KARA - Kleinburg and Area Ratepayers Association

Welcome to KARA Inc.

Kleinburg & Area Ratepayers' Association Inc.

Kleinburg and Area Ratepayers’ Association (KARA) is a Corporation of the Province of Ontario whose purpose is to represent, promote and protect the general interests of those who reside in Kleinburg, Nashville, Purpleville and the surrounding area.

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We hope you found your recent copy of KARA's newsletter THE SPIRIT informative in keeping Kleinburg & Area residents up-to-date on new happenings in our town. We would like to continue this service, but as community volunteers need your financial support to do so. May we ask for a donation to KARA which would help defray some of our expenses as a volunteer organization. See Treasurer's report in Annual General Meeting minutes below. To donate online, please send an e-transfer from your on-line bank account to: KARA@kara-inc.ca. Should you wish to mail a cheque please send it to K.A.R.A., P.O. Box 202, Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0.

How do I contact KARA?

  • Call KARA's president (see 'About KARA' for telephone number)
  • Write to KARA at PO Box 202, Kleinburg, ON, L0J 1C0
  • or email us at: KARA@kara-inc.ca

Click here to see minutes of the 2019 KARA 43rd Annual General Meeting

Bringing you up to date on items of interest about the Kleinburg & Area community & the work of your ratepayer association

Click below to explore information on this page:

KARA Fights for Lower Density in Kleinburg-Nashville

As you are aware, KARA has expressed serious concerns to the City that the proposed population increase for Kleinburg-Nashville, from 4000 currently, to over 21,000 by 2031 is far too much, far too fast for the area to absorb.

KARA recently held two meetings, one with local Councillor Peter Meffe and Regional Councillor Ferri, and one with City planning staff to express our concerns with the secondary plan proposal which calls for higher residential development densities that are not consistent with Kleinburg-Nashville, and the plan to put 3-5 storey buildings in proposed communities along Huntington Rd north of Nashville Rd and on Kipling Avenue, north of Teston Rd. City staff have now proposed to change the plan and have reduced the maximum height in these newly proposed developments around our villages to 3 stories (or below) to be consistent with the allowable Kleinburg commercial core development.

Your Association presented a deputation to City Council Tuesday Evening August 31st, outlining our continued concerns that if development is not checked and properly staged, Kleinburg and Nashville villages may be swallowed up and paved over. The designation of the historic district is meant to protect our heritage communities; however, if they become surrounded with high density growth, they are not likely to survive as historic villages surrounded by beautiful natural green spaces and Humber Valley lands.

For more information on Vaughan’s new Official Planning process and its impact on Kleinburg-Nashville go to www.vaughantomorrow.ca/OPR/volume2.html.

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The Fable of the Missing Vaughan Heritage Sign

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the charming little hamlet of Kleinburg, an evil wizard fell in love with a fair maiden.

Her father refused to grant the wizard her hand in marriage, so in his fury, the evil wizard changed the loving father into an unsightly Vaughan Heritage District sign, placing him at the south end of town, to punish and torment the fair maiden as she went about her tasks daily. Her father, who had been very handsome in life, now shocked the poor village residents, with his bright lime green legs and bucolic blue painted trim.

One day the fair maiden broke down in tears beside her fathersign, unable to bear the injustice a moment longer, whereupon a good taste fairy attended and transformed the hideous Heritage Vaughan sign back into her handsome father, and together they had the evil wizard convicted of spreading bad taste in the lovely village, banishing him forever to sell plastic Mickey Mouse ears outside the en-trance to Disneyland. The village lived happily ever after.

(Editors note: we’re not sure what happened to the sign, but we did ask the City to remove it. Only the green posts remain.The KARA Board in no way either promotes or condons removal of these signs by other than City staff)

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KARA has a very strong interest in the GTA West Corridor planning process which has proposed a mega highway just north of our community and the potentially negative impacts this could have on our area, local residents, and our natural environment. We have recently lobbied the City, Region, and the Province to evaluate routes north of the City as possible alternatives to crossing the most sensitive and intact section of Greenbelt in Vaughan.

The Province of Ontario has cancelled the southern portion of the large highway which was to connect to the proposed GTA West Corridor, beginning at Highway 400 and cutting through the Niagara Escarpment down to the Niagara Peninsula.

