Omar’s Adventures in Kleinburg

The Village of Kleinburg was established in 1848 and still retains much of its rustic charm. Photos by Omar Mosleh.

Pick up a July edition of Vaughan Today and you’ll be transported to the historic Village of Kleinburg. And take my word for it when I say you won’t regret the trip.

As mentioned in the first (and until now, only) blog post I’ve written for Multicom Media, I consider myself an astute observer of Vaughan. I don’t actually live in the city (I inhabit the ‘other’ side of Yonge Street) but I know the subdivisions of Maple and Woodbridge well. I live in Thornhill and have driven through industry-friendly Concord more times than I can count.

But then there’s Kleinburg. Kleinburg has always been that village in the north I never really thought about … Kind of like the Attawapiskat reserve for the federal government (if Attawapiskat had homes in the $5 million range and an average net worth of $2.5 million).

But back to Kleinburg. Tucked away in the city’s northwest quadrant, the first thing I noticed about the village is how walkable it is. One can easily traverse the entire village in less than an hour. There’s not a single giant parking lot in sight. Islington Avenue sees constant foot activity, and for once, it’s not just people walking to their cars.

Another aspect I loved about Kleinburg is the sort of laissez-faire attitude when it comes to business. It’s not that people are lazy, they just do their own thing. And it works out great.

Smokey the cat!

A perfect example is The Kleinburg Rock Shop. That means rocks as in minerals, not as in rock ‘n’ roll music (I never even thought to make the distinction until my editor asked me for clarification). The rock shop has been in operation for more than 30 years, solely from selling rocks, gems and ‘assorted spiritual gift items’. The coolest thing about the store? There’s a cat named Smokey that just hangs around. For those that know me, you know all it takes to win me over is a lazy/lounging cat named Smokey.

Terracotta

There’s also a very cool Home & Garden place called Terracotta. But it’s not so much the contents of the shop rather than the shop itself that intrigued me. Terracotta is housed within a 182-year-old building called The Murray Diceman House. I don’t know much about the building itself  but I do know it has served as the structure for at least a few Vaughan businesses and was actually hauled over to Kleinburg from a different part of Vaughan (Jane Street and something, iirc). That’s right, they literally moved the whole structure over. It was built in 1830. Stay tuned for more on Terracotta.

Here’s one last tidbit I will share with you, gentle reader, if only because there’s nowhere else to document this anecdote. So here I am driving out of Kleinburg on Stegman’s Mill Road, which turns into Teston Road. I have all the photos and interviews needed for my story, when I spot a sign that perfectly encapsulates my piece. It’s a notice of a zoning amendment application, which effectively asks to change zoning from “valley lands” to “low-rise residential”, set against the backdrop of a picturesque rural farm field. Well, duh — I had to have this picture.

So I abruptly pull to the side of the road so I don’t miss a shot of this sign. That’s when I remember the side of Teston Road is not very well-paved. That’s also when I remember my car suspension sucks. And that’s when I notice my car is slowly but surely sinking into a ditch.

Ah yes. The sign that almost killed me.

I put my pedal to the metal and managed to drive out of it, but I think if I attempted to get out of the car, my car may have rolled over. Thankfully, I still had my winter tires on and that may have helped with the friction between my tires and the dirt.

Anyway, I got the shot after I reparked my car and it was published. Which is good, because it would suck to have gone through all that for nothing.

Needless to say, next time I visit Kleinburg I will park in an actual parking lot (but not a giant one).

-omm

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