Save Lemoine Point Farm


Report on May 7th Jane’s Walk

Shelagh Mirski, blue jacket and navy folder, welcoming people to the Jane’s Walk. 

Spring was in the air when, despite the promise of rain, about 80 people gathered at the south parking lot of the Lemoine Point Conservation Area, excited to participate in a Jane’s Walk along the Farm property line and learn more about its history.

Shelagh Mirski welcomed everyone on behalf of the hosts, the Save Lemoine Point Farm group. She paid her respects to Indigenous peoples who were on this land long before settlers, and noted that the walk focus is on colonial and recent times.

At the first stopping point, Shelagh pointed out the land owned by the Conservation Authority, including a small forest recently planted to see which Carolinian tree species might do well here as the climate changes.

The Farm’s Ownership History

Susan Young, an occasional columnist in the Whig Standard and a current tenant on the Farm, provided some of its history:

The first owner, under the colonial land registry system, was Madelaine de Roybon d’Allone who was also the first woman landowner in New France. She was granted the land by René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle in the beginning of the 1700s.

In 1763, France lost its war with Britain and Louis XV ceded the lands to the British. A reward of 3,450 acres was given to Johan Jost Herkimer for his service to Britain during the American War of Independence.

Herkimer’s son, Nicholas, built the first homestead on the property. The land was subsequently owned, in 1836, by Captain William Henry Lemoine, a retired British miliary officer. He built a house in 1850. He died in 1865 leaving the property to his wife and son.

William Coverdale, the CEO of the Great Lakes Steamship Company, bought 450 acres in 1914 and began living on the property as his full-time home in the 1920s. He had four children, one of whom was Mary Winnett.

The Coverdales began farming the land in earnest and had cattle, sheep, a thriving garden, and a dairy.
There was also a large boathouse at the lake and, at one time, a golf course for the family.

In 1976, three of the four Winnett children sold their share of the farm, about 340 acres, to the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, creating the urban nature park appreciated by so many people over the years. The purchase was funded by the Township of Kingston, the City of Kingston, and the Province of Ontario.

Mary Winnett, and then her daughter Mary Fraser, continued farming the remaining 80 acres, in more recent years with the help of farm manager, Jesse Archibald. Mary Winnett died in February 2007. Mary Fraser died in April 2022.

The Farm is now dormant awaiting its future.

Residents Fought to Protect the Land from Development in the 1990s

Shelagh Mirski, President of the Association to Protect Lemoine Point, described the fight against residential development on part of the farm:

In 1990, a developer, Ross Grieve, had a plan to build a subdivision on the southern 23 acres of the Farm. Thanks to the watchful eye of nearby resident, Chris Cannon, the public became aware of the plan that was making its way through the Kingston Township planning process.

A majority of the Township Council argued that market forces should determine land use and said it was unfair not to let farm owners sever their property for development.

In April 1990, the Township Council approved, in principle, changes to the Official Plan to allow the subdivision.

A group of concerned residents formed the Association to Protect Lemoine Point and Shelagh became its spokesperson. She worked with many other dedicated residents who did not want to see valuable green space on Lake Ontario and a working farm lost to housing. Many were concerned that because of the high cost of bringing water and sewer over a mile down the road, the entire 80-acre farm would be lost. In addition to the loss of the farm, a subdivision on the boundary of the Conservation Area would lead to its environmental degradation.

She remarked on how different organizing was in 1990s, before cell phones, email, and social media. The group went door-to-door, held meetings, and did newspaper, TV, and radio interviews to inform people about what was being proposed. Support came from many sources, including pilots who did not want to see housing below the frequently used east/west runway.

A Township Council meeting to set the date for an official public meeting to amend the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law attracted 100 people. A petition gathered 8,000 signatures in ten days. The next public meeting took place in the Frontenac Secondary School gym and 500 people showed up. 40 people spoke against the development, each focussing on different arguments. Only one person aside from the developer supported the subdivision proposal.

