New Real-Time Tracking for Kingston Transit!

Transit `

Today it just got easier for Kingstonians to take the bus! Kingston Transit is making real-time arrival and departure information available for all city buses. Now you can know precisely when your ride will arrive at your chosen bus stop! This technology makes taking transit more convenient; you will now know exactly when to leave home or work to catch the bus – no more questioning whether the bus is late or if, by chance, you missed it!

Getting set-up with the technology is easy. If you have Google Maps on your phone, you’re already set to go. If you don’t, you can download Google Maps, the Transit App or the City Transit App on whatever device you use – for free. This is a perfect example of how innovative technology can be used to offer better and more efficient city services to Kingstonians! These are the kinds of initiatives that continue to move us forward together as a smart and livable, 21st century city.

Exploring Alternatives to the Wellington Street Extension

Wellington 3

This week City Council gave the green light to a formal process to explore potential alternatives to the proposed Wellington Street Extension (WSX). This re-examination of the WSX is part of a larger visioning exercise for the North King’s Town area; an exercise that seeks to revitalize and reimagine both the Inner Harbour and the Old Industrial Area north of downtown.

Until this point, the North King’s Town visioning has focused on collecting community input about what the future of this area of the city should look like. It’s very clear from the input that many Kingstonians are concerned with the WSX, primarily the southern portion of the road and especially the potential loss of green space in Doug Fluhrer Park.

I think it’s great that we as a community are working together to find a compromise on this issue. I do believe that we need a road network that can facilitate redevelopment of the Inner Harbour and the Old Industrial Area. I also believe we need to make infrastructure investments that can unlock the potential of the Davis Tannery site and other parts of the surrounding neighbourhood. But I fully agree with the importance of preserving and expanding waterfront green space. I’m sure that we as a city can come up with creative ideas to achieve all of these goals at the same time.

Going forward there will need to be a lot of technical analysis done to analyze everything from traffic flows to infrastructure needs to market demand for housing. We will see the results of this technical analysis at some point next year but I am hopeful that this work will point to an innovative solution that is worthy of a smart and livable, 21st century city.

From the Mayor’s Chair – June 6

From the Mayors Chair

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 2 minutes!

The June 6 Council meeting began with the official swearing in of new Countryside Councillor Gary Oosterhof. This brings Council back to full strength with 13 Councillors seated around the table. Highlights include a briefing on the results of the Breakout Project, an event held last month to promote social innovation which drew attention from around the world. Council also approved a new vision for North King’s Town after a year-long process gathering community input on what the future development for the Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Area of the city should look like. Finally, Council passed a motion asking City staff to investigate the possibility of installing a legal graffiti wall in Doug Fluhrer Park.

Watch the June 6 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair HERE

A Vision for the Future of Kingston Penitentiary and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour

Final Recommended Vision

This week the recommended vision for the future of Kingston Penitentiary and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour was released. This final vision is the product of a year-long process that saw over 1000 Kingstonians contribute their ideas and opinions about the future of this signature piece of Kingston’s waterfront. I believe there’s a lot to be excited about with this vision.

As you can see from the graphic above, the recommended vision has a waterfront pathway along the entire property, and expanded green space that will preserve the existing view of the waterfront from King Street. On the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour side, a new marina building with a smaller footprint will allow for more open space for sailing events and other community activities.

On the Kingston Penitentiary side of the property, it’s recommended that the north half be preserved more or less in its current state to facilitate tourism opportunities in the long term. The south half of the KP property would then be designated for both new development and adaptive re-use of some existing heritage buildings. This could allow for residential and commercial development, including other potential uses like a sailing centre, museum space, restaurants or other tourism or sport related activities.

Once final comments are collected, the recommended vision will be presented to City Council to be voted on. If Council votes in favour of the vision, then the hard work really begins with the development of a plan to make this vision a reality!

Welcome to Kingston: the 2017 Tourist Season

Visit Kingston 2

The 2017 tourist season is off to a great start and we’re looking forward to another tremendous year. In the coming months we will be welcoming visitors from across the province, the nation and from around the world. Just in the last few weeks I have spoken with a number of visitors to Kingston who have all been amazed by our historic downtown, our beautiful waterfront, and the variety of great things to see and do. Check out this great new promotional video showcasing Kingston as a must see tourist destination!

Employment Opportunities for Those Facing Mental Health Challenges

 

At the Lake Cafe Ribbon Final

This week I was very excited to attend the ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the At the Lake Café. This café has a great selection of fresh food and baked goods, it’s situated on Kingston’s waterfront, and since opening the café is already serving an average of over 400 customers a day. The café is already a vibrant hub of activity but here’s what really sets this place apart: the café is inside the new Providence Care hospital and all of its employees are people in the Kingston community living with mental illness.

