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King City is an affluent, unincorporated village in King Townshipmarker, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker, located just north of Torontomarker. It is the largest community in King Township, with 1,629 dwellings and a population of 4,902.

History

Originally a small settlement styled Springhill, King City has slowly grown since the arrival of the railway in 1853.

Geography

King City is characterized by rolling hills and clustered temperate forests. Although few in number within the town itself, numerous kettle lakes and ponds dot the area. Creeks and streams from this region are the origin source for the East Humber River (as are the streams from as far west as Boltonmarker and as far east as Stouffvillemarker).

Situated on the southern slope of the central portion of the sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine watershed, numerous disputes about planning and development have occurred municipally. Over the past decade, the central issue has been the controversial Big Pipe, a sewerage system connecting to the much larger Durham-York Sewage System (see Politics for further discussion).

Flourishing in the countryside setting are numerous stables and other farms, which is possible because the town occupies 147.938 kmĀ² of land area.

Ecology

Eastern Hemlock foliage and cone
The provincially-significant King-Vaughan Wetland Complex consists of 23 individual wetlands (83% swamp, 17% marsh). It is composed of clay, loam and silt soils on a site that is palustrine (69%) or isolated (31%). Vegetation found on this wetland includes tall shrubs (34%), deciduous trees (28%), dead trees and shrubs (19%), and narrow-leaved emergents (12%); additionally, robust emergents and free-floating plants are found in small agglomorations.

King Forest is a 60-hectare forest with steep valleys containing the narrow flood plain of the East Humber River. The valley walls are of dry-mesic nature, supporting Eastern White Cedar, Eastern Hemlock and Sugar Maple. It is a regenerating forest containing 85 ground-cover species. The flood plain consists primarily of Eastern White Cedar, Sugar Maple and some White Ash, though 26 species do thrive in the area.

The King City Wetland Complex contains eight wetlands (77% swamp, 23% marsh) over 49 hectares. It is a palustrine formation composed 70% of clay, loam or silt soils, and 30% organic soils. It has varied vegetation, including tall shrubs (40%), deciduous trees (37%), robust emergents (14%), narrow-leaved emergents (4%) and submergent vegetation (4%).

Also, the King-Vaughan Forest straddles King City and portions of Vaughanmarker. It is similar to the King Forest, composed of forest areas on steep valley walls containing the flood plain of the Humber River. The dominant species on the valley walls are Sugar Maple and Eastern Hemlock, which are strongly regenerative in the forest. On the flood plain, a greater variety of species may be observed. Immature stands of Manitoba Maple and Eastern White Cedar, poplars and American Elm can be found here, as can an extensive Hawthorn scrubland.

Politics

King City does not have its own municipal government; it is represented municipally on King Township council by two councillors, in Ward 1 and 5. Ward 1 covers King City east of Keele St, and includes the communities of Eversley, Snowballmarker and Temperancevillemarker. Ward 5 includes the western part of King City to Highway 400.

The Big Pipe

King City has historically been served by septic systems, which proponents of the Big Pipe view as unhygeinic and unsafe. Various studies have been commissioned to study the town's septic systems, but no clear conclusion was reached. These studies were funded by King Township, York Regionmarker, or several interested environmental groups, especially those involved with protecting the Oak Ridges Moraine.

In previous elections, wards covering King City have voted to elect councillors against the Big Pipe project. Results for the rest of King Township were mixed. The most recent township election in 2003 elected a council favourable to the Big Pipe.

In 2001, York Region wrested control of King Township's sewage collection system. The Township's council at the time opposed the Big Pipe link, and brought the issue to court. Control of the system was returned to King Township after the 2003 municipal elections, which resulted in a pro-Pipe council, so that the township could request grants for the project from provincial and federal sources.

Proponents of the link cite health concerns about the aging septic systems in the town, and the occasional spill, as reasons to link to the Durham-York system. Opponents instead claim that the health issues of the current septic systems have been embellished, and that the new link will result in poorly controlled growth in the community, and hence urban sprawl.

The Big Pipe project (King City Sanitary Servicing Project) began construction in early 2005, jointly funded by King Township and York Region. It is expected that federal or provincial funds will also be provided for this project. However, homeowners will have to make the required connection to the system at their own expense. The primary trunk is due for completion in the summer of 2005; residential and business connections to the system will occur starting in late 2005.

A by-law was passed in April 2005 that made it mandatory for residents to connect to the new sewer system. Installation of the near $50 million project is funded through tax receipts, which includes system linkage for public facilities such as municipal offices and the library. Home-owners are responsible for the connection costs, and have been offered three payment scenarios:
  • lump sum upfront payment of $12,500.00 per household
  • 10 year loan payback at 4.69% interest ($1600.00/year)
  • 20 year amortization ($964.00/year)


This cost includes only the provision of a sewerage connection at the property line. In addition, homeowners are required to install piping from the home to the sewerage connection at their expense, either via a connection routed around the home, digging a connection underneath a basement floor, or via boring a connection underneath the home. Decommissioning and infilling septic tanks is also mandatory. Total costs for the connection and infilling may range from $4,000 to $12,000.

