Kingston is officially one of several Canadian cities in the running for the 2020 Curling Canada Brier, and I am very confident that we can win it! Kingston has so much to offer, with a top rated venue in the midst of a premier downtown location. When Kingston hosted the Scotties Tournament of Hearts back in 2013, the feedback that we got from athletes, coaches and spectators was tremendous. Kingston has a thriving curling community and we have a significant team of local volunteers ready to be ambassadors and provide the support needed to have the tournament run smoothly.
At next week’s council meeting, I will be asking all of City Council to support a proposed city contribution to the Brier of $200,000 as well as facility support and transit service. This is a great investment when you consider that the Brier will attract over 130,000 spectators and have an economic impact to the city of anywhere from $11-15 million dollars. This is probably one of the biggest sporting events that Kingston has ever hosted, and what a great way to showcase our amazing city to the rest of the country!
As mayor I am proud to join the community wide effort to bring the Brier to Kingston, and a key piece of this effort is to have as many people as possible put down a $50 deposit to reserve a seat at the Rogers K-Rock Centre to watch the action in person. The deposits are refundable if Kingston doesn’t win the Brier, and the deposits are a great way of showing Curling Canada what tremendous support and enthusiasm there is in Kingston for this event.
You can submit your deposit online at http://bit.ly/2BarbyB, by phone at 1-855-985-5000, or in person at the Rogers K-Rock Centre. You can also get more information about the Kingston Brier Bid at www.kingstonbrier2020.ca. I’m confident in our ability as a community to bring the Brier to Kingston and look forward to welcoming the Curling Canada Brier here in 2020!
Over the next few weeks I have the privilege of giving a ‘State of the City’ address to a number of organizations across the community. This annual presentation is always a great opportunity to update Kingstonians on the latest news, the status of projects, or anything else that’s happening across the city. Here are a few things that I’m highlighting in this year’s state of the city address, as we look forward to an exciting and busy year ahead:
Airport Expansion: shovels will soon be in the ground as work begins to expand the terminal building and extend the runway.
Rideau Heights Community Centre: this new facility is set to open soon, with a whole variety of activities and programs offered for all ages.
John Counter Boulevard Overpass: construction is slated to begin later this year on the overpass over the rail line. This is part of the work to widen John Counter Blvd to 4 lanes between Princess St and Sir John A Macdonald Blvd.
Mayor’s Innovation Challenge: it’s incredibly exciting to see students at our post-secondary institutions jump into this competition. I’m looking forward to seeing their proposals later next month, and awarding the winning team a paid internship with the city this summer!
Belle Park Visioning: following last fall’s decision to close the existing 9 hole golf course, the work now begins to map out the future of this urban green space. Watch for opportunities coming soon to share your thoughts on what should be included in the final vision.
Third Crossing: the current plan calls for final design work to be finished this year, and then shovels in the ground starting in 2019. Of course all of that work depends on securing a $60 million contribution from the federal government. Stay tuned on this one!
Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 2 minutes!
At the January 9th Council meeting one of the big items of discussion was the annual review of the Rogers K-Rock Centre and approval of the 2018 operating plan. Council heard about the projected increase of events in the coming year and about creative uses of the space when hockey games and concerts are not taking place. Last night, Council also approved the first step in the visioning process for Belle Park which includes creating a working group. Finally, Council approved a plan to renovate the washroom and change room facilities at Grass Creek Park.
Watch the January 9th edition of From the Mayor’s Chair HERE