Then it turned out that one of the Township councillors was a business partner of the developer and he was forced to withdraw from voting on the matter.

In November 1991, the municipal election results testified to public sentiment about the subdivision proposal. None of the four councillors who supported it were re-elected.

Eventually, the developer withdrew his application, the Association to Protect Lemoine Point faded into the background, and a new group, the Friends of Lemoine Point, was formed to support the Conservation Authority’s management of the conservation area. It is still active planting trees, fighting invasive species, collecting seeds, and running the native plant nursery.

Shelagh reflected on the reasons her group was successful in the face of the challenges posed by an unwelcome development and a supportive Township Council.

She said they:

  • Found out about the rules that were in play – how Official Plans and Zoning By-laws can be amended, what polices must be followed
  • Spoke up at every available opportunity
  • Informed people and asked them to get involved
  • Focused their messages in the media
  • Had many voices speaking at meetings
  • Were lucky with the timing of the municipal election.

Shelagh finished her remarks by telling people that the Save Lemoine Point Farm group wants to see the Farm used for the public good, and never subdivided. She thanked people for attending the Jane’s walk and encouraged them to keep in touch, to speak up, and to show up when needed.



Read on to see letter to Mayor Paterson and Councillors thanking them for their commitment made during the
election campaign to support the protection of the Lemoine Point Farm – and seeking their follow-up on that commitment to save this magnificent property.

May 9, 2023

City of Kingston – Mayor and Councillors
City Hall
216 Ontario Street
Kingston, ON
K7L 2Z3

c/o  J. Jaynes, Office of the City Clerk 

Request this letter be included as official correspondence for Council


Dear Mayor Paterson and Councillors,

Re: Lemoine Point Farm


Thank you for the commitment made during the election campaign to support the protection of the Lemoine Point Farm. 


Public interest in the future of the Farm continues to grow.  We hear strong interest across the city in ensuring the fields, forest, and shoreline of this remarkable property are preserved for future generations.  For example, on May 7th we hosted a Jane’s Walk on Conservation Authority property that attracted 80 people interested in learning more about the history of the Farm and how to get involved with its preservation.

With the passing of several months, we assume this issue is closer to being brought to Council for a decision.  You will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something wonderful with this magnificent property. 


We hope after securing the Farm you plan to consult broadly with the public, including Indigenous peoples before making any final decisions about the Farm’s long-term future.  We also hope that whatever decisions you make ensure the property will be kept intact and not subdivided.


We understand this could be a costly endeavour, and that the heritage buildings require special consideration.  In the course of our efforts, we have identified potential funding sources that could be interested in assisting a project with a strong vision to protecting this irreplaceable property. 


We would be pleased to help in any way we can to save Lemoine Point Farm.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish to further discuss this important opportunity. 



Richard Raeburn-Gibson (on behalf of the Save Lemoine Point Farm Group)



website: Save Lemoine Point Farm

Save Lemoine Point Farm | Facebook

Save Lemoine Point Farm (@savelemoinepointfarm) | Instagram

Save Lemoine Point Farm (@FarmLemoine) / Twitter


cc: Craig Desjardins – Director, Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships

Jen Pinarski – Manager, Communications and Public Engagement


Download the PDF of letter.


May 2023 Newsletter: Sustainable Food Production

Read on to find out about:

  • what was said at our first webinar — Sustainable Food Production; New Perspectives / Indigenous Perspectives
  • groups’ answers to our survey questions
  • the upcoming Jane’s Walk on the path next to the Farm — Sunday, May 7 at 3:30 pm

Notes from the webinar: “Sustainable Food Production: New Perspectives/Indigenous Perspectives

Thank you to everyone who joined out webinar on March 28, 2023 with moderator, Aric McBay, and presenters, Maureen Buchanan, Ayla Fenton, and Kaitlyn Patterson. It was a thought-provoking event with excellent presentations and great questions from attendees.

We did not record it. Here are notes on what was said.

