CCKT Celebrates 50 Years!

A Brief History of 50 Years of the Concerned Citizens of King Township


King Township has had many small groups over the decades that have formed in opposition to various issues.  In the late 1960’s a group was formed to fight, among other things, a property on Fog Road being turned into a nursing home.  Over the years other groups formed, including a group to stop the cutting of all the maple trees that once lined Keele Street in King City –  as well as the King Hills Ratepayers, the Kingscross Ratepayers Assoc., the Pottageville Ratepayers, and probably many more.


CCKT Is Formed to Challenge a Proposed Hydro Transmission Corridor

In 1970, the movers and shakers of King formed the Concerned Citizens of King Township (CCKT) to address a bigger problem.  Hydro was planning a very large transmission corridor to cut at an angle through King Township, bringing power from Nanticoke to Pickering and requiring a highway as wide as sixteen-lanes which would have gobbled up 1500 acres of King Township.  Eventually, another group was also formed called the Coalition of Concerned Citizens which included other areas outside of King that would be affected by this transmission line.

CCKT made maps of King’s forests, woodlands and scenic areas, which they presented to the government.  Twenty CCKT members even walked the route of the planned corridor in King and made observations.  They consulted the people whose property they had to cross and found the small landowners were very concerned, though they did encounter some opposition from owners of larger farms who thought that CCKT should mind its own business.

Carole Davis and Dave Fidler headed the CCKT sub-committee and they worked together with the Coalition to collect 5,000 names on a petition. When they presented their petition to Premier Bill Davis they were able to have a long discussion with him about their concerns.  Later they met with the Solandt Commission which had been put in place to study the environmental impact of the Hydro plan.  After a four-year fight, CCKT succeeded in having the corridor moved south to Highway 7.  


The Early Days

When CCKT was first formed, membership was set at $2.00 per individual or $3.00 per family.  CCKT’s mailbox in King, which currently costs more than $150 per year, then cost only $6.74.  In order to inform the public, CCKT sent out four or five page newsletters monthly and started hosting monthly meetings.  The group’s first newsletter stated that their general aim was “to preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of life in King Township and to encourage good local government.”  Their motto was, “Keep King Township Green!”   

From the beginning, CCKT held municipal “Meet the Candidates meetings” and after the elections “Meet the Council Meetings.”  Back then, there were elections every year, and then later, every two years.  Since then, the group has evolved and now holds such events for provincial and federal elections, in addition to the municipal elections.

CCKT had many programs meant to bring in new members and to keep CCKT in the forefront of residents’ minds and, for a long time, they had booths at fall fairs in Kettleby, Kinghorn and King City Association Day.


CCKT and Political Association – Remaining Non-Partisan

In 1972, CCKT discussed putting up a slate of candidates to run for Council; however, group member Dr. Soanes reacted by saying that, “political involvement would destroy the group’s effectiveness.”  To this day, CCKT has remained non-partisan.  From the beginning, however, they had a committee to monitor local government.

CCKT saw King as being threatened by a number of new developments which might destroy the quality of life in King.  There were strong tendencies for many rural land owners all over King to want to change their properties from Rural to Estate Residential and thus promote sprawl without effective long-term planning.


Key Concerns   

Concerns almost from the beginning were:

  • Subdivisions and severances
  • Mobile Trailers
  • Legal and illegal dumping
  • Inequalities in the Ward boundaries
  • By-law enforcement
  • Micro-towers in King
  • Gravel pits


CCKT Advocacy

CCKT has been instrumental in raising awareness of and lobbying for changes to several major projects over the years:

