City of Kingston issues statement on large tents at Belle Park encampment

Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

The City of Kingston has issued a statement noting that it is aware that “six large military-style tents have been erected at the Belle Park encampment and that people are using these tents for shelter.”

According to the statement, these tents, like other structures erected permanently or semi-permanently at the Belle Park encampment contravene the prohibition on daytime camping in the City’s By-Law Number 2009-76.

The City said that Kingston Fire and Rescue, in accordance with the authority of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, have been removing fire hazards in the Belle Park area this week, “for the purpose of reducing the risk of fire which poses an immediate threat to life.” Reportedly, some campers have constructed homemade wood stoves and are using modified propane tanks inside tents and other structures where people are living. 

‘‘To date we have issued 24 Immediate Threat to Life notices because we’re very concerned about the safety of people due to multiple fire hazards,’’ said Rick Vasko, Fire Inspector with Kingston Fire and Rescue, in the statment. “We’re concerned about all tents, including the heavy army-style ones that are appearing there and the contents inside those tents, which are very flammable. We’re really trying to get a message out about the safety of people living in this area.”

According to the statement, the City is continuing to consider how to enforce prohibition on day-time camping in its Parks By-Law to both (a) address the public safety issues caused by the permanent nature of the encampment at Belle Park; and (b) respect the dignity and well-being of the people residing at the encampment.

“As always, the City will communicate with encampment residents before taking any enforcement action,” the statement concludes.

Kingstonist was not been able to verify this information with anyone at the encampment by time of publication. Further coverage will be provided if/when more information becomes available.

One thought on “City of Kingston issues statement on large tents at Belle Park encampment

  • Really? People are starving and frozen and treated like trash
    Think they care about dying?
    Instead of threatening a citation, maybe try to help?
    Not sure about the rest of kingstonians, but I wouldn’t mind paying a little every day to help “our” homeless
    There are approx 250k homeless in Canada-
    It can happen to anyone

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