Kingston city council is set to consider longer-term options for a year-round operation of its sleeping cabins pilot project at its upcoming meeting Tuesday.
The shortlist of locations includes the Rideau Marina on the eastern shore of the Cataraqui River.
“Homestead has approached the city and is interested in the potential of maybe having sleeping cabins located there for the next few years,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
Paterson announced that the staff report heading to council will make recommendations on five potential locations.
The report also states a preference for the Rideau Marina location in the east end.
“Considering locations, criteria and estimated capital and operating costs related to the sleeping cabin program, staff have identified the Rideau Marina as the preferred location,” reads the report.
“One of the big challenges, of course, is that it’s not just a matter of locating the sleeping cabins there — you need washrooms, you need kitchen facilities,” Paterson says.
“So we’re talking about maybe exploring like a modular building that could have those services, along with the sleeping cabins. But Homestead has offered to donate that if it was to go ahead at the Rideau marina. So that’s a really interesting possibility for us.”
Staff are recommending a community engagement process for two potential locations — the one at Rideau Marina and one at Rodden Park.
The Rodden Park location falls in Coun. Bridget Doherty’s district, marking the second sleeping cabin location proposed in the Portsmouth area.
“Certainly, at the beginning of this project here, people were concerned,” Doherty says.
“It’s something new for the neighbourhood, and I received a lot of emails and phone calls and letters in my inbox. But once the cabins came here and the neighbourhood got to know their new neighbours, it actually turned out to be a very positive experience.”
The need for new locations comes as the Centre 70 arena and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour are at maximum capacity in terms of space — the spaces are able to accommodate only 15 cabins.
With an additional 10 cabins already approved by council, a larger site would be necessary.
Paterson says the city wants to hear from residents before the council approves either location. “We want to make sure that we get the input that we need from the neighbourhoods.”
Paterson adds no decisions have been made at this point.
Council’s discussion next Tuesday will see if a green light is given to public consultation, and gathering feedback from the neighbourhoods in question.