Traffic

Through traffic on King Road has become a concern in the past decade, as the number of heavy vehicles has increased significantly. Notably, dump trucks serving new subdivision construction sites in nearby Oak Ridges use King Road to reach Highway 400. Delivery trucks destined for Auroramarker and Richmond Hillmarker also make use of King Road as a bypass.

Also, the Township borders on Peel Regionmarker, which has promoted the extension of Highway 427 from its current terminus at Highway 7 north to the Bradford Bypass. This extension would border the Township, raising concerns about noise pollution in the rural area.

Lifestyle and culture

Culture

King City and its rural surroundings are home to numerous horse farms, which are both well-known and highly-regarded.

Also, King City has been a location for at least six movies:
  • The CBC tv show The Forest Rangers (1963) had some scenes filmed on Mary Lake near the shrine.
  • The Gate (1987) was filmed and set at a house located in King Heights subdivision
  • To Die For (1995) had a number of scenes filmed at King City Secondary School.
  • Golden Will: The Silken Laumann Story (1996, TV) was entirely filmed in King City.
  • Walt Disney's Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004) also had some scenes filmed during a three-day period in July 2003 at King City Secondary School.
  • A History of Violence (2005) had its final scene filmed at the historic Eaton Hall in King City, and a baseball scene filmed in Pottageville.
  • Billy Madison (1995) had some scenes filmed at the gates to Mary Lake Shrine just north of King City.
  • The Weight, an exclusive series presented by The Movie Network, had a car crash scene filmed at the intersection of the 7th concession and the 15th sideroad in the summer of 2008


King City is also the location of Shift, an outdoor sculpture by Richard Serra built between 1970 and 1972. The sculpture was commissioned by Roger Davidson, and is being considered for protection under the Ontario Heritage Act by the Township of King Heritage Committee. The work is located on land just south of the village, for which the township has received development proposals by its owner Great Gulf Group.

Education

The Seneca Collegemarker King Campus is located in King City; it is the only post-secondary education facility in King Township, and is a major employer in the region.

Like the rest of Ontario, King City has access to two public education systems: the regional boards are the York Catholic District School Board and the York Region District School Board.

King City Secondary Schoolmarker is a public school that serves students from all King Township. With a student body of approximately 1100, course offerings are moderate but varied. The school features a full-size 400m outdoor track and a soccer pitch.

Within the public school system, King City Public Schoolmarker serves the community. Holy Name Catholic School offers education within the Catholic separate school system.

Additionally, the community is served by a number of private institutions:



Religion

Traditionally, King City has been a Protestant community, but Roman Catholicism has a nearly equal number of followers (statistics for the whole Township of King are used). Protestants make up 41%of the population, whereas Roman Catholics represent 39% of residents. Both of these religions outnumber the remaining faiths in practice within King City, namely those who identify themselves as Christian Orthodox (1%), Muslim (0.5%), Jewish (0.5%), Hindu (0.5%), or Sikh (0.5%). Approximately 17% of the population has no religious affiliation.

King City is home to five churches and a shrine:



Recreation

The King City Community Centre and King City Arena host numerous activities, such as youth hockey league matches and yoga classes. They also host many community events throughout the year, and some public King Township meetings.

A vibrant youth sports culture exists in King City; leagues for girls and boys hockey, tennis, soccer, and baseball [120640] exist, and a number of clubs provide other avenues for kids to enjoy and learn.

King City Memorial Park, next to the arena, has two baseball fields, several soccer fields, two children's playgrounds, and four tennis courts (two with lighting). An open, covered area is used for public events and picnics.

A portion of the extensive Oak Ridges Trail passes through King City. The community is creating its own trail network, the King City Trail; the two networks are currently not connected.

Private recreation facilities include St. Edmunds Sparkling Cricket Club cricket facility operated by the Maple Leaf Cricket Club, and two golf clubs: King's Riding Golf Club[120641] and King Valley Golf Club[120642].

Residents are within a ten minute commute to recreation in other communities. The Maple Community Centre, operated by the City of Vaughanmarker, offers services and memberships to non-Vaughan residents. Servicesavailable include a fitness centre, a pool for lap and family swimming, and a public library. Aurora and Richmond Hill also have facilities, both private and public, easily accessible to King City residents.

