FAQs

This functionally obsolete building and the contaminated land has been neglected for twenty-one years. We now have an opportunity to turn this land into something that enhances and adds to our community for many years to come.

This proposal could greatly benefit neighbours by providing new small commercial and retail services, residential units, create jobs, and enable more seniors to ‘age in place’.

As our resume shows, our team derives personal and professional satisfaction from redeveloping properties that have historic significance and can be restored to meet the modern needs of their neighbourhoods.

Properties such as the Smith Robinson Building (“S&R Building”), The Woolen Mill, the Queen City Flats, the Gibbard District Riverside Residences, the Royal Artillery Park Barracks, and The Frontenac Club demonstrate the level of energy, effort, and care we apply to these restoration projects.
  1. This proposal will enable Kingston seniors currently living downtown to age in place, providing a healthier and happier retirement. It will create new housing and retail space for the surrounding community.
  2. Union Park Kingston would provide much needed housing, jobs, and small commercial space in the Portsmouth Harbour area.
  3. Three quarters of the site will be kept as open space – meaning the Portsmouth area will gain a new park and walking path between Union and King Streets.
  4. The proposed hotel for short-term and extended stays would help visitors to Kingston needing multi-month accommodations, such as CFB Kingston visitors, researchers, and visitors to Kingston’s hospitals. This is a need which was identified in the City’s Housing and Homelessness Task Force.
  5. The creation of a healing garden would finally acknowledge the history of the Prison for Women facility and its impact on the former inmates.
  6. This proposal would convert a functionally obsolete facility into something that enhances and adds to our community for many years to come, ending two decades of neglect at a nationally designated heritage building.
  7. The addition of a walking path between Union and King Streets, including interpretive signage, and further improvements to one of Kingston’s busiest bus stops will improve safety and the walkability of the surrounding area.
  8. Renovating and developing this site will increase the City of Kingston’s tax base, meaning more funding for City services.
  9. We are preserving the best views for public enjoyment and creating minimal shadowing. The park included on the property will be paid for and maintained by us, but publicly accessible to all. Further, we are limiting the height of our proposed towers to 10 stories – a full six stories shorter than nearby John Orr Tower.
Approximately 75% of the site is considered to be open space and is broken down as 25.6% building footprint (Including a realistic estimate for Block A), 18.0% for interior roads and 56.4% for landscaped areas, park & connecting pathway and sidewalks.
The main building itself is functionally obsolete and sits on contaminated land. There are no heritage elements within the main limestone building. Siderius Developments has retained two well respected heritage consultants – John Stewart of Commonwealth Historic Resource Management and Barry Padolsky of Barry Padolsky and Associates – to draft a heritage strategy.

Additionally, the site has a difficult history as a former prison. Through interpretive signage and the addition of a healing garden, created in collaboration with the P4W Memorial Collective, Siderius intends to acknowledge this history.

These challenges have informed the proposed design and help explain some of the choices made by Siderius.
We invite anyone interested in the project to sign up for our email updates where we will be routinely issuing updates about the project.

Additionally, neighbours will be invited to participate in a public open house on August 11 to provide their feedback and ask questions. These will be announced on our website and via our email newsletter as they are scheduled.

The City of Kingston will also be conducting some public engagement efforts, as they would with any rezoning proposal of this nature.
Siderius Developments has been in contact with several members of the Prison for Women Memorial Collective since 2019 and we continue to meet regularly. As the current stewards of the land, we continue to listen to the former inmates who are a part of the P4WMC to create a healing garden with their direct involvement.
The interior of the building has lead paint and asbestos throughout. There are minor exceedances in the soils in various locations with no indication of any of the contaminants migrating off the property.
In our Project Overview document, we outline many sustainability initiatives for the various proposed buildings that we are carefully considering to help site residents save water and energy, to reduce travel-related carbon emissions, and to source local and high quality materials. In addition, we will be including interior bike parking (for residents, staff, guests, and park visitors), a bike repair area, and electric vehicle charging stations.
Union Park Kingston will encourage active transportation by offering live-work-play-age opportunities on site; ample bike parking for residents, workers, hotel guests, and visitors; and improving walking pathways through the area. 

By adding more commercial space to the neighhbourhood, by infilling this site near the downtown, and by improving the busy bus stop opposite Queen’s University’s west campus, we will also be helping to decrease the amount of time those living in and visiting the area might spend driving. 

While bus, shuttle (Signature Retirement Living), and car (electric and otherwise) travel will continue to play a role in transportation on the site, sustainability is important to us as developers and we have carefully considered ways to increase active transportation in the neighbourhood through our design.
Due to the unsafe conditions inside the building it cannot be opened to the public. In addition, we would not want to in any way compete with the Kingston Penitentiary tours which are well-established and support local charities. Unlike Kingston Penitentiary, there are no particular interesting heritage design elements within the former Prison for Women as the building inside is all concrete, steel, plaster, and drywall. The cells were all decommissioned and the locking mechanism is the only item of interest that remains.
Yes, both sections of the existing prison wall will remain except a short section of the west wall. Approximately 22 feet of the north end will be removed to open up the site lines of the project. This has been agreed to by our neighbour.
Yes, the roof and cupola will remain in its current form and be restored where required.
We have completed a detailed archeological study of the property (all four stages) and have completed environmental testing of the lands. There are no unmarked graves.
No, this building cannot be used as a prison again for a number of reasons. Primarily, the government deemed the prison obsolete and recommended it for closure which is why it was sold.
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