Revitalizing the Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Area
As we work to create a vibrant, inclusive community, it’s important to look for those opportunities to foster renewal of different neighbourhoods across our city.
One area of the city that is particularly well-positioned for some exciting revitalization is the Inner Harbour and the Old Industrial Area, the neighbourhood north of downtown between Division St and the Cataraqui River. When I first moved to Kingston to attend Queen’s, I lived in a couple of different spots - first on Bay St and then Rideau St - and I loved the short walk to the downtown or over to the waterfront at Doug Fluhrer Park. Now, many years later, it’s exciting to see the changes that are occurring and the potential for new growth and renewal across this part of our community.
I believe that as a city we can help foster these changes, whether it’s facilitating the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites like the former Davis Tannery, or expanding and enhancing public green space at Belle Park. The Old Industrial Area offers potential space for new small businesses and entrepreneurs who can to add both the economy and the character of the surrounding neighbourhood.
I have also been delighted by recent plans to rebuild and restore dilapidated heritage buildings in the area, like the old Queen City Oil Warehouse in Doug Fluhrer Park and the Bailey Broom Factory. I also believe that we can yet see the Outer Station rebuilt for modern use.
Of course whenever we talk about redevelopment in this area of the city, the elephant in the room continues to be the proposed Wellington Street Extension (WSE) that would run through Doug Fluhrer Park. When I ran for mayor four years ago, I supported the WSE as a necessary road to facilitate redevelopment. However, it’s important in this position to listen, and there are times when you need to be willing to change your mind.
Having heard concerns from many citizens, I was happy to support a new direction towards finding a compromise approach. Now, I’ve learned enough and heard enough to be confident that we can invest in a necessary road network to revitalize the Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Area, without having to put a road through Doug Fluhrer Park.
Let’s preserve the waterfront green space the way it is, and let’s work together to expand and improve housing, green space and waterfront trails in the surrounding area.