Organizations and clubs

  • King Township Public Library King City Branch offers reading programs for kids, maintains a 3-month community papers archive, and is home to the Township of King Archive Collections.
  • King Township Historical Society seeks to archive and preserve information about the township's past and culture.
  • King City Preserve the Village is an organization that was founded to fight the Big Pipe link to the Durham-York Sewer System, and urban sprawl in King Township.
  • The Maple Leaf Cricket Clubmarker was established in 1954 [120643], and operates a turf wicket cricket facility. It aspires to be the future home of the Canadian Cricket Academy.
  • Hospice King-Aurora (previously Hospice King) is a non-profit charity which provides non-medical palliative care for individuals (and their families) with a life-threatening illness. Other services include bereavement support programs, and other counselling with a registered social worker. It was established in 1983, and is a member of the Hospice Association of Ontario.
  • Hike Ontario is headquartered in King City. It's mission is to promote hiking and walking in Ontario.
  • The Nobleton and King City Horticultural Society meets every fourth Monday in Nobleton. It is a member of the Ontario Horticultural Association, participating in various projects such as Communities in Bloom. In 2004, King Township was the provincial winner in the 10000-20000 category; it will compete in the National event in 2005.
  • Dufferin Marsh Restoration Project


Attractions

  • Eaton Hallmarker is located on the King Campus of Seneca College.
  • Hogan's Inn has won a number of awards for its Dining Room wine cellar (1998 and 1999 Award of Excellence - Wine Spectator) and the elegant Dining room itself (DiRoNA Award, 1995-2002). Apart from the dining room, the inn features the Hunt Pub, a traditional-style pub, and the Polo Lounge, a more casual dining area.
  • King Township Museum
  • Mary Lake Augustinian Monasterymarker draws tourists both for religious events, and to enjoy its natural beauty.
  • The Kingbridge Centre, a conference venue.


Economy and business

As a small town, King City doesn't have an infrastructure sufficient to support a diversified business community. The primary business sectors are construction, which employs 34% of the workforce, and education, which employs 16% of the workforce (see Education).

Retail establishments are small, family-run businesses, with the exception of financial and realty services. Almost all retailers are located on King Road between Keele Street and Dufferin Street, or on Keele Street south of King Road to Station Road.

Home-based businesses are increasingly prevalent in the community, both as a primary or additional source of income.

Transport

King City has weekday GO train service on the Barrie line. Commuters from King Township and parts of the City of Vaughan board the train at King City GO Stationmarker, at the south end of the town. GO Transit also provides weekday bus service from King City GO Station, with destinations as far south as Toronto, and as far north as Barriemarker.

Bus service in King City is also provided by York Region Transit (YRT). Routes 32, 88 and 90 make stops at Seneca College's King Campus. Also in 2005, YRT introduced the 22 King City route which travels from Seneca College across Bloomington Rd. to Yonge St. and over to King City via. King Rd and Bond Cr. where it then travels down Keele Street to the Maple Community Ctr. in Vaughan, Ontario.

Highway 400 runs past King City along its western end; it is a major vehicular artery linking King City to numerous communities in the vicinity, and is part of the extensive 400-series provincial highways. King City is at Exit Number 43, King Road.

Communications and media

Given its proximity to Toronto, King City has exposure to a broad variety of media. National and Toronto-area daily newspapers offer delivery to the community. Several local papers are delivered to the community, by carrier or post. These include:

  • The King Weekly, a weekly published by King/Vaughan News in Maplemarker that is delivered by postal mail.
  • The King Township Sentinel, published weekly by Simcoe York Printing & Publishing Ltd. from Beetonmarker. It is delivered by postal mail.
  • The ERA Banner, with Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday editions delivered by carrier every week, is published by Metroland Printing, Publishing & Distributing Ltd. through the York Region Newspaper Group


Over the air television sources from Toronto, Barrie and as far away as Buffalomarker are generally clear. Affiliates for Canadian networks CBC, CTV and Global, as well as American networks ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are all available, as are public-support stations TVOntario and PBS.

Cable TV is available from Rogers Cable.

Broadband internet access is available from Rogers via cable, and Bell Canada via DSL. Many resellers of Bell's DSL also provide service in the community. Fixed wireless connections are also available.

Postal service is provided by Canada Post; King City's Forward Sortation Area is L7B. UPSmarker and Federal Express both provide weekday service to King City.

Government research

In 1985, the Research Directorate of the Atmospheric Environment Service established the first Canadian Doppler weather radar in King City. In 2004, a Dual-Polarization Radar was installed for further research. These systems are used for predictive purposes, and the data collected is used for weather forecasts for the Greater Toronto Area and the Golden Horseshoe.

The observatory also participates in the Near-Earth objects NEODyS system, which is run by the University of Pisa, Italymarker. The system tracks objects passing close to the earth. Asteroid 85397 (designation ) was discovered at this observatory on October 6, 1996 by R. G. Sandness.

Notable residents

King City is the hometown of ice hockey players Jeff O'Neill, Curtis Joseph, Daniel Carcillo, Alex Pietrangelo, and Rick Hampton.

References



The Big Pipe



Footnotes

External links




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