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It is My Honour and Privilege to Serve King

Posted by Cleve Mortelliti On October - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS



I was notified by the clerk on Friday September 12th, that I have been once again acclaimed to council.

To all the residents and ratepayers of Ward 1, and to the Township of King as a whole, I would like to once again thank you for your continued support and to reaffirm my commitment to serve as your Voice in King for the next 4 years.

Over the last 8 years we have witnessed significant change in King.  For King City & Nobleton specifically, that change has been driven primarily as a result of the implementation of sanitary sewers.   King City and Nobleton were two of the largest rural villages in Ontario that up until 8 years ago relied upon individual private septic systems to treat sanitary waste.  The arguments for and against implementing servicing polarized our communities, and the decision to finally implement the sewers placed our municipality deeply into debt for the foreseeable future causing instability with our tax rate, and limiting our ability to effectively service our ratepayers or to repair old and decaying infrastructure.

In 2006, I ran on the premise of, “like it or not, servicing is here, and we need to prepare ourselves for the changes that are most definitely coming”.  Servicing not only solves our individual septic system problems, but more significantly, it enables growth and development, and Nobeton and King City respresent two of the hottest residential real estate markets in the GTA.   The residents of King, new and old, are fierce in the their desire to maintain the small community environment they’ve bought into, whether they came here 40 years ago, or 4 weeks ago.

I love King, sometimes irrationally so, because even though I know in my head that certain things have to change whether I like it or not, I still sometimes have difficulty accepting that.   A heart that beats for King, I think is the quality that we must look for in our elected officials.  Passion and appreciation for what is old in King, and what shaped our community 150 years ago, but also metered with sound reasoning and optimism for what can be for its future.  We don’t get anywhere when we fight with one another, and this past term of council is a prime example of how councillors can put the interests of King first when we work together, understand the needs of each ward, and collaborate as a unified voice.  I sincerely hope this continues into the next term.

But some things are beyond your council’s control.  There’s a behemoth out there comprised of Federal and Provincial regulation, multi tiered government, diverging private interests, our legal system, the strength and will of our democratic free market economy to name only a few.  What this requires is to be met head on with that ever beating heart, to fuel and oxygenate our intelligence in order to steer these forces as best we can, and use that strength to guide the market where we want it to go, so that the new compliments the old as best as possible, to not only grow for the sake of growth, but also to enhance our King in ways that make us proud of where we live, so our kids can be proud of where they came from.

There will always be wins, losses, and comprises.  Not everything will turn out the way we want it to, but with me, it will never be for not having tried.

It remains my honour and privilege to serve King.

Cleve Mortelliti

King Township Councillor, Ward 1

Reelin’ in the Years

Posted by Cleve Mortelliti On September - 6 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(Thanks to Barry Wallace and his blog “Camera on King”, for some of the photos and King City history referenced here.  If you have not had a chance to visit Barry’s website, you really should.  I find his look back on King and his photos, both new and archival to be inspiring – Barry you inspire me to pick up my Camera!).


I don’t think it is unusual or wrong to lament the change that is taking place in King City.  From the vantage point of my childhood, I certainly do.  But I have to remind myself that like many of our new residents today, that I too arrived in King City at a time of change.  My family moved to King City from Kleinburg when I was 8 years old.  It was 1972.  York County (now the Region of York) had just finished widening  Keele Street and King Side Road to 4 lanes each, gutting both roads by removing the canopy of hundred year old sugar maples that lined them – changing the character of old downtown King City forever.

main street king looking south  i believe

The King City Lion’s Arena had just opened its doors. I played defense on a tyke hockey team sponsored by Kingmark Homes – one of the new home builders in town.  We won the championship that year, the year of the  Canada Russia Summit Series.

1972-1973Paul Henderson

I lived on Dufferin Street just south of the King Road back when it was a gravel road all the way to Major McKenzie.  My old house is still there but its been bought by a developer.  He’s cleared all the trees and I expect the place I grew up in will soon be demolished.  I learned to Ski at Honey Pot where Eagles Nest is located now.  I went to Doris M. Patton School on Keele Street (where I was taught by Carson Bice), which was also a gravel road north of that old school.

