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Major Geographic Features


Major features of the Kingston area waterfront

View or Edit topic: "Islands"

Notable islands in the Kingston area

View or Edit topic: "Google Data Map Islands"
See also Thousand Islands, Wolfe Island, Cedar Island, Garden Island, Milton Island, Simcoe Island, Amherst Island, Main Duck Island

View or Edit topic: "Bays"

Bays in the Kingston area

There are many interesting bays in the Kingston region. See also the gunkholing and Points topics.
View or Edit topic: "Google Data Map Bays"
resume

See also Big Sandy Bay, Brown's Bay, Collins Bay, Deadman Bay, Brakey Bay

View or Edit topic: "Points"

Points of land in the Kingston region

See also the bays topic.
View or Edit topic: "Google Data Map Points"
View or Edit topic: "Beaches"

Beaches

There are no "official" beaches in Kingston. There are, however, several good waterside places to hang out.

Two articles explaining the situation:
http://www.waterkeeper.ca/content/swim/original_content_7767.php
http://www.waterkeeper.ca/content/swim/original_content_7816.php

View or Edit topic: "Sand Beaches"

Sand beaches in the Kingston area

View or Edit topic: "Google Data Map Sand Beaches"
See more details about Arrowhead Beach Park, Big Sandy Bay, Grass Creek Park.

View or Edit topic: "Rocky Beaches"

Rocky beaches in the Kingston area

View or Edit topic: "Google Data Map Rocky Beaches"

See also: Richardson Beach

View or Edit topic: "Richardson Beach"

Richardson Beach

Not really a beach since it's made of limestone shelf-rock. It's located at the foot of Emily Street near the Kingston Yacht Club.

Richardson Beach, also known as "Emily Street", is a favorite location for windsurfers in the Kingston area. Richardson Beach has parking, changerooms (closed), a grassy rigging area, and very enthusiastic boardsailors.

Richardson Beach and area

Recent related news

October 31 2011

INTERESTING AGENDA ITEM for the November 1st Council meeting.

City staff is recommending the addition of Pay and Display parking on the west side of Emily Street. This is a prime parking area for Kingston General Hospital patients and visitors. The additional parking spaces will also accommodate waterfront park users, particularly windsurfers at Richardson Beach.

This is great because recent renovations to the Richardson Beach area eliminated some parking, and the west side of Emily street has been a no-parking zone for many years. It looks like this is about to change.

Posted October 31 2011
Category: Accessibility

July 15 2011

THE CITY has posted its July 2011 City Priority Matrix.

Here's K7's summary of waterfront-related priorities found in the document.

Of the 86 items in the matrix, only seven concern waterfront.

Just three of those would improve access and two of those are actually being implemented: Lake Ontario Park and Richardson Beach. The third item, the proposed Cataraqui River Trail Project, is citizen-led and still a long way off.

Nothing has changed since the April 2011 Priority matrix except the Richardson Bath House and landscaping work is complete.

Very disappointing overall.

Posted July 15 2011
Category: City Council

May 3 2011

KINGSTON'S DAVIS FAMILY has recently posted some great regatta results.

Paul Davis the father just won his third Soling World Championship in Chiemsee, Germany.

Son Robert Davis just placed second at the 2011 Laser Atlantic Coast Championships at Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Posted May 3 2011
Category: Racing

April 4 2011

THE CITY has posted its April 2011 Priority Matrix.

It's not a long document but it's one of those PDFs rotated such that you can't easily read it.

Here's a summary of waterfront related priorities found in the document.

In short, 78 items in the list, seven concern waterfront, but just three would improve access and two of those are actually being implemented: Lake Ontario Park and Richardson Beach.

The third item, the proposed Cataraqui River Trail Project, is citizen-led and a long way off.

VERY slim pickings.

Posted April 4 2011
Category: City Council

December 20 2010

The EVENT IMPACT ANALYSIS for the 1000 Islands Poker Run will be meekly accepted by Kingston's new Council on Tuesday night.

Read the whole thing, and judge for yourself.

It never seems to matter how transparently ridiculous these reports are, they always get forwarded, and are always accepted by Kingston City Council.

