Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ontario Trails News - Kayak Commute for Downtown Executive, Kingston



By Ian MacAlpine, Kingston Whig-Standard
Sushee Perumal, the CEO of MaxSold, kayaks from his home in Barriefield Village on Tuesday to downtown Kingston while the Lasalle Causeway is closed for repairs. (Ian MacAlpine/The Whig-Standard)
Sushee Perumal, the CEO of MaxSold, kayaks from his home in Barriefield Village on Tuesday to downtown Kingston while the Lasalle Causeway is closed for repairs. (Ian MacAlpine/The Whig-Standard)
With some east-end commuters stuck in traffic and perhaps boiling over with stress due to the temporary closure of the Lasalle Causeway on Tuesday morning, Sushee Perumal enjoyed a leisurely kayak ride to work downtown.
Perumal, the chief executive officer of MaxSold, an international online auction business headquartered in Kingston, took only 20 minutes to kayak from his home in Barriefield to his office on Ontario Street.
Perumal who usually cycles or walks to work, thought a kayak trip during the causeway’s closure was the best option to make it downtown.
He also used the exercise as an example of overcoming a challenge in a creative way.
“We’re always encouraging MaxSold employees to be relentless in getting it done regardless (of the challenge),” he said. “This is a good example.”
MaxSold, a five-year-old company, has about 250 employees, with the number expected to go up to 2,000 in the next year at all of its locations. It was founded by local auctioneer Barry Gordon.
If Perumal had walked or used his bicycle on Tuesday, there would have been no way he could have crossed the causeway. While the work is being done Tuesday and Wednesday, the public works department is offering free taxi rides up to Hwy. 401 and back downtown to people trying to get across.
“The mission is to get to the office and there are two or three ways of doing it, and one of the ways was taking a kayak over,” Perumal said.
Perumal’s route saw him head across the Cataraqui River from Barriefield, past Anglin Bay and under the west end of the causeway near Fort Frontenac, where he had to keep low going under the cement portion of the causeway. He then paddled around the breakwater at the Flora MacDonald Confederation Basin to the boat slips just south of the Delta Kingston Waterfront Hotel and steps from his office.
Perumal took some selfie photos along the way.
He said the trip was easy — perhaps a little too easy.
“Just a steady breeze, no huge swells. (That) would have been fun, though.”
“It’s a lot shorter than I thought it was. It probably takes the same time as me walking across (the causeway), and driving takes longer.”
He said in the summer he kayaks three to four times a week. Sometimes he goes to Cedar Island and Belle Island Park.
“There’s lots of places to get to.”
Perumal said he may keep kayaking to work in the future, even when the causeway is open.
“It’s now one of my three options, now that I know it’s a fast kayak and it’s nice to do in the morning,” he said.