Kingston Inner Harbour (KIH) Sediment Management Project

A history of industrial activity in the area surrounding Kingston Inner Harbour (KIH) resulted in contamination of the sediment that lines the harbour bed. Historical uses included a railway, shipyard, fueling, coal gasification, tannery, lead smelter, landfill and other operations.

Studies have concluded that people, fish and wildlife may experience negative health effects (risks) if exposed to this contaminated sediment. Despite several decades of time for natural recovery, several areas have not recovered enough to be safe for current uses. Therefore, management measures have been recommended to address those risks.

The Kingston Inner Harbour Sediment Management Project is intended to reduce the risks from sediment contamination to people and wildlife within the harbour through management of sediment quality. Proposed remediation and management techniques include dredging, capping, sediment amendments, and shoreline modification. The goal of the project is to balance protecting sensitive species, habitats, and valued features while reducing risks associated with contamination.

The sediment management area within KIH is bounded by Highway 2 (LaSalle Causeway Bridge) to the south and Belle Island/Cataraqui Park to the north and includes an approximate 1.7 km length of the Great Cataraqui River. The total project area including areas requiring physical intervention and monitored natural recovery is approximately 177 ha.

Following refinement of the Conceptual Sediment Management Plan and the start of detailed design, the Detailed Impact Assessment will provide a complete description of all components of the Project, which may include the following activities:

  • Site Preparation and Mobilization
  • Sediment Management Activities and associated works
    • Strategies proposed include both conventional options (e.g., capping, dredging) and lower intrusion options (e.g., thin-layer capping with active layers, monitored natural recovery)
  • Demobilization and Site Restoration
  • Post-construction Monitoring



Transport Canada (TC) and Parks Canada Agency (PCA) are responsible for management of the sediment in the majority of the KIH and are the project proponents. A small percentage of KIH is managed by other parties, including the City of Kingston and the Department of National Defence. TC and PCA are exploring opportunities to partner on the management of these waterlots.


The Project is currently in the planning stage. Plans for site preparation and mobilization, sediment management activities, demobilization, site restoration, and post-management monitoring have not been refined and are only conceptual at this time.  These plans will be updated in 2023 to reflect comments received from stakeholder engagement and Indigenous consultation that are currently underway. Public input is currently being sought on the conceptual plan and the initial scope of the impact assessment. Public information sessions will be offered as part of stakeholder engagement process (tentatively planned for spring/summer 2022 and summer/fall 2023).

The Detailed Impact Assessment (DIA) and detailed design processes are expected to coincide with ongoing consultation and engagement activities from 2022-2024, with project implementation to begin in 2025. A second notice will be posted on the registry to denote the start of the consultation timeline once the DIA is available for comment.

Additional information, including a Virtual Information Session and project updates can be found at the project website Home - KIH Project (  


Latest update

The assessment is in progress.



KIH Project, Ontario M2N 6A4

  • Location

    • Kingston (Ontario)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Ports and Harbours
    • Remediation and conservation
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Transport Canada and Parks Canada
  • Authorities

    • Parks Canada Agency
    • Transport Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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