Amherst Island was known as the “Gem of Lake Ontario”.  Sadly, the Island is now almost certainly fated to be rezoned industrial and to be in the middle of a series of vast wind turbine projects.  Below is a clickable picture of the eastern end of Lake Ontario with the active and proposed projects.

The purpose of this web site is primarily to document the wind energy project on Amherst Island.  It also has sections on the surrounding areas.

The conversion of this site to WordPress has been mostly completed.  Unfortunately some links are going dead due to material that I will no longer maintain here.  Do not despair, most of what was here has been moved to Wind Farm Realities and the reference materials are still available.

22 thoughts on “Welcome!”

  1. Hello:

    I am interested in Wolfe island in terms any studies done on decreasing property values or the MPAC study that said it was going to decrease property values as a result of wind farms.

    I appreciate any info on this subject

  2. Having such a vast conversion of islands like this to wind turbine sites has got to bring up a lot of controversy. It must also be have a big impact on the wildlife population.

  3. Andrea Cross contacted us (The Ferryden Action Group) vis the no-way-gsk website, and we can do no less than she, in expressing solidarity with your fight for Amherst Island
    But it’s hard!
    As an Action Group, we have neither the time nor the skills to debate the issues of national energy strategies; but there is always the ballot-box, and this is where we intend focussing our fire.
    Arguments about ‘destruction of the environment’ etc etc give planners and developers too much wriggle room for argument, but when you can point to the indisputable risks associated with massive wind turbines, and WARN planners and Councillors IN ADVANCE of the inherent dangers that they would be PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR if they permit them to go ahead, then maybe…just maybe… they might stop and thnk. Anyway, that is broadly our strategy

    With best wishes from Scotland

    Ian & Betty Paton

  4. The message was also sent to info@amherstisland.on.ca….

    Discover our Island, renowned for its tranquility and peace, bird watching, bicycling, music concerts, crafts, painters & paintings, farm holidays and much more …….

    These words of course come from the homepage of http://www.amherstisland.on.ca and conjure up what for me are precise images of what Amherst Island was and presently is. For many summers, my wife and I took our three children to Amherst Island for vacation. Our good friends Vic and Joan Ellis had a cottage there that they let us have for a week or so at a time and although our children are now all grown up, fond and vivid memories are deeply etched. Vic was a soft spoken professional engineer of immense talent and I had the distinct pleasure of working together with him for many years on air movement, ventilation and energy projects. Since we spent much time together, there were numerous opportunities to interrogate the pros and cons of various ways to address the engineering problems we were regularly faced with.

    Vic passed away a few years ago and from an engineering perspective, all that can be hoped for is that future engineers will arise who have the great ideas, integrity and common sense that he had. Case in point…. It is understood that Amherst Island is being considered for a wind generation project involving 33 wind turbines. When I heard this, the first thought that came to mind was “have these residents completely lost their collective minds”…..because what rightly thinking individuals would even contemplate the pristine rural beauty of a unique place like Amherst Island being overrun and turned into an industrial facility? It frankly is unfathomable that this could even be considered let alone be left on the table as a viable option. Good things need to be preserved and such a scheme needs to be fought tooth and nail!

    I’m not going to delve into all the cons of wind turbines….there is a plethora of information readily available and all one has to do is look at it (you might note that I didn’t say ‘delve into the pros and cons of wind turbines’ and the reason is simply because any reasonable analysis will quickly establish that there are virtually no pros). The internet is filled with horror stories of people getting what they did not expect when these monsters go up and all you have to do is your own research to sort out what is true and what is not. Aspects such as impact on property values are not that hard to check out. With an open mind, check out websites like http://www.windconcernsontario.net to at least gain a sense of what those opposed to wind turbines are saying. What I urge the residents of Amherst Island do is get out of your houses and walk around the island and drink it in…..now close your eyes and when you open them up again, see if you can’t accurately envision the ruination of the landscape as 33 separate industrial vertical monsters now dominate the skyline, a constant barrage of light-dark strobe flickers cross the countryside, the whomp-whomp-whomp sound as each blade passes their respective towers, lights on top that mean that stars and northern lights are washed out, bird and bat kill…..and on and on and on. This island won’t be changed a little bit…..the reckless grab for money by those with a financial stake in it will turn the island into something that will be unrecognizable. And yes, these machines do even blow up from time to time where big metal chunks are found a long long way from whether they once stood… Just go to youtube and key in ‘wind turbine failures’ to get a taste of the potential dangers. If an adequate worst -case-scenario distance was imposed as far as how far away these machines should be kept away from people, roads, property lines and houses, the island probably wouldn’t be big enough to even support one of them.