The Northern portion of this highway which runs through Vaughan is still in the planning process; however it is also a contentious issue in some regions. Halton Council recently voted to reject a staff recommendation supporting the controversial highway running through Halton Hills.

Another local group, Sustainable Vaughan will be holding an information night regarding the Province`s proposed highway through Vaughan`s Greenbelt on Tuesday August 9th at the Kleinburg Library, 10341 Islington Avenue North from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

Sustainable Vaughan, like KARA, has expressed opposition and concerns regarding the proposed GTA West Corridor in its current location.

KARA would like to know how you feel about a new highway corridor just north of town through our greenbelt. Email your thoughts to us! For more information go to www.gta-west.com.

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Which do you value more multi-lane highways to help you speed home or preserva-tion of Ontario’s natural rural heritage?

We ask because the Province is proposing a massive highway/ transit/hydro corridor from Milton to Highway 400.

In Vaughan it will run mainly between Kirby Road and King-Vaughan Road across the top of the City, mostly through areas of agricultural and natural lands in the Greenbelt. If development commonly associated with expressways and interchanges takes place, that strip of Greenbelt will be largely obliterated, leaving only the Boyd and Kortright Conservation areas and a few other smaller parcels as green-space in west Vaughan.

Although the highway will greatly benefit those residents of Bolton and Nobleton in ac-cessing Highway 400, it will be of limited use to residents of central and south Vaughan. KARA recognises that congestion in Vaughan is a serious problem and is likely to worsen, but is ada-mant that improving existing arterial roads is a far greater priority and that the Province should examine alternative solutions for relieving Highways 401 and 407.

Initially, the proposed route would also have impacted the Greenbelt in Halton Hills but the residents objected so strenuously the Province changed the route. The same could be done for Vaughan.

If you do not want to see a superhighway eating up a substantial part of Vaughan’s remaining Greenbelt we urge you to contact your local and regional councillors to make your views known. A map of the proposed route is available on the gta-west website. Let us know what you think—Email kara@kara-inc.ca .

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Toronto Star Article casts doubt on the need for development of whitebelt lands

Click here to see the Jan. 31, 2013 Toronto Star Article

A recent report by the CMHC concludes a more than 40% drop in net migration to GTA adding to softening of housing market

The Star reporter comments "That could be a wake-up call for residential developers who have been pressing the province and suburban municipalities to open up more GTA land for development, citing what would appear to be an outdated notion that the region gets about 100,000 new residents a year."

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City Accelerates Development Plans in New Official Plan

KARA has long been in favour of phasing development to control and slow down urban sprawl.

As part of Vaughan's new Official Plan, KARA advocated having secondary plans for some of the lands in and around the Kleinburg Nashville area developed only after current green space developments and other intensification efforts are well underway. Our belief is that much of the required new population targets can be accommodated in existing, approved developments, or through intensification efforts along major corridors. Our posi-tion is that only when those efforts fail to meet the Provincial and Regional intensification targets, should new lands be opened up for development. The phasing in the official plan was also contingent on a Natural Heritage Study which is not yet complete.

KARA learned in June that a motion to significantly reduce the phasing requirements for the New Community Areas in the New Vaughan Official Plan was being considered at City Council on June 26, 2012. A majority vote that day with Regional Councillor Schulte a vocal opponent of the change, resulted in Council rewriting their own previous plan and to now require only two of the comprehensive secondary plans to be completed instead of the five they had earlier agreed upon.

Approval of the 2010 Official Plan was very disappointing for a great many citizens in Vaughan. Extending the Urban Boundary was deemed, by many, to be unnecessary. Meeting the Province’s num-bers did not require an extension of the previous boundary. Development in identified ‘intensification areas’, and land already zoned for development, should have been well underway before any boundary extension was considered.

The notion of “Phasing in” was planned, we thought, to slow down the urban sprawl process – a chance to take a second look at the far too rapid growth in Vaughan. The loss of valuable agricultural land and increasing traffic problems surely enforced the need for careful “phasing in” of new communities.

KARA made a submission to Council seeking deferral of the re-cent June 26th motion to review detailed documents and presenta-tions made by the Region. We asked the City of Vaughan to “slow down”, listen to concerned citizens, and not to amend the 2010 Official Plan at this time.

Our request was ignored and Council approved the mo-tion. We are extremely disap-pointed that this motion has passed and has made a mockery out of the concept of “Phasing in”.

