This week, another river!
But first, about last week:
I grew up near the Don River but have only rarely visited the southern part of that former industrial body of water. When I was a kid, it was considered highly polluted, but we played in it anyway. (This may explain a lot!) We were also motivated, by our teachers, to help clean it up. There’s still work to be done in that department. Anyway, long ago, the city revised and squared off the river’s path, so it could empty out into the inner harbour. Now, plans and financing are afoot – re-directing and re-naturalizing the mouth of the Don so the river will do what it wants to do, once again. Time will tell. So we went to have a look.
Of course we found the Love Letter to the Great Lakes murals we’d hoped to see. And evidence of the Pan Am Path (which we’ll explore more, in parts, in future). We enjoyed a glorious sunny day. We looked around the new “Canary District” a bit, had a snack on Keating Channel (in the creatively named Keating Channel Pub). And a couple of us walked all the way back. We can now officially tell you that the Hudson’s Bay Christmas windows this year are pretty nifty. Definitely worth a peek.
Streetcar (or cab!) to Riverdale Park West to find these great steps down to the river…
Don River Trail, south. Lots of bridges. Plenty of tags. These ones… all by the same person??
There’s gold in them thar fields! Elite A may have been a sign for… well, I don’t have a clue!
Near graffiti on an old bridge over the Don.
That old bridge.
Wall art and sumach decorate a tunnel on the Pan Am Path, near the river, under the old Bala Rail Line.
Industry, old and new. Stone block abutments from the original Grand Trunk Railway, which ran between 1850s and late 1920s.
A fall sky view.
A little reminder near another bridge.
Sharon, Sally, Julie and Anna pass the fish mural (by Young Jarus and Kwest, part of Love Letter to the Great Lakes).
Panorama of that mural wall… with a runner!!
Former Lever Bros. building (with industrial mural of soap-making?), across the Don. It now awaits redevelopment.
Hydro lines and vapour trails.
Love Letter to the Great Lakes – pillar mural by Kirsten McCrea.
Sally, with a view of all the Love Letter pillars.
Kirsten McCrea – other side
Front pillar here painted by PA System
Tall, tall Don River/Wonscotonach (original Aboriginal name for the River) pillar by Jason Botkin
Back of PA System pillar
MC Baldassari pillar
Tall support pillar, reflecting the water
Back of the Baldassari pillar/ Walkers in the centre distance.
Erica Balon/EGR pillar
Back of Balon/EGR pillar
Rajni Perera pillar, depecting women cleaning up the Don.
It might not be a walk without an Anser one-liner portrait. And this was not the only one we saw today.
View of Keating Channel, inner harbour, oddly, still considered to be part of the Don River. That will change.
Gorgeous crabapple tree in a small green space on the channel. And yes, I ate one.
Sally’s great photo… of my first bite of that crabapple! Delicious! Well, kinda! With Sharon, Julie and Anna at Keating Channel.
Lovely mess of fall colour.
Looking north across the channel.
We traipse west along Villiers Street in search of refreshment. And interesting buildings.
Many old and dilapidated storage buildings awaiting mysterious futures, there.
Rusty old fire/sprinkler alarm.
Tug boat in the sun.
At Keating Channel Pub, we have tea, coffee, sandwiches. All is well. Patio closed for the season (no surprise), so maybe we’ll visit again and sit outside, next summer?
More fall colour, looking back east along the Inner Harbour.
City skyline from the Cherry Street bridge, as we head back to the north side of the channel, and back up into the city.
Railway building at the new ginkgo-filled Cherry Street/Distillery streetcar loop.
We peek down a lane in the Distillery District, but will save that for another walk.
Lovely old harbour/track area building awaiting its future.
Hey! It’s the brand new Cooper-Koo Family/Cherry Street YMCA! (Of course we dropped in to say hello to Michael.)
The old “cubes” are still there. These are each apartments, and an acquaintance once lived in one of them. (Said it was great fun.) Architect was Ben Kutner, built in 1996, based on a similar space use idea in Rotterdam, and looking like they are in need of some serious love.
Inglenook School on Sumach – cool buildling, great fence.
Beautiful fall-coloured vines on the vet’s.
Neat Elicsr mural near Sumach & Queen.
Beautiful carved bits on the Dominion Hotel/Tavern.
Moss Park container market, on Queen East.
Corktown offers a little Birdo, to make my day.
This year’s Hudson’s Bay Christmas windows are wonderful – sculpture and background film/animation of animals at play, in winter. Hibernating foxes and frolicking raccoons… and see the moose??
Playing squirrels… and some skating, too.
Mice all around this big, moving, snowed-in bear.
Owls, some flying, some cuddling in a nest.
Seriously: Canada geese in snowshoes. Waddling!
Thoughtful sculptural installation at City Hall: Peace Through Valour, by Ken Lum, to honour Canadian soldiers who fought in the Italian Campaign in World World II. Timely to see this, right before Remembrance Day. And my grandfather was there, with the RCAF.
Pretty late roses in a sweet fall garden, on our walk home through Kensington Market area.
Julie and I find the best foliage of the day.
Trees on Baldwin Street.
Click on any image for larger files, in carousel slide-show.
As for the north reaches of the Don? We’ll make a start on all of that. It may take many future walks! And we didn’t see much of the Corktown Commons, though we were nearby. Later!
Sunday, November 13, 2016:
Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. We’ll take a vote about method of transportation. We shall either walk or take transit to the mouth of the Humber River. (So BRING TTC FARE.) Method chosen will depend upon the weather, and everyone’s schedule.
You know that lovely lakeside bridge we’ve walked to in the past? This time, our walk begins there. It’s going to be interesting! Under and around the freeway and more, we’ll walk north until we feel like stopping. Maybe Bloor West? Maybe even Dundas West, if we feel energetic. It’s going to be a sunny day. This could be as nifty a walk as last week! Join us, and see what we can find.
COMING RIGHT UP:
Christmas flowers at the Allan Gardens. A walk to enjoy excellent hot chocolate (again). The Spadina installation of Love Letters to the Great Lakes murals. The Distillery District, perhaps? And maybe some holiday dim sum?
Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks. We’ll see you soon.
Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!
Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!
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