    In considering the wind turbine issue, the residents of Amherst Island will not be well served if you get your primary source of information from politicians, environmentalists, wind turbine developers, energy suppliers, the mainstream media or many of the other people who are typically involved in promoting such projects….. You need to find honest independent advisors who will give you the straight goods and the nearby residents of communities where wind turbines already have gone up. In my brief search for ‘wind turbines on Amherst Island’, numerous articles were found. One was written by someone extolling the virtues of Denmark and the ‘wonderful power system they have there with 20% supplied by wind turbine generation’. Let me be the first to suggest that this particular individual knows nothing about wind power in Denmark or they wouldn’t have made the outrageous statements they did. Examining an article such as the following one is at least a start at understanding how Denmark functions at all and it’s not particularly pretty or utopian in any sense…. http://www.countryguardian.net/2008.%20Wind%20power%20in%20Denmark.%20%5BDecember%202008%20version%20plus%20%20Refs%5D%20(1).pdf By now, the residents of Amherst Island will have gained a sense of how the question of wind power will pit neighbour against neighbour… Get a copy of the documentary Windfall to see how this has played out in another jurisdiction on the south side of Lake Ontario. It is well worth the time to watch it. http://windfallthemovie.com/index_1.html

    There will of course be those who feel so strongly about ‘being green and doing the right thing’ that they are prepared to ‘make sacrifices for the betterment and benefit of all’. Well, ok… But you better be sure that those ‘right things’ you believe are good for the environment really are because so many of them are a scam…..like wind energy. From a bigger perspective that goes far beyond the waters that surround Amherst Island, there is something else about wind power that is very troubling: very simply, it generates very little IF ANY actual electrical power. This is way too long a discussion for this space but I urge all to get familiar with the work of an engineer named Kent Hawkins. As was once said by a famous US President, facts are stubborn things. Here is one of Mr Hawkins’s many articles that explains why wind turbines contribute almost no electricity to the grid when viewed from the bigger picture of all electrical supply sources….. http://www.masterresource.org/2010/11/the-calculator-14-results-part-i/#more-13018 It’s a horrifying thought. All these problems, all this angst, the degradation of people’s investments in their homes and all the money spent on developing the infrastructure…..and in the end, nothing positive to show for it.

    Discover our Island, renowned for its tranquility and peace, bird watching, bicycling, music concerts, crafts, painters & paintings, farm holidays and much more …….with wind turbines in Amherst Island’s future, these activities taken for granted today will all join many other great things that were stupidly and irretrievably discarded into the great dust bins of history. What an incredibly shortsighted view of our needs is on display here to show exactly how stupid such a decision would be. The big picture doesn’t involve just this misguided attempt to supply our electricity needs. It involves the destruction of tourism (how we project ourselves to our visitors) and a perverted way of life for all where instead of being able to enjoy the great outdoors, we are enclosed by this cage of industrial equipment wherever we go.

    Vern Martin P.Eng.
    Kitchener, ON

  5. A contributor requested information on land value and sales information from Wolfe Isl and in light of the MPAC Tribunal. To date, there is still no ruling from the tribunal; in March it will be 3 years since the appeal was submitted. 3 years and 6 days of hearings — more than for some murder trials. The final day of hearings ended in October 2011; following concerted efforts on the part of the Township lawyer (yes, inexplicably the township hired a lawyer to fight an appeal between a resident and the province) to deny the complaintants the right to have the hearing take place in the community.