Carson Bice

Photo by Barry Wallace – for more visit cameraonking.blogspot.ca

I remember Marty’s Barber Shop which was located where the Hunt Pub is now below Hogans Inn, and Peter Boyd’s GM Dealership which was Doc Gordon’s Garage before that. This now the site of the Shoppers Drug Mart.   And of course the Fountain Esso – when it actually had a fountain.  First opened by Harry McBride in the late 1950’s, and now owned by the Siarkas Family since 1974.

harry mcbrides esso at dufferin and king road in 50s

I think that for many, a feeling of security and well being is derivative of the permanence of places where fond memories were formed, and that the rapid and transformative change that occurs through growth upsets that sense of security as the demolition of old buildings and the transformation of old places in effect erases the basis upon which those memories were formed.  Its a though a part of us, is taken from us, and this I think is why change caused by rapid growth, at least in part, is difficult for some to accept.

The tendency to look back and reminisce on fond memories in the places we call home is natural, and visiting those places, just to know that they still exist can be comforting.  For me, King City has been that place for most of my childhood and all of my adult life, and it is now the place where my kids are also growing up.  It’s a place they appreciate now as much as I did as a boy.  It is the place of their childhood, as it was for me,  but in a different time.  This is their time.

In my heart, when I see my friends’ parents and old hockey coaches, I still feel like that teenaged kid hanging out with my friends in Town, but now watching my teenaged kids doing the same thing, I realize that for quite some time now, I’ve been Reelin in the Years.

Reelin in the Years, By Steely Dan. Released 1972

Craft Beer Hits the Spot

Posted by Cleve Mortelliti On June - 17 - 2014 1 COMMENT

After attending the  “King City Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival” this past Father’s Day weekend, I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty good about myself.  Four years ago I wrote an article on this blog (here) about the yet to be constructed skate park and how once built it could be a catalyst for an annual event – the kind of event that King City has never had.  Initially I had envisioned a made in King “Oktoberfest” style event, but since the fall weather is so unpredictable, we decided to move it to June on the Fathers Day Weekend.  And lets face it the name “KingToberfest” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…

Kingtoberfest Logo
 In writing about the skate park I wrote this:
It also could be used for games and events for a “made in King City” Oktoberfest, something new that I hope will take on a life of its own. Right now its just an idea – Live music, games, barbecued Oktoberfest sausage, micro-brewers like King Brewery on display with their craft brews for sale, and a beer garden for some earnest sampling. An open fire, corn roasting, kids in Halloween costumes…and here’s an interesting hook for you long time King City residents. Once a year on this day, we’ll rename Doctors Lane, to…are you ready for this? Elmer’s Lane!
As previously mentioned, what I originally had envisioned was an “Oktoberfest” type event with craft beer sampling, good food, good music and good friends.  A sort of picnic atmosphere where you can meet new people and share some good times, as well as meeting up with people you have not seen in years to reminisce on years gone by.  By the way, this is where the band Elmer’s Lane ties in.  Anyone who’s lived in King City long enough know’s where Elmer’s Lane is (its the original home of the King City Beer Festival…:D) and the good memories and good times associated with that place.  And I know that the ambiance generated all day Saturday revived that feeling in a lot of people, including myself.  I ran into people I haven’t seen in 30 years and had a blast with not only old high school friends, but grade school friends.
And the atmosphere was such that even if you’re new to King City, you and your kids will have walked away with a King City memory that will last you a lifetime, memories that will build each year, layer upon layer,  and make you feel inexorably tied to this place.

Elmer’s Lane Rocks the Stage with Classic Tunes from the 60’s & 70’s

That’s why we old King City residents stay here.  Thats why so many of us have moved back to raise our kids here.  And if this festival has in anyway made people look forward to next years event – then I think we nailed it, and that is something I feel extremely proud of and thankful for.  Next year it will only get better.
glorious sons-2

Nationally Acclaimed Kingston band, The Glorious Sons, Light up the Stage with their Hit Song “White Noise“.


Local Blues Musician Dr. Joel Krivy and Award Winning Blues Guitarist Teddy Leonard Treat the Crowd to Some Traditional Blues Standards.

Once again I find myself thanking the King City Lions for what they’ve consistently done for the last 62 years – which is to work hard at building community spirit, and in fact, building the community!  Through their efforts in year long fund raising activities they cut another cheque for $10,000 that goes toward the King City Skate Park project.  Our KC Lions were there all day long, assisting King Staff and hustling raffle tickets for their annual raffle.