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Split Site Hospital Project Approved by the Province

On July 21st, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Deb Matthews, along with Vaughan MPP Greg Sorbara, announced the approval of a hospital for Vaughan. The Minister indicated the project has been included to the Province of Ontario's medium-term capital plan, and that the tender for the hospital will be issued no later than the 2014/2015 fiscal year, once the Stage 2 and Stage 3 planning is complete. The hospital will be located on lands bounded by Highway 400, MajorMackenzie Drive, and Jane Street, purchased by the City for hospital and hospital-related purposes.

You may recall that KARA supported the municipal funding for the new hospital plans through the Vaughan Health Campus of Care’s (VHCC) presentations to Vaughan Council, and also requested broad community consultation on the services to be provided to local residents.

This new hospital approved for Vaughan, to be operated by York Central Hospital, will ensure that people and families living in the growing community have access to high quality health care, closer to home. Planning is underway for the new Vaughan hospital that will offer patients state of the art emergency services, new modern surgical services, inpatient and intensive care beds with 80% single patient rooms for superior infection control. Details are still being worked out on what services will be placed at each site. (Your opinion counts!) KARA has been assured that further consultation with residents will occur through the next planning phases of the hospital. Please send your comments to kara@kara-inc.ca .

Click here to see the Presentation made by York Central hostipal officials at the 2012 KARA AGM

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The event provided KARA members with insights on local projects and issues such as:

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Nashville Road Truck Ban Extended to 2015!!!

At The Region of York Transportation Services Committee meeting on March 2nd, there were two topics on the agenda relating to Nashville Road. The first was an update on the temporary truck prohibition. The second was an update on the transfer of ownership of Nashville Road to the city. KARA representatives met with our new local and regional councilors prior to the meeting to ensure support was there for extending the truck ban. A KARA representative also presented a letter at the meeting requesting a permanent ban on trucks and transfer of ownership to the city as soon as possible. We believe that the truck ban on Nashville road has been of significant benefit to the area and that truck traffic data collected during the truck prohibition may have been skewed by construction activity on the former Kleinburg golf course.

We are very pleased to announce that a recommendation has been made to extend the truck ban until 2015. Local businesses and trucks working on local projects will still be allowed on Nashville Road. KARA would like to thank our local and Regional Councilors for their support on this issue, Mr. Paul Mantella as an ongoing champion for the truck ban in Nashville, and TACC Construction for their support of our request.

Unfortunately, the decision to transfer ownership of the road to the city has been deferred indefinitely. The Region would like to see the impacts of the 427 extension, as well as significant improvements to Major Mackenzie, before considering this again.

KARA will continue to push to have the upgrade to Major Mackenzie proceed as soon as possible and to ensure that the truck ban is never lifted. It appears that only when the upgrades are done will there be a chance to transfer ownership of Nashville Road and have a permanent ban on trucks implemented.

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What's new on the Nashville Heights Block

The developers and planners for the Nashville Heights development, also known as Block 61 west, met with the KARA Board on January 20th to present the latest proposal for the block plan. This block is bounded by Huntington Road on the west, Major Mackenzie on the south, CP Rail on the east, and the back-lots of existing properties on Nashville Road on the North.

The 427 extension will terminate in the south-west corner of the block and there is potential for a GO Station in the south-east corner. Higher densities will be kept to the south with increased lot sizes to the north and east. The design meets the province's Places to Grow requirements of 50 people + jobs/hectare. The proposal is for 2500 to 3000 units in total. 1820 units are low to medium density residential shown in the block plan. The remainder will be mixed and commercial use.

An extensive network of pedestrian and cycling trails is included in the plan as are centralized piazzas and mixed use areas to help reduce reliance on the automobile.

KARA will be commenting on the plan at a Committee of the Whole Public Hearing Feb 1st, 2011 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Our comments include:

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Kleinburg Mainstreet Revitalization Study Launched

The City’s consultants “Urban Marketing Collaborative” have embarked on an exciting project to revitalize Kleinburg’s main street. This study is an economic review which will hopefully complement the recently completed Kleinburg Streetscape Study by LANDinc, whose final report is forthcoming to City Council later this year.

UMC is a division of J.C. Williams Group, and are experts in downtown revitalization and retail development with successful projects all over North America including St. John’s, Nfld; Hamilton, Ontario; Downcity Providence, Rhode Island; Hudson, Quebec and Downtown Crossing, Boston.

