The letter "C" is missing from the start of these two signs on the Holland Marsh canal, where Canal Bank Road South goes under Highway 400. It seems more than coincidence that two "C" letters could go missing at the same time. However it happened may be a mystery, but the result is a rather cryptic and startling message.
King City, the largest village in King Township, is well on its way to doubling in size, in the space of just a few years. Based on eight new residential subdivision developments and two expansions already under way, the population of King City is going from its current 4,902 people to 8,402, and the residential units those people will be living in are going from 1,629 to 2,792. This still leaves several hundred acres, on the drawing boards, to be developed in the immediate years following the current boom. WEST SIDE OF VILLAGE...
Parts of Cold Creek Conservation Area transform this weekend (Oct. 26 and 27 between 5-9 p.m.) from the natural world to the supernatural world. There will be a haunted house/maze, a haunted hay ride and a haunted hike. Cost is $7 per person.
Workers are seen in the Holland Marsh retrieving and moving fish from the old canal to the new canal. Relocating and widening of the 28 km.-canal will take at least five years to complete and cost $26.4 million. An additional $57.5 million will be spent on municipal bridges and Hwy. 400 structures. The project will enable the huge market-garden vegetable resource to withstand a 100-year weather event. It will also increase the saftey of traffic along roads bordering the marsh. Many people have perished over the years when their vehicles plunged into the canal.
Highway 400 was officially opened between North York and Barrie just over 60 years ago, on July 1, 1952. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation aerial photo above, looks east from above Weston Rd. (over the hamlets of Strange and Laskay), along the King Sideroad toward the King City interchange and beyond, to Jane Street and the hamlet of Kinghorn. In the immediate foreground is the farm that belonged to Fergus Lawson. On the other side of the King Sideroad is the farm that belonged to Len Glass. The two farms on the other side of the 400 (north and south of the sideroad) were owned by Henry Borden. Beyond that, in the top left corner of the photo is the hamlet of Kinghorn. Meanwhile, below, is a recent photo taken in the fall of 2011 (looking North) when the King City interchange was being widened and expanded to its current immense proportions. As for me, I'm old enough to remember when interchanges were called cloverleafs.
This squirrel and the nearby fungi are directly overlooking the new skateboard park in King City, beside the arena (see blog below). It makes for an interesting contrast with the new, cutting-edge presence of the skateboard facility being looked over by a timeless scene of natural existence.
I was standing in a group of senior citizens outside the doctors' offices, on Doctors Lane, on Saturday morning, when someone asked if we'd all seen the spray-painted graffiti on the new skateboard park across the street, beside the arena. Someone immediately suggested the culprits should be apprehended and be made to completely restore the facility to its pristine condition. Someone else suggested the culprits should be horse-whipped. It immediately occurred to me that this graffiti was the seal of approval from the target audience. Each time I've gone by this new attraction I've seen a pack of kids using it. To me the graffiti says: "we like it! ...we like it! It sure isn't pretty, but it makes a statement. At the supper hour on Friday night my wife and I watched as approximately 40 kids were having a great time at the park. There was the occasional scream as someone wiped out and Linda and I thought how convenient to have this facility right across the street from a doctor's office.