Sad thing is, it's far from the worst report on the evening's agenda. That honour could go to the Economic Impact of Kingston Airport which says, brace yourself:

Total gross revenues generated by activities at Kingston Airport during 2009 are estimated to be $49.5 million.

That's a hair under a million dollars a week.

Apparently there's nothing pushover-commissioners Cynthia Beach and Denis Leger won't endorse to Council. The LVEC fiasco held no visible consequences for these two, and it evidently taught them nothing, so today the flow of bull continues unabated.

Posted December 20 2010
Category: City Council

August 5 2010

RFP FOR RICHARDSON BEACH RENOVATIONS (7.3Mb .zip file).

If you find anything in there related to improving swimming at Richardson Beach, do tell.

Posted August 5 2010
Category: Beaches

June 24 2010

A FIFTH of all Lake Ontario Beaches are currently posted unsafe according to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

Meanwhile, here in Kingston, there is still no beach report avaiable from our lard-ass Health Unit.

Posted June 24 2010
Category: The region

June 8 2010

Shorts:

TWO ENGINEERING JOBS at MetalCraft Marine

STILL no beach report from our lard-ass Health Unit.

NAVAL RE-ENACTMENT this weekend.

KINGSTON'S FIREBOAT is named the Thomas H. Patterson.

Posted June 8 2010
Category: Working waterfront

May 26 2010

Blank Beach Report

SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK because there's no beach report avaiable from our lard-ass Health Unit.

It's only 31 degrees outside today. This has been forecast for quite some time.

There's been no signal that the KFLA Health Unit will be making-up the miles they are behind Toronto in beach report timeliness and data quality.

Posted May 26 2010
Category: Beaches

March 9 2010

SLOW, FRUSTRATING PROGRESS on deferred maintenance at Richardson Beach, in today's Whig.

Posted March 9 2010
Category: Beaches

February 26 2010

CONCEPT PLAN for Richardson Beach and Bath House in Tuesday's Council agenda. It's a 4-page PDF.

Posted February 26 2010
Category: Beaches

January 3 2010

NOTHING SAYS "KINGSTON" like the document titled City of Kingston Waterfront Strategy - Past Directions which is part of the upcoming January 7th Planning Committee meeting agenda.

Firstly, the document is borderline unreadable! When did it ever become OK to post unreadable documents for the public? This has been going-on for years.

Secondly, the online document is incomplete.

Exhibit 'A' -- 'Waterfront Strategy - Past Directions' which forms part of this report is being circulated under separate cover.

The public needn't concern itself with the specific contents of the "approximately 40 studies and reports (that) were undertaken during the past 30 years".

Thirdly, get this:

RECOMMENDATION:

That the "Waterfront Strategy - Past Directions" document be accepted as background information for the Waterfront Strategy, which will assist in the development of policies and recommendations to conserve and manage the City's waterfront.

Well, duh!

Progress on the waterfront file is here masquerading in the form of this totally obvious "report" from Cynthia Beach (Commissioner, Sustainability and Growth) that supposedly lists the details of 40 waterfront-related studies conducted over the past 30-years, suggesting that the Planning Committee should take time to accept the recommendation to consider recommendations arising from these studies when planning for the waterfront.

And so it goes.

Ever wonder how Kingston ended-up with a wasted waterfront? One reason is we have a Planning Committee that doesn't expect very much from City staff.

This endless visionless wheel-spinning helps ensure that money for the Downtown will indeed be amply available whenever needed. So, over time, we all end-up with, among other things, our fat-cat downtown and a shamefully wasted derelict waterfront.

Skeptical about that? Flashback to January 19th 2009. Read the whole thing.

Posted January 3 2010
Category: City of Kingston

November 15 2009

THIS is scandalous. Get a load of this:

At the next Council meeting, senior city managers Cynthia Beach and Lanie Hurdle (remember the wonderful, wonderful LVEC project?) want to add $200,000 to the budget for Token Park to cover some glaring planning oversights. Like lighting, and accessibility.

To finance this, these people want to filch $55,000 from the city's waterfront improvement account, $55,000 from the cycling and pathway account, and $90,000 remaining in the City Park splash-pad account.