The speakers at this webinar challenged us to think differently about our relationship to the land. 

Ayla Fenton began her presentation setting out some false assumptions:

  • that land conservation means removing people from the land, and
  • that human activity is intrinsically destructive and exploitive.

She said these ideologies are rooted in colonialism and capitalism and that we need to re-conceptualize conservation. She referenced the National Geographic definition of “conservation” – “the act of conserving Earth’s natural resources for current and future generations.” 

When agriculture is seen as the domination of nature, plants and animals are separated instead of being treated holistically. 


Ayla introduced the term “agroecology”, noting that it is not about growing organic foods. It is about “changing our relationship with the land and with each other.” Agroecology values ancestral knowledge and the sharing of knowledge in the community; production is based on ecological principles. A self-governance approach means collective rights and shared access to the commons. Agroecology promotes food sovereignty. “Agroecology is political and requires a power shift.


It’s not the cow, it’s the how!

Using a dramatic slide of a cow grazing and the title “It’s not the cow, it’s the how”, Ayla spoke about rotational grazing and the benefits of having cattle move from area to area only after they have eaten a variety of plants, not only the choice grasses that they like best. When livestock are rotated through one small area at a time, they defoliate plants evenly and infrequently, providing long recovery periods for regrowth. This supports strong root systems, increases plant and insect biodiversity, reduces soil erosion, and leads to large amounts of carbon being sequestered back into the soil.   

Helping farm at the Lemoine Point Farm for over a decade, Ayla saw how using this approach for cows, sheep, goats, and hens produced positive results. She advised to choose the right species for the job – goats, for instance, enjoy eating invasive Garlic Mustard and European Buckthorn. 

First, a land acknowledgement.

Maureen Buchanan and Kaitlyn Patterson began their presentation with a land acknowledgement speaking of the First Peoples of this area – the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnabeg, and Haudenosaunee, and the many Indigenous people who now live in the city and surroundings.  A decolonial perspective is that humanity is in a kin relationship with the ecosystem – that the land is a beloved relative, including the soil, plants, micro-organisms, the animals, birds – these are all our relations. 

The land has been terribly impacted by colonization, including the removal of vast forests.

Although colonization has negatively impacted language and cultural transmission, the urban community has acted communally at times to embody a relationship with the land.

A variety of examples of how this has occurred were discussed including water walks, sacred fires, an encampment and finally, the stewardship of Belle Island. Maureen showed a photograph of Belle Island, before the wetland between the island and the mainland became a landfill for city waste. The Island is a sacred space for the Indigenous community with ancestors buried there.

Belle Island is an urban dense forest which is now co-managed by the Mohawk Council of Chiefs and the City of Kingston. The Belle Island Caretakers Circle is a collectivity of Indigenous community members and allies who actively care for the ecosystem at Belle island. Maureen said that the “protection of the ecosystem [on the Island] is not separate from the protection of the remains there.”

Relationships to the land

An Indigenous approach to foraging is to :

  • take only what is needed.
  • leave something for the next person, and
  • leave the place clean.

Maureen introduced us to several Ojibway words

  • nibi – water – water is life
  • aankobijigan – ancestors and great grandchildren – 7 generations
  • mitigwaaki – forest
  • gitigan – garden.

Land is not a commodity

Maureen and Kaitlyn then spoke about the dilemma for Indigenous people who have a different, non-colonial view of the land. They do not see land as a commodity or have a concept of land ownership. What, then, is the pathway to create spaces in the city for urban Indigenous people which they can hold in perpetuity?

The Indigenous Food Sovereignty Garden on Highway 15

The United Church owns land next to Highway 15 and has invited Indigenous people living in Kingston to care for it. The Indigenous Food Sovereignty Garden is growing food, native plants, and traditional medicines and has planted a little forest there. Everyone is invited to help with the work and to explore the connection between people, plants, animals, and the land.

