I’m excited to announce a new addition to the planning, building and licensing team. Last week, Tim Parks started with the City as the planning division’s new manager of development approvals! In this capacity, Tim will oversee the review of applications for development projects before they proceed to construction. 

Tim Parks headshotTim has over 25 years of municipal government experience, working with both the City of Toronto and the City of North York. He has an extensive background in a range of fields, including community planning, real estate services and parks, forestry and recreation and, as a Registered Professional Planner with a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, Tim brings a great deal of technical expertise to the planning team. 

In his role as the manager of development approvals, Tim will personally administer many of the complex planning files and development approvals that the City is currently working on, while advising and guiding both staff and residents on how to most effectively navigate the development approval process.

Tim has a track record of planning and leadership excellence, and I look forward to working with him as we strive to plan a livable and inclusive Kingston.

Welcome Tim!

The story of the iconic log house of the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum spans more a century, but it was 36 years ago that the Reeve of Pittsburgh Township, Hans Westenberg, opened the building as a civically-owned Museum on the grounds of Grass Creek Park.

Before it was purchased by the Township, the log house had an interesting history with more than 7 owners until it ended up at 1316 Princess St. in 1974.

Log house being moved











In 1982, the log house was cut into two sections and transported 48 kilometres on trucks to its new home on Highway 2 East. In 1983, the log house was re-assembled in its new location at Grass Creek Park. 

Re-assembling the log house











On May 28, 1983, the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum opened at its new home on Grass Creek Park, part of Pittsburgh Township. 











In 1998, Pittsburgh Township amalgamated with the City of Kingston and spurred by the Museum’s growing attendance, it created new children’s and family programming. City curator Paul Robertson notes, “Without the vision and dedication of museum founder Sandy MacLachlan, we would not have the rich resource that is the museum today. His desire to gather examples of the traditional woodworking trade into a small log house museum on the grounds of the MacLachlan Lumber Company on Princess Street has evolved into one of Canada’s leading woodworking collections.”

With thousands of artifacts at the museum as part of the City of Kingston civic collection, visitors still can experience the history of woodworking in Canada through exhibits, but the focus remains programming that encourages visitors to experience the creation of natural projects through wood. For 36 years the City of Kingston has celebrated one of Canada’s most precious resources and now continues to pass along those stories through interactive workshops, carpentry camp, family Campfire sing-along programs and special events.

Carpentry Camp













“We are now entering our second season with a fully dedicated workshop space and are thrilled to be offering a new roster of workshops and programming for visitors at all ages,” says Program Coordinator Keely Maddock. "The workshop offers a place for skill development through project-based learning with expert instructors and small class sizes. Visitors work towards a wooden masterpiece that they get to take home and show off to their friends and family.”

Make your own paddle workshop











You can visit our interactive timeline to learn about the history of the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum at  and visit Woodworking for a complete list of our workshops, camps and events.

Find out more about cultural heritage venues operated by the City of Kingston here

The MacLachlan Woodworking Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-5pm for all ages. Admission is by donation. 

In collaboration with City Planning staff and consultant Brent Toderian we facilitated a number of public events as part of the Phase 1 Engagement Plan for the Density by Design: Kingston’s Mid-rise and Tall Buildings Policy project. Over the course of the week we were able to connect with 200 + people on this important project.

At these events, we provided an overview of the context for the project, which includes sustainability, climate change, housing supply, challenges with the existing policy, heritage, transportation, strengthening areas of the City, unpredictable energy costs and changing demographics. All of these areas are interconnected and give us direction for ensuring that the policies meant to direct the design of future mid-rise and tall buildings are built with Kingston context in mind. 

Planning consultant Brent Toderian was in town to assist the project team in providing education to attendees about the various design elements of mid-rise and tall buildings, including height, thickness/width, orientation, stepbacks, and the importance of ground floor form and function. The presentation provided at the link below, which includes audio/video, explains each design consideration referenced above and explains why in-ward growth is a key element of sustainable city-building.


A new study completed recently in British Columbia links human health with the walkability of neighbourhoods, highlighting the importance of our work on this project and others that encourage increases in the density of development to support active transportation. The connection between building walkable, mobility-focused cities and the link to community health was addressed as part of last week’s sessions and found in staff’s presentation.  City Council’s declaration of a climate change emergency and goal to become Canada’s most sustainable city cannot be achieved unless we make smart city planning decisions that integrate multiple ways for people to move within and around the City (walking, biking, transit) and de-emphasize the movement of people by cars.

We heard through our public consultation last week that some of you are concerned about the City’s focus on taller buildings. I want to correct the impression that we are only looking at mid-rise and tall buildings to increase density. In fact, we have a number of initiatives that are ongoing to promote increasing density in more ground-oriented forms of development as well. For example, we are in the process of amending the planning rules to allow secondary suites to be added to residential properties and are working at supporting planning applications that integrate a variety of ground-oriented forms within a residential area including semi-detached, stacked townhomes, townhouses and small apartment buildings in strategic locations

This project will provide Official Plan policies to direct the development of mid-rise and tall buildings from a design perspective, because at present the OP does not do so sufficiently.  As with the other forms of development contemplated by the Official Plan, we will be weaving in the importance of cultural heritage into design considerations to ensure that the character that is so unique to Kingston endures and new development is able to co-exist in a compatible manner.

I encourage you to join the conversation at the City's Get Involved page. There you can receive project updates, ask questions and share ideas with the project team.

