Preliminary Design for the Third Crossing

One of my key priorities as mayor is to advance the Third Crossing, a project that will connect Kingston’s east end and north end with a new 1.2km bridge across the Cataraqui River. City Council approved a plan to make the Third Crossing project ‘shovel-ready’ and staff have been working to develop the preliminary design, a key part of getting the project shovel ready.

It’s very important to me for Kingstonians to have the opportunity to learn more about the Third Crossing project, and have the opportunity to offer input and ideas in the project’s development. Here’s a great video that explains some of the details of how the preliminary design for the bridge is being put together, please give it a watch to learn more.

video - Third Crossing

What really catches my attention in the preliminary design process is our focus on environmental considerations of the bridge and the development of a multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. After all, the Third Crossing isn’t about facilitating car travel but enabling us to include all modes of active transportation.

To give your input on the preliminary design please fill out this survey that explores other potential features of the bridge.

Third Crossing - survey

Thank you for all your thoughts and feedback so far.  I look forward to sharing more information with you soon about a public open house in September that will give you a chance to learn more and to ask questions from the staff and engineers working on the project. I look forward to seeing you there!  


Advancing Affordable Housing in Kingston

7 Wright Cres - rendering - July 12 2016

Rendering of the potential development at 7 Wright Crescent 

During the 2014 election I ran on a platform to move Kingston forward together. As your mayor I work daily to move us forward by ensuring  we make investments that improve the quality of life across  our community. This includes the investments being made to increase the supply of affordable housing in Kingston, which can include everything from the creation of housing with affordable rents to enabling home ownership.

I am very pleased to share some recent progress we are making on the affordable housing front. First, at our July council meeting, we approved an additional $1.2 million to increase the total number of affordable housing units for the new development on Wright Crescent that will be a mix of both market rent and affordable housing units. This additional investment will allow for more affordable housing units on the site, and will allow many of those units to be offered at even lower rents. The project still needs to go through a formal planning approval process, but the picture above provides a good idea of what it might look like once fully constructed.

This month council also took steps toward another affordable housing project at the corner of Princess Street and Hillendale Avenue. The details of the parcel of land have now been finalized, and next Spring the city will be actively looking for development proposals to build affordable housing on the property.

What’s great about both the Wright Crescent and the Princess/Hillendale projects are their locations and the partnerships that made them possible. Both sites are centrally located within the urban core of the city and along key transit routes. Not only are we increasing the supply of affordable housing in Kingston, but we are distributing it more evenly across the city to create a more integrated and equitable community. Both of these projects were made possible through partnerships, where the city is working with both non-profit housing providers and private developers towards a common goal of more affordable housing.

Working in partnership to move Kingston forward – now that’s what I call a smart and livable city!


From the Mayor’s Chair – July 12

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

Highlights from the July 12 Council meeting include discussions on three hot topics; expanding the affordable housing supply with two projects discussed, 7 Wright Crescent and 1316-1318 Princess Street. As well as an agreement for dental services with Kingston Community Health Centre and a plan to celebrate The Tragically Hip with a concert live streaming event on August 20.  

Watch the July 12 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 website

City to Celebrate The Hip with Live Stream Event

I am thrilled to announce plans for the City of Kingston, in partnership with the Downtown Kingston BIA!,  Kingston Accommodation Partners and Kingston Police, to live stream The Tragically Hip’s ‘Man Machine Poem’ concert in Springer Market Square on August 20.

August 20th will be proclaimed “The Tragically Hip Day” in the City of Kingston with a celebration of the band in Springer Market Square. The event will feature concert-quality audio-visuals and screening designed to expand the capacity of Market Square into surrounding streets for the live streamed concert.

The Tragically Hip are an iconic Canadian band who have made tremendous contributions to our country and the Kingston community in particular, through their music and philanthropy. We look forward to welcoming The Hip home and giving Kingston fans the opportunity to show their love and support of the band.

The community celebration is a free public event, open to everyone, beginning at 8:00 p.m. Kingston Transit will be free after 4:00 p.m. on Saturday August 20 with extended express service offered. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of public transit to minimize congestion in the downtown.

This event is a small gesture to allow our community to come together in a showing of our support. This celebration is going to show what The Tragically Hip means to our community and what I think Kingstonians expect. This event is going to be big and unlike anything we’ve seen before in market square.

KEDCO: It’s Time to Move Forward

Throughout the last year of debate and discussion about KEDCO, my position has always been clear. We need a new version of KEDCO – a new economic development agency with a renewed focus to position Kingston as a leader across the province and the country.

Economic development has changed significantly over the last decade; it’s less about attracting new companies to Kingston, and more about fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. We need to take advantage of the enormous talent and ideas we have right here and create an environment for companies to prosper and create jobs as they grow. We need a new agency to seize this tremendous economic potential.

Last night I along with the rest of council took the first step in creating a fresh start for economic development in Kingston. Collectively we are turning the page and moving forward with a number of transformative recommendations. Among those we will have a separate tourism organization and a newly structured economic development organization (EDO).

Throughout this process I have been impressed by the level of community engagement and the ideas generated on this issue. I’ve heard from thousands of residents, organizations, businesses and community groups with comments, suggestions and improvements. Although there are some differing opinions, one thing we all agree on is the need to move forward and get on with it. And that’s what we’re going to do.

Kingston’s new EDO will be very different from what we had in the past. It will be tied to the strategic vision I have been championing; to make Kingston a smart and livable city. Our new EDO will be arms’ length, but with more control and oversight from city hall. This is a new approach and a recognized best practice across the province.

