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.


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)