Princess St. Revitalization

Upcoming Events & News

Dear Neighbours,

If we all think good spring thoughts it will surely come – sunshine, a little rain, migrating critters and green buds. In the mean time …

1. Pancake Breakfast and more – Sunday April 10th 10am

Until supplies run out – at the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market and Princess Street United, in partnership, 484 Albert Street. Adults $5 and $2.50 for kids. The market runs Sundays 10am to 2pm until May when it will return to the M-Centre. Come for live music, kids’ activities, produce, meats, hot food, preserves, handmade items.

2. Williamsville Community Association Spring Town Hall Meeting – Monday April 18th, 2016 from 7:00 to 9:00pm

Hosted by Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, 692 Princess St. – We hope you will attend to find out more about Williamsville and meet your neighbours.

  • 7:00 – Welcome & introductions
  • WCA – annual update summary
  • Retrospective of Williamsville Main Street Study – Greg Newman, City of Kingston
  • Rebuilding a business in Williamsville – Jennifer Brejak, Don Cherry’s Sports Grill
  • Project updates – Podium Developments
  • Q & A with your Williamsville Councillor – Jim Neill
  • 9:00 to ?? – Social after meeting

We hope to see you there!

3. Official Plan Review Open House

Two open houses have been scheduled for the month of April geared to raising awareness of the Official Plan and the revisions proposed in Draft.

Open House 1: Sunday, April 17, 2016 11:30am – 3:00pm Artillery Park Aquatic Centre 382 Bagot Street
Open House 2: Sunday, April 24, 2016 11:30am – 3:00pm INVISTA Centre 1350 Gardiners Road
The Sunday open houses will involve both an informal opportunity to engage with City staff and an opportunity to participate in activities including free public swimming and skating, City-building with Lego, a “visioning wall” (i.e., draw your future City), and an “Official Plan Passport” (i.e., visit OP information booths, get your passport stamped at each booth, and collect all stamps for your chance to win a one year City of Kingston Recreation Centres Family Wellness Membership).

The City is working to release a third draft of the Official Plan by April 29, 2016; a copy will be posted on the City’s website on or before this date and will be made available at 1211 John Counter Boulevard as well as several local libraries. An Open House to discuss the third draft of the OP will be held as follows:

Open House: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 5:00pm Memorial Hall, City Hall 216 Ontario Street
The Open House will include an informal opportunity to review the revised OP schedules and policy sections followed by a presentation by staff (at 6:30pm) and an opportunity for formal input by interested members of the public. A statutory public meeting will follow the above-noted open houses to discuss the third draft of the OP.

Public Meeting: Thursday, May 19, 2016 6:30pm Council Chambers, City Hall 216 Ontario Street
For any questions feel free to call or send me an email to:
Greg Newman, MCIP, RPP Manager, Policy Planning City of Kingston
Tel: 613-546-4291 x 3289

4. Events at Princess Street United in April

Here are a couple of events hosted by Princess Street United Church 484 Albert Street that you can attend:

  • Saturday April 16 8:30am -12:30pm Spring Rummage Sale
  • Thursday April 21 Dessert and Card Party ~ Euchre and Bridge at 7:00 pm Tickets $8.

Other Reminders:

5. Bridge & Luncheon – Wednesday April 13th

Noon at St Luke’s Church Hall 236 Nelson Street. Tickets are $10 per person, please call 613-542-5501 to reserve a table.

6. Meet Racing Legend Mario Andretti – Thursday May 5th

Don’t forget to come out and meet him right here in Williamsville at Fielding’s Tire & Auto, your Firestone dealer, 900 Princess St. from 10:45am to 12:30pm

7. Jane’s Walk – May 7th and 8th

Walks will take place in a variety of Kingston locations.
Jane’s Walk is an annual international event, named for the late Jane Jacobs who was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. Here’s a 1957 quote from her when living in New York:

“No one can find what will work for our cities by … manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities. You’ve got to get out and walk.”

