New Investment in Victoria Park

 

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Final design concept for Victoria Park redevelopment 

 

Victoria Park is one of our city’s oldest and most appreciated parks, a striking green space within downtown Kingston. The park is enjoyed by countless neighbourhood residents, Queen’s students and Kingstonians from across the city. Victoria Park is definitely one of my family’s favourite spots in the summertime for a picnic and some outdoor fun at the playground.

This year Victoria Park will be completely revitalized, with new basketball and tennis courts, upgraded lighting and a new central plaza with more seating and gathering spaces for Kingstonians of all ages to enjoy the park.

This week I was also very excited by TD Bank Group’s announcement of a $500,000 grant towards this revitalization project. This private donation will further enhance the plans for the park, with a new splash pad, a water conservation garden and a diversification of the mature tree canopy. As part of this year’s sesquicentennial celebrations, TD’s Friends of the Environment Foundation is making seven donations of $500,000 across the country, and I am very proud of the fact that Kingston was selected as one of the winners. It is partnerships like this that allow us to do more with existing tax dollars and enhance the livability of our city.

As we pursue more residential development in the downtown, green spaces like Victoria Park will become ever more important in the years to come. Building a great city requires more than just new roads and sewer pipes, and it is exactly these sorts of investments in green infrastructure that will ensure Kingston continues to be an amazing place to live, work and play.

For more information on the redevelopment of Victoria Park visit the City’s website at www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/victoria-park

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Current aerial view of Victoria Park 

From the Mayor’s Chair – February 21

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 February 21 Council meeting include discussion and approval of an application for a zoning bylaw amendment at 1100 Princess Street to allow for the addition of a Tim Hortons, Council also approved a public art project at Lake Ontario Park to commemorate the relationship between the City of Kingston and Alderville First Nation, and finally Council approved a motion to approve the flying of Canadian flags at City Hall at the request of retiring military personnel at CFB Kingston who have served more than 25 years (see New Motion 1 on the agenda)

Watch the February 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

Get Engaged! – Draft Public Engagement Framework

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You often hear me talk about the vision for Kingston as a smart and livable 21st century city. This vision aims to move our community forward in all areas, key among them the relationship between City Hall and Kingstonians. I strongly believe promoting and fostering transparency, accountability and participation are key to building a smart and livable city. Within the Council priority to foster open government is a commitment to engaging residents. I am thrilled to see progress on this priority this week with the release of the draft Public Engagement Framework for community input.

The draft Public Engagement Framework lays out key principles of how and for what purpose the public can and should be engaged. Specifically, the framework outlines;

Realistic expectations for engagement

  • The purpose of public engagement is to ensure that all voices are heard and taken into consideration when decisions are being made. Even though all points are considered, final decisions made by Council may not always satisfy everyone who participated in the engagement process.

An approach to planning public engagement programs

  • The draft framework is built on the understanding that public engagement is not a single process, but instead has various levels of engagement based on characteristics of individual projects or initiatives. Not all projects require the same level of engagement and the draft framework helps to determine the engagement techniques based on individual projects, their complexity and timelines.

Tools and techniques

  • Given that engagement will look different for different projects there are a range of tools and techniques. Based on the level of engagement, from information sharing to empowering the public to engage in decision making, techniques can range from public signage, newsletters, open houses, and surveys to focus groups, working groups and referendums.

Implementation and communication of public engagement programs  

  • Communicating the engagement plan is important to the success of public engagement; communications plans are separate and will be created to accompany engagement plans. Also critically important is the need to follow-up with those who participated by sharing the recommendations or decisions made, the reason for the recommendations or decisions and how the public input was used.

 

How can you get involved?

  • Visit CityofKingston.ca/GetInvolved to review Kingston’s draft Public Engagement Framework
  • Provide your input on the Framework through an online survey, open until March 10.
  • Provide your feedback in writing, anytime, by e-mailing LetsConnect@cityofkingston.ca
  • Join the open house on March 8 from 4 to 7p.m. at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour.

The draft Public Engagement Framework is important to the future of how the City will seek your input. I encourage you to review the document and have your say. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts!  

Watch: 2017 State of the City Presentation

Each year the Mayor of Kingston is invited to deliver a “State of the City” address at our local Rotary Clubs. This is an important touch point to let Kingstonians know the progress being made and what’s ahead in the coming year.

Thanks to Station 14 I am able to share with you this video of the 2017 State of City presentation, as presented in full, from February 14, 2017.

Watch the presentation here by clicking the image below

state-of-the-city-2017

If you are interested in having me present at your association, organization or club please connect with my office at mayor@cityofkingston.ca 

A New Vision for the Old Nortel Property

This week City Council formally approved official plan and zoning changes to allow for a complete redevelopment of the old Nortel industrial land next to the Rio Can Centre on Gardiners Road. This 100 acre property has been dormant for many years, but finally there is a plan to transform the entire site into a mix of residential and commercial development.

On the residential side, the new development will include single family homes, townhouses, three high rise apartment buildings, and include a number of apartment units geared to seniors. On the commercial side, there are plans for a new grocery store, convenience store, restaurant and other retail stores. As part of the overall redevelopment of the site there will also be two public parks and potential space to allow for a new school.

This redevelopment within our urban core fits with the vision to make Kingston a smart and livable 21st century city by including a variety of housing options, commercial conveniences, green space and active transportation. The future residents in this area will be able to walk to the Rio Can Centre for shopping, they will have easy access to Kingston Transit express bus routes, and the city will see a sizeable increase in tax revenue as the land is converted from a vacant industrial lot to a thriving neighborhood in the centre of our city.

From the Mayor’s Chair – February 7

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 February 7 Council meeting include discussion and approval of the City assuming the operations of pathway lighting along the waterfront walkway at Commodore’s Cove on King Street West. Council also approved a zoning change for 700 Gardinders Road, located next to the RioCan Centre, from industrial to residential and commercial to allow for the redevelopment of the property.

Watch the February 7 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

 

“Everybody was in it from miles around…”

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In a very special opening of this year’s Feb Fest celebrations, I was joined by The Tragically Hip band members Rob Baker and Paul Langlois to officially unveil the Hip commemorative stone in Springer Market Square. This new addition to Market Square pays tribute to a night Kingstonians will always remember, August 20th, 2016, the day when our city came together to support and celebrate Kingston’s hometown band.

A few days after the concert Ben McLean, from local radio station BigFM 96, threw out an idea on social media; why not commemorate this incredible event with a special stone in Market Square? It was a great idea and several months later the stone has been set in place. Thank you Ben!

The unforgettable evening was captured perfectly by the Hip lyric inscribed on the stone, located at the corner of King and Princess, ‘Everybody was in it from miles around…’ from Hip song Blow at High Dough. That August night more than 25,000 people filled Market Square, joining fans inside the Rogers K-Rock Centre and the millions of Canadians across the country. It was a national celebration and a moment we won’t soon forget.

I’m sure that in the months and years to come, countless visitors and residents of Kingston walking through Market Square will stop at this stone and reflect on what an incredible moment it was in our city. To me, this stone is the city’s way of saying thank you. On behalf of the City of Kingston, to all the members of The Tragically Hip, thank you. Thank you for your music, thank you for the memories, and thank you for all you have done over the years to support your hometown.

The video below, shown for the first time after the stone was unveiled, does a great job capturing the incredible atmosphere in downtown Kingston that evening.

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