All Our Relations Land Trust

Maureen, Kaitlyn, and Sheldon Travis are the co-founders of the All Our Relations Land Trust. The land trust will own land to conserve it and to have for celebrating Indigenous cultural practices. They acknowledge that this is not a “morally perfect solution to protecting land”, although it seems to be the only way within the capitalist, colonial system to provide urban Indigenous people with space on the land.  They say it would be “amazing” were the United Church to gift the land to the land trust. The land trust’s next step is receiving charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency.

A flourishing garden

Kaitlyn closed their presentation with a reflection on how she feels when working at the Garden. “I come to the Garden and imagine the Garden flourishing. It is beautiful and filled with love for all our relations.”

Questions from the audience  

Moderator Aric McBay then opened the meeting for questions.

He started things off by asking the three panelists about their hopes for Lemoine Point Farm.

Maureen hopes that there will be a “robust” values-based community discussion about what would be best, including meaningful consultations with urban Indigenous people. She noted that long before settlers came, the Farm lands were used by Indigenous people as a place to live, raise children, and exchange goods.

Ayla would like the Farm to continue to be a working farm, incorporated into food systems which recognize the rich diversity of the Farm now, after years of regenerative farming.

Kaitlyn wants to be sure that Indigenous people who have been leading environmental stewardship work are included in discussions before decisions are made.

Asked about learning opportunities related to the Farm, Ayla reminded everyone that the area was named after Capitan William Lemoine and that a new name should be considered as part of a cultural shift relating to the site and access to it.

Maureen spoke about “two-eyed seeing”, combining Indigenous knowledge with science. She regrets that people have become estranged from the land – our relations – and that community activities and practices could help people re-connect. She wondered how the environment got separated from biodiversity. She added that it is really important for Indigenous people to have outdoor places for ceremony.

There were some questions about the Farm and its current ownership, and the potential to protect it from development.

  • The Farm is currently under the control of the trustees of Mary Fraser’s estate. They have a duty to manage it according to the terms of her will until it is passed on to her heirs or sold.
  • The property has buildings that could be designated as heritage buildings.
  • Members of the Save Lemoine Farm group have met with City staff and councillors, and it seems that the City has an interest in acquiring the Farm.
  • Were the City to buy the property, attendees at the webinar expressed concern that it could be subdivided with some of the land being sold by the City for development. They would like to see it preserved as a whole.

As a final question, Aric asked what panelists saw as the biggest challenge to have their vision for a better world become reality.

Ayla said “bureaucracy”. Kaitlyn said “colonialism”. Maureen said “our minds are the problem”, that “separation from our kin is incredibly damaging”, and that we have to dismantle the colonial culture that is damaging our ecosystems. Although feeling “deep sadness”, she is acting with “deep determination” and “hope”.

Maureen and Kaitlyn invited people to visit the Garden on Highway 15 with open hearts. Kaitlyn said, weather permitting, she will be there on Mondays and Thursdays from now on.

Resources noted in the “Chat”:

Speaker bios:

Maureen Buchanan is a member of the urban Indigenous community of Kingston and a member of Batchewana First Nation. She is a founding director of the All Our Relations Land Trust, a local Indigenous land trust. Her work on the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Garden, Highway 15, gives her the opportunity to promote Indigenous language learning, grow food, and care for the land.

Ayla Fenton is a first-generation farmer and community organizer. Since 2013, she has been working on local organic farms in eastern Ontario, learning regenerative production methods for vegetables, livestock, cereal grains, and dairy.  She has been organizing young farmers and farmworkers nationally and internationally, advocating for the transition to agroecology, food sovereignty and climate justice, through the National Farmers Union and La Via Campesina. She is the Food Systems Manager at Loving Spoonful.

Kaitlyn Patterson is a mixed-ancestry Algonquin Anishinaabekwe; her Algonquin ancestors are from Mattawa. She is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo and a registered dietitian. Her community-based research focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty practices in urban settings. She is also a founding director of the All Our Relations Land Trust and works at the Indigenous Sovereignty Garden as well.