The 'Closed/Picked Out' sign at Country Apple Orchard Farm has been up for quite some time, on King's 16th Sideroad, west of Jane Street. The early spring, followed by cold temperatures damaged most of Ontario's orchards and King Township apple growers were not spared. Meanwhile, further along the 16th, on the east side of Jane Street, Pine Farms Orchard is still open. Pine Farms Orchard does have some apples and other fresh produce for sale, plus there is the ever-popular cafe. I was told by someone at Pine Farms that they are bringing in apples from New England and our maritime provinces to help meet the demand. The estimated loss of apples in Ontario this year is almost 700,000 bushels! Let's hope this is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
This is the inviting vista near the entrance of the Kingbridge Conference Centre & Institute on Jane Street, south of the hamlet of Kinghorn. Kingbridge is the custodian of a piece of King Township that is an ecological gem, with the East Humber River flowing through the grounds. One could expect the company to respect the environmental trust they have taken on. I would direct anyone to the the website www.kingbridgecentre.comand read the Summary of Kingbridge Green Initiativesto get an idea of the corporate citizen's commitment to the environment. Please comment if you wish. BtheB
Approximately 300 Canada Geese currently occupy the storm-water retention pond on Keele Street south, in front of the King Oaks subdivision opposite the GOTrain station. They'll be gone once the pond freezes over. Meanwhile, massive new homes are starting to pop-up like mushrooms on the site. Someone told me recently that all the home sites were sold before before construction even began. I'd also heard that some of the homes would cost as much as $3 million, although the websites for the development advertise homes in the range of $1.2 million to 1.45 million. Prices aside, the new-home expansion of King City is unprecedented and is history-in-the-making for our municipality.
Last Monday (Thanksgiving Day) saw the new, almost-complete, skateboard park in King City unoccupied by construction workers. However, King City youths seized the opportunity and showed up in droves to test-ride the new facility. Apparently, the site was crawling with kids all day. The photos shown here were taken after school on Thursday afternoon and although it was a small group of kids, construction workers allowed the them to access the site. The kids were having a ball.
Daniel Policelli left me a comment saying he hoped the adjoining outdoor skate pad will be reserved for skateboarders in the summer, as it would be a perfect surface for wannabee and beginner boarders before they take on the main surface. Despite what seems a huge cost over-run on this project, it looks like it will be well-received and well-used by King youths.
Zoreh Zand, who recently moved from my home town of King City, Ontario, Canada, to Cincinatti, Ohio, USA, has recently become of a follower of this blog. Zoreh says the blog reminds her of the several pleasant years she spent in our lovely village, just north of Toronto. In the year prior to her departure to the USA, Zoreh was the president of ASK (Arts Society King) and her contribution was outstanding. When she saw the birch tree photo in my previous blog (see below) she sent me a poem, about a leafless King Township tree, which she wrote back in 2008. I asked Zoreh if I could reprint her poem in this space and she kindly agreed. I hope you enjoy her poem as much as I did. It presents a slightly different take on one of nature's rites of passage that we sometimes take for granted.
at a special colourful ceremony
where green, red, orange and yellow
unite in an awesome harmony
as I peak and show nature's beauty
I let go of my leaves.
Letting them have a last dance with the wind
and letting me be washed with rain
It is not to soothe my goodbye pain
it is for you to see me pure
beyond that glamour and colour,
for you to look at and still wonder
how beautiful those branches are
which were the holders of the leaves
Not only do I let you see what holds beauty with pride
The Mandevilla "Red Velvet" (a.k.a. Dipladenia "Red Velvet") climbing up our backyard pergola is blooming as nicely in October as is has all summer. The "White Velvet" version is thriving also. I was told Mandevilla was an annual in this climate but have since seen instructions for over-wintering it indoors. What to do? What to do?
Three generations of Cairns descendants recently visited one of the new history plaques at Cold Creek Conservation Area, on the 11th Concession of King Township. Pictured behind the plaque honouring the Cairns family (original settlers on the site) are William Bailey (middle left) and Spencer Bailey (middle right) of Aurora. The two brothers are great, great, great, great nephews of Adam Cairns, who brought his wife and children, and younger brother, William Cairns, from Kintyre, Scotland, to Canada in 1831. Adam took up farming in York County and in 1842 he purchased his 100-acre farm at the Cold Creek site. Adam's younger brother, William, was the great, great, great grandfather of the two Bailey boys. Also in the photo, on the left, is Allison (Wallace) Bailey, mother of William and Spencer, and on the right is Linda (Cairns) Wallace of King City, maternal grandmother of the Bailey boys. The two Bailey boys are also this writer's grandsons. Allison is my oldest daughter and Linda is my wife. Cairns family members occupied the Cold Creek farm site for 112 years.