    For those not familiar with the case, Ed and Gail Kenney, retired seniors and former civil servants, have waterfront property that was surrounded by 32 of the 86 turbines concentrated in the NW end of the island. The turbines were constructed before the Green Energy Act, and therefore to do comply with the safety setback regulations set out in the act. In the year when the plant came into operation, the MPAC regulations for waterfront property tax assessments were implemented, and this couple in their seventies found themselves with a property tax increased of 90% on their modest three bedroom bungalow. They appealed THE INCREASE OF 90%, based on the impacts of the intensive industrial development: the rezoning from rural to industrial (there is still potential for more turbines — 130 by Windstream offshore; sound; lights; visual landscape; environmental degradation, impacts on ferry travel that has led to longer line-ups and waits etc.).

    Part of the case revolved around the fact that the Kenney’s tax assessment increase was based on comparisons with properties sold that were 6-11 km outside the wind factory area. Since the construction of the wind factory, no houses have been sold in the west end of the island (with the exception of a seasonal home that included property housing a turbine, which makes the property tax exempt). Another issue was the Ontario Realestate rules that mandate owners selling homes must declare the existence of a wind turbines project in the area, and any knowledge of a project proposed in the area.

    The company, upon hearing of the appeal from the Township Clerk, contacted the Kenneys and angrily chastised them, threatening to cancel proposed projects to reforest areas of the island as an environmental offset of the negative impacts to bird habitat.

    As stated, to date, there has been no ruling. Since the tribunal, the Kenney’s have learned that multiple properties in the Melancthon and Amaranth area (owned and operated by the same wind company) have been abandoned, sold back to the company (under non-disclosure agreements); then placed back for sale at prices between half and one third the original value. The Kenney’s have requested MPAC data for Wolfe Island, to learn whether any other property tax assessments have been appealed since the turbine development. MPAC offered the Kenney’s numerous opportunities to settle, but insisted that a non-disclosure agreement be signed — effectively silencing the Kenney’s from discussing the terms. This tactic has proven useful for MPAC to date — multiple property owners have been granted tax reductions in wind factory areas; but have signed non-disclosure agreements that fail to state the real reason for reduction — wind turbines. The Township, MPAC officials and the lawyer representing MPAC have repeatedly denied the Kenney’s the information about property tax assessment data for houses on Wolfe Island. This is bizarre, given the information is public, and hence, subject to access to information.

    When a ruling is made, the Kenney’s will be free to discuss with the media all of the implications of their case — including the tens of thousands of dollars the Township of Frontenac Islands has paid for legal representation against their own residents.


    Over the last 50 years the St. Lawrence Seaway brought us 200 invasive
    species that changed the Great Lakes forever. Now we watch another
    “engineering miracle”, industrial offshore wind turbines, rammed ahead
    without adequate awareness of potential destruction to fish, bats and
    birds and their habitat, and yes, to us, the human animals that depend on
    this landscape. Some of Ontario’s richest fishing grounds and migratory
    bird flyways face a Maginot Line of giant structures virtually circling
    the eastern Lake from Prince Edward County to the USA border off Wolfe
    Island. Even If we had no options for electricity other then
    mega-projects like Windstream’s $1.2 billion Wolfe Island Shoals Project
    humans, and more specifically, corporations and compliant governments,
    cannot morally, environmentally, socially or economically justify gutting
    our last wild places or desecration remnant human viewscapes of Main Duck
    Island and its surroundings. Too long have corporations and governments
    ignored the ecological and emotional well being of citizens and societies.

    All of the media hype and propaganda promoted by companies seeking to cash
    in on taxpayer subsidies and an incompetent regulatory system cannot
    disguise the ineffectiveness of wind energy production. International
    interest is dropping like a hawk obliterated by a turbine blade, yet
    amazingly Ontario pursues these empty promises.

    A reliable alternative for Ontario’s energy needs does, however, sit
    beside us in Quebec. Their surplus electricity could be brought here
    using underwater cable up the St. Lawrence River, similar to the proposal
    under consideration for New York City.

    We, you and I, need to think about this. Should Lake Ontario to be a
    sacrifice zone? Hasn’t it been abused enough? Before offshore oil wells
    and gas fracking come charging over the horizon like a frothing monster,
    the Lake should be put off limit for industrial development, protected
    forever by potent legislation.