She later moved to Toronto where she lived until her death in 2006.
“You’ve got to get out and walk” underpins the annual weekend event, held in early May to coincide with Jane Jacobs’s birthday. But “walk” is interpreted liberally, as Jane Jacobs meant that one had to get around under human power. So bicycles, tricycles, scooters and other human-moved wheels are also welcome on some of the Jane’s Walks that people create.

This year WCA will be doing a walk of Williamsville’s Main Street, and there will also be walks in Portsmouth Village, historic Sydenham District, the Inner Harbour, Barriefield Village and more. See the website for details and stay tuned as walk details are uploaded – dates and times may change so please check regularly! Do you have an idea for a walk? Would you like to contribute to building community by creating a walk? If so, please follow the directions on the website.

The next meeting of the WCA Working Group is May 16th. Please contact us if you are interested in participating.

Williamsville Town Hall Meeting: April 20, 2015

Sue Bazely, co-chair of the Williamsville Community Association, welcomed those present and provided an introduction. She referred to our Mission Statement on view and called attention to the logo designed by local artist, Nancy Douglas.


Sue Bazely reviewed activities during the past year that included:

  • A reference to the BIG FIRE at Princess and Victoria Sts. noting that there continue to be concerns re the damage caused by the fire and consequent costs. She noted that the Fire Marshal’s Report is long overdue.
  • Involvement with Queen’s University included input from Catherine Wright, Queen’s AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner, who attended our Planning Group meetings and provided information re the naming of the University District, observance of by-laws, garbage collection, recycling and housing. Ariel Gonzalez took over from Catherine Wright as the new Municipal Affairs Commissioner and was a valuable liaison with Queen’s as he provided much to our meetings. John Grenville and Joan Bowie of the Williamsville Association Planning Group attended meetings and provided in put re the Queen’s Master Plan. They also interact with Queen’s through the Near Campus Neighbourhoods Advisory Committee.
  • Involvement with Williamsville Business Owners continues to be a priority. Meetings were arranged with KEDCO and with DOWNTOWN KINGSTON BIA to discuss ways and means of involving business owners who suffered through a long summer of street disruptions due to sewer and water supply improvements.
  • Association Membership with a fee of $10 was presented and endorsed at the Town Hall Meeting in April 2014. Recruitment of members is ongoing and we are looking for someone to serve as membership secretary.
  • Planning for Fall, Fun, Fit’n Food Event on September 13 this year with Joan Bowie looking for sponsors and participants. Last year’s event took place in a heavy downpour but the activities took place and we thank Joan Bowie for her hard work as she got quite wet but continued to sell tickets for prizes.
  • Development Watch Activities with leadership from John Grenville resulted in a lobbying effort directed to our City Councillors with regard to a high density purpose-built development proposed for 495-513 Frontenac St. The Councillors turned the development down but there is a May Ontario Municipal Board hearing filed by developer Jay Patry.
  • Involvement with Other Community Groups is a priority with our Association and we welcomed members of SAVE OUR SCHOOLS and THE AGRICULATURAL ASSOCIATION to a June Meeting. A joint meeting in December was held with the SYDENHAM DISTRICT ASSOCIATION and we are also in contact with THE KINGSCOURT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION. A future meeting with all community associations is planned to co-ordinate our activities.
  • Jane Jacob’s Walks will take place on May 2 and 3 with walks happening in McBurney Park on Bagot St., Barriefield Village, the Inner Harbour and the Memorial Centre. John Grenville was thanked for taking the lead in co-ordinating the walks. The website for Jane’s Walks can be found here.
  • Memorial Centre Farmers’Market continues to thrive and attract more Kingstonians wanting to buy locally grown food. The new season begins on May 13, Mother’s Day. Joan Bowie is now on the Farmers’ Market Board of Directors taking over from Sue Bazely.


Pat Hodge, co-chair of the Association, spoke to the merits of paid memberships in the Association citing the need for the financial ability to pay rental costs for our Town Hall meetings, the need for money to put on more and enhanced community activities such as the Fall, Fun, Fit’n Food Event, and the need to fund possible involvements in Ontario Municipal Board hearings in order to maintain our stable neighbourhoods.

Some funding is also needed to help Williamsville Princess St. business owners to come together to form a united body in order to strengthen and market these businesses.