Because, you know, we're up-to-our-eyeballs in recreational infrastructure here in Kingston.

Posted November 15 2009
Category: Block D

October 4 2009

THREE NOTABLE ITEMS on City Council's agenda for the meeting of October 6 2009.

  1. Read the Recreation & Leisure Services Department 2009-2010 Priorities and observe the degree to which waterfront just isn't on the radar. What's waterfront-related is either stalled, or token.

    Waterfront items include:

    • "Design of the Breakwater beach area (2010)". The Mass Swim, the culmination of public disgust over how our waterfront is marginalized, was held July 22nd 2008.
    • "Window repairs at the Richardson Beach Bath house (2010)". That's routine deferred maintenance, long overdue, masquerading as a listable project serving the illusion of serving the waterfront.
    • "Final approval to the Lake Ontario Park Plan (November 2009)", the proximity of which signals that public outcry (also here) over the way overblown concept plan will be mostly ignored.
    • "Marinas Business Plan (February 2010)" which promises to be an eyeball-roller given all the evident shenanigans (and here) leading to that.
    • "Waterfront Plan (2010)", whatever that is. This is bundled with, and listed after items like "New outdoor rinks construction policy (2010)", "healthy food options (2010)", "Community gardens policy (November 200)", and "Sustainable food strategy (2010)". That's your Harvey-Rosen-era Kingston waterfront, right there.
  2. The City gets, gratis, a narrow-strip of adjacent land to allow widening the waterfront pathway between the West Street launch ramp and Simcoe Street. That's courtesy of Holmstead Land Holdings which, rest assured, will get-that-back in spades later.
  3. The 2006 agreement with the Kingston Brewing Company to operate 6 Clarence Street as a service centre for Confederation Basin Marina boaters is renewed and sweetened through 2012.
Posted October 4 2009
Category: City Council

August 31 2009

IDIOTIC BEACH REPORT from the KFLA Public Health Unit. Idiotic beach report

Go ahead, read it.

Who writes this crap? Who is it written-for? Er, which beaches are open, or closed, or what? This is bullshit.

Hey, KFLA Public Health unit, give us obvious in-context links to the complete list of beaches in the KFLA area posted as unsafe for swimmers.

Just like that.

Not long confusing link-free paragraphs then, far from there, a link that doesn't-look-like-a-link, out-of-context, which few people will scroll-to and find, and fewer will click. Can you find it? Look again.

Seriously, how hard could that be? This is so basic.

This isn't news. For too long the KFLA Public Health Unit has been an embarassment to our waterfront.

Dr Ian Gemill, enough self-serving verbiage about beaches. Do us a favour: either clean-house or retire.

Posted August 31 2009
Category: Beaches

June 9 2009

KFLA Beach Report

THERE'S APPARENTLY NO IMPROVEMENT since last July to the so-called "Beach Report" we're getting from the Health Unit.

What's worse, it's nearly mid-June and the City of Kingston is still not listing beach quality information, or links to beach quality information, on its Environment or Recreation landing pages.

The main problem with our Health Unit's Beach Report remains the lack of disclosure which is in stark contrast with the quality of beach information other areas are getting.

Here's the data we need to see:

  • The exact date the sample was collected.
  • The specific level of E.coli found, as they do in Hastings & Prince Edward Counties and Toronto.
  • How, exactly, was the sample collected? Was it from a boat perhaps hundreds of feet off-the-beach, or within a few yards of the waterline where children actually swim?
  • The sampling history for each location so the propensity and volatility of E.coli contamination can be reckoned.

Because just "Open" or "Closed" isn't nearly good enough.

Posted June 9 2009
Category: Beaches

May 22 2009

AFTER A FEW DAYS AWAY sailing on Lake Erie including a transit through a sadly delapidated and disfunctional Welland Canal, some catching-up:

  • Morch Marine in Belleville, in its more-recent incarnation as a condo development corporation, is belly-up. The latest: at least boat owners were able to finally launch and get out-of-there.

  • Kingston's stalled beach dossier from The Whig on Wednesday. Some great comments from readers too.

