Everything’s beachy!

This week, Annex murals.
But first, about last week:

I’m in Florida! And walking on the beach!

What have you been up to?

Here are a couple of lovely-weather photos from Sanibel Island:

And while I’m off the continent (just a little bit), Julie celebrated thanksgiving in Nova Scotia with a bit of fall fair fun:

Julie and the pumpkin-sailor!

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, October 15, 2017
:

A LATE START! Meet at the Y at 10:00. 

Let’s walk to the Annex to see a couple of excellent new and new-ish murals. Easy. And quick. With beach stories! 🙂

COMING RIGHT UP:

The McMichael Collection, in Kleinburg. Bluffer’s Park. Afternoon tea at Montgomery’s Inn. St. James Cemetery. Don River, for autumn leaves. Some west-end neighbourhood walks, too. Happy fall!

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks.

We’ll see you soon for another great walk.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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More pix next time!

This week, find a way!
But first, about last week:

We saw murals. Lots of them! Went to see Women Paint – an excellent illustrated lane off Lansdowne, north of Queen. I’ll fill in some captions, later  but for now… Some photos.

More after these, too, so keep scrolling…

 

Sorry, they’re in the wrong order! Will fix later. Tough on an iPad.

in the meantime, check out these lovely travel photos from  Ros, who has just returned  from an amazing trip to Tanzania:

 

Wonderful!

Also, Donna asked that I remind you all about the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon. It takes place in a couple of weeks, and if you are looking for an organization to support, maybe you will consider Team Transplant. Check it out! Donna, if you’ll add the donation link here in the Comments, people can grab it there!

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, October 08, 2017
:

I am away! More on that, later.

Of course, you’ll walk anyway, right? So, do let me know where you go.

I recommend the World Press Photo exhibit at Brookfield Place (181 Bay Street). We try to go every year, and always find it surprising and informative. If you don’t manage to get there this week, we will go next week!

COMING RIGHT UP:

The McMichael  Collection, Bluffer’s Park, Montgomery’s Inn, St. James Cemetery, the Don River. Some easy west-end neighbourhood walks, and a couple of east-end walks, too. Still lots of new murals and buildings and signal boxes to see.

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks.

We’ll see you soon for another great walk.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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Our first NUP

This week, a short one!
But first, about last week:

Have you ever been to one of Canada’s National Urban Parks? Neither had we! Apparently, there is only one. And so, off we went!

Skylar and I set out on a Parkbus school bus, bright and early Sunday morning. Our trip half-way across the city and out into Markham was relaxed and uneventful. Our sunny morning exploring trails in meadow, wetlands, grassy areas and the gorgeous forest of the Bob Hunter Memorial Park in the Rouge National Urban Park was completely satisfying. Also: much too hot!! But we just decided that didn’t matter! Cool forest shade and the prospect of our delicious picnic helped.

The NUP (as they call it) is a huge unpretentious plot of land, just northeast of Toronto. But it felt like we were many miles from the city.

Check out the photos for some of what we saw:

Click any photo to switch to carousel slide-viewer (pix are larger and captions easier to read). If you’re a WestWalker and want full-size versions of any photos, let me know.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, October 01, 2017
:

A short Sunday walk! (cue the Hallelujah chorus!)

For those who’ve been away. Or busy. Or unable to venture out into the heat. And for those who’ve found the recent walks just a bit too long… here’s an idea: let’s go see some beautiful new neighbourhood murals on an early fall stroll.

Meet at 9:00. We’ll be a couple of hours. Or less, if you skip the coffee or tea! (Of course I recommend that you never skip the coffee or tea!)

It may be time for me to start reminding you of things like gloves, umbrellas, light layers! Check the forecast and see what you think. It looks like quite a contrast to last Sunday’s sweltering walk in the forest!

COMING RIGHT UP:

The McMichael Collection, Bluffer’s Park, Montgomery’s Inn, St. James Cemetery, the Don River. Some easy west-end neighbourhood walks, and a couple of east-end walks, too. We’ll also figure out where the changing foliage is most interesting. Next week, I’ll be away (walking!!), but I will certainly recommend something interesting for you to see, and somewhere nifty to walk!

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks.