    The Thousand Islands Region is the backyard and summer escape for
    millions of people in Toronto, Ottawa and beyond. Instead of destroying
    fisheries, re-suspending toxic sediment, destroying the remnants of
    biodiversity, and obliterating views night and day we need to convince
    our politicians that another, cheaper solution to our power needs is at

    Wind energy has been proven to be neither free nor green. Quebec power
    has no taxpayer subsidies nor does it threaten to escalate our electric
    bills by 40% or more. Let’s not trade our known remaining, and already
    threatened, natural resources and social values for some dubious,
    disproven pseudo substitute, offshore wind.

  7. In the 2010 Elections I ran for Deputy Mayor of Loyalist township and one of my issues was to try to stop the wind turbine projects on Amherst Island. As you will read on my website, I still have the links to this site and have a sign on my Hair Salon in Bath No WIND TURBINES. I always said we should have some placed in Millhaven on our Industrial Park that our township owns, where no homes are near to effect. Now Ernestown Wind Park 6 turbines are being located on private property just north-east of Millhaven with no objections from local residents.

  8. The ARB ruling on property tax assessments is in, and, no surprise, the ruling is against the property owners. In spite of gross errors in the summary description of the Kenney’s property (including buildings that do not exist!), the ARB ruled that their property tax assessment stands.

    But hold on Nelly. Public records on property tax assessments are just that PUBLIC. And the public record will reveal that multiple properties on Wolfe and Simcoe islands have had 30-75% property tax assessment reductions since the 2008 assessment. This evidence was not included in the ARB tribunal because MPAC and the municipality lawyer conspired to deny the Kenney’s the information — they required an assess in information request that took — wait for it — months after the tribunal to deliver!

    But chickens are coming to roost. Look to the request for review and the local newspapers. The mayor and township council knew that more than 70 properties have received reductions since 2008 — most clustered in the very area surrounding the Kenney home. It will be interesting when it is revealed whether any of these property owners signed non-disclosure agreements with MPAC. And why they sat silent and watched their 70 year old neighbours struggle against lawyers and swindlers, all the while counting their own cash. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. The same human kindness is headed to Amherst — the integrity of the Kenney’s shines through the muck.

  9. Hi Leslie, thanks for the update. It is my understanding that the Kenneys were offered some sort of reduction as long as they wouldn’t put the blame where it obviously belongs – on the turbines. It seems that there is a rather large effort on the part of the government and its affiliates to maintain the fiction that wind turbines do not affect home prices.

  10. My husband and I are relative newcomers to Amherst Island, having purchased our property in May of 2010. We extensively researched the region for over a year before selecting the island for a home. We rejected options in both Price Edward County and on Wolfe Island, in part due to the Wind Turbine issue. We considered and rejected a lovely home on Wolfe Island that was decidedly less money than we chose to invest on Amherst Island, because the Wolfe Island house was surrounded by turbines. What we liked most about Amherst Island was that it was pristine, had a rural feel, was quiet, and the people we met there were exceptional in every way. I have shared the wonderful photographs I’ve taken of the island with many people here in the U.S. I have encouraged both tourism and property ownership for the same reason over the last couple of years. With turbines looming on the horizon, however, I find that I can no longer be an economic advocate for the island, which is both a shame and a potential revenue killer for the township. We will now give careful consideration as to how much we will invest there in the future. We were prepared to invest a great deal. I note that the Township website touts the very things that we love about the island. I guess they’d better revise their site and tourism brochure to reflect the truth and remove references to what a great, natural place Amherst Island will be.

  11. Hi, Check out Easy Lane on Wolfe Island for decreased values, to mention one!
    Windmills are an eyesore and are noisy….

  12. Amherst Island residents need to vote out the current Loyalist Township folks
    and keep the island beautiful and pristine, as it now is……

  13. Hi – Could anyone tell me if it’s true that more wind turbines are going to be put up on Wolfe Island? We are considering purchasing land at the southeast end of the island, and certainly don’t want to be near any turbines…

  14. http://www.whywind.org

    Check it out, and get all the real facts about winds, and see why they are not so bad. The only things you guys should be worried about, is you may not find them visually appealing. I find that very acceptable, as it is your island and should be kept beautiful. All your other arguments are unjust, and uneducated. And Lori, it’s a small island, you are going to be close to turbines no matter where you live.

