands website.

Posted by M Knott at 10:38 AM