We’ll see you soon for another great Sunday morning.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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Warm Island Day

This week, out to the ROUGE!
But first, about last week:

Hello, Islands! We were six people arriving five different ways. Later, five Island visitors left on three different ferries and took five different TTC (or walking routes) home! We walked the day away on four different islands. Pretty good!

What a travel day. Weather was warm and humid. We enjoyed meeting Tony and seeing this year’s versions of beaches, trees, the maze, and more. We stopped at a shady spot in Franklin’s Garden, when we caught up with Nilla, and enjoyed our picnic lunches and treats. Then walked some more. Ending up on the boardwalk, as usual, we finally made it to Tony’s beautiful backyard for a refreshing cup of tea (and surprise home-made cookies!). Thanks, Tony, for being such great Island company, and a lovely host, too.

The Islands are looking beautiful right now, so if you haven’t had a chance to visit this summer, after all the flooding receded, and changes to the shoreline… go now. Check the revised fall ferry schedule and prepare for a lovely green retreat. We spent most of the day there. Enjoyed every minute!

Check out the photos for some of what we saw:

Click any photo to switch to carousel slide-viewer (pix are larger and captions easier to read). If you’re a WestWalker and want full-size versions of any photos, let me know.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, September 24, 2017
:

A special trip! We will catch a ParkBus vehicle at 30 CARLTON STREET, just EAST OF YONGE, at 8:30 a.m.

Yep, that’s early!

We’re going to Rouge National Urban Park, the northern section. Intrigued? So am I!

If you’ll join us, you can meet us at the departure point (30 Carlton Street). Plan to arrive a few minutes before 8:30 departure, so they (and we) know you’re present.

OR, meet at the West End Y, very early! I’ll be at the Y and ready to leave promptly at 7:20 a.m. We will depart immediately, to catch our streetcar on Dundas. If you’re slightly late, no worries – but please text me and confer! We’ll decide how you can meet us as quickly as possible.

Please reserve your bus spot. Go HERE and do that, right now. 🙂 We don’t want to leave you behind, if you can join us!

– Choose Sunday, September 24 for both departure and return.

– Opt for 8:30 a.m. depart and 2:30 p.m. return.

– They will request a credit card/refundable $5.00 deposit. If you show up for your reserved seat, you do not pay. This is a special 150 Celebration summer/fall arrangement between ParkBus and Parks Canada. A nice treat.

We need TTC fare, to get over to Yonge Street (and back, later).

Bring usual summer necessities, as it may be quite hot. Since we will be in a field and forest area, I suggest long pants, shoes/boots and socks! Avoiding ticks and mosquitoes? Good plan! No sandals or bare ankles!

Bring a PICNIC LUNCH and a nice full WATER BOTTLE. We’ll have a stop, hopefully somewhere scenic, to enjoy a lunch break before we return. There is nowhere to buy or refill anything, so please don’t forget lunch and water!

Yes, there is a portable, seasonal washroom, in the parking lot. I checked with both ParkBus and Parks Canada and they responded immediately to reassure me of this. Ideal.

This will be a walk unlike any of our others. I hope you’ll join us!

COMING RIGHT UP:

The McMichael Collection, Bluffer’s Park, Montgomery’s Inn (How about that option for next week?), St. James Cemetery, the Don River. Some easy west-end neighbourhood walks, and a couple of east-end walks, too. Lots of new murals and buildings and signal boxes to see, even in our own neighbourhood! It’s been a busy summer

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks. If they are joining us this week… make sure they get their ParkBus reservation, too!

We’ll see you soon for another great walk.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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Canoeing, at last.

This week, back to the ISLANDS!
But first, about last week:

How long have we discussed going for a canoe trip? You know… just a little canoe trip. Well, at last we did it! We had a wonderful morning at the Humber River’s Etienne Brûlé park, seeing exhibits about Toronto’s history and meeting some very interesting Ontario wildlife, and more. Then we school-bused to the Humber River marshes, an easy ten-minute drive away, where we received a mini-course in canoeing safety. Then, off we set.

One of us hadn’t been in a canoe before but, suffice to say, with two (ahem ;-)) very experienced paddlers before and aft, she loved every minute! There were damp feet, bums and knees, but we didn’t tip! It was a glorious, sunny day. And lots of fun! We took a few photos to share, too.

