I do not know its source or the name of its creator but it stands out in its setting and attracts attention. I choose to think it gives off a good vibe. If you know its real origin, perhaps you could make a comment below.
Laskay Lane is one of the oldest roads in King Township. Calling it a road however is perhaps overdoing it and lane is probably more fitting to the one-lane track running east from Weston Road, along the north bank of the East Humber River. The lane is halfway between the King Road and the King-Vaughan Townline, in the middle of the old hamlet. A handful of homes are located on the lane before it eventually reaches the last residence. And it's hard to tell when you are leaving the public right-of-way and moving upon private right-of-way. I park my Jeep and walk the lane instead of driving on it. It's certainly more enjoyable that way. I first walked here 60 years ago as a young teenager. Back then, along with new Laskay friend, Dan Buddin, we would go into the Laskay Emporium and cut and buy chunks of cheddar cheese which was kept under at large glass bell on a huge, round, wooden block. We'd wash the cheese down with bottles of cold Orange Crush.
Private East Humber riverside gazebo
Above and below ~ a small Laskay Lane bridge spans a small tributary of the Humber
One of the small sections of Go Train parking at the King station has been closed for enhancements, leaving many train commuters to find other parking places. One of the alternatives is both sides of Station Road, between Keele Street and Burns Blvd. (see photo above - looking east). Parking signs have been temporarily hooded to prevent cars from being ticketed (see blow).
Meanwhile, the United Church parking lot, off Elizabeth Grove, is now being filled to its limit by Go Train customers. Sunday morning church-goers seem to be accommodated, but I can't speak for Mondays to Saturday church activities.
Linda and I ran across a couple of new-coloured veggies at Round-the-Bend Farm in Kettleby today. Below are purple peppers and in the photo below that, in the upper-right corner is green cauliflower, with a unique textured surface that is spire-shaped with knobbly florets. Green cauliflower is also known as Romanesco Broccoli, Buzzy Broc, Brocco Flower, Romanesque Cauliflower or just plain Romanesco. Cauliflower and Broccoli are closely related and cross-compatible. Meanwhile in the bottom picture there were red, white, yellow and orange peppers, as well as green peppers, to go with the purple ones. Can you imagine if summer's veggies had no colours? What if all the veggies were just black or white? Horrors! I'd starve.
The first fall migrant warbler showed up in the backyard on Monday. It was a female American Redstart. American Redstarts are common spring and fall migrants in Ontario, as well as common breeders. The first migrants are typically seen in southern Ontario in early August and the numbers increase by mid-August, peaking in late August to mid-September. At this time of year, American Redstarts are one of the most abundant migrants in eastern Canada and the USA. This is not the first time an American Redstart has the been the first fall migrant in our backyard. Now, if a dramatic, black and orange male showed up, this would be a grand, complete sighting.
The new expansive stone terrace and stairway at the rear of the King Heritage & Cultural Centre (King Township Museum) slowly but surely nears completion. The scope of the project becomes more impressive each day. Each and every one of the more than one hundred stones could be monuments all by themselves. And rather than feeling like a patio, it's starting to feel like a grand courtyard 'au naturel'. Plantings are to follow. The project will surely become an overnight landmark in the township when completed. What a gift to us all!
More than halfway through August and the wonderful daylilies in our garden have now come and gone. But joy of joys, they have been replaced by the beautiful Rose of Sharon (as they are often called in Canada), or the Rose Mallow (in England). The proper name of course is Hibiscus, which grows around the world. Linda and I have only one type in our garden: the Hibiscus syriacus, pictured above, and the Hibiscus Syriacus (double bloom), pictured below.
