City Matters – NEW: Watch City Matters in under a minute

September 11, 2023

Stay connected with the issues important to you in your city.


In this edition of City Matters:

Feature stories 

City Matters in a Minute: Budget Engagement

In 60 seconds or less, Lana Foulds, the City’s Director of Financial Services, explains what you need to know about the City’s 2024 budget and how you can have your say! Tune in on Instagram or YouTube or by clicking the image below.

Black resilience and creativity celebrated during Emancipation Day in Kingston 

Aug. 1 was Emancipation Day, which recognizes the day in 1834 when the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into effect across the British Empire, formally ending slavery in Canada and its other colonies. 

Canada’s federal government first recognized Emancipation Day in 2021 and Kingston City Council asked that it be recognized in 2022, and beyond, as a reminder of Canada’s history of enslaving people of African descent as well as Indigenous Peoples. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the past and present accomplishments of Black people in Kingston. 

“The recognition of Emancipation Day in Kingston is a step toward dismantling anti-Black racism that is etched in the fabric of our communities,” says Vanessa Mensah, Acting Manager, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

“It also allows each of us to pause, reflect and challenge dominant ideas that inform assumptions and stereotypes about the Black community. It causes us to rethink what we know and how we have been conditioned to see our history. With each step toward reconciliation, we celebrate the visibility, richness and inclusivity of Blackness in our communities,” she adds. 

This year’s theme, Thriving in Colour, was chosen to honour the resiliency of Kingston’s Black community in the face of ongoing anti-Black racism and discrimination. The City worked with residents and many community partners to offer programming that recognized Emancipation Day

Despite the rainy weather, spirits were high along Ontario Street and in Confederation Park during the Black Block Party, which was the centrepiece event. The front steps of City Hall hosted several artists with brightly painted canvases, spoken-word artists and musicians while local business owners offered food, handmade goods and warm conversation to community members from their booths along the street.

People standing on the steps outside a grey building.
An artist painting on a small canvas.
An artist painting on a canvas.

Photos of the Black Block Party provided by Tianna Edwards.

The night before, Springer Market Square buzzed with energy during Rockin’ the Square, a free outdoor concert that featured local hip-hop artist Keaton and nationally renowned Maestro Fresh Wes and Kardinal Offishall. 

Other community events and programming included Stories in the Square, Movies in the Square, a Black youth basketball drop-in session and Vulindlela at Agnes Etherington Art Centre, an event to honour the gallery’s African collection through music, poetry and dance. 

Discover the ever-growing list of Black-owned businesses in Kingston on, a resource compiled by Tianna Edwards, a local blogger, community organizer and joint coordinator of the Black Block Party.

Beat the heat

Do you want to stay cool and make a splash this summer? Beat the heat by exploring the City’s pools, splash pads and beaches before the warm weather disappears. 

Safety first! 

Here are a few tips to enjoy your time outside and in the water: 

  • Never allow a child to play near the water unattended. 

  • Check the air quality health index to decide what amount of time outside is best for you and your loved ones. 

  • The Kingston waterfront is a clean, safe place to swim, fish or boat. But after heavy rainfall there is a potential for higher levels of bacteria in the lake. Know before you go and check out the Utilities Kingston overflow map for real-time updates on sewer overflows to local waterbodies or the KFL&A Public Health beach water listings

  • During extreme heat, people are vulnerable to heat-related health conditions such as cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes. Save this list of cool-down locations. 

Make a splash! 

City splash pads are open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. so you can have fun and cool off. Go for a dip at our indoor or outdoor pools and find the full list of splash pads on our splash pads page.

A beach area at a lake.

Photo: The newly renovated Richardson Beach and bathhouse reopened in June. 

Which way to the beach? 

The City of Kingston has several municipal beaches residents can visit to play in the sand and water. Visit one of the locations, below. 

Gord Edgar Downie Pier and Breakwater Park beach will now be closed to the public nightly, from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., until the morning of Sept. 10.   

Tell Me More About... Public Art

Ever wonder how the City brings stunning and captivating public art to life? Join us for this month’s exciting podcast episode as we Tell You More about the world of public art while exploring creativity and community enrichment with Danika Lochhead, Manager of Arts and Sector Development and Taylor Norris, Public Art Coordinator at the City of Kingston.

Tell me more about... public art. Season 3, episode 7. July 2023. Danika Lochhead and Taylor Norris. Two people sitting side-by-side smiling at one another.

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