(** Yes, website photo capacity issue… resolved! I’ll work on it for a while. Eventually, I’ll replace all posted pictures with smaller files, to make room for more. Let me know if you notice any issues due to this massive revision. **)

Have a look at our morning. And my early afternoon:

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, September 17, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00. Check weather and be prepared. Bring a water bottle and a great little picnic for yourself, because… we’re going back to the Islands! We’ll take TTC and the ferry. You can pre-purchase your ferry ticket online, if you wish, to avoid the lineup. (You need a credit card to do that. Ticket is good for any return trip until 31 December.)

We’ll wander Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island and over to the boardwalk and Ward’s Island (maybe Snake and Algonquin Islands, too). If there are spots you’d enjoy, let me know. We’ll choose somewhere scenic for a lunch-break around mid-day, and then keep walking. Skylar requests a tea-visit to (Ward’s) Island Café, when we’ve all had enough. That sounds great.

Departure from the Islands will be flexible. To discuss, en route, in case you need an early return ferry.

Grass and trees are green and so many things are still in bloom. Let’s get over there and enjoy the beautiful retreat of summer.

And, NEXT WEEK, a little advanced planning needed!

I hope we will hike in the north part of the Rouge National Urban Park! (northeast of Markham and Steeles)

Just wanted to give plenty of notice, but for now, let’s consider this a maybe! Read on, and you’ll see why.

Once again, you’ll need:
transit fare to get to the early morning pickup
– a reservation made online with PARKBUS
  ($5.00 credit card charge, refunded if you show up!)
(DON’T RESERVE YET, until we confirm the times. etc.!)

– AND water and a satisfying picnic lunch.

The challenge may be: no washrooms! I sent PARKBUS a message about that section of the park, and hope to hear soon. If that turns out to be the case, we’ll have a couple of options. One of which is just to go anyway, and make it a much shorter trip! (Yikes! Believe me, I’m just kidding!) Let’s talk about this on our Island walk. If I have game-changing info in the next day or two, I will send you an email confirming that you should book your bus spot, pronto, IF YOU EMAIL ME or COMMENT ON THIS POST, please! (I don’t want to re-contact the whole gang… only walkers who are considering joining us on that day, Sunday, September 24th. Thanks!)

If the plan doesn’t seem appropriate, we have lots of other ideas, no fear! And your suggestions are most welcome.

COMING RIGHT UP:

What about visiting The McMichael Collection, in Kleinburg? Let’s talk about this. There’s a cost. But there’s also a reasonable bus-trip from downtown TO. We’d each bring a picnic and enjoy a couple of the exhibitions and a walk on the trails, too. It’s a day-long commitment (leave the Y at 9:30, bus to Kleinburg at 10:30, leave McMichael for downtown at 4:30… ). This would be wonderful. Please let me know your thoughts. (The bus trip runs all summer, until October, and people would need to book in advance, to be sure of a seat.)

A trip to Bluffer’s Park? Let’s do it! Also: in a few weeks, afternoon tea at Montgomery’s Inn. Then, let’s explore St. James Cemetery for beautiful carvings, historical names and shady trees. Colour-change along the Don River there is very special. Yes, some easy west-end neighbourhood walks, too. Believe it or not, there are lots of new murals and buildings to see!

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks.

We’ll see you soon for another great walk.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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Lanes, gardens, snacks and a fair

A big adventure!
But first, about last week:

Three of us set out to re-view Butterflyway Lane. Now complete, the garage murals representing pollinators are a true delight. We saw them in progress, and were eager to see the results. We weren’t disappointed!

We continued our northerly walk past homes and end-of-summer gardens, through lanes and lovely streets. We saw a treehouse, the largest willow tree ever grown (maybe!) and more. Then we shared a tasty brunch at Zaza. Yeah, I know that wasn’t planned! But it turned out to be an excellent idea. Pretty patio, good conversation.

Two of us returned south on foot and encountered more murals, and a surprise Filipino community fair, at the Wychwood Art Barns. What an adventure! Then, a trip to Fiesta Farms for two of the largest cauliflowers ever grown… (or, at least, ever carried in a backpack!), and then over to Fiesta Gardens to consider fall plantings.

What a great morning.

