Tourism Partners Declare Support for Third Crossing

Last month Council received a letter from Kingston Accommodation Partners (commonly known as KAP), expressing their support for the proposed Third Crossing bridge project. KAP is a respected tourism organization that oversees much of the tourism activity in Kingston, and has championed the move toward the new ‘fresh made daily’ tourism marketing brand for the city.

KAP’s letter of support lays out an interesting argument in favour of the Third Crossing. They suggest that by diverting commuter traffic away from the LaSalle Causeway, we can make it easier for tourists to get to and from downtown and the waterfront, where most tourist attractions are located. After this summer’s incredible tourist season, KAP is asking us to consider how a new bridge could make more room for visitors to Kingston’s tourism hotspots.

As I’ve stressed before, the Third Crossing is a huge project and before we make any final decisions on this bridge we all need to understand both the potential benefits and costs. Understanding the potential impacts and opportunities from the perspective of our tourism sector is valuable as we continue this community conversation. Here’s the KAP support letter in full: 



Exploring Redevelopment Options for KP & POH

We’ve reached an exciting phase in the visioning process for Kingston Penitentiary and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. This week public workshops were held to explore and develop potential options for the property. Four options – all with different ways that we could mix heritage, green space, marina access and other new developments – were explored to highlight the full range of possibilities for the KP and POH site.  

Here’s a snapshot of the four options community members explored:

Option 1 – all existing buildings on the KP site conserved, taller new buildings, and existing marina building removed and integrated into a new building.   



Option 2 – existing buildings on the KP site adapted for re-use, new public street though the site, some taller new buildings and marina building and slips on the east side (instead of existing west side placement)


Option 3 – heritage buildings on the KP site adapted for re-use, modern buildings demolished, multiple public streets added, new mid-rise buildings and marina building maintained on the west side.  


Option 4 – some but not all heritage buildings on the KP site adapted for re-use, modern buildings demolished, full grid of streets added, lower new buildings and marina remaining on the east side with a new building.


Each of these options will soon be posted on the city’s website – – asking Kingstonians for their comments, likes and dislikes about each. The idea is not to vote on these four options, but rather to create a preferred redevelopment plan that incorporates the best elements from each option.

This is a exciting opportunity for all Kingston residents to help shape the final vision for KP and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, so share your ideas and make your voice heard!

From the Mayor’s Chair -October 4

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 3 minutes or less.

Highlights from the October 4 Council meeting include approval of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation request for $6.5M over 5 years towards their fundraising campaign, approval of the hiring of an integrity commissioner to review the participation of Councillor Candon in the Capitol condo project vote, and approval of service level agreements for Tourism Kingston and economic development organization for Kingston.

Watch the October 4 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair HERE

From the Mayor's Chair -

For previous From the Mayor’s Chair segments visit the media tab at the top of this web

An Investment in Kingston Hospitals, an Investment in Kingston

At this week’s City Council meeting, Council voted to approve $6.5 million towards a new fundraising campaign by the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF). This campaign is directed toward new state-of-the-art equipment and facilities like an expanded neo-natal intensive care unit and modernized operating rooms. Over the next five years the City will contribute $1.3 million per year, less than the $1.6 million annual funding the city has provided UHKF since 2008.

The important question Council had to grapple with on this issue is – why does the local government need to fund health care in our city, when health care is supposed to be a provincial responsibility.

The answer comes down to the funding model. In order to qualify for funding to make improvements to hospital facilities, 10% of the construction costs must first be raised locally. Once that happens, the province will put up the remaining 90% of the required money. Those are the rules of the game, and so if the required dollars can’t be raised locally, the provincial dollars will go to hospital upgrades elsewhere in the province.

Building a smart and livable city means we need state-of-the-art hospitals here in Kingston. Our community should have the best possible health care available, not only to serve our residents, but also to attract new research and business opportunities in the health care sector.

This is a big financial ask and was a difficult decision for council.  It was difficult because we need to live within our means as a city, and so we only have so many municipal tax dollars to go around. But in this case, $6.5 million from the city will unlock an additional $500 million in provincial dollars, enhance the facilities and equipment to deliver the best care possible and help to attract talent and research in healthcare. In my view, this is an offer too good to refuse.

Yes to Transit Investment, No to a Transit Tax

At a special meeting this week City Council was presented with a draft plan to expand Kingston Transit service over the next five years. The plan includes some great new initiatives, such as a new express bus route on Montreal Street, and higher frequency service on existing express bus routes – bringing the popular 501 and 502 routes to  7 1/2 minute service. However, the plan asked Council to approve an additional 0.5% annual tax increase (on top of the existing 2.5% property tax rate) in order to pay for the proposed new services.


I fully support continued investment in transit. But I also believe we need to live within our means, and in my view that means we need to keep to our goal of a maximum 2.5% increase per year.

To build a smart and livable city we must spend money on key investments in our community. That’s why I’ve supported the airport expansion, the widening of John Counter Boulevard, more affordable housing and funding increases to transit over the last few years. What’s important about these previous investments is we’ve been able to hold the line at 2.5%.

