A few weeks ago, water-loving Kingstonians converged on the Kingston PUC Docks and Breakwater Park to partake in Mass Swimm II. This event was geared towards celebrating our waterfront as well as protesting the lack of accessibility, neglected repairs and upgrades. Kurtis Chen captured the excitement that was in the air with the following video.
Mass Swimm II kicked off with a live performance by The Gertrudes, who later lead the crowd to the water with song. Somewhere in between, David McDonald provided the following opening remarks, which poignant outlines why the Mass Swimm is such an important event:
…Ironically we’ve spent a fortune making our water clean. The Sewage Treatment Plant is the single largest capital investment in Kingston’s history. We should be celebrating the fact that our water is now clean. It’s not always clean, but we should know if it’s not clean by having information posted on websites. This is after all the water we drink, so if we’re not swimming in it and we shouldn’t be swimming in it, then we shouldn’t be drinking it. But in fact we do have good water and we should celebrate the fact that we have good water by swimming in it and doing everything else that we can on our waterfront.
We also don’t have is any kind of integrated waterfront, and you may be aware that the City is having a discussion right now about Breakwater Park. But there’s no discussion about how that space integrates with the space we’re on right now (Kingston PUC Docks), nor does it talk about how it will integrate with Richardson Beach or Lake Ontario Park or anywhere else. We have 220km of waterfront within the municipal boundaries of Kingston. You would never know that we have no master plan for what our waterfront will look like. We need to talk to our City Councillors and City Bureaucrats and say that we want swimming, we want an integrated plan, we want resources worked into our waterfront…
If you attended the latest Mass Swimm, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the importance of accessible waterfront, as well as what projects you’d like the City of Kingston to initiate. If you didn’t attend, we’d also love to hear your thoughts on David McDonald’s remarks, Kurtis Chen’s video footage as well as Kingstonist’s photos from the event.