You can also email comments directly to Andrea Gummo, project manager at In particular, please send the answers to the two questions below by May 15, 2019. We asked these questions of attendees last week, and want to get as many responses as possible as we enter the next phase of the project. The presentation I mentioned above will help provide background needed on the two questions, and I strongly encourage you watch it and share with your friends and neighbours.


  1. What Kingston challenges, goals, or values do you most want to see reflected in our new approach?
  2. What do you think are the most important aspects of mid-rise and tall building design, and how would you like them handled in our new approach?

Updated April 29, 2019

I’ve received numerous concerned messages from members of the public regarding the cancellation of the Limestone Art and Craft Show this weekend . I do want to take this opportunity to explain what happened and why this decision was made.

The City’s business permit application process requires that an event meet set standards before a permit is issued.  Part of this process involves a review of the application by the City and other authorities. In the event that one or more of the regulating authorities declines to approve the application, the permit cannot be issued. In this instance, the permit application for the Limestone Art Show was declined based on the standards outlined in the City’s Zoning Bylaw. The property is not zoned to allow events of this nature.

The owners of the Kingston 1000 Islands Sportsplex were informed by the City of Kingston some months ago that events of this nature are not permitted at their site. The Limestone Art and Craft Show event organizer, TM Productions, appear to have signed the contract with the Kingston 1000 Islands Sportsplex on March 29th, 2019. The City understands the impact that a cancellation such as this can have on the local artists and other residents planning to attend this weekend’s event and it is unfortunate that prior to signing a contact, TM Productions were not informed by the Kingston 1000 Islands Sportsplex that events like this are not permitted.

The City received a licensing application two weeks after the contract was signed by TM Productions and as per our normal practice the application was reviewed by a number of departments. The permit was denied this week.

When an event occurs without the appropriate approvals, the City will review the situation and may pursue one of a number of different legal avenues. These processes range from negotiation to prosecution of an infraction of the law. These processes are confidential until finalized for the sake of all involved parties. If a matter is made public through being before the court the City may not be at liberty to comment.

We can confirm that the Dec. 2018 Artfest Kingston Christmas Art and Craft Show and the Kingston Home and Garden & Kingston Boat Show that took place in March of this year were held without obtaining the required City approvals. We can also confirm that the City has been working with the owners of this property to achieve a successful outcome which is in compliance on this matter.

The City wants to support business owners first and foremost, and it has historically worked with applicants on zoning matters to ensure that compliance can be achieved for future events. The City makes sure that business owners are aware of their obligations and of available resources in order to avoid issues such as zoning non-compliance.  Please note that ensuring a venue complies with zoning rules is the responsibility of the host facility and the producers of the event are responsible for acquiring the appropriate permits to conduct the event.

If you’re ever unsure about whether the event you’re planning to attend has the appropriate permits, don’t hesitate to contact the licensing division at or 613-546-4291 ext. 3150.  Ensuring an event or business is properly permitted validates the enterprise and assures the public and participants that required standards have been met.

Come out to an Evening with Kingston's Poets Laureate on April 30 at the KFPL Central Branch.

Kingston has always been a literary city and it has been claimed the first Canadian novel was published here in the 1820s.  Today, Kingston is home to a great number of published writers and it also plays host every year to one of Canada’s favorite literary events, Kingston Writersfest.  Reading and writing is definitely something worth celebrating and, in 2010, the City of Kingston followed the example set by other Canadian cities and established a poet laureate program for the first time.

Did you know that Kingston, Ont., is the Canadian city that loves to read the most, according to

The tradition of naming a poet laureate dates back to ancient Greece and came to prominence in 17th century Britain. Canada also has a tradition of naming poets laureate whose role it is to promote literature, culture and language and to encourage the enjoyment of literature and writing overall.  The term “laureate” itself also dates back to ancient Greece when laurel wreathes were placed on the heads of people who were being honoured for outstanding achievements in things such as the arts, sports and politics.  

The City of Kingston’s Poet Laureate program reflects the City’s belief that the literary arts deserve our support and recognizes the achievements of a local poet whose work exhibits excellence and resonates with the people of this community.  In November 2018, the City of Kingston announced that Jason Heroux was to be appointed Kingston’s third Poet Laureate for a four-year term, building on the work of our past Poets Laureate, Eric Folsom and Helen Humphreys.  In his role as Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux will be creating new work inspired by Kingston while also fostering creative writing in and about the city.

Poet Laureate Jason Heroux

Jason Heroux, himself, is the author of four books of poetry, including Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines (2016) and three novels, including Amusement Park of Constant Sorrow that was published last year.  He was born in Montreal and moved to Kingston in 1990 to study at Queen’s University.  His works have been translated into French, Italian and Arabic and it has also appeared in several anthologies.  When asked about what he aspires to achieve during his term as Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux has remarked: “I hope to explore new ways of introducing poetry to the hearts and minds of the community, and look forward to celebrating the diverse texture of Kingston’s past, present, and future literary arts.”

Event: April is National Poetry Month

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the City of Kingston in partnership with the Kingston Frontenac Public Library has organized an event to recognize the achievements of outgoing Poet Laureate Helen Humphreys and to welcome the incoming Poet Laureate Jason Heroux.  They will be joined by Kingston’s first Poet Laureate Eric Folsom and, together, they will be reading selections from their work.  This event will also include readings by three emerging local poets Ky Pearce, Ashley-Elizabeth Best and Zoe Coulter and it will feature live music performed by Darryl Bryan.  This free and public event will take place on Tuesday April 30 from 7:00 to 9 p.m. at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Central Branch, and more information can be found online through the City of Kingston website.

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