  • In 1980, CCKT went before York Region to suggest they create an Environmental Advisory Committee to develop standards for their Environmental Impact Statement.  Unfortunately, the Region ignored the proposal.
  • In the 1980’s, CCKT formed a committee to produce a booklet called “A Vision for King” which was presented to Council.
  • Also during the 80’s, CCKT went before the OMB (now LPAT) on several occasions to support various attempts to control development.  This was in the days when the group could appear before the OMB to present their own side of the story without having to hire planners and lawyers.  CCKT won some and lost some, and in a few cases, reduced the number of houses that developers would be allowed to build in various subdivisions.
  • Around 1980, when Murray Koffler bought the property where the Kingsbridge Centre is now located, people grew concerned that he might want to open commercial establishments along King Road and Jane Street.  CCKT suggested to Council that they buy a one metre reserve along both roads to prevent access to commercial development.  Whether or not their action was due to CCKT’s suggestion, Council complied and in 1985, under Mayor Clarence Jessop, Council implemented several suggestions from CCKT.
  • Around 1990, CCKT formed a committee to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine which eventually grew into Save The Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM), a Moraine wide coalition of citizen groups.  STORM played an instrumental role in the process which lead to provincial planning legislation to protect the Moraine.  During this time, CCKT board member, Chris Glerum, worked on the government’s Technical Working Committee and reported to the Oak Ridges Moraine Planning Study which formed the basis for the 2001 Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act.
  • In 1997, CCKT supported the effort to have the Rouge River Watershed area made into a national park and featured several speakers from the Watershed group.
  • In l998, the group supported the “Cows not Condos” group in the Snowball area to try to prevent ClubLink Golf Course from building a residential subdivision on their land under a loophole in the Region’s Official Plan, but the OMB ruled in favour of ClubLink.
  • During this time CCKT launched into the “Big Pipe” fight which spanned the years 1996 and 2001.  CCKT Chair, Margaret Coburn, was asked to assist in the formation of a new group, Preserve the Village (PTV), to focus on the issue for King City.  CCKT and PTV were opposed to the expansion of the York/Durham Sewage System into King, and were in favour of scaled local systems and individual septic systems noting that the Big Pipe link would result in poorly controlled growth in the community, and promote urban sprawl.  CCKT worked hand in glove with PTV against the new sewage system also partnering with STORM to challenge the new King City Community Plan at the OMB.  The groups worked together in raising $180,000 to pay for a lawyer, a planner and a hydrogeologist.  The two groups had amazing support from all across King, including Toronto, however, the OMB ultimately ruled in favour of the proposed new community plan premised on the Big Pipe connection.

To pay off the debt that CCKT incurred during this battle, in 2001 the group put on a giant auction sale on the hottest day of the year, and held a smaller auction on the wettest day of the year.  In addition, a fundraising dinner with the pilot Lou Wise was held, another dinner with Stephen Lewis, a dinner with Elizabeth May and the most financially rewarding of all, an evening with David Suzuki with over 400 guests in attendance.  However, CCKT never did quite pay off all the loans received from Members of the Board who willingly donated the outstanding funds to CCKT.


Over the years, CCKT has made hundreds of deputations to Council.  The group has attended rallies, written letters, supported many other Ontario groups, started newspapers, held contests, awarded prizes, and conducted bus tours of King.  CCKT even went to the expense of hiring buses to Queen’s Park to support fights against the gas-powered generators such as the one proposed for Oakville to say nothing of the fight against King’s own gas plant in the Holland Marsh.  Huge open meetings have also been held with Gord Miller, the environmental Commissioner which welcomed guests from across the GTA.  CCKT members have planted trees, and worked in partnership with municipal staff to try and better protect the trees in King City, Nobleton and Schomberg.


The first 50 years have been remarkably active for CCKT and countless people have been informed and engaged in a wide range of activities.  There clearly appears to be a key role for CCKT in the coming years in bringing the citizen voice forward in advocating for ongoing conservation of the Moraine and the Greenbelt, plus climate change actions and promoting healthy liveable and sustainable communities. 

CCKT welcomes new members to join the group and help to realize a positive vision for King Township long into the future.  Please send a note with your name, address, phone number, email address and $20.00 to CCKT, Box 875, King City, ON.  L7B 1A9     



  • Harry Parker
  • Bruno Skoggard
  • David Harper
  • Ashe Davis
  • David Harper again
  • Margaret Coburn
  • Nola Burbidge
  • Brian Bornstein
  • Debbie Schaefer
  • Fiona Cowles
  • Greg Locke
  • Bruce Craig