Moderator bio:

Aric McBay is an organizer, an organic farmer, and author of seven books. His latest book is the novel Kraken Calling, a story of activists in a future wracked by climate change. He farms at Root Radical CSA on Howe Island, near Kingston.

Report on our Survey of Groups

Sixteen groups responded to our December 2022 survey which asked for their vision of the Farm’s future. We summarized what we heard back on the Save Lemoine Point Farm website here. 

Join a Jane’s Walk 

“Lemoine Point Farm from the other side of the fence!”

Mark the date — The Jane’s Walk will be on Sunday, May 7th at 3:30. Rain or shine. Meet at the south end of the Lemoine Point Conservation area — the airport end. 

Find out more about the Jane’s Walk here.

The walk is free and no registration is needed.

Best wishes to all,

The Save Lemoine Point Farm Group


Lemoine Point Farm: Jane’s Walk!

Date: Sunday 7 May 2023 Time: 3:30 pm

Walk Description: Speakers on:

  • Indigenous peoples and Farm settlers: yesterday & today.

Meeting Place: South Parking Lot, Lemoine Point Conservation area

Route: Along the path that parallels the Farm – flat, gravel, accessible path

Tour Leaders and Organizers: Save Lemoine Point Farm group

For more information on 2023 Kingston area Jane’s Walks please visit their website.


Save Lemoine Point Farm – Survey Results – March 2023

Sixteen groups responded to our December 2022 survey which asked for their vision of the Farm’s future. Here’s a summary of what we heard.

  • See the farm continuing to produce quality food for local consumption
  • Engage the public in food production practices, educational programming about regenerative agricultural practices, and agroecology (the application of ecology to agriculture, as in the conservation of soil and water resources, the minimization of
    pollution, and the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides).
  • Consider an Experimental Farm model including research initiatives
  • Adapt existing residential and farm buildings to house offices and educational and research facilities associated with farming
  • Provide public access to the Farm’s agricultural and natural features
  • Engage local post-secondary institutions, Indigenous groups, private enterprise
  • Partner with and get support from City departments and upper-tier governments
  • Apply for grants and prepare baseline documentation reports
  • Benefit public groups such as Indigenous Peoples, BIPOC, 2SLGBTQ+ communities

The groups who responded:

  • All Our Relations Land Trust
  • Coalition of Kingston Communities
  • Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour
  • Frontenac Heritage Foundation
  • Kingston Field Naturalists
  • Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest
  • Land Conservancy for KFL&A
  • Lemoine Point Native Plant Nursery
  • Loving Spoonful
  • National Farmers Union – Ontario
  • No Clearcuts Kingston
  • Ontario Farmland Trust
  • River First YGK
  • Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Swim Drink Fish
  • Turtles Kingston

Public Meeting: Ways to Care for the Land from New and Indigenous Perspectives

Public meeting looks at ways to care for the land from new and Indigenous perspectives

As spring arrives, people are starting to think about what they might grow in their gardens, on their balconies, or in a community garden plot. The Save Lemoine Point Farm group is hosting a webinar on March 28th at 7 pm titled Sustainable Food Production: Reciprocal Relations with the Land.

“We want to explore how we can exist in harmony with the land,” says Celeste Booth from the group. “How can growing food and being on the land increase biodiversity to the benefit of our ecosystem?”

Three presenters will discuss their perspectives on positive relations with the land.

Maureen Buchanan and Kaitlyn Patterson are working on the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Garden along Highway 15. The Garden combines Indigenous language and culture practices with growing food. “We are mindful that caring for the land and taking climate action are big steps toward reconciliation,” says Buchanan.

The third speaker is Ayla Fenton, the food systems manager for Loving Spoonful, a local group that envisions a resilient community and local food system, that nourishes all people and supports dignified access to good food.

Local author and farmer Aric McBay will moderate the discussion.