The main objective is to “create long-term revitalization of the Kleinburg Mainstreet and Commercial Core Area as a tourist destination and as a local and neighbourhood shopping area” states UMC in their study proposal. The study has two purposes: to first research and evaluate the current and future retail market opportunities and secondly to review and give recommendations on a variety of retail commercial strategies.

UMC is taking a holistic approach with this project, and will be working collaboratively with Kleinburg BIA, KARA and local residents, Heritage Vaughan, the City of Vaughan and other community partners to bring about a successful outcome. In fact, key partner initial interviews have already been completed with BIA and KARA.

Working to a tight timetable, the consultants are aiming to collect data and research through completing personal interviews, business interviews, and consumer surveys with a goal of holding business and community workshops in October. Out of the workshops and final meetings will evolve an action plan and report which will ultimately be submitted to the City.

As residents of Kleinburg and Nashville, and indeed as consumers, your input into this study process will be critical in creating a vital community village.

If you would like to submit a comment about what you think should be done to revitalize Kleinburg’s Mainstreet, please send it along to John Archer, Consultant, Urban Marketing Collaborative, jarcher@jcwg.com or to kara@kara-inc.ca and we’ll forward your comments!

KARA will keep you updated in further editions of The Spirit on the public workshop date.

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Pierre Berton Discovery Center in Kleinburg Village Core?
(click here for what KARA's Board had to say on behalf of members)

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KARA’s ‘Top 10’ Wishes for our New City Council

We warmly welcome our new Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, our Regional Councillors Rosati, DiBiase and Schulte, and our local Ward Councillors Carella, Iafrate, Racco, Shefman and DeFrancesca. KARA looks forward to working synergistically with this new City Council to bring about positive change in Kleinburg, Nashville and area, and in all of Vaughan!

KARA Wins 2 Awards for Protecting Greenspace in Kleinburg

1. Ontario Association of Landscape Architects CERTIFICATE OF MERIT FOR SERVICE TO THE ENVIRONMENT

2. For “Protecting Tomorrow Today”

The Ontario Parks Association (OPA) recently honoured KARA at their annual conference held on January 11th, 2010 in Toronto, with their “Protecting Tomorrow Today” award. This award recognizes a group or community and their contribution towards OPA’s mandate “Protecting Tomorrow Today”.

Second Award for Kleinburg New Forest! (L-R) President Ken Schwenger, Landscape Architect and nominator Mark Inglis, and Vice-President Bob Klein

In his speech to the large gathering of OPA members, Ontario Parks Association Past President Vic Hergott gave the following address before he presented the award to KARA. The award was accepted by our Association President Ken Schwenger, and Vice-President, Bob Klein. “The Spirit” has excerpted Mr. Hergott’s speech below for its readers:

“Sometimes financial goals can be mated with environmental desires. Through 20 years of continuous efforts of the Kleinburg and Area Ratepayers’ Association, the vision of a 40 acre forest has been created by the community, for the community and defining the community. It is now a wildlife refuge where once herbicides maintained an annual crop of corn. It is a passive recreation resource that has been under siege for twenty years, threatening to be developed for housing, a fire hall, parking lot and a dog park. It stands as an educational resource that partners KARA with Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the City of Vaughan.

KARA was intent to ensure the sanctity of their vision. By offering monetary awards of thousands of dollars, KARA partnered with the University of Guelph Landscape Architecture department to provide the land as a competition and learning site. Through a public forum a design was selected as the guiding master plan. For ten years thereafter, annual and sometimes biannual community planting days were organized, funded by Binder Twine Festival proceeds. Hundreds of volunteers were assembled for events that ran rain or shine. They were events that created memories for the youth of the community. Now adults, those children return to their roots to discover a treed legacy that they helped to create. Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow!

Other community groups can learn from the actions of KARA to protect what is dear to the community and important to the environment. Their work is not complete. The latest threat to the evolution of the 40 acres into a forest has rekindled the fires of KARA. In 2008, KARA presented the legacy of Kleinburg New Forest to City of Vaughan Council to reinforce their commitment to this community space.

KARA has learned that urban pressures will continue to menace the community’s desires for a greenbelt that distinguishes the Village of Kleinburg from other communities of the City of Vaughan. New planting and maintenance events will continue to be planned. The notoriety of events will further the education of those who imagine this open space as something other than the Vision of Kleinburg New Forest.

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