  • Kid’s Triathlon: Jason Trueman spoke about the Kid’s Triathlon, June 20th, Memorial Centre, 303 York St. for kids, 4-13 yrs. He mentioned the closing of Nelson St. except for local traffic in order to keep kids safe. Police will be in attendance as well as many volunteers. It is hoped this will be an annual event. Registration is on now.
  • Farmers’ Market: Joan Bowie spoke of the Market’s Opening on May 10 from 9 am to 2 pm. There is an increase in the number and variety of vendors as well as an increase in those buying locally grown foods.

She is soliciting for sponsors for increased market events. Cycle Kingston will be at the Market on May 31


Ariel Gonzalez provided a PowerPoint display display that included the following headings;

  • The naming of the near campus neighbourhoods as the University District. Phase 1 has been in place for a year and has resulted in the dropping of the former designation as the Student Ghetto. Phase 2 extending the University District area will take place during the coming year and includes part of the Williamsville District.
  • The Neighbourhood Improvement Plan involves Marketing and Communications, Town Gown Relations, Sustainability, Student Housing and Community Safety.

Town Gown Relations included a successful Fall Queen’s Reunion that featured a street festival on Union St. This was largely judged to be a big improvement over previous Fall Reunions.

Sustainability included a Recycling Bin Giveaway, the AMS Busit Program, the Scramble Crossing at Union and University Avenue, a Greenovations Committee and a Bikes and Boards Shop.

Marketing and Communications included 112 new Street signs re the University District designation, the University District Facebook Page, Residence Posters, Orientation Week Address and Print Media

Student Housing included Housing Talks, University District Housing Website, a Housing Grievance Centre, Student Maintenance and Resource Team and University District Urban Design Study.

Community Safety included the University District Brite Program, Walkhome, Blue Light Messaging, SeQure App, and Holiday House Check.

There was interest in the SmartTeam doing neighbourhood clean-ups and some of those present indicated that they might like to sign up for this service.

Matt (didn’t get his last name), the new AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner, was present at the Town Hall and was invited to attend our monthly Planning Group meetings.


Donna Gillespie, Marketing Manager, provided and spoke to a PowerPoint presentation of KEDCO’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020 KINGSTON 20/20 with the goal of 5,000 jobs and $500 Million new investment.

  • now there is growth of about 600-700 jobs per year and $60M GDP growth
  • high growth potential: Agri-Business/Food Processing, Information Communication Technology, Defence and Security, R & D, Small Business, Green Chemistry, Healthcare, Tourism, and Innovation
  • existing sector strengths are: Food and Beverage, Government Services, Healthcare, Education, Logistics and Distribution, Chemicals, Small Business, Tourism and R & D.
  • KEDCO’s MISSION: Provide dynamic and collaborative leadership by leveraging Kingston’s unique assets to create jobs and investment in order to sustain, grow and transform Kingston’s economy to meet the needs of the 21st century. We aim to be one of Canada’s leading economies. (KEDCO Presentation Slides)

KEDCO’s Core Area of Focus are Business Marketing and Tourism Marketing and Development with Business Support Services provided.

KEDCO measures its performance with jobs created/retained, amount of new investment in Kingston, consultations and business assists, sales calls/company visits, economic impact of events and opportunities created.

In reply to questions re KEDCO’s role in striving to keep graduating Queen’s and St. Lawrence College students in Kingston, Ms. Gillespie replied that there is active liaison with both and that the ability to keep students here depends on jobs available.

There is interest in revitalization what is called the “old industrial area” and recognition of its potential.


Rachel Quitcat of the City’s Planning Department provided a PowerPoint presentation:

  • the Planning Act requires a 5-year update of the City’s Official Plan and that involves:
  • the incorporation of past studies recommendations
  • engage stakeholders on issues and opportunities
  • enhance the Official Plan: orderly growth, good development, responsible conservation, continued prosperity and high quality of life to 2036.

Work completed and underway is taken into account and a Background Report will be presented to the Planning Committee on May 21.

Provincial Planning issues include: setting minimum density targets to promote compact development, new environmental mapping, climate change and natural hazards, promoting on-farm economic development and protecting cultural heritage and archaeological resources.