Across the street however, on are neighbour George's front lawn, there are several hibiscus bushes and ornamental trees (see photo above and at left). There is also a lovely assortment of colours. George's hibiscus show is always an eye-catcher in our neighbourhood. I'm always impressed with how easily-grown and hardy these large but delicate-looking flowers seem to be. Our hibiscus, as well as George's must be non-tropical varieties because they are out-of-doors, in the garden, 12 months each year. Our hibiscus do attract hummingbirds, but the hummers have a preference for more tubular blooms that hold lots of nectar. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
Last week I ran some photos in this space of the old King City Garage, on the west side of Keele Street just south of the King Road, being demolished. The demolition involved taking down the building and excavating the foundation. One King City good ol' boy commented to me: "it would be interesting to see what they found down there?" I assumed he was referring to old oil and lubrication and chemical materials. When I sought clarification, he replied that there was an underground stream under the old garage and under Keele Street, as well as the Anglican Church on the east side of the street. I wasn't surprised. After all, King City was once called Springhill, and for good reason. Land in and about King City has always had wet spots, many of which ultimately drained northward before trickling into the East Humber River. In the book which All Saints' Anglican Church published in 1982, on the 125th anniversary of the church, mention of 'quicksand' is mentioned, as follows:"William Bennett was the architect chosen to draw up the blueprints for the new church. An estimate of $190,950, excluding the cost of furniture and organ, was arrived at by William Stephenson and Sons Ltd., the general contractor. However, a totally unexpected snag arose. When excavation began ... a spongelike subsoil comparable to quicksand was discovered. This necessitated additional reinforcing work which upped the estimate to over $205,000". Presumably, a drainage of some sort was created to deal with the 'quicksand' The cornerstone of the new church was laid on November 22, 1959. Now, after almost 56 years, the 'spongelike subsoil' is being described as a stream under the church, the road, and the old garage. Has last week's excavation revealed an old stream? It seems not. I spoke with all three workers on the site, the excavator and two assistants. None of them had seen water during the excavation. But one suggested there could be water a little further down. For now, it's the end of the story. What is to be constructed on the site is a new chapter however. We shall see what we shall see.
This plaque commemorating the establishment of Ansnorveldt, in King Township, by Dutch immigrants in 1934, is located on the former city hall at the village of Nieuwe Pekela, in the north-eastern province of Groningen in Holland. Nieuwe Pekela is a little over two hours by car from Amsterdam, a distance of 217 kilometres. The original Dutch immigrants who settled in Canada in 1934 were mainly from Groningen and Friesland. This plaque notes that the reclaimed land of the Holland Marsh was 7,000 acres. Now, after many decades, the total acreage has increased to 22,000 acres in parts of King, East Gwillimbury, Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil. A similar plaque exists in the Holland Marsh, in Canada. The Dutch plaque states that the Holland Marsh is: "...in a river valley north of Toronto, Ontario", while the plaque in Canada says the the Marsh is: "...in the Schomberg River Valley"; otherwise, the wording is the same on both. The plaques state that 15 Dutch families settled in the Marsh in 1934. The names of 12 of those families are still to be found today, in local phone directories. They include Rupke, van Dyke, Brouwer, Valenteyn, van Dyken, Oosterhuis, de Jong, van Luyk, Miedema, Nienhuis,van der GrootandWinter. I attended high school in Aurora in the late 1950s/early1960s and remember several students with these names. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
Coppa's Fresh Market, which is opening its fourth store in the new King's Ridge Marketplace in King City, is the 4th store in the Coppa's chain of specialty food stores. The other three Coppa's stores were formerly Highland Farms stores and there are still some other Highland Farms stores operating under that name. The changes came about because of a difference of marketing goals between the the two Coppa brothers who owned the original Highland Farms chain. One brother decided to keep operating under the Highland Farms banner, while the other brother decided to operate his share of the business under the brothers' family name of Coppa: hence Coppa's Fresh Market. Some observers have said that the two food chains are similar, but with some differences. The King City Coppa's however should show a big step forward in store size and marketing strategies. The photos below show the 50,000 sq. ft. Coppa's store under construction, with footings and utilities services well underway. Other than a number of construction workers on the site, it is hundreds of seagulls that are already regular customers. Every time a load of earth is moved, the seagulls have a new food supply of worms and bugs.
This is Jaime. When he isn't walking across the computer keyboard, he is sitting on top of the computer, or he is staring at the cursor on the monitor screen, or he is ensconced in the printer. He's been doing this since he was a kitten, but now that he is all grown up he has added one more item to his routine. After he goes through all of the above, he likes to cuddle up in the computer operator's lap for a nap.
Demolition of the old automotive garage and service station on the west side of Keele Street, just south of the King Road, finally happened last week. The garage was built back in the early 1940s by Blyth J. Langdon, who later founded Langdon's Coach Lines, which became widely known as a successful school bus operator in the second half of the 1900s. Yours truly rode a Langdon's school bus for all the years I attended high school in Aurora. B. J. Langdon died in 1963. Frank Unterlander was the owner and operator of the garage for most of the second half of the last century. He passed away in 2009. The Township of King says that so far only a demolition permit has been issued, with no word of possible future development. The owner, King Station Inc., is currently involved in building houses in a nearby subdivision.