  15. The last comment demonstrates the power of Green Illusions. The writer has not done the research. But, then, the writer is probably a proponent wanting to share the illusion.

  16. Just a quick update on the ARB appeal launched by the Kenney’s on Wolfe Island against MPAC 95% increase in property tax assessment on their waterfront home in 2008 (the year the turbines started roaring).

    The Kenneys lost the original tribunal, but were granted an appeal to the decision this fall. The decision to grant an appeal of the ruling was based on the fact that the Kenneys had repeatedly requested information from the local MPAC office pertaining to property tax assessments. Leading up to and during the tribunal, in front of the judge, the Kenneys requested the Frontenac Islands Township office and MPAC to provide a list of properties granted reductions in value since the 2008 tax assessment season (and the year the Wolfe Island Wind Plant went into production). They were denied the information, despite the fact that it was material to the tribunal and public information. When they asked for it during the tribunal, the lawyer representing MPAC objected strenuously (the requests for the list of assessments were made to her office and she denied the request) and the ARB accepted the objection. The Kenney’s went on to lose the initial ARB tribunal.

    The tribunal’s decision included multiple errors in fact (not the least of which that it misidentified the Kenney’s property); that said, an appeal judge found that the error in judgement was made due to MPAC’s and the township’s “willful negligence” in failing to provide evidence in a transparent way and for concealing documents.

    So okay — what does this all mean?

    Since 2008, over 72 properties on Wolfe Island have received over 3.5 million dollars in property tax assessment reductions. A large cluster of the highest reductions is located in the immediate area of the Kenney’s residence. Some of these include reductions on waterfront residences of more than $150 000. What is most strange (and frankly disturbing) is that most of those residents who sought and received reductions simply called or visited the local MPAC office (no paperwork). In some cases, and the Kenneys have sworn statements that residents were told over the phone and at the MPAC Kingston office that they could get reductions “provided they did not mention the wind turbines in their request.”

    Note that the Kenney’s asked for this information from MPAC and the township repeatedly over two year and were denied the information during the tribunal. This information was released to the Kenneys two weeks after their ruling.

    So now entering their fourth year of appeal, the Kenneys are waiting to have another face to face meeting with MPAC in front of another judge. Curiously, following release in public of the costs association with the township lawyer — the township paid between $50 – $100 000 of ratepayers money in the failed defense — the lawyer for Frontenac Islands has been given his walking papers. That is interesting, since observers at the tribunal recall that MPAC made two attempts to negotiate with the Kenneys to settle the dispute AND THE TOWNSHIP insisted that ANY negotiated settlement include either a confidentiality clause or an explicit statement that any settlement NOT MENTION wind turbines.

    The next round is scheduled for June 2013.

  17. Hello Everyone,

    Plans are underway to raise funds to support the Wind Turbine Appeal for the Ernestown project.

    At this time a dinner and dance get-together is in the planning stages. Loyalist Township Council has approved the use of the Amherstview Community Centre on Amherst Drive for this purpose but the availability of the hall must be confirmed. Details to follow.

    Help with this event or ideas for other fund raisers are welcomed.

    Thank you, Rob Johnston
    info contact Pam Calver

    Hang together or we’ll all hang seperately…..

  18. Being an U.S citizen, I thought this sort of travesty only happemed in the U.S. Fight back you anti-wind people. God bless You for your vigilance and strength

  19. I cannot believe the government (MNR) can be so obtuse as to allow another turbine project. Ontario is already paying the US to take our energy, and generators to shut down as Ontario has so much hydro. Why ruin the environment and property values of tax payers to produce yet more power and an eyesore?

  20. I grew up loving Amherst Island and my family has lived there for generations. Ruining the habitat to repeat the problems associated with the Wolfe Island Development when the province does not need the power seems short sighted to say the least.

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