Local Planning issues include: continue revitalization and intensification, enhance urban design and innovative building design, protection for stable neighbourhoods, strengthen cultural heritage policies, strong guidance for converting employment land, planning for affordable housing, strong guidance for estate residential development, re-examine woodland mapping and policies and strive to be Canada’s most sustainable city.

There is a need for 24 more hectares of employment (industrial) land.

The Official Plan Review Process invites response from the community with the OP webpage update.

Ms. Quitcat responded to a question re the Williamsville Main St. Study to say that the Study is already implemented into the Official Plan. The by-laws are to be incorporated by next year.


Architects’ drawings were on view showing the buildings to be erected at University and Princess St.

Bernard Luttmer said that they were pleased that City Council has given the development unanimous approval and construction is to begin in the summer of gateway landmark buildings. A new team of architects, Sweeny & Co. has been engaged as they specialize in integrating buildings into the community. Park space was shown with 343’ of frontage and an area of 8,000 sq. ft. Hope was expressed that the City might add to the park space.

Those present gathered to view the drawings and to ask questions. Reaction seemed to be favourable.


Councilor Jim Neill praised Podium Development for their provision of significant park space. He said that too often money in lieu of park space ended up developing park space at sites other than that being developed.

In answer to a question re the decision concerning closure of KCVI and QECVI, he spoke of a plan B that would see QECVI developed as an education centre. (Since then, the Limestone Board of Education decided to build both an elementary school and a new high school on the QECVI site.)

He spoke favourably of the Council’s priorities and said that he expected more progress in comparison with the previous Council’s term that seemed to focus on projects with a lot of time spent on the casino issue and the district boundaries.

The Town Hall adjourned at approximately 9:30 pm.

Into Fall Update

Dear Neighbours:

As summer winds down we find ourselves heading into fall activities and there is much to be aware of in Williamsville. Remember to support Williamsville businesses and organizations to keep our neighbourhood vibrant. The Williamsville Community Association working group meets monthly and welcomes new members, please let us know if you can contribute.

1. Reminder for Paint the Town – September 13th, 14th, 15th, Kingston School of Art presents Paint the Town in Williamsville. This is a free outdoor painting event for any artist who wishes to register. Please see for details. See the KSOA web site for fall programs too.

2. 183rd Annual Kingston Fall Fair – September 12th to 15th at the M-Centre. Check out the farm animals, culinary and homecrafts, horse and dairy shows, antique tractor pull, demolition derby, midway, and much more see for more info. The Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market runs inside the fair all weekend and outside on Sunday 9am to 2pm.

3. Sunday September 15th – Kingston Archery Club open house and fun shoot – although the indoor range is located in the basement of St. Luke’s Church on Nelson Street, the outdoor range is a must to experience for anyone interested in archery. Visit the KAC from 12 noon to 3pm at the outdoor range at 2043 Battersea Road, Kingston, North of Hwy 401 and Montreal St. — See The Map for directions. The fun shoot fee for non-members is $10 for adults 17 and over, and free for children 8 to 16. Fall lessons begin September 28th in the basement of St. Luke’s Church at 236 Nelson St., just off Princess. See for details.

4. Reminder for Wednesday September 25th, City of Kingston Public Meetings on the Princess Street Construction in Williamsville. Two meeting times are available to accommodate businesses and residents, but you can attend either at 8:00 – 9:30am or 6:30 – 8:00pm at Princess Street United Church, 484 Albert Street at Princess. Residents and businesses in the immediate construction zone only, will receive invitations.

5. Reminder for Friday September 27th, Fish Fry at St. Luke’s Church 5:00 – 7:00pm on Nelson Street at Princess. For tickets $15, call 613-542-5501. Also coming Wednesday October 9th Bridge & Luncheon 12 noon $10 per person, reserve your table in advance call 613-542-5501.

6. Heads-up Palace Road reconstruction to start later in September – if you were unable to attend the public meeting and wish to get construction updates by email or have questions, you can contact Derek Ochej City of Kingston- Public Works Services Public Education and Promotion Coordinator (613) 546-4291 ext 2703.

