Kingston's Strategic Plan

Welcome to Kingston city council’s 2015-2018 strategic plan website. With the help of our community, council and City staff will focus on creating a smart and livable community as a path to becoming Canada’s most sustainable city.

See the City of Kingston’s 2017 Annual Report

 Annual Report  

Link to this Implementation Guide Guiding Principals


The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 125,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada.

This is Kingston city council’s second four-year strategy. It sets out a path to make our city more smart and livable in pursuit of the community’s vision to become Canada’s most sustainable city.

This vision is a compelling call for community action. Becoming a smart and livable city is not something council can achieve on its own – it requires the active commitment of Kingston’s organizations and residents.

Many Kingstonians are familiar with the four pillars of sustainability: environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality. The success of council’s priorities relies not only on City government, but requires the smart-thinking, enthusiasm and participation of our supportive community.

Our vision stands apart from many long-term goals as it has a moving target. It is about making decisions for today that don’t compromise our future. It is not something that is arrived at and then ticked off a to-do list. Rather, it is a goal that will be worked on quite possibly forever. As technologies and knowledge evolve, so too will our thinking, allowing us to strive for and achieve things of which we could only have dreamed.

This webpage sets out the strategies that will drive the work of this term of council and the work of City staff. Details will be added as they are developed and achievements as they are realized.

On behalf of Council and staff we commit to lead and deliver on this strategic plan.

Bryan Paterson

Gerard Hunt
Chief Administrative Officer

Council Priorities

Create a smart economy

Kingston is an exciting place to do business and is committed to greater economic resiliency. Building on our motto of "where history and innovation thrive," Kingston is positioned to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

Invest in infrastructure

A strong and robust infrastructure ensures a high quality-of-life for Kingstonians. It also provides the foundation needed to support a sustainable community.

Plan a livable city

Quality-of-life and the positive characteristics of a city make it livable. The concept of livability embraces balancing the four pillars of sustainability and promoting community engagement and pride.

Green the city

The protection and preservation of the environment is our collective responsibility.

Advance a vibrant waterfront

Kingston's waterfront is a prominent feature and asset to the community. A vibrant waterfront requires balanced and respectful development that improves public access.

Foster open government

Kingston is committed to being transparent and accountable, empowering the community to participate in meaningful and innovative solutions. Citizen engagement in the democratic process is central to this work. As such, citizens have the right to access documents and proceedings to allow for effective public involvement in and oversight of civic affairs.

