Plan to attend the Inner Harbour Cleanup Day on Sunday April 28th between 9 and noon.
You can register here.
Kingston residents Mary and Edward Farrar and Kathy Horton had been exploring the possibility of a pedestrian and cycling waterfront pathway along the west side of the Great Cataraqui River. A small working group was formed that included Mary and Edward as well as Brian Osborne (Professor Emeritus), Bob Tchegus (lawyer),Robert Rittwage (Katarokwi Friendship Centre), Vikram Varma (CEO Community Foundation for Kingston and Area)and City Staff: Neal Unsworth, Kris Hebert, Lanie Hurdle and most recently Wally Ferris.
City Staff embraced the idea of this trail and extended it to include not only the west side of the Great Cataraqui River going from the La Salle Causeway to Kingston Mills but coming back from Kingston Mills on the east side of the river as well. This 20 km trail will be a great asset to Kingston, providing a beautiful, healthy and safe waterfront trail for residents and tourists alike. A trail like this has been in the minds of interested citizens for as long as 40 years and now is the time to make it a reality. This Great Cataraqui River Trail will make a new section of Kingston’s beautiful waterfront accessible so both Kingstonians and tourists can truly experience Kingston as one of only a few places in the world that is both a UNESCO World Heritage site and part of a UNESCO Biosphere.
Mary and Edward Farrar spent several months in spring and summer 2010 walking the proposed path, mapping the route and researching its challenges and possibilities. Edward’s background as a professor of Geophysics and his interest in land forms and maps has been a useful starting point. A number of organizations have been contacted including City staff, City councillors, environmental groups such as the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum (KEAF), neighbourhood associations such as the McBurney Park Neighbourhoos Association, the Sydenham District Association, the Portsmouth Community District Association and the Katarakwi Friendship Centre, sports groups such as the Kingston Road Runners Association, the Kingston Velo Club, Cycle Kingston, trail associations such as the Rideau Trail Association, the Ontario Trails Council, the K&P trail group, healthy living groups such as the North of Princess Communities in Action and the KFLA Health Unit as well as private land owners and interested individuals. City Council has given the trail unanimous support and MP Ted Hsu and MPP John Gerretsen are both supportive as well. In fact, the proposal has been met with enthusiasm from all of the organizations and individuals who have been contacted and support is building steadily.
In 2010, City Council passed a motion directing city staff to provide resources in the upcoming 2011 budget to determine the preferred route, estimated costs and timeline and a consultant's report was well received. The MMM consultant's group divided the trail into segments and assessed each segment in terms of cost and feasibility. On Nov. 1, 2012, City Council agreed to allocate $2.8 million towards the construction of Stage One (La Salle Causeway to John Counter Blvd.) over a period of ten years.
In December, 2011, Mary and Edward Farrar, in association with Bob Harlow, the now former president of the "Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour" held a public meeting to re-invigorate the organization. Mary was elected the new president with Bob Harlow secretary. The community organization has both corporate and non-profit status and plans are currently being made to gain charitable status with the aid of the Queen's Business Law Clinic. With charitable status, prospective donors will be able to receive tax receipts for gifts that will go towards improving Douglas Fluhrer Park and towards added extras on the trail. The Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour will act as both a community organization for people living in the area as well as for any citizen interested in the future of Kingston's waterfront on the Inner Harbour. Membership is open. No fee is required.
The trail group is currently focusing on publicising the proposed trail and gathering input from individuals, small groups and organizations. We are looking for people who might be interested in helping to research the following topics: archaeological and Native heritage along the waterway, wildlife, industrial history of the Inner Harbour, stories about the swamp ward, marine history in the area, other waterfront trails around the world, the Wellington Street extension, and the third crossing. We are also looking for help with adding information about the project on the K7 waterfront website, If you have an interest in any of these areas and would like to be involved, please contact Mary and Edward Farrar (firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-544-1246) They would be delighted to hear from you.
Video produced by Mary & Edward Farrar; edited by Barb McIntyre.
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