7. Do you have drainage issues? – or just want to find out more about preventing flooding? Then attend Everything Drainage Workshop: Protect Your Property from Water Issues. Do you want to manage standing water on your property? Is your sump pump constantly running? Wish you could make every raindrop count to conserve the use of treated water? Then the Utilities Kingston workshop “Everything Drainage” might be for you. This free workshop educates home owners on how to properly manage excess water on their property and help prevent basement flooding, while complying with the City of Kingston “Sewer Use By-Law”.

Sessions take place at the Utilities Kingston Water Conservation Garden, 1211 John Counter Boulevard, and are delivered by Hearthmakers Energy Cooperative. Dates and times are as follows:

  • Wednesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m. (rain date is September 19)
  • Monday, September 23 at 5:30 p.m. (rain date is September 25)
  • Wednesday, October 2 at 2:00 p.m. (rain date is October 3)
  • Saturday October 5 at 2:00 p.m. (rain date is October 6)

Space is limited, visit the Hearthmakers website to register today. Learn more about basement flooding and related topics from our website.

8. Electoral Districts Ontario Municipal Board Hearing – starts October 21st and runs for a week. The future of the boundaries of Williamsville District as we know it, and its very existence, to be determined. More info to come soon.

Williamsville Community Association
representing Businesses, Agencies & Residents

November and December in Williamsville

Dear Neighbours:

Here are a few upcoming events and reminders for Williamsville. Sorry it’s another long one, but please read to the end.

  • November 15 Town Hall – Williamsville Councillor Jim Neill hosts a Town Hall meeting Thursday November 15 starting at 6:30pm at Calvin Park Library. Please note that the Williamsville Community Association will make a brief presentation on our activities since our last general meeting in May. The detailed agenda follows.
  • Development proposal for 652-663 Princess Street / 582-604 Victoria Street – this is the old Toyota lot at Victoria and Princess. Please take time to view this proposal and the planner’s report found on the City website within the context of the Williamsville Main Street Study which many of you participated in. Letters of opinion can be sent to the Planning Committee through Senior Planner Jason Budd over the next while. Several Williamsville residents and property owners attended the Planning Committee meeting last week and spoke about a variety of concerns, not against development in Williamsville. You are encouraged to continue participating in shaping our community.
  • Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market – reminder that the market continues on Sunday’s 10am to 2pm until December 16, weather permitting. There is still a variety of fresh produce, meat and prepared foods, as well as crafts and clothing available. Please come out and support our local suppliers.
  • Saturday November 24 – Australian Concert with Glenn Foster and Jason Pedherney at St. Luke’s, 2pm. Tickets $10 adults, $7 students available at the door or call 613-542-5501.
  • Saturday December 1 – Breakfast with Santa and St. Nicholas 9am to noon at St. Luke’s. Breakfast, games and songs, crafts and activities.
  • The former Hockey Museum building at the corner of Alfred and York Streets will be demolished in the upcoming months.
  • Since we’re moving towards the Christmas Season, remember to keep up with the “Buy Your Neighbourhood” campaign and support our Williamsville businesses and services.

Sep 23: Fall Fun Fit ‘n’ Food, Summer Updates

Dear Neighbours:

As summer draws to a close and we get back into the fall routine please remember to check for what’s happening in Williamsville. Here are a few items.

1. Fall Fun Fit ‘n’ Food – Sunday September 23, 11am to 1pm – come and take part in the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market where there will be healthy living demos and info, old fashioned races (and prizes), and chef demo using market produce – sponsored by the Williamsville Community Association and hosted by the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market.


  • 11:00 – 11:30   healthy living demos and info
  • 11:30 – 12:00   old fashioned races
  • 12:00 – 12:30   chef demo
  • 12:30 – 1:00    healthy living demos and info

Join us for healthy living demos & info by various Williamsville health and fitness related businesses and organizations, and Market vendors, including the KFLA Health Unit.

Old fashioned races organized by WCA

    • egg & spoon
    • three-legged
    • sack jumping
    • leap frog

Come for the fun and the food – where the farmers you meet grow the food you eat!