Photos may follow, but not tonight! I’ve been downsizing (thousands of) past images, still with no effect on the capacity. May have to try another method! Stay tuned. Meanwhile…

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, September 10, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at the usual time of 9:00. We’ll leave promptly and take TTC to the Humber River. That’s right – I wasn’t kidding: we’re going canoeing! Now, if you don’t feel up to that, no pressure. You’ll still have a wonderful walk and look-about. The city’s MomenTO events will be celebrating the history of the area and there will be suggested trails, displays and more. Canoeing will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so we’ll arrive and sign up, and then perhaps walk a bit to see Mike Ormsby’s birch bark canoe-building demonstration. (It will be nice to see Mike again!) Or just enjoy the park.

Wear layers, sunscreen, maybe bring hat and light gloves? Safety equipment will be provided for canoeing. Some guidance, too! Once we have canoes, we’ll have half an hour on the Humber which, on a cool fall morning, may be just the right amount!

You know we’ve been talking about doing this for a few years… and finally the right moment has arrived. The right moment may require a bit of patience (let’s hope thousands of eager paddlers don’t get there before us!), but this is going to be a blast. Please join us!

COMING RIGHT UP:
The Island: NEXT week.
Bluffer’s Park: in OCTOBER.
Montgomery’s Inn for afternoon tea: some COOL FALL DAY!
St. James Cemetery to explore and remember…

And I’ll repeat this part: please save the day (yes, the entire day) of Sunday 24 September for a bus trip to the Rouge National Urban Park. We’ll do some forest and river’s edge hiking to see some of the region’s beautiful hills and valleys. And maybe even a little changing colour? I’ll share info about that soon, as we should each reserve our spots on the bus shortly. (It’s free, but you will need a credit card to make a refundable deposit, when you book your spot, online.) Stay tuned for details.

Feel free to bring a friend along to share any of our walks.

See you soon for another great Sunday morning. Thanks for helping make the summer so much fun! Plenty of fall walks ahead.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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We Know What Victor is Up To!

We need another short walk!
But first, about last week:

Last year, we enjoyed Kensington Pedestrian Sundays more than once! We admit: it might have been the Thomas Lavers special lobster rolls and their fresh brewed ginger beer! Well, those two things are gone (as is that delightful purveyor of things delicious). But we went back and enjoyed our wander around the market just as much. We walked over, in sunshine, and found the event just getting started. We spotted new and old shops, new and old murals, some delightful pottery and paintings in the Art Fair, and more. One little surprise: we discovered that Victor Fraser (whatsvictorupto) is also a mirrored street performer! Wish I’d taken a photo of that! But I did snap him getting ready to start the day, after painting a nifty new laneway sidewalk mural.

We enjoyed looking around, and then suddenly all agreed that we were famished! Just before noon, Torteria San Cosme provided delicious Mexican sandwich satisfaction for an early lunch! Enjoyed the walk home, and even spotted a couple more of Victor’s works! I didn’t take quite enough photos, this time. But have a look at some of our walk:

About our photo content: I’m using smaller files, but still running out of room. I plan to revise some of the older image files to make space for new stuff. But this time, I only had enough room left for seven of ten pix! I’ll keep you posted, so to speak! 😉

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, September 03, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at the usual time 9:00. We need another “short” neighbourhood walk, as we have a few longer walks coming right up! So where shall we walk, this time? I suggest we just head out and admire whatever we find. Let’s walk north, and decide about turning when we feel like it. Or when we see something interesting in the distance. Sound good? I think it will be fun! It looks like a nice weekend, but check the forecast in case an umbrella would be useful.

COMING RIGHT UP:

The McMichael Collection, in Kleinburg.
The Island!
Bluffer’s Park.
Montgomery’s Inn.
St. James Cemetery.

Shall we go canoeing on the Humber River? The only date for that event (a free Canada 150 event) is September 10, when I had thought we might go to the Island! And that’s the weekend of the Cabbagetown Festival. So… great walking and adventure options are kind of piling up! Because we’ve never done it before, I’ll advocate for the Humber. I hope you like that idea! More on that, shortly.

Then, save the day (yes, the entire day) of Sunday 24 September for a bus trip to the Rouge National Urban Park. We’ll do some real hiking and enjoy a beautiful day. I’ll share info about that soon, as we should reserve our spots on the bus soon. (And yes, it’s free, but you will need a credit card to make a refundable deposit, when you book your spot, online.) Stay tuned for details about all of this.

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks.

We’ll see you soon for another great Sunday morning. Thanks for helping make the summer so much fun! Plenty of fall walks ahead.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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