  • Funding for the Tett Centre appears to be coming together.

    Looking at the concept drawing of a water-side perspective , there's apparently zero direct water-accessibility in the plans. One of Kingston's best shore-dives lies just off the property.

Posted May 22 2009
Category: Roundup

May 14 2009

Richardson Beach

A RICHARDSON BEACH UPDATE is on the Council agenda for next Tuesday. 12-pages in all.

The words "windsurf" and "sail", and any reference to current users of the beach, appear exactly zero-times.

So the railroad is running perfectly. How perfectly? The consultant's report is dated April 9th. What's a five-week disclosure delay when you and your plans aren't accountable to anyone in particular?

Oh, and the plan changes drastically. You thought maybe the old plan wasn't windsurfer-friendly? Here's the new (5-week-old) schematic.

This much appears certain: another summer will pass with no beach improvements in Kingston.

Posted May 14 2009
Category: Beaches

May 5 2009

Mayors action plan

MAYORS WANT GREAT LAKES BEACHES PROMOTED according to a report released today.

Here is a link to the 44-page report which, take note, isn't provided by any of the online "professional" mainstream media "covering" this today.

It's a 5-point plan.

  1. Create a Municipal-Provincial-Federal Great Lakes Table.
  2. Improve and promote beaches, natural areas, wetlands, trails and tourism.
  3. Attack nuisance and toxic algae.
  4. Reduce untreated sewage and stormwater discharges entering the great lakes, especially in light of climate change and technical innovations.
  5. Build a business case and measure results from Great Lakes investments.

There may be no better way to strengthen the public’s connection to the Great Lakes than to enhance and promote beaches and other shoreline activities such as wetlands, natural areas and trails. Drawing more people to the shoreline can also boost local economies and contribute to healthier lifestyles. With a greater share of Great Lakes shoreline than any other jurisdiction, it makes sense to promote Ontario as a major beach and shoreline destination.

Mass swim 2008

One wonders about Harvey Rosen's role in all this.

When it comes to waterfront around here, it's been absolutely all-downhill during his tenure.

One can easily imagine Harvey Rosen, a minority dissenter, clinging instead to some half-baked plan to siphon more tax-dollars for his cronies Downtown.

Beaches? Trails? Parks and wetlands? Harvey Rosen? Please!

Remember this scene from the July 22 2008 Mass Swim (also here)? The event sought to raise awareness about our woefully neglected beaches.

All signs indicate that 2009 will be another summer woeful beach maintenance, woeful beach safety reporting (also here), and more of the usual Kingston recreational infrastruture degradation.

Scroll this page for the full-story on Kingston's beaches since 2006.

Posted May 5 2009
Category: Beaches

March 23 2009

ON TUESDAY'S COUNCIL AGENDA is the City Marinas Sustainable Strategy and Business Plan whose weeks-delayed public release was thoroughly botched last month following its truly bizarre August 2006 inception as a suspiciously narrowly-circulated RFI.

(Hey, you have to agree: it's a great way to run a railroad.)

FINALLY, for perhaps the first time in the seemingly endless Harvey Rosen era, Kingston waterfront takes a step that's NOT downright stupid, or ridiculously over-hyped, or shamefully stalled, or dirigiste, or laughably incomplete, or botched, or totally wasted, or commandeered by a raving bo-bo or otherwise seriously retrograde.

This bucks the unmistakable trend:

THAT the recommendation for the relocation of the Coast Guard at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour be exempted from the above clauses, and that it be referred back to staff for review and reconsideration in light of the community concerns raised within correspondence and through a delegation to the Committee on behalf of the Portsmouth Villagers Community Association.

Hallelujah.

Related: Anne Milina Outlook Point, the waterfront park that stands to be clobbered by said Coast Guard relocation.

Posted March 23 2009
Category: Marinas

March 11 2009

The ice moves out 2009

BIG BREEZE TODAY was the tipping point for ice-breakup in Kingston Harbour.

See these photos courtesy of Frances O'Neill of ice floes pushed-up on the shore at KYC.

Look closely: the ice pushed-up a large part of the rocky beach.