Mayor Steve Pellegrini accepts a cheque for $10,000 from Lion Dave Beasely

Huge thanks go to Peter Culberston who lined up the bands and did all the sound engineering and stage set up.  The 2 stage set up this year was brilliant and allowed the event to flow much better.   Thanks for all your hard work and creativity Peter!
All this came together by the excellent work of our King Township Parks & Rec staff led by Chris Fasciano.  I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t quite know how to get there.  Like I said the first 3 years had some semblance of what I was shooting for, but this year Jon Bell, Amanda Hicks and Emma Isai nailed it by hooking into the marketing power of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association and reeling in 9 craft brewers and pairing them with 9 gourmet food trucks.

Click On the Photo to Zoom in to Check Out Those Smiling Faces!

I’m told we surpassed 3,000 attendees, with an initial 750 tickets sold online up to the Friday before the event!  Fantastic.
But of course, none of this could have happened without the support of all our 2014 sponsors including  Yelp, the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, R.J. Burnside & Associates, The Jones Consulting Group, The Municipal Infrastructure Group, The Miller Group, Signature Communities, and of course our main stage sponsor, Zancor Homes.  And thanks to all of our sponsors dating back to 2011.
All of these great sponsors recognize the need to build community spirit, and Zancor Homes in particular has played a huge part over the last few years in getting this event off the ground and on its feet to the point where it is now very close to being able to run on its own legs.
Last but certainly not least, a big thank you goes to Anna Raeli of State Farm Insurance and the whole King City Business and Community Association for putting on their Street Festival concurrently with the Craft Beer Festival.
State Farm
Thank you also to Villanova College for coordinating the bouncy castle and Kids Zone, and thanks to Tom Walker and the KCSS Big Band for kicking off the days events with some great jazz tunes on Keele Street.
The King City Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival now has the DNA of a sustainable event.  As a result, all of King Township’s residents can look forward to enjoying this great event for years to come.
Cleve Mortelliti
Councillor – Ward 1
Township of King
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King City: Environment Art Work Revealed

Posted by Cleve Mortelliti On December - 3 - 2012 1 COMMENT

Internationally Renowned Artist’s Work – Monumental in Size – Lies Hidden since 1971

Originally Published in the King Weekly August 2003

Posted to this Blog December 9, 2009

Updated December 3, 2012 Brand New YouTube Movie on Shift – Check it out!

In the winter of 1973, a pair of 10-year-old boys, one of them a descendant of James Whiting Crossley, (the Reeve of King Township in 1890), were trekking through the bushes adjacent the Crossley family farm in King City, Ontario.

Stephen Crossley and myself stumbled out from the bush into a very remote clearing and made an interesting discovery – a series of shifting concrete walls. Instantly, we were drawn to it. This initial interaction was comprised of running as fast as we could across the top of the walls and then leaping into the huge snowdrifts that had accumulated below. Once we got tired of that, questions began to pop into our minds. “What the heck is it?”

My friend Steve volunteered the first explanation. “It’s an irrigation system,” he said. “It helps direct the rain water into the low areas so that Mr. Cadden can farm the field”. My response was something similar. “It looks like the foundation of a building, only why didn’t they finish it? And why is it way out here? There’s no road or driveway or anything”.

Throughout my childhood and into my teens and 20’s I would continue to visit this placid clearing located way off the beaten path. I would make solitary visits, simply to sit on the walls and listen to the wind blow through the trees. It became a place of retreat for me. A place to gather my thoughts: to refocus, to regenerate.

In the late 1980’s, I sat in on one of my mother’s philosophy classes at York University, (Mom was doing her doctorate studies and she invited me along to a “philosophy of art” lecture). Various photos of peculiar works of art were being projected and individually discussed on the screen at the front of the class when one particular photo popped up. It was an aerial photo. The form of it seemed vaguely familiar, then realization set in. “What?!?!” I blurted out. “I know that thing”. My Mom had no idea what I was talking about, and of course now we had the attention of the class and the professor. “Mom”, I said. “We live half a mile from that”. She never knew. I never had any reason to tell her. I thought it was an abandoned building project.

I explained my “10 year-old” experiences of it with the class, (which got me a bit more attention than I had bargained for, because my experiences were exactly what the professor believed were the “intent” of the “work”). Later in the week I acted as a guide to help the students find it. The topic of the class was “Minimalist Sculpture”. The artist of note was an American internationally renowned artist by the name of Richard Serra, and the work in question…the one I jumped off into the snow drifts in 1973, was one of his sculptures entitled Shift, conceived of and built in King City, Ontario between the years 1970-72.