Registration for the free online event is on Eventbrite. There is also a link on the Save Lemoine Point Farm website and Facebook page.

For more information, contact:

Celeste Booth



Election 2022 News

Media Release: Newly-elected Council Good News for Lemoine Point Farm

On November 7, 2022 the Save Lemoine Point Farm group issued the following Media Release to provide an update on the broad level of support for saving the farm by the newly elected Kingston City Council.

For immediate release

November 7, 2022 – Kingston, ON

Newly-elected Council Good News for Lemoine Point Farm


A group of concerned residents wants to make sure the Lemoine Point Farm is preserved as a place of nature and not lost to development.

During the municipal election campaign, the Save Lemoine Point Farm group sent Kingston City Council candidates a survey asking:

“Do you support the city’s purchase and long-term protection of Lemoine Point Farm as a place for nature and agriculture, not for development?”

Most of the now elected candidates said “yes” to making a public commitment to saving the Farm. Two did not answer and one wanted more information. “We are very encouraged by this broad level of support for conserving the fields, forest, and shoreline of Lemoine Point Farm for future generations”, says Jim Biagi of the group’s coordinating committee.

During the municipal election campaign, the Save Lemoine Point Farm group heard from many residents, community groups, and other organizations wanting to see the Lemoine Point Farm protected. Gord Sinclair wrote on behalf of The Tragically Hip: “The preservation of this unique piece of land just west of the city is important for our community… This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us as a community to preserve this space for future generations. Let’s not waste it.” To see other endorsements received to date, please visit About Us – Save Lemoine Point Farm

In the coming weeks, the Save Lemoine Point Farm group will continue advocating to preserve this magnificent property including following up with the newly-elected members of City Council.

The Save Lemoine Point Farm group invites the public to visit its website and sign up for its newsletter. The group also continues to be active on social media including –

Twitter: @farmlemoine

Facebook: @SaveLPFarm

Instagram: @SaveLemoinePointFarm


For more information:

Jim Biagi


Website: Save Lemoine Point Farm


Election 2022 News

Results of Survey Sent to Candidates

The following survey was sent to Kingston City Council Election Candidates:

Do you support the city’s purchase and long-term protection of Lemoine Point Farm as a place for nature and agriculture, not for development?

Summary of answers: (received as of Oct. 14, 2022)

26 Yes

0 No 

4 Uncertain/need more information 

12 No reply 

Individual Responses by District:

Candidates for Mayor

Tina Fraser (yes)

Skyler McArthur-Blenes (Uncertain/need more information)

Bryan Paterson (yes)

Ivan Stoiljkovic (yes)


Lisa Osanic (yes)

Joel Thompson (yes)


Joseph Dowser (no reply)

Michael Judd (uncertain, need more information)

Darryl McIntosh (no reply)

Brandon Tozzo (yes)

Tom Gingrich (uncertain, need more information)

Keaton Zandbergen (no reply)

King’s Town

Keith Bilow (yes)

Alexandria Liu (yes)

Gregory Ridge (no reply)


Wayne Hill (yes)

Wendy Stephen (yes)


Paul Chaves (yes)

Jacqui Collier (yes)


Jeff McLaren (yes)

Michael Murphy (no reply)

Jacob Wynperle (no reply)


Ryan Boehme (yes)

Lindsay Duggan (uncertain, need more information)

Portsmouth District

Don Amos (yes)

Nicole Florent (yes)

Colleen Murphy (no reply)

Oren Nimelman (no reply)

Ashley Perna (no reply)

Zachary Typhair (yes)

Sebastian Vaillancourt (no reply)


Paul Charbonneau (yes)

Conny Glenn (yes)

Rami Maasarani (yes)

Peter Stroud (yes)


Jimmy Hassan (uncertain, need more information)

Rob Matheson (yes)

Hanny Philip (yes)


Annette Burfoot (yes)

Selina Chiarelli (no reply)

Vincent Cinanni (yes)

Ian Clark (yes)