UPDATE: See also these photos from Chris Walmsley, also taken at KYC, including this one of the ice crumpling an iron fence. The photos also show yesterday's wind graph which peaks at 100 KM/H (60 MPH on the graph).

UPDATE: All this is reminiscent of this scene on February 17 2006, only this year is worse because thick ice floes are far more damaging than water. Peak wind on that day was 84 KM/H.

Posted March 11 2009
Category: Shoreline

January 19 2009

Kingston Official Plan 2008 Documents

THE LATEST OFFICIAL PLAN for the City of Kingston contains much related to waterfront in its 35 PDF documents and hundreds of pages.

We're fast approaching the plan's "consultation" period, for what that's worth.

Looking through all the documents for its waterfront-related aspects, there are numerous general mentions of the recreational uses of our waterfront. Considering the vast majority of kingstonians have no meaningful relationship with the waterfront beyond the occasional glimpse, it all rings hollow.

The plan goes nowhere beyond cliches and platitudes as far as recreational waterfront is concerned.

For example, in the hundreds of pages of the plan, the words Swim, Sail, Row or Rowing, SCUBA, or Diving never appear. The word Wreck appears several times, always in reference to wrecking yards.

The word Beach appears just once in reference to Richardson Beach Bathouse but not in the context of swimming, its renovation, or any recreational aspect you might hope-for.

Don't look to the plan for mention of Ramps unless those ramps are for sidewalk accessibility.

The word Fishing appears once, in the context of some policy that would control fish farming -- probably text copied wholesale from some other municipality's plan.

The word Boating is used once, in a non-specific way, in one document titled "Downtown and Harbour Area Special Policy Area".

In that PDF you'll find doozies like this:

Public Access to the Water
10A.4.14. Access to the waterfront will be enhanced wherever possible, particularly at the ends of public rights of way. Publicly accessible docks also form character-defining elements of the Harbour Area and provide informal open space that will be preserved.

Bullshit!

Oh, there are good things in the plan. Lots of words about linking waterfront pathways, and acquiring waterfront properties. But everybody knows there will never be much money for that.

You can have a multi-faceted plan that makes everybody, especially its authors and the politicians, feel-good. But in the end, when it comes to implementation, there is only one group in Kingston that ALWAYS hoovers most of the money: Downtown Kingston. This plan ensures that this will continue.

The plan is crystal clear on this: the systematic and grotesque annual subsidies of Downtown Kingston, the land owners there, and those who run the related tourist-trappings, will continue unabated.

Looking for quality of life initiatives for the residents of the rest of amalgamated Kingston, especially addressing our waterfront-related recreational infrastructure deficit? Not in the plan.

Posted January 19 2009
Category: City Council

November 22 2008

Richardson Beach

THE GROYNE IS A DONE-DEAL, apparently.

Public consultation, Kingston-style: 1) Quickly conjure a single plan with no options, 2) pretend to listen to input, then 3) execute the plan.

Name a recent Kingston waterfront development that didn't follow this pattern, or this pattern minus step-2.

Posted November 22 2008
Category: Beaches

September 20 2008

TWO WATERFRONT-RELATED ITEMS ON THE AGENDA of the City's Arts, Recreation & Community Policies Committee meeting of Thursday September 25th.

Posted September 20 2008
Category: City of Kingston

July 26 2008

Health Unit Beach Report July 2008

FINALLY the KFL&A Health Unit has a dedicated beach report web page.

Getting that took over a year. Think: pulling teeth.

Another plus: The Health Unit's page lists 41 beaches, covering a wide area.

By contrast, the City of Kingston's "Environment" page lists just 11 city beaches plus Big Sandy Bay.

But the Health Unit lists four swimming spots in the City that, for some reason, don't appear on the City website:

  • The PUC dock at the foot of Collingwood street,
  • the Collins Bay Pier,
  • Lemoine Point which, oddly, the Health Unit classifies under "Cataraqui Conservation Authority". This area is within the City of Kingston, and should be listed as such.
  • What they call "Lake Ontario Hospital", which is either behind the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital, or Breakwater Park. We're supposed to guess.

