Vision Collision Event

2023-10-17 - 2023-10-31

Meeting seeks solutions to housing challenges in Kingston

 DASH, Kingston’s online planning software, shows development applications for more than 13,000 housing units in Kingston over the next few years. This is 5,000 more units than required by the provincial government. Proposals for housing developments in the city’s remaining wooded areas and proposals to build high rises in the midst of low-rise neighbourhoods have led to a collision of visions about the city’s future.

 “Less than 1% (under 100 units) of the proposed units are affordable housing units, so these new housing projects will not address the lack of affordable housing in Kingston,” says Samantha King, president of Building Kingston’s Future Inc. “Anyone who believes that the construction of more units, overall, results in more affordable housing units is being bamboozled. There is no ‘trickle down’ and there never has been.”

 King’s group is organizing a free public meeting in Memorial Hall on Monday, October 30 at 7 pm with speakers on the impact of climate breakdown on future housing needs, the market forces that have contributed to the city’s affordable housing crisis, and resident efforts for respectful and affordable housing developments in their neighbourhoods.

 "The climate emergency is a profound threat to our future and will put great strain on housing," said Aric McBay, author and climate lead at the Providence Centre, and a speaker at the event. "The good news is that if we build and rebuild housing with climate change in mind, we can make Kingston greener, more resilient, more equitable, and all-around nicer to live in."

Another speaker, David Donnelly, is the lawyer who succeeded in protecting historic downtown from its first high rise and convinced the Ontario Land Tribunal that 19 and 23 storey buildings on Queen Street were not contemplated by Kingston’s Official Plan. This decision was overruled through a rarely used appeal process. Donnelly will speak about how to improve the City’s planning process. “Kingston staff planners and City Council repeatedly ignore their own Official Plan and Zoning By-law to allow one-off developments with no regard to the climate crisis. By ignoring the established rules every time a developer makes a request, they have made a mockery of public participation in the planning process and undermined their own planning policies,” says Donnelly.  


  • Dan Cohen, Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University, on the financialization of housing
  • David Donnelly, Donnelly Law, on planning rules & the City of Kingston
  • Aric McBay, Providence Centre, on climate & housing
  • Kathleen O’Hara & Bob McInnis, No Clearcuts Kingston, on trees + housing
  • Lea Westlake & Bill Woods, No 16 @ Barrie & Queen, on resident activism

A to-scale model of approved and proposed developments for Princess Street and downtown Kingston will be on display at the meeting.

Registration Link below: