A Strategic Look: Priority #5 – Foster Healthy Citizens and Vibrant Spaces

Beginning in early January and, through public consultation and a number of additional special meetings, Kingston City Council set out its five strategic priorities through 2022, which they affirmed and approved an implementation plan for at their meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Today, we’ll dive into and break down council’s 5th and final priority: Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces. They have divided this goal into six key projects:

  1. Beautify the waterfront. The city already has an existing Waterfront Master Plan, which now falls under this priority. Work on this includes ongoing work at Richardson Beach and the bathhouse building, a building at Grass Creek Park, work on the pathway at Providence Care, phase 1 of the Belle Park project, the breakwater at Confederation Basin, and work on a few smaller trails and pathways through the city. Funds for this work were allocated, primarily, as the Waterfront Master Plan was approved.
  2. Developing an arts walk. Using existing art installations along the waterfront, council hopes to create an arts walk along the waterfront from Douglas Fluhrer Park to Lake Ontario Park. Staff is bringing a report to council in 2020 about how this will be further implemented, and what the costs will be.
  3. Promote the redevelopment of Brownfields properties on the Montreal Street Corridor. Council is looking to continue to do the remediation and redevelopment at its 1100 Montreal Street property. including the issuance of the RFP for redevelopment in 2020 to align with the Rideau Heights Neighbourhood Regeneration Strategy. Council is also seeking to support adaptive reuse of properties in the corridor, particularly at Montreal and Rideau Streets.
  4. Support the potential for Indigenous cultural space. A report will be brought to council in 2020 with short- and long-term options for this item, which has been identified by the local indigenous community as a need that’s lacking in our community. Funding details and the potential use of underutilized existing facilities will be included in the report.
  5. Examine the feasibility of fluoridating the drinking water. This will come as a report from Utilities Kingston in 2020 on feasibility, implementation, best practices, and costs.
  6. Leverage and promote food security solutions in partnership with others. Working with existing community initiatives, this project looks to provide additional support to help farm-to-table programs, potentially in conjunction with social enterprises. Guidelines to streamline licences and processes for farmers markets, community gardens, and edible forests is expected in 2021, and work will begin alongside Tourism Kingston to support this avenue through culinary tourism. Financial details for this project aren’t yet known, but would be expected as reports come forward.
Time, a sculpture in Breakwater Park, would be part of the proposed Arts Walk.

All five of the strategic priorities are tracked by the CAO’s office and reported back to council quarterly. As these reports are provided, we’ll provide updates on their progress.

This is the fifth of a five-part series looking at the projects the city has listed as part of their 2019-2022 Strategic Plan. You can also read part 1 on increasing housing affordability, part 2 on improving walkability, roads and transportation, part 3 on demonstrating leadership on climate action or part 4 on strengthening economic development opportunities.

Born and raised in Kingston, Tommy Vallier bleeds limestone. An avid council watcher since 2004, he first began reporting on municipal affairs in 2011, helping to modernize meetings and make them more accessible through social media and live video. When he isn’t focused on City Hall, he’s an avid gamer, theatre supporter, and Disney fan.

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