So the City and the Health Unit currently aren't on the same page when it comes to keeping swimmers healthy.

Downsides: The Health Unit and the City of Kingston can't seem to agree on names for some beaches. Respect for our beaches surely starts with referring to them properly in official communications.

Here's what needs to drastically improve next because this still isn't good enough. Vital information still isn't being disclosed, like:

  • The date of the sample was collected.
  • The specific level of E.coli found, as they do in Hastings & Prince Edward Counties.
  • How, exactly, was the sample collected? Was it from a boat perhaps hundreds of feet off the beach, or within a few yards of the waterline where children actually swim?

Related: A swimmable Lake Ontario, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper Podcast from June 5, 2008. This covers, in detail, what's wrong with the current state of beach reporting around Lake Ontario.

The bottom line: thanks for finally creating a web page, but we really need way better information to make choices. See, for example, the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit beach report.

Posted July 26 2008
Category: Beaches

July 26 2008

MASS-SWIM ROUNDUP

The mass swim, a wakeup call in support of Richardson Beach, happened last Tuesday, July 22nd.

Posted July 26 2008
Category: Beaches

July 20 2008

RICHARDSON BEACH PRELIMINARY PLANS are posted. So far it's just sketches, no text.

It also appears to be mostly not about the beach, but about landscaping above the beach in the form of pathways and lookouts.

What's with the rock-bounded funnel-shaped groin in the water? The rationale for that will be interesting to hear. Someone should probably ask if the designer has ever been to a beach people actually use for swimming. Note there's no roped-off swimming area, no swimmers, and no windsurfers shown in any of the drawings.

Updated: Mixed reaction from members of on the Kingston Boardsailing Association. Boardsailors are the folks who currently use Richardson Beach the most. Among other points, the current drawings show drastic cuts to the area they need for rigging and laying-out sailboards. Richardson Beach Concept

Posted July 20 2008
Category: Beaches

July 19 2008

Lake Ontario Park RFP

THE 25-PAGE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL for consulting services for the development of a master plan for Lake Ontario Park has been released by the City.

The RFP is due Wednesday, August 13, 2008.

Related:

Posted July 19 2008
Category: City of Kingston

July 19 2008

EDITORIAL AND OP-ED pieces about Richardson Beach in today's Whig.

Posted July 19 2008
Category: Beaches

July 18 2008

Kingston sewer bypass log from July 2008

BEACH CLOSURES are the subject of front-page stories in both The Whig and Kingston This Week today.

Read them both.

Jim Keech, president of Utilities Kingston, must think we're all stupid.

He certainly knows that Osprey Media reporters are pushovers.

Here we have the City of Kingston bypassing over 7,000 cubic meters of sewage -- over 1.5 million imperial gallons -- into our local waterways all within the past 10-days and we're led to believe the e.coli fouling our beaches must be due to birds.

It gets worse: they aren't actually metering all the City's sewer bypass points.

And our mainstream media just parrots what these ass-covering municipal suits say. Kingston: a sewage dumping municipality

For perspective, imagine 300 tanker trucks, each with 5,000 gallon capacity exactly like the one pictured here, lined-up taking turns pumping their full contents of sewage into the water. That's what 1.5 million gallons looks like. The equivalent of that happened this past week in Kingston, by the City of Kingston itself. And big-cheese Jim Keech says that e.coli has "...nothing to do with sewage" and "...the by-passes that we've had have been relatively insignificant".

Related:

Posted July 18 2008
Category: Beaches

July 14 2008

Deserted Richardson Beach, mid-afternoon, during the August 2006 heat wave

GROUP SEEKS BEACH CLEANUP is front-page in The Whig today, about the awareness-raising Mass Swim planned for July 22nd at Richardson Beach.

It's amazing that it has come to this.

The decrepit state of Richardson Beach is plainly evident to anyone who cares to look, and the outcry over our neglected beaches was widely acknowledged in the last municipal election campaign.

Posted July 14 2008
Category: Beaches

July 3 2008

Screwed-up beach report

The CITY OF KINGSTON BEACH REPORT continues to be a complete screwup.

