sites. More promising is the less-developed Barriefield side, which is closer to where the downtown was 50 years ago when the industrial area began to be redeveloped. ?We shouldn?t make the mistakes of the past. Barriefield should have waterfront access,? he says. Others have also taken up the waterfront cause. David McDonald is a professor of Global Development Studies at Queen?s and an avid windsurfer, cyclist and swimmer who swam a few times a day in Lake Ontario during the July heatwave. He too is dismayed by the waterfront?s failure to live up to its potential. He was drawn to Kingston in the mid-1990s and ?was amazed at how difficult it was to swim safely and easily in the lake.? A political activist who heads the Water Access Group (http://wateraccessgroup.weebly. com), McDonald has brought attention to the drawbacks and potential of the waterfront through events such as Mass Swims and, this year, the Shoreline Shuffle, during which supporters walked, cycled, canoed and kayaked along the waterfront. The 2008 Mass Swim was at Richardson Beach, where McDonald says the men?s change room is awful, the beach rocky, and the steps down to the water slippery and dangerous. McDonald has been frustrated by the city?s attempts at waterfront progress. Each time, new consultants are brought in to oversee an improvement to a specified area ? most recently, Breakwater Park and Doug Fluhrer Park ? but the parameters at public meetings prevent discussion of areas even 50 metres away, and the consultants lack much knowledge of anything beyond the site for which they are contracted. Smaller centres near Kingston, such as Brockville, Prescott and Cobourg, have done better, says McDonald. His group wants a solid waterfront plan that would map out who owns what and identify restrictions such as brownfields. The plan would also share what other cities have accomplished and provide recommendations on what Kingston should embrace. He thinks this can be done quickly, in a year or two, and offer a focus. At the same time, he acknowledges that moving ahead after a plan is developed is not like waving a magic wand because there are three levels of government involved, perhaps 20 different public agencies, and private owners of land to deal with. But Kingston does have a plan, even if it isn?t widely known and wasn?t approved by City Council when it was developed in 2005. Actually, there are two plans. The overall strategy was set in the 1950s, when the St. Lawrence Seaway allowed freighters to skip Kingston and eroded our historic value as a port and transhipment point. As major in- Browse our full flyer in store today 250 Princess St., 613-548-3022 or 1880 John Counter Blvd., 613-544-4415, jamesreidfurniture.net
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