Richard Serra, 64, was born in San Francisco. Between 1957 and 1961 he studied at the University of California at Berkeley and at Santa Barbara, earning a B.A. in English Literature. Since moving to New York in 1966, he has conceived of and built other large outdoor sculptures made of concrete and steel in other parts of the world including Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Amsterdam, London, New York City and Washington D.C.

“In the mid-1960s various artists found new and unusual ways to counteract the growing commercialization of the art world – what better way than to take the art (more or less) out of the gallery altogether. Most Environmental artists built their works in the great outdoors, and many even aligned themselves with the then-fledgling environmental movement. Their work incorporates spiritual and natural elements and is flavoured by potent anti-urban attitudes”.

Its title is as thought provoking as its physical manifestation

Conceivably, Shift has existed here long enough to be considered one of the defining characteristics of King City’s natural heritage, because Shift is a monument to the past, present and future of King City. Its title is as thought provoking as its physical manifestation. When you step into this clearing, you are immediately struck by the work – initially with confusion, then by the parallels it evokes, because out of the vagueness of it, you suddenly “get” it. To offer my own interpretation, Shift is an abstract form that reflects the Shifting from one paradigm to another: from an agricultural way of life toward the urbanized trends that now creep upon this Township’s borders. Our cities, especially our modern ones are like concrete outcrops protruding from the wilderness. An alien, lacking our specific brand of inculcation, would be no more confused by trekking through this field, than by strolling through downtown Toronto. Yet something that is so purely logical is lost on us, because Shift contradicts and conflicts with the “rules” of what constitutes an artwork – rules that have been so methodically ingrained in us since birth. Currently, this work is located within an Environmental Protection area. The existence of this artwork in our community, its meaning and intent, are of particular importance and interest at a time when the residents of King City, and of King Township, find themselves somewhat embattled and conflicted by seemingly irreconcilable ideologies. Monuments of any kind have been known to play an important role in influencing the thoughts and actions of people. Though it is an artwork of the most obscure kind, in the end Shift works to make one thoughtful, aware, and appreciative of the natural setting it occupies.

“Many Environment works were launched on a monumental scale, and required construction crews, heavy industrial equipment, and engineers to execute. This kind of Earth art evokes archaeological wonders of the ancient world like Stonehenge and Easter Island. While viewers could certainly visit some of the Earth art sites, it’s an interesting irony that most of them ended up displayed as photos in galleries.”

A cornerstone of the King City Community Plan is the principle of Land Form Conservation. By incorporating Shift into the planned expansion of King City’s trail system, and by allowing the artwork and its symbolism to gain greater local prominence, an interesting cultural enhancement to King’s current heritage could be fostered. Perhaps other artists, local and international, could be encouraged to add more artworks to these trail systems, making the whole of King Township a kind of outdoor “gallery”, thus placing a permanent focus on King City and King Township as an influential, and world renowned wellspring of Land Form Conservation planning practices, of heritage preservation, and of cultural and artistic advocacy. There are always alternatives – only limited to our imaginations – whereby development can be economically viable and sustainable without having to sacrifice our heritage, or the overall future vision. In the course of new development, what we are in fact doing is “legacy building”. In the case of Spring Hill, we are looking to expand upon a 150 year old development now known as King City, the name and vision of which were once championed by James Whiting Crossley during the late 1800’s. King City and King Township are home to a rich rural heritage, to an abundance of natural beauty, and to the work of an internationally renowned artist. It is now left to the imagination of our current generations to build upon and enhance this vision – to cultivate, nurture, and harvest of a heritage so rooted in richness.

Excerpts taken from the Art & Culture Network website: http://www.artandculture.com

Photos taken from Richard Serra/ Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, N. Y., 1986, p.30 & 98

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My name is Cleve Mortelliti and I am the Councillor for Ward 1 in the Township of King, Ontario – Canada. I love this Township. King City has been my home since 1972. From 2004 to 2006 I had the privilege to work as an Engineering Administrator for the Township of King. But my overriding desire to make a real difference and to have a more positive, impactful influence on the shape and form of the development wave that is coming to King, led me to leave my employment with the Township and declare my candidacy for Councillor of Ward 1 (King City, Snowball, Kettleby). At approximately 10:00pm on November 13th, 2006 I was truly thrilled to learn that the residents and ratepayers of Ward 1 had bestowed their trust in me to serve as their councillor for the next 4 years . In the successive 2010, and 2014 elections I was re-elected by acclamation. It remains my honour and privilege to serve King.

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Re-Elect Cleve Mortelliti

On May-12-2014
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On Sep-17-2010
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King City: Environment Art Work Revealed

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