After a long night of discussion on the proposed transit plan, I was very pleased City Council voted to send the plan back to city staff to develop a new version to fit within the 2.5% tax increase. This might require delaying some of the new transit services or scaling back other changes until we can get some additional tax revenues from new growth and development in the city. But that’s how a budget should work; you stay within your limit. I vote yes to more transit investment, but no to a transit tax.

Asking for an Integrity Commissioner

City Council’s vote to approve the Capitol condominium project last Tuesday evening was an important decision, both for the future direction of downtown development and for the future of our city. For this reason, it is very important that all Kingstonians have full confidence in the integrity of the vote itself and the process in which council came to its decision.

As Mayor, I take the integrity of council and the transparency of our decisions very seriously. In order to settle any remaining questions regarding Councillor Candon’s participation in the Capitol debate and the final vote on this project, I will be bringing forward a motion to our October 4 council meeting calling for the hiring of an Integrity Commissioner. This will be an independent and arms-length investigation, to review this matter in greater detail. I have spoken with Councillor Candon about this and he is in full support of this review and has also agreed to second the motion.

Although we, as a council, will have issues that divide us, we are united in our view that the trust of Kingstonians in the integrity of our decisions is critically important. My hope is the hiring of an Integrity Commissioner to review this matter will demonstrate the importance of maintaining this trust.

Thank you to all those who took the time to share your thoughts and opinions with me on this issue. I have heard people on all sides and I look forward to continuing to work together in building a smart and livable city.

Mayor Bryan Paterson 

5 Reasons the Capitol Condo Approval is Good News for our Downtown

After more than a year of community discussion, debate and several design revisions, the proposed Capitol condominium development was approved by City Council at our September 20th meeting. Here are 5 reasons why this is good news for our downtown. 

  1. The future residents of the Capitol will shop downtown. Estimates suggest spending by the future residents of the condo will support over 100 full time jobs in the downtown core. This will help limit the number of empty store fronts on Princess Street.
  1. The Capitol adds to the diversity of housing options for residents, both current and future. Condo living is an attractive housing option that appeals to both young professionals and older residents looking to downsize with the opportunity to live, work and play downtown.
  1. The Capitol development will serve as a catalyst for more redevelopment along Queen Street, contributing to a stronger and more vibrant downtown.
  1. With more residential intensification in the downtown, there will be less pressure to expand existing suburban areas, which are more car dependent. With everything in walking distance, we will see fewer cars on the road and reduced greenhouse gas emissions overall.
  1. The Capitol will bring with it a number of community benefits, including more public parking, affordable housing units and a community studio space to strengthen our local cultural scene.

From the Mayor’s Chair – September 20

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 3 minutes or less.

Highlights from the September 20 Council meeting include approval of the Capitol condo project at 223 Princess Street, the sale of the former Bailey Broom Factory on Rideau Street for redevelopment, and approval of a commemorative stone in Market Square to highlight The Tragically Hip concert  on August 20th. 

Watch the September 20 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair HERE

From the Mayor's Chair -

For previous From the Mayor’s Chair segments visit the media tab at the top of this web

Fresh Made Daily – Building Kingston’s Tourism Brand


This has been a big year for tourism – from the national spotlight of The Tragically Hip concert, to the Amazing Race episode, to the Kingston Penitentiary tours, and our award winning festivals and events!  Building on this exciting momentum is the new collaborative tourism brand for Kingston – ‘fresh made daily’. This new branding is a fresh approach to describe Kingston and attract visitors. Have a look at the video below for a showcase of this new branding in action.


Another key part of Kingston’s new tourism brand is a newly designed website,, created through a great partnership between Kingston Accommodation Partners and Tourism Kingston. The new website is a great first impression for visitors to Kingston! Check it out here


So what does ‘fresh made daily’ mean? ‘Fresh’ means Kingston’s new approach to tourism. ‘Made’ symbolizes our local attractions that highlight culture and creators. ‘Daily’ refers to the timelines and events that are constantly evolving in our community.

This has been a fantastic year for tourism in Kingston and I look forward to continuing to build our tourism brand, inviting more visitors to experience all we have to offer!  

p.s. – Don’t miss great local events and activities – check out the events calendar on the Visit Kingston website here

Innovative Redevelopment of a Former School


School closures can be difficult for any community to deal with, but with some creative thinking at the city level we can turn a negative into a positive by encouraging smart redevelopment. A good example of this approach is with the former St. Joseph/St. Mary Catholic School at the corner of Brock and Napier Streets in the downtown.

Earlier this year the City purchased the property from the school board with a goal of redeveloping the site, and just this week City Council approved a concept plan to bring new life to the site. While there is still public consultation to come and details to be worked out, the future use of the property is shown below.


As shown in the concept plan, the new vision for the property will incorporate both parkland and affordable housing, both of which are important priorities for our city. The parkland is a great addition to an area of the city lacking in green space. And the affordable housing units in this location will aid our larger goal of pulling affordable housing away from the Rideau Heights neighbourhood and integrating it throughout the city.

This plan also includes a creative element that is being tried out for the very first time. The city will sell off a portion of the site for private development, which will provide revenue to invest back into the affordable housing component and funds to acquire additional parkland in the downtown. This sort of innovative redevelopment is exactly what a smart and livable, 21st century city is all about! Stay tuned for more details on this exciting redevelopment project.