But we’re just getting started. There is more work to be done as we move quickly to implement the necessary changes and position this new EDO on the frontlines of economic development in Kingston and Eastern Ontario. We will continue to look for feedback as we move into the implementation phase of separating these two organizations and developing their strategic focus.

There is a lot of talent and passion in our community about getting this right and it’s time to harness that energy to move forward. This is an important first step in uniting and moving us toward a common goal – making Kingston a smart, livable, 21st century city!

A New Temporary Home for the Marine Museum – Portsmouth Olympic Harbour

Alexander Henry

On June 29th City Council held a special meeting to discuss the future of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, as they face eviction from their current location on August 23rd. At this meeting City Council approved a plan that will see the Marine Museum move into vacant space at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. Council also supported the movement of the museum’s largest artifact, the retired coastguard ship Alexander Henry, from the dry dock on the waterfront and to the Picton Terminal over the next year.

The Marine Museum’s move to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour provides temporary space to showcase their artifacts over the next two to four years, giving time for the museum to explore opportunities for a new permanent location. Many people have suggested to me that the Marine Museum could fit within the future vision for the Kingston Penitentiary and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site, and that is something that can certainly be considered within the visioning exercise now underway.

The disposal of the Alexander Henry has proven to be by far the most difficult piece of the puzzle for the Marine Museum’s future. But while the ship is housed at Picton Terminal over the next year, museum and city staff will be able to assess the potential to sink the ship in the coastal waters of Kingston in order to create a new artificial dive reef.

Using the Alexander Henry to create a new dive site would be an exciting tourism opportunity for the city. But it will also come with a large price tag, and so City Council indicated the city would cover half of the cost of disposing of the Alexander Henry, provided the Marine Museum is able to cover the other half through its own fundraising efforts.

I have consistently stated that the city should be there to help the Marine Museum as it transitions to a new chapter, however the city cannot cover all of these costs alone. My challenge to the supporters of the museum and the community as a whole is to embrace this opportunity. We can move forward together as we work to preserve and celebrate our rich history.

Learn more: Third Crossing video

The Third Crossing is the single largest infrastructure project ever considered for Kingston, and so it’s very important to me that all residents in our city have a chance to learn about the details of this project and provide their input. Check out this short video to learn more about the Third Crossing bridge and how it supports our transportation needs now and into the future.

video - Third Crossing

As we move toward getting the Third Crossing to shovel ready status we are working hard to engage all residents on the importance of project. To learn more about the project visit the city website here

I am looking forward to the public open house in September when the draft design concept for the bridge, roadway and landscape will be presented!

From the Mayor’s Chair – June 21

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

Highlights from the June 21 Council meeting include discussions on three hot topics; the Kingston airport expansion project, KEDCO Review Committee report and a new model to measure economic impact of residential intensification.

The Council meeting will continue Thursday June 23 at 7pm in Council Chambers to complete the agenda 

Watch the June 21 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 website

Key Recommendations from KEDCO Review Committee Report

This week the final report of the KEDCO review committee was released to the public. The report contains a large number of recommendations and proposes some significant changes moving forward. Here’s a brief overview of what the report is proposing:

  1. Separate into two organizations: KEDCO would be replaced with two separate arms’ length organizations: Tourism Kingston and a new, rebranded economic development organization (EDO). Both organizations would have distinct missions with separate boards.
  1. Establish a new funding relationship with the city: where funding for both Tourism Kingston and the new EDO would be tied to specific activities and outcomes to be reviewed each year at budget time.
  1. Enhance public involvement and direct engagement: more visible and accessible locations would be explored for both Tourism Kingston and the EDO. More public input would be encouraged through new approaches, such as regular open houses and town halls.
  1. Establish a transparency plan: this would include permanent ‘transparency and accountability’ committees for both Tourism Kingston and the EDO and immediate changes including making annual financial and performance reports for both organizations publicly available.
  1. Repositioning the EDO to capitalize on emerging innovation and entrepreneurs: more effort would be focused on taking advantage of Kingston’s existing research and post-secondary assets to foster entrepreneurship and the emerging technologies economy.

There are of course a lot of additional details contained in the 80 page report and for those who are interested you can read the entire report HERE

There will be a formal presentation of the report at our June 21 Council meeting. Following the Council meeting I’m looking forward to consulting with stakeholders from across the community before we take any further steps. Economic development is of critical importance to our community, and now is the time to set the stage for job creation, investment and the future prosperity of Kingston.

Wal-Mart Coming Soon to Rideau Heights

This week City Council granted final zoning approval for a new Wal-Mart development at the old Quarry Sportsplex site near Division Street and Highway 401. This is great news for Kingston’s North End, and an exciting step forward in the regeneration of the Rideau Heights neighbourhood.

It wasn’t all that many years ago that the old IGA in the Kingslake plaza closed its doors, creating a food desert across the north end of the city. Today the Division Street hub has grown, now providing residents shopping options that will be further enhanced and with a new Wal-Mart added to the mix in the near future. The design for this new development ensures that this Wal-Mart will not only be accessible by car and by transit, but also by foot with a walking path from the east end it that will make a manageable walking distance for much of Rideau Heights.

This new commercial development has been several years in the planning stages, and I’m so pleased to see it move ahead. Hopefully we will see shovels in the ground very soon!

Here is a look at the site of the new Wal-Mart, shown below in grey: Walmart rideau heights location map