Boys and girls, how hard is it to maintain a simple list, as inadequate as that is compared to the extensive service lake swimmers get in Toronto?

Moreover the City of Kingston's beach report is still linking to a non-existent page at the Health Unit's old website address.

Related: Another summer of ad-hoc Kingston beach reports from June 23rd.

Posted July 3 2008
Category: Beaches

June 23 2008

KLFA Health Unit home page

ANOTHER SUMMER OF AD-HOC KINGSTON BEACH REPORTS, it seems.

The Health Unit Communications Officer, Mr Justin Chenier, has made it very clear: there are currently no plans for a link, nevermind a dedicated page, about local beaches on the Health Unit website. Don't even think about it; it's not on the radar.

If you need the latest on local beaches, you'll need to root through the Health Unit's news dispatches, essentially fending for yourself, interpreting the fragmentary disclosures therein. Assuming you find it at all.

Also, this Health Unit declares beaches unsafe, but does not explicitly declare them safe again. So faced with, say, a 5-day old beach report, what should one conclude?

Alternately, you could consult this City of Kingston web page (found via "Residents", then "Environment", not "Recreation") which provides a list, but with no date-of-update and no other cues, so information freshness is always in doubt here. This same page showed Lake Ontario Park Beach and Rotary Park Beach closed for most of the winter, a sign that keeping this list fresh certainly wasn't any sort of priority last year.

The City web page currently links to the Health Unit's old website address (http://www.healthunit.on.ca/programs/environ.html) which, like all references to the old website, redirects to the current home page where, assuming the beach news hasn't scrolled-off, you might find more beach-related information in the 4-item news-area found there.

This is all very sloppy. There's no possible excuse for this.

Now look at Toronto: they do it better. Toronto has:

Here in Kingston, don't even think of making suggestions for the Health Unit website: they are evidently only interested in hearing themselves tell you how great the KFL&A Health Unit website is. You'll be talking with God's gift to local beach users. That's got to change.

Related:

All this is emblematic of how much our municipal and local bureaucracies, at every level, need a swift kick-in-the-butt when it comes to respecting our waterfront and its users.

See also: You snooze, you lose -- Kingston's disappearing waterfront. This beach-report situation is more evidence that some nine-to-fivers among us are evidently auto-stumbling through their waterfront-related dossiers.

Posted June 23 2008
Category: Beaches

December 20 2007

Kiteboarding Kingston - Riding Map

Someone created a Google KITEBOARDING KINGSTON - RIDING MAP. Big Sandy Bay is mis-identified, but the rest is great.

For example:

PUC Dock

Kingston's most popular summer launch site, good from east through west on the south side of the compass, best in SW winds...but it really comes to life in a true west once the swell gets bigger and cleans up a bit. Best catagorized as "bump and jump" with a nice little carvatorium on the inside at the pipe.

Though this is a very accessible launch it is an intermediate level spot at least. There is a slight current, and limited landing spots downwind. Jump off the dock to launch, but make sure you make it in before the last little beach upwind of the hospital! If you miss that your best bet is to ride it out and come in WAAAAY downwind at the base of Fort Henry. Not a bad planned downwinder for those on the early stages of the learning curve. Bring a quarter and call a cab from the pay phone at the entrance to the fort to get back to the PUC docks.

Wild.

Related: Here's a Google Earth File of Lake Ontario Windsurf Spots compiled by Evan Wamsley.

Posted December 20 2007
Category: Boardsailing

October 18 2007

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper 2007 Beach Report

BEACH REPORT 2007 is a 36-page PDF just released by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

Seven of the Kingston-area beaches are covered in the report:

  • Richardson Beach (they call it "Murney Tower")
  • Grass Creek
  • Rotary Park, (incorrectly identified as part of "Collins Bay Marina")
  • Lemoine Beach
  • Arrowhead Beach
  • Crerar Beach
  • Everitt Beach
  • Lake Ontario Park (they call it "Lake Ontario Municipal Beach")

Oddly Big Sandy Bay, one of Lake Ontrario's most beautiful beaches, isn't included.

Kingston Ontario waterfront beach report

Many of the observations arise from the abject neglect by our municipality for our beaches.

