Posts Tagged ‘Iroquois’

 

paved path through a park, grass on both sides, on the pavement is a large white arrow, hand drawn with white spray paint

I went east this afternoon, out to the boondocks. Whenever I think of the word ‘boondock’, I hear it sung to music. Billy Joe Royal sang the song ‘Down in the Boondocks” in 1965 (You can find it on youtube).   Boondock is one of the few words that English has borrowed from Tagalog where bundok = mountain.  Yo-yo is another.   I don’t mean to be derogatory but when you’re battling Toronto traffic, Bellamy and Lawrence seems like a long, long way.

I drove but as I subsequently walked along Lawrence Ave., I wondered about buses and public transit and all the talk about a subway to Scarborough.   The Sheppard East LRT will service Scarborough to the north of here but has it even been started yet?    For now there is the Lawrence West station on the Scarborough RT but there is also talk of replacing the Scarborough RT line – that plan is still on the Metrolinx website but does anyone know what’s really happening?

looking across the street to a bus shelter that is in front of a strip mall with cars parked in front of the stores

two large utility poles side by side beside a sidewalk and a bus shelter. Two people waiting for a bus

Perhaps you’ve been asking yourself, why Bellamy and Lawrence?  Recently I had heard about Taber Hill Park and a rock that sits on top of a hill.

a large rock wits on a stone and concrete platform on the top of a grassy hill, Taber Hill memorial

The plaque reads: “TABER HILL site of an ancient Indian ossuary of the Iroquois Nation, burials were made about 1250 A.D. This ossuary was uncovered when farm lands were developed into residential properties in 1956. This common grave contains the remains of approximately 472 persons. Dedicated as a historical site by the Township of Scarborough October 21, 1961.

below: You can even see the CN Tower from the top of the hill.

view from the top of a hill, street, houses, trees, and the CN Tower in the far distance

After Taber Hill I walked to Bendale Park which is just a bit west of Bellamy.

One of the first things that I saw in Bendale Park was a mural by elicser. It is on the walls of the bridge where Lawrence Avenue passes over the West Highland Creek. The mural is beside the path under the bridge. A better angle for a photo of the whole mural would have been from the other side of the creek but I couldn’t find any access – and I wasn’t about to take off my shoes and go wading!  Instead, here are four pictures of parts of the mural.

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a man in a white t-shirt sitting beside a tree

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., an older man in a red shirt with a white beard and moustache, beside him is a girl reading (in the mural)

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a young couple, she has a pink flower in her hair

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a couple, she has long braids

Bendale Park merges with Thomson Memorial Park.  Immediately north of these parks is St. Andrews Bendale Presbyterian church (that I have mentioned in a previous blog post – see link).  This is one of the first areas of Scarborough to be settled; the original St. Andrews Church was built in 1818.

below: Lilac bush in bloom. Lilacs are not native to Canada and they don’t grow in the wild. If you see a lilac bush in places like this, or along the road, chances are someone once had a home here and they planted the lilac.

lilac bush

below: Another pink flower found in abundance in the ravines at this time of year is this one, Dame’s Rocket, or Hesperis matronalis.    There is also a white variety

pink wild flowers

small word path through long grass and between large leafy trees

below: Passing through here is the Gatineau Corridor which is a bike trail ….

bike trail direction signs, Gatineau Corridor, right turn to McCowan Ave and left turn to Brimley Rd

well, actually it is a hydro corridor which runs diagonally through the city from Leaside in the west to  Meadowvale and beyond in the east.  In the late 1920’s the Great Gatineau Power Station was built in Leaside as a transformer station to enable the city to use electricity generated in Quebec and delivered via this corridor to provide power to the city.  There is still a hydro substation at Millwood and Overlea (in Leaside)

This corridor is being turned into a park called the Meadoway.   Sections of the park and bike trail are finished including this part between Brimley and McCowan.  When it’s finished, this linear park will be 16 km long and will connect the Lower Don Trail to trails in Rouge Park at the city’s eastern boundary.

three very tall hydro poles with many electrical wires, in a park, man walking on path near them

below: Reflections in the West Highland Creek

reflections of green leaves and blue sky in water

below: I saw quite a few red wing blackbirds, especially around the bulrushes and reeds in the wetter places in the park.

a red wing blackbird sits on a branch

below: The last time I walked I saw a McLaren (next blog post), today it was these flashy bright gold things!

a red van parked beside a silver coloured car with bright gold coloured wheel rims

below: More car stuff, but this time it’s my car as I was driving home.

view out the passenger window of a car, of a large flatbed truck loaded with lumber, in the side mirror of the car is the reflection of a TTC bus

signoutside St. Rose de Lima Roman Catholic Church advertising Vietnamese Mass on Sunday afternoons

… but I’ll be back. There is a lot more to this part of the city that I want to explore, including this mosque just east of Midland Avenue.

a mosque

***

 

On the back of the rock on Taber Hill is another plaque which reads:

IROQUOIS PRAYER
O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to all the world, Hear me.
I am a man before you, one of your many children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets. Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may know the things that you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength O Creator, not to be superior to my brothers but to be able to fight my creators enemies myself. Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eye so that when life fades as the setting sunset my spirit may come to you without shame.
credit: White Cloud, Approved by Iroquois Council 2-2-60.