A leader in innovation
Working with partners, Kingston will develop business opportunities, attract investment and build creative and entrepreneurial hubs.
Cultivating the entrepreneurial and creative spirit, and creating excitement will foster business development and growth opportunities. Our employment-land inventory enables us to respond to investor demand.
Post-secondary downtown campus
Discussions are underway to locate a post-secondary campus in the downtown core.
Artistic and cultural opportunities
Culture and creativity are important sources of wealth creation and are being leveraged to develop community vitality.
Tourism strategy
Work with community partners will continue to align tourism marketing and attraction strategies, creating greater return-on-investment and refocusing marketing strategies.
Youth employment strategy
In partnership with the United Way, the City will develop a youth employment strategy that will also focus on skills development.
Assessment growth
A streamlined development-review process will continue to create positive customer-focused relationships with investors to grow the tax base.
City-wide broadband
Dividends from Utilities Kingston’s fibre operations will be invested in community-related smart-city projects for the next four years. Private sector providers will be valued partners in advancing this priority.
Fibre access
City-owned fibre technology provides users with a reliable, high-speed digital communications system – a key to the development and success of a smart city.
Workforce and in-migration strategy
The strategy will focus on the City’s approach to attract, develop and retain the skills required to address the anticipated needs of the labour market.
High-speed rail
A high-speed rail line from Quebec City to Windsor has been contemplated by the federal government. Council will monitor this politically and establish a strategy for a Kingston stop to be included.
Third Crossing
An action plan will be presented to council in September 2015. Council’s direction will form the basis of work over the next three years.
The City will continue to implement the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan to provide housing that range from social housing to home ownership.
A capital plan will be initiated in 2016 to rehabilitate and expand the airport. This project is for future economic development for the city and Eastern Ontario.
John Counter Boulevard
Expanding John Counter Blvd. to four lanes will continue with construction from Sir John A Macdonald Blvd. westerly to Princess St. from 2015 to 2018. Work includes the construction of a bridge over the CN rail lines.
Roadways & sidewalks
The 2015-2018 construction plan includes work on water and wastewater treatment plants, utility infrastructure, and sanitary and storm sewer systems – including road and bridge projects.
Wellington Street extension alternatives
A vision and secondary planning review will proceed for the Inner Harbour and old industrial area to lay a foundation for future redevelopment and revitalization of this part of the city.
Infrastructure plan
The dedicated one per cent annual tax-rate increase for capital will continue to address aging infrastructure and provide for new infrastructure in support of a changing community.
Integrated multi-modal and active transportation solutions will continue to shift how we move around the city. Investments in transit, cycling and pathway infrastructure will continue to be a priority.
The City will continue to target failed tax-sale and abandoned properties for redevelopment purposes.
Public transit
Express service has made transit practical for many. Enhancements will continue to be made, including to transfer points downtown and at Cataraqui Town Centre. A new five-year plan for transit will be completed in 2016.
Community planning
Engaging citizens in the development or redevelopment of neighbourhoods will ensure that consideration is given to people, places and services.
Protect heritage
Protecting heritage includes creating awareness and civic pride in our history and heritage. Designated properties and cultural resources are significant to our history.
An updated Official Plan will be completed in 2016 and will continue to promote more density in the downtown core along Princess Street and in other key areas of the city.
Revitalize the North End
Rideau Heights regeneration is underway & will be implemented over 15-20 yrs, reducing the concentration of social housing, improving & services, & reconstruct aging social housing units.
Homelessness & food security
The City is implementing the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan to eliminate chronic homelessness. Food-security solutions are critical for those living in poverty.
Sustainable Kingston Plan
The plan sets out a vision to become Canada’s most sustainable city. Sustainable initiatives will continue to be encouraged and fostered by all sectors of the community.
Kingston Culture Plan
Arts, heritage and culture are key to a vibrant community and are economic drivers for the local economy. Kingston’s history presents opportunities for residents, business and tourism.
Connect spaces
Active places and spaces create vibrant communities. Connecting trails, pathways and green spaces is priority. The Waterfront Master Plan will be completed in 2016 as part of this work.
Beautifying neighbourhoods
Addressing issues relating to property standards and parking-enforcement methods will help to beautify neighbourhoods.
Protect agricultural lands
The updated Official Plan will provide context for policies on intensification and protection of agricultural lands.
Complete the K&P Trail
Plans have been initiated to complete the K&P Trail by Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
Enhance waste management
Diverting waste is a significant objective of council and the community. Opportunities to strengthen programs will be assessed.
Enhance tree canopy
Doubling the city’s tree canopy over 10 years will assist with climate change and beautification objectives.
Kingston Penitentiary redevelopment
We will work with the federal government to facilitate a redevelopment plan to promote tourism, public access to the waterfront and renewal of the harbour area.
Waterfront tourism
Creating deep-water docking facilities for larger cruise-type ships will be explored as opportunities unfold at key waterfront sites.
Waterfront Master Plan
The Waterfront Master Plan was approved in 2016 and will be implemented over a 30 year period.
Inner Harbour
A vision and redevelopment plan for the Inner Harbour and old industrial area will be completed.
Customer-service excellence
A continued focus by the City on customer-service excellence will be an organizational priority.
Transparency and citizen engagement
Community participation is critical to finding meaningful and innovative solutions. Engagement and communication are keys to success.

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