That's not the only beach-related thing that's neglected by the City.

On August 24th we were pleased to report that FINALLY WE HAVE AN ONLINE BEACH REPORT.

But our fears were well-founded: as it turns out, that online beach report is just another web page the City is unable to properly maintain. There has been no update in the two months since August 24th when the information was first posted.

Posted October 18 2007
Category: The environment

August 24 2007

Kingston Ontario waterfront beach report

FINALLY WE HAVE AN ONLINE BEACH REPORT.

It's on the City of Kingston website, under "Residents", then "Recreation". At the moment apparently two beaches, Lake Ontario Park and Rotary Park, are posted.

The information is not date-stamped, so you'll have no idea of information freshness. Let's hope this isn't another web page the city has no time to maintain.

Posted August 24 2007
Category: City of Kingston

July 11 2007

Posted July 11 2007
Category: The environment

July 4 2007

Now ROTARY PARK BEACH IS POSTED CLOSED due to high E. coli levels (again from The Whig Standard, and not the Health Unit website).

Last year, Rotary Park Beach was closed in late July, which at the time was Kingston's first beach closure in 14 years. That closure forced the nearby Collins Bay Yacht Club to stop in-water instruction until the beach re-opened.

What the heck is polluting our west-end beaches?

Posted July 4 2007
Category: Beaches

June 30 2007

LAKE ONTARIO PARK BEACH is closed due to high E. coli levels (from The Whig Standard).

The Health Unit website? Lame.

We have more on Kingston's rock and sand beaches

Posted June 30 2007
Category: Beaches

June 23 2007

NOTHING ABOUT BEACHES ON THE HEALTH UNIT WEBSITE.

But their website claims they inspect beaches. Just don't assume they make results available or anything.

The Whig today has a beach safety news story and, apparently, the local beach safety story is good for now. Perhaps one must phone? Better call during business hours, Monday through Friday, because otherwise they are closed.

Posted June 23 2007
Category: Beaches

March 20 2007

There are WATERFRONT ITEMS IN THE 2007-08 MUNICIPAL CAPITAL BUDGET which should be approved tonight.

  • Under Culture and Rec
    • $30,000 for a Beaches Study
    • $30,000 for Beaches Imprementation
    • $50,000 for Cycling and Pathways Implementation
    • $30,000 for the Lake Ontario Park Master Plan
  • Under Marinas
    • $80,000 for Confederation Basin-Power upgrade on E and F docks. E-F docks are on your immediate right, jutting towards the Ramada, as you walk onto the main dock.
    • $50,000 for POH Break Wall floating extenston
    • $40,000 for POH Accessibility Upgrades
    • $30,000 for POH, for the facings of D and E docks. D and E docks are the two closest to the grassy playground area.
    • $10,000 POH launch ramp upgrades
    • $40,000 for Confederation Basin-Marinas Business Case Study (?!)
  • Under Planning and Development
    • $75,000 for a Waterfront Strategy
  • Under Properties
    • $105,000 for various at the Marine Museum (roof, chimney)
Posted March 20 2007
Category: City of Kingston

August 25 2006

BEACH INFORMATION WHERE? Wondering if a particular local beach is open or closed? The KFL&A Health Unit website is no help. First you must guess that their news page is where this information is kept, and then you must guess if a news item is current since their items are not dated. What's worse, the beach information is buried in a narrative paragraph which must be interpreted, and some of the beach-closure related news items mention some beaches while omitting others.

Searching for "Beaches" or "Beach Closing" on the City of Kingston website yields dysfunctional results.

What this city needs is a web page that clearly shows us the status of all local beaches at a glance.

Posted August 25 2006

August 2 2006

On August 1st, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper published a short piece about three local beaches that are presently closed because of E.coli.

Meanwhile, at Richardson Beach, which wasn't closed, on the hottest, muggiest, and smoggiest August 1st in Kingston history, there were very few swimmers, doubtless due to the general confusion over which beaches were, or wern't, safe.

Posted August 2 2006

resume
( Topic last updated: 2010.11.08 06:43:37 AM )