2. Bicycle lanes on Princess Street – you may recall that a request was made by Williamsville Councillor Jim Neill to look at including bicycle lanes on Princess Street through Williamsville as part of the Williamsville Main Street Study. At the September 11 Environment, Infrastructure, Transportation Policy Committee meeting, City staff recommended that no bike lanes be put on Princess St. through Williamsville (Option B). Option A was to put in bike lanes as a pilot project. The vote was a tie and therefore defeated. Option B was to do nothing which was also a tie vote and therefore defeated. It goes to Council on October 2 and you may wish to make you view known on this matter by writing to or calling city council members.

Read the full staff report.

3. Next Williamsville Community Association Working Group meeting – will be held Monday October 22. If you are interested in getting involved please let us know.

4. Williamsville Town Hall – to be held later in November. Details to be sent in the future.

Williamsville Main Street Study

The Planning Committee approved the undertaking of this study at its September 16 meeting, to be approved by City Council. Once hired, the consultants will be examining Princess Street between Division and Bath Road and speaking with area residents and business owners for input on what we want to see happen.  It is expected to begin before the end of this year.

This is an exciting prospect, and something we have been talking about and asking for. For more information see:

It is important to be involved with this project.

Princess Street Revitalization Study

As a Williamsville resident I am excited and relieved to hear that Upper Princess Street is the subject of a current project by students of Queen’s University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning and receiving some attention from the City of Kingston Planning Department. After reading the related articles in the Whig Standard on Saturday and today I would like to offer some ideas to incorporate into the study and plans for the future.


(1) Don’t forget the kids

The Williamsville neighbourhoods north and south of Princess are an eclectic mix of long-time residents, families many with young and school aged children, artists and students.  There are several significant and thriving elementery schools and daycares in this community including Rideau Public School with nearly 500 students and Martello Independent School in the Princess Street United Church.  Many local children walk or ride their bikes to school including many families that must cross Princess Street dodging traffic and cutting through abandones lots to get back and forth to school.  Development plans that incorporate safe and attractive pedestrian crossings and routes would be a great asset in a plan for the neighbourhood and could involve local residents in renewal. I think the City Repair Project in Portland Oregon and community involvement in redesigning intersections is an interesting example.  Here is a link to their website for your interest. 

I think there are also opportunities for dealing creatively with traffic congestion and parking along Albert Street between Princess Street and Mack as parents dropping off and picking up children at the local day care centre and an independent elementery school.  Also economic development opportunites along Princess Street that address the needs of local families as well as students would have a greater opportunity for success, especially as many people in this community walk to local shops and have one car or no car. 


(2) Keep bikes in Mind

Many residents of all ages use Princess Street to commute to work and school.  It is often a perilous trip especially with younger riders as there are no alternatives to using Princess for at least part of the trip and the street offers no bike lanes, markings or adequate shoulders.  Including bike lanes and incorporating a safe bike route to downtown through the central core would make biking safer and encourage more people to use their bikes.


(3)  Remember Williamsville’s Assets and History

There are some great public facilities in our community the Menmorial Centre arena, pool and grounds being one and Victoria Park being another.  In terms of the Memorial Centre, including pedestrian friendly corridors guiding users from Princess Street and Concession Street and improved signage would be assets.

I think revitalizing the area also offers an opportunity to celebrate Williamsville’s Franco-Ontarian heritage.  Frontenac Street north of Princess is home to the city’s french catholic church St. Francois d’Assis that will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary and was the first home of the region’s french cultural Centre culturel Frontenac.  Just south of Princess Rideau Public School offers a thriving French Immerssion Program.  I believe these assets suggest opportunities for economic and community development that reflect an appreciation of French language and culture.


(4) Harness the Energy of Local Residents in Planning for Renewal

Williamsville residents are keen to be involved in discussions and plans for improving our community.  Local residents have ideas, energy and enthusiasm that will all be great assets in undertaking the renewal of an area, such as the Princess Street corridor that is sliding into decay.

Thank you for your attention to our neighbourhood.  I know from speaking with many friends and neighbours this morning that many other residents are also very excited about the project and keen to participate. If you would like to discuss these ideas or any further, please leave comments below.