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.
I’m concerned about the condo development planned for 630 Princess by Patry Inc. Development and urge people to write to FoTenn, the agent for Patry Inc. and to Patry Inc. themselves with their concerns and questions. Upon my first attempt at contacting FoTenn with questions, they sent them to the city. The city then said they would forward comments to FoTenn and Patry Inc. Development, so it appears as though it is a complete run-around. I have since contacted both FoTenn and Patry about this and have received no response. Fotenn.com lists contacts for the Kingston office, or general delivery is email@example.com. Patry Inc. Development is at Patryinc.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My concern is that the development will turn Nelson St. into a higher-traffic area, as the 21-car condo parking will enter and exit on Nelson, to reduce traffic on Princess. Nelson residents are being put aside for the greater good of improving Princess, and the city supports this. Read the city report on it, Report pc-10-069, File D14-188-2010 at the city site. If you can’t find it, ask the city to email it to you. You can leave a general message at the city site. Ask them to send it to the planning dept.
Another concern is for the trees on the site. I have asked for details regarding th plans for the trees, but neither the City nor FoTenn have replied. Patry Inc. Development is the same group that tried that giant Frontenac St. development that was eventually rejected at the OMB. Let’s make them accountable again.
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.