York Urbanist

Kleinburg Public Spaces


1.1          OPEN SPACE IMG_00000022

The objectives of public open space guidelines are:

    • To provide an integrated and linked system, which builds upon the unique character of the Village.
    • To provide an invaluable public amenity in the form of active and passive outdoor resources.
    • To preserve and enhance the integrity of the natural environment while reinforcing the rural setting of the Town and individual communities.


1.2.1 General Guidelines

  1. Establish an open space system to support a balance between maintaining key natural features, accommodating new development and providing for recreational activity.
  2. Create an open space system that is place-specific through the preservation and incorporation of significant natural and cultural features and key views to landmark buildings and natural features.
  3. Create connections between open space areas including ESAs, woodlots, hedgerows, farm lanes, community parks, schools and storm water management facilities through the placement of these elements where appropriate (e.g. stormwater management facility in proximity to stream corridors and trails) or by providing links between them through recreational trails or street networks.
  4. Strategically locate open space networks with respect to streets, views and other connections to contribute to their accessibility, regular use and safety through natural surveillance opportunities.
  5. Open spaces should be framed or flanked by public roads where possible to improve the presence of these amenities in the identity of the neighbourhoods.
  6. A central green or common should be considered as a focus for community and civic events, such as Bindertwine Festival.


Should be integral to developments – create conditions such that post-development flows are equal to or less than pre-development flows. Ground recharge proposals or reuse and filtration of water should be considered.

1.2.3      STREETS FOR WALKING AND FOR PLAY:Vaughan-20120908-00266

In the heritage neighbourhoods residents and visitors are comfortable walking both on sidewalks and on the street pavement. This pattern of use is a defining characteristic of ‘small town’. The characteristics of the Heritage Neighbourhoods which promote this type of use include:

    • Limited Through Traffic – Achieved by a street pattern and design elements that discourage opportunities for through traffic
    • Minimum Pavement Width – The widths of the streets are very narrow which causes traffic to slow down.
    • On-Street Parking – Cars parked on both sides of the street dramatically slows down traffic.
    • Boulevard Street Trees – The proximity of mature trees to the street not only creates a beautiful and intimate setting but it also helps to slow traffic.
    • Varying House Setbacks – Many heritage properties have minimal setbacks from the street edge that in turn promotes sociability if there are social spaces at the front of the building and a sense of security through informal surveillance of the street. New developments should contribute open space covered or uncovered that provide to the community benefit of the street.   Permeable from street to valley

  1. Openings between buildings will be created and left open anticipating a connection from Islington Avenue to the east or west valleylands that define Kleinburg Village.
  2. Notwithstanding that rear properties are defined by other land uses, lanes or openings should be possible in the future to the rear of the subject development lands.   Properties will be linked

  1. Openings between buildings will be created and left open anticipating a connection between commercial properties
  2. Openings may be internal connections, if commercial units are built at the side yards
  3. Notwithstanding that rear properties are defined by other land uses, lanes or openings shouldbe encouraged between properties to allow pedestrian access or continuous parking in the rear yards.

1.2.4      Townhouses and Multiple- Unit Buildings

  1. Residential components of developments should be above or behind the commercial streetscape.
  2. The design of townhouse, multiplex and apartment buildings should consider overall form, massing and proportions, and the rhythm of major repetitive building elements and roof designs to create a street facade that is composed of a consistent and attractive variety of building elements.
  3. Townhouses are not encouraged in the Village between Pennon and Lester B. Pearson Street on east and west sides of Islington Avenue. Outside those boundaries, they should be limited to 6 attached units but may in certain circumstances provide a maximum of 8 attached units.
  4. End units in a townhouse or multiplex block should place windows and entrances where appropriate to encourage these areas to be attractive, active and safe.
  5. Ground floor units should have individual at grade access. Upper floor units should be emphasized through articulations of the exterior wall plane and roof, and the use of pronounced building elements including bay windows, balconies and dormers.
  6. Primary building entrances should clearly address the street with large entry awnings and provide visibility to interior lobbies to allow for safe and convenient arrival and departure from the building.
  7. Pedestrian entrances to parking and service areas within the principle building should be combined with exposed communal areas such as exercise areas or meeting rooms to provide casual surveillance opportunities.

1.2.5 General Guidelines

  1. Orient building frontages to the street.IMG_00000041
  2. Buildings at intersections and gateways should address the street frontages and be located at a minimum setback to enhance the role of these areas as focal points.
  3. Establish a consistent urban streetscape through building massing, landscaping and streetscape treatments – Kleinburg is known for its green street presence. Retain mature trees that are landmarks for the village. Set buildings away from the street in these circumstances such that new development does not impact the growth or character of the mature trees.
  4. Where large setbacks are required for large commercial stores, locate smaller commercial buildings (i.e. restaurants, banks) at the street edge, while maintaining visibility to the major facility.
  5. No front yard parking should be permitted for the building frontage.
  6. A minimum of one (1) major building entrance should front directly toward the main street frontage.
  7. Canopies and awnings, arcades and open vestibules are encouraged as a means of weather protection and pedestrian amenity
  8. Orient service and loading areas to the rear of the building, away from public view and not visible to adjoining residential units.
  9. Reinforce the building identity at gateways and corner locations through taller building elements such as towers, entrance and sign structures or roof elements (i.e. skylights and dormers.)

2.1          Community Benefits

New developments in the Village must consider that their architecture, landscape and open spaces will contribute to the overall culture, health and environment of the Village. The culture of Kleinburg is influenced by McMichael. Accordingly, artistic components that face public areas should be incorporated. All developments should contribute to the Village-wide improvement of public spaces. Examples include:

  • Art displays;
  • Public Furnishings and / or pavements that incorporate art components;
  • Façade treatments that animate the street in a cultural or playful theme;
  • Sustainable, visual water elements;
  • Enhanced landscapes that frame and enliven public event spaces.

By following these guidelines, cultural, environmental and economic sustainability and health will contribute to the positive benefit of the individual development.

Where the opportunity exists to enhance a development proposal to provide community benefits, negotiation may allow minor variations from Official Plan and bylaw requirements. Community benefits may include:

  • Wider useful open space between building and street to accommodate events;
  • Environmental enhancements such as large tree plantings that add significantly to the urban forest canopy;
  • Cultural enhancements, such as the addition of significant art or programmed event spaces;
  • Enhancements to off-site areas that enhance the goals and Vision of Kleinburg Village;
  • Connections with adjacent properties that provide a porous pedestrian community internally and externally;
  • In the same vane, collaboration with other current development proposals to address the Kleinburg Vision; and,
  • Enhanced transportation and parking complements.