If your name happens to be Glen Stewart… the headline is for you!
This Sunday, we’ll follow an old rail line.
But first, about last week (with Glen!):
Four of us took the College Street “detour” bus east to see Glen Stewart Ravine. It’s a very pretty park, with sturdy, newly installed stairs and boardwalks to protect the natural forest floor, little Ames Creek and the small wetlands reed-marsh. Some interesting info about the naming of the ravine is here.
Our very warm Sunday was the perfect time to seek the cool, quiet, green shade of this small forest. Beautiful. We walked south through the ravine to Queen Street to enjoy brunch, made it out to the street again just in time to see the Returning Olympians east end parade, and took a short walk on the beach boardwalk, too. A long Queen streetcar trip back (on the shady side of the car!) rounded out our journey. At the end of that ride, I walked north past the few Love Letter to the Great Lakes murals we missed on our past walk. Yep – found ’em! (They’re in the lane west of Ossington, and terrific.) You should stroll over to enjoy the whole group of them once again. Have a look at our great morning:
Amusing: we step off the bus to… murals! This is “Cathy” by Berlin artist, Mat Hand. (on Gerrard East)
The “KIA” mural at Gerrard and Main celebrates women in art and the martial arts, painted on the wall of DeSantos Martial Arts studio (Grace Channer, Sandra Brewster, Jay Stewart were the artists). Also some neat animal paintings there for the vet clinic!
Lovely older buildings, and neighbourhood landmarks: the Main Street Police Station and Fire Hall. Funny foreshortened “car” in the foreground happened as a car or two drove past during the taking of this panorama shot.
Elizabeth walks towards the cute-looking “g” café (“a nice little coffee shop”). We weren’t ready for refreshment. Yet!
Kingston Road at Main Street, a large crane at work on a future corner condo (just west of where a future YMCA branch is also under construction).
I liked the cast concrete ornamentation of the older apartment building on Kingston Road…
More of that ornamentation, and an old-school tradesmen and pedlars sign.
We find the entrance to the Glen Stewart Ravine immediately. Since Glen Stewart is also Elizabeth’s brother… (though apparently not exactly the reason the park was named!), she very kindly pointed out the signage. Glen, if you read this: it’s a lovely place, even it it’s not quite named after you!
Mighty long, turning staircase down into the ravine.
Fifty shades of green. Or more.
Tiny Ames Creek starts in the park and then disappears into the ground. Little waterfalls and twists and turns lead us south.
An old bridge crosses the creek.
Green, everywhere. Fallen trees. Like a miniature version of the Don Valley.
Some native plants were in bloom – like this lovely jewel weed. The ravine has a community initiative to remove some invasive species (like dog-strangling vine and dame’s rocket!).
Here and there, the creek widened a bit. And seemed to rush away along a meandering path.
A small wetlands, cat-tail reeds and all.
Fallen birch tree, overgrown with greenery.
As we walked south, we emerge from the ravine and find… a sink-hole! A first, for me. This was about twelve feet across, and not very deep. Carefully fenced off.
A small footbridge crosses the gentler valley that becomes the more manicured section of the park.
At the southern edge of the park, another Glen Stewart sign. The name once applied to a larger area, but the southernmost part has been renamed Ivan Forrest Gardens, in honour of a former parks commissioner. Considered a feature of some appeal there, the water fountain seems to be under repair. (At least, we hope so.)
A beautiful old tree reclines, away from busy Queen Street.
We head west along Queen East, to find the Sunset Grill. Definitely brunch time! We pass an interesting Beach Jazz Festival mural.
Later, we’re just in time for the start of the Olympians’ return parade, where athletes, community members and past Olympians marched, cheered, waved flags… as some were driven in classic cars. Plenty of red and white t-shirts, big smiles, happy kids.
Here’s former Olympian Elaine Tanner (“Mighty Mouse”) riding in a blue Jag.
This fabulous old T-bird gave out and had to be pushed!
Elizabeth is watching for Penny Oleksiak!
Penny Oleksiak and Michelle Williams arrive to loud cheers.
After the parade: a stroll on the boardwalk, with a view of the city in the distance.
Walking back up to the streetcar, we pass Woodbine Park’s very appealing fountain.
Closer to home, I sleuth out the final Love Letter to the Great Lakes murals in our neighbourhood – here’s a multi-artist, ’round the corner effort, including work by Birdo, Peru and more.
Panorama of a lane-full of small murals. This fence got the full treatment.
That fence, from the other end.
Another image by Peru, I think, and possibly “Anna” – more research!
Final mural of the day – by Caratoes – blocked a bit by a car. Well worth another look.
Click on any image for larger files, in carousel slide-show.
Sunday, September 4, 2016:
We’ll meet at the Y at 9:00. This will be a combined walk and TTC trip, so bring transit fare.
Our bus north departs from Lansdowne and College at 9:30. If you’ll meet us at the TTC stop, please let me know by email or text, early Sunday morning. And that would be great! We’re going to walk the central part of the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail to see how much history of the old rail line remains there, hidden between residential, commercial and industrial neighbourhoods. It’s an easy walk on a smooth path, but we’ll cover a lot of city… under shady cover of trees. When we get to Yonge Street, we’ll find the new mural by British artist, Phlegm, on St. Clair Avenue. Let’s see how many city landmarks we can recognize in this intricate mural. Photos to follow, naturally!
A NIFTY LITTLE OFFER…
but only if you read this far!
We haven’t done much in the way of Walking Club swag, have we? Well, the Y will treat you to a YMCA gym bag… if you come along on at least one of our September walks. You just have four Sundays to get in on this offer! This is a great way to tote your workout duds to the Y, or to bring along your lunch and blanket and frisbee, when we take one of our upcoming picnics. (Several are in the works!) So, show up for one – or all – of the September Sunday walks. This is a FIRST WALK, FIRST SERVED offer… while supplies last. (I always wanted to say that!) Limit, one per walker!
COMING RIGHT UP:
Soon: The Spit. We discussed the last Sunday in September for that, so please save that date! Later: the Humber, the Don, the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. Our annual Thanksgiving picnic on the Island. Great walks, just ahead.
See you soon!
You’re just finding WestWalking for the first time?!
Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you in the morning!
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