a New Year’s Day ramble

Let’s go see those snowflakes.
And visit The Ward!

But first, about last week’s wander

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the various holidays of the season, and the unusual winter weather. A bunch of walkers are away, or busy, but we’ve kept on walking. And it’s

We headed down to the lake as planned and passed evidence of revelry from the night before. Also encountered slightly zany behaviour, just about to happen. You guessed it: we ran into the New Year’s Day lake-plunging “polar bears”! Now, despite often saying, “I’d do that!” (a day after the opportunity passes, of course – haha!), I didn’t even think of them when planning to walk to the lakeshore. So we were a couple of hours too early to see any of those hardy folks dive (or tentatively tiptoe!) into the chilly water. They had a beautiful sunny day for it, with not even a hint of snow or ice, down at Sunnyside Beach. The atmosphere was fun with dance-y pop music (made us want to boogie right into Lake Ontario… not!!!) and some people in costume (particularly liked the leggings printed with police “Do not cross!” crime scene tape). Of course there were lots of silly cozy furry “onesies” to hop into for warming up after the cold swim.

Rather than waiting around, we vowed to plan better next year, if we can manage it, and cheer them on next time. We headed to Balzac’s in Liberty Village for a warm beverage near a sunny window. Note: hot cider is a great way to wrap up a walk.

Just a few pictures:

Sunday, January 08, 2017:

Meet at the Y at 9:00.

We’ll walk downtown to see two interesting things:
I’d hoped to promise a return visit to the Snowfall installation: Frost, Gust and Flurry! Alas, the last day for this lit collection of large, medium and small snowflakes… is Friday! Sorry folks, we missed it again. I don’t know if you remember, but last year, too, I searched in vain for online info about whether Snowfall was even going to return. (We went two years ago, so have a peek. Click on the pix there for larger images.) This year, too, it was tough to find any useful info at all, online, but once I heard (without helpful date info!), I assumed it would be up for a bit after Christmas. Well, it is. Just not as long as wished!

So, we shall try again next year! (Now that we know we’d better get there before Christmas, should be easy, right? It’s in my calendar for the beginning of December. :-)) Anyway, I was in touch with Brookfield Place online, and they say that the “light curtains” will still be on display on Sunday. Since we are going downtown anyway, let’s go have a look. The few photos I saw online are lovely.

Then, we’ll introduce ourselves to a very special part of town: The Ward. Haven’t heard of it? Well, you will! Currently, just marked by informative hoardings (around a new courthouse construction area, this was the old entry-point (think crowded tenement) for many new Canadians, 100 years ago and more. And less. Gradually demolished between the 1920s and 19502, the area was completely razed, streets removed and all. Finally, it completely disappeared when our new City Hall was built. Now, new construction in that area has inspired some archeological work, and even plans for a museum of sorts (events, online, and more). It’s time to hear some of the stories. I’d been waiting for more about the museum, but Veronika suggested we go have a look, now. Great idea! I think this will be an interesting morning.

This walk will take us at least two hours. You may choose to meet us at Brookfield Place, where we’ll go first. If you’ll meet us there, please be in touch by cellphone on Sunday morning. We should be there by 10, or so. Then we’ll all walk over to The Ward. You could take transit home, if that will help with planning your day. I’m looking forward to this!

Coming right up:

Historical plaques? The upper Don River ravine in winter? A couple of interesting hospital sculpture sites! And did you know that Toronto is now considered Canada’s first “bee city”?? We’ve seen a few Nick Sweetman murals before, and he’s created a terrific one in the annex to note this “bee” designation. It’s pretty nifty. We’ll go. Soon!

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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