This café comes out of the innovative and inspiring vision behind VOCEC – Voices, Opportunities and Choices Employment Club. VOCEC operates a number of businesses in Kingston that together employ over 100 individuals in our community who face mental health challenges. The motto of the VOCEC program is ‘Recovery through Work’ because employment can be a key part of treating mental illness. Employment provides an opportunity to build confidence, instill purpose and promote social connections while breaking down stigma surrounding mental illness. This is exactly the sort of social innovation that can make Kingston a leader in improving the quality of life for those living with mental illness.

When we talk about the vision to make Kingston a leading, innovative, ‘smart and livable 21st century city,’ that means a lot more than just expanding broadband networks and adopting new technologies. It also means embracing new and better ways of doing things as a community. Ventures like the At the Lake Café are a perfect example of this. So the next time you are down at Lake Ontario Park or taking a walk along this beautiful stretch of waterfront, stop in for a bite to eat at the At the Lake Café. Help support this socially innovative and leading edge establishment in our community!

At the Lake Cafe

From the Mayor’s Chair – May 16

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 2 minutes!

Highlights from the May 16 Council meeting include a presentation from Queen’s University asking for a noise exemption to allow for amplified music and sound for football games at Richardson Stadium. Council voted unanimously to approve the noise exemption. Council also voted to award the contract for the revitalization of Breakwater Park which means shovels will soon be in the ground. Finally, City staff presented Council with an information report detailing the past closures of the La Salle Causeway and also projected future closures in the next couple of years.

Watch the May 16 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair HERE

From the Mayors Chair

Flood Watch in Kingston: Stay Informed and Be Prepared

Flood Watch

This week Kingstonians watched closely as flooding impacted a number of areas across the city. Fortunately the waters are receding and the roads that flooded over the weekend are now being reopened, though we continue to monitor current water levels. This happens to be Emergency Preparedness Week in the City of Kingston and serves as a good reminder of the importance of being prepared for quick action in the case of an emergency.

When the unexpected happens, like 170mm of rainfall in just over a week, the City of Kingston website is a good source of up-to-date information. The City has a dedicated page for flood updates where you can find helpful information such as road closures, impacts to Kingston transit, and where to access sand bags. For updates visit the City website at www.cityofkingston.ca/floodupdates or you can always connect with the City’s customer service line at 613-546-0000.  Water level monitoring from the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority can be accessed at https://crca.ca/. In addition, you can find tips for protecting your property by checking out the following fact sheet provided by Utilities Kingston at https://utilitieskingston.com/Wastewater/BasementFlooding/FloodFacts.

Although roads have reopened, a flood warning for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River remains. As long as this flood warning is in effect, the City will continue to provide updates on the website and social media – twitter: @cityofkingston / facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston. My sincere thanks to our city’s public works, engineering staff and our emergency responders who continue to monitor conditions and who are ready to respond as required.

 

From the Mayor’s Chair – May 2

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 2 minutes!

Highlights from the May 2 Council meeting include a discussion of the proposed Bath Road bike lanes which lead to a Council vote to reduce from 4 lanes to 3 to allow for the construction of a protected bike and pedestrian path along the waterfront. Council approved a noise exemption to allow the tear down of the old Province Care hospital to take place into the evenings, but shortened the exemption from the requested 4 months down to 3 months. Finally, Council approved a motion asking for a citizens committee to explore options for future councils to be full-time rather than part-time as the mayor and council positions are currently. (see page 15, under new motions)

Watch the May 2  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

Seven Reasons Why it’s Time to Build the Third Crossing

5 centre of arch_res

Rendering of the Third Crossing – view at the arch 

At an upcoming special council meeting in June, I will be calling on City Council to approve the construction of the Third Crossing, conditional on a $60 million provincial commitment and a $60 million federal commitment. Here are seven reasons why this is the right decision for our community:

  1. The city’s share of the Third Crossing has already been built into our financial plans – meaning we can build this essential link without an increase in property taxes.

  1. A $60M commitment from both the provincial and federal governments is a fair ask given the billions earmarked for municipal infrastructure.

  1. The Third Crossing will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving traffic flow across our city and reducing the number of idling vehicles.

  1. The Third Crossing is a sustainable alternative to the Causeway, a 100+ year-old bridge that will continue to impact residents with more closures in the future for maintenance and repairs.

  1. The Third Crossing will provide more active transportation options, including a pathway for cyclists and pedestrians, and create a new east-west transit link.

  1. The Third Crossing will connect our community – allowing more efficient traffic flows across the city, reducing travel times and distances for users and non-users.

  1. Without a Third Crossing we will have to spend more money on emergency services to ensure east-end residents have access to the services they need, when they need them.

 

For more information on the Third Crossing, visit the project page on the City of Kingston website – www.cityofkingston.ca/ThirdCrossing