Posts Tagged ‘ravine’

below: M is for Mural and probably more.  One of the pieces of street art and graffiti seed under Spadina Road as it crosses Nordheimer Ravine.

street art and graffiti on a concrete support of a bridge, old woman's head and face and lots of names - Alex, Sam, Becca, Faith, tall grass and shrubs growing around it

below: A closer view with God & Love and many little hearts.

close up of old woman in mural, words god and love are written above her, some symbols beside her, lots of little hearts

below: A little black and white dog stands beside another part of the bridge

a small black and white dog stands beside graffiti on the bottom part of a bridge support. triangle headed man holding a big question mark, the word vice, a man with red head band and red bandana over lower part of face,

below: Black Lives Matter mural under the bridge with the now iconic phrases of “I can’t breathe” and “No Justice, No Peace”.
BLM mural on bridge supports, I can't breath, no justice, no peace are words painted on it, also a wall full of names of those who have died

below: A closer view showing some of the names that are painted on the wall.

below: Home to someone, surrounded by graffiti – including “You are what you give others”

tent and belongings of a homeless man under a bridge surrounded by tags and other graffiti

a man in blue top and shorts runs on a path under a bridge ,  support of bridge has graffiti on it, large red s and b on blue background

below: Some of the stickers seen in the area – an S333 red ring pop and Lucha graffiti. Life© takes first place with trp613 in second, and Bruho coming in third.  Another Bruho character tries to escape the computer monitor with red and blue Kizmet32 faces right below.  Every Knows Us as a man in a gas mask.

3 poles with stickers on them

below: A mouse and a lost creature

stickers on pole, one of a mouse, and other with word lost

graffiti on the concrete supports of a bridge

below: Black and white photos with Chinese lettering make up this paper paste-up

paper paste up graffiti on a concrete pole with chinese lettering and black and white photos on it, orange and blue spray paint beside the paste up

below: Pink and white text

pink and white tag graffiti, text, calligraphy, on dark green background on lower part of concrete bridge support

woman walking on path in ravine park, with graffiti on wall behind her

As you probably know, Toronto is full of creeks, ravines, and trails. Most of the creeks are tributaries of the Humber, Don, or Rouge River. This week’s adventure was along the Don River starting at the south end of the Betty Sutherland Trail. The north part of this trail begins at Leslie and Sheppard, just behind North York General Hospital (where parking is difficult).  Even though early April is still brown and grey, there is always something to see.

below: Don River

Don River in early spring

below: Pussy willows – One of the first signs of spring

pussy willows in spring

below: As I walked along the trail, I encountered this guy. He started getting agitated as I got close to the the river, but there was a photo that I was after…..

a male mallard duck standing on the bank of a creek with back to photographer but turning head to look behind

below: I had spotted colours through the browns and greys of the trees… graffiti covered ruins on the other side of the river.

colorful graffiti on an old stone structure whose roof has collapsed, as seen from across a creek, with trees in the way, no leaves because April, too early in the spring

Of course I found my way across the river to explore them in more detail!

below: When I went looking online for information about this structure, I came across a blog post in Scenes from a City from 2013. It’s hard to see, but some of the graffiti remains unchanged 8 years later.

below: And right behind me I discovered a tunnel entrance built into the hillside

below: It was very dark inside so the quality of these photos is questionable, but I thought that the old rusty control boxes looked fascinating. How long have they been here?

The Betty Sutherland trail ends at Duncan Mill Road. I was trying to get as far south as possible, so rather than go up to street level, I went under Duncan Mill Road where my map showed that there was more green space.

below: Wishes were written on pieces of paper, folded, and tied to a tree with pink yarn.

pieces of white paper tied to small branches of a small tree with pink yarn

below: The tangled roots of a dead tree lie beside the Don River just south of Duncan Mill Road.

a large piece of driftwood from the roots of a large tree in the foreground with a river, trees, and an apartment building in the background

below: Blue and yellow rocks

many small stones painted blue and some painted yellow, on the ground, with weeds starting to grow up among them

below: It wouldn’t be a walk without a (or several!) used mask lying around but this one is cuter than most.

a pink covid mask lies on the ground, on top of dead leaves.  The mask has a picture of a peach on it.

below: Oh Oh

below: Bracket, or shelf, fungi on a dead tree trunk

below: Playing fields alongside Moatfield

Green space, playing field, beside a road with office buildings on it

below: Looking east towards Graydon Hall

playing field with soccer goal, apartment buildings of Graydon Hall in the background.

below: Now we are off the beaten track. That’s Don Mills Road with some graffiti on a pillar that beckons me forward. A few trees have been planted here but maintenance may be sporadic.

below: under the bridge
close up of a discarded can of spray paint lying on the ground.  Graffiti under a bridge is in the background but out of focus.

under a bridge over the Don River with graffiti on the concrete, metal girders overhead, water in the river

below: There was no problem getting under the bridge, but around the corner was an unexpected surprise – This appears to be the end of the line. Yes, it was green space but my map didn’t warn me that it was private! I didn’t have golf clubs with me so I wasn’t sure if I could sneak or bluff my way through – plus my car was behind me so it wasn’t worth the trouble to try.

sign saying private property no trespassing at the edge of a golf course, Donalda Golf course

blog_betty_sutherland_trail

“Betty Sutherland served thirteen years as an elected representative on North York Council until her retirement from politics in 1985. From 1979 to 1985, Mrs. Sutherland was a member of Metropolitan Toronto Council and the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Devoted to the improvement of recreational opportunities for citizens and visitors, Mrs. Sutherland was Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto Parks, Recreation, and Property Committee from 1982 to 1985 and a member of the Authority’s Don Valley Advisory Board from 1981 to 1984. The naming of this trail is a symbol of the significant contribution she made to Metropolitan Toronto’s regional parks.

Back in the early spring of 2019, I wrote about accessing the East Don path from Moccasin Trail.

below: Last week, the view from the east side of the tunnel under the DVP leading to Moccasin Trail Park.

semi circular arch and tunnel under the DVP from the East Don trail, autumn with fall colours on the trees, paved path, grass beside,

Now, in a different year and a different season, I have explored more of that trail starting at the north end, near Lawrence Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway (DVP). Originally, Lawrence Avenue curved south down the east side of the ravine before it crossed the Don River. The remains of part of that road provide access to the East Don path at Charles Sauriol Conservation Area. Sauriol (1904-1995) was a Canadian naturalist who played a leading role in conserving many natural areas in the province including the Don Valley.

Here, the Alexander Milne family first settled in 1832. Over time, a woolen mill and a sawmill were built, other families moved in, and the village of Milneford Mills was born; it thrived until the early 1900’s. The old woolen mill remained derelict until it was demolished in 1946. Between Hurricane Hazel floods in 1954, and the expropriation of land to make way for the DVP construction, most traces of the village have disappeared.

below: All that remains is one house. It’s been behind chainlink and “under renovation” for MANY years. When I went searching for any kind of story about this house, I discovered a blog post from 2011 about Charles Sauriol Park and the house was fenced in then. Apparently it was covered in graffiti back in 2008/9. I’m not sure that Mr. Sauriol would be impressed.

old white house, built 1878, now in park, with metal fence around it because of renovations, autumn, with trees in golds and oranges

autumn colours in the leaves on the trees, oranges and golds, and some red sumach

below: The Rainbow Bridge from the north side.

the rainbow bridge on the east don trail, a semi circle arch tunnel painted like a rainbow

below: The trail passes underneath the Canadian Pacific (CP) tracks.

a man walks his dog along the path through the Don River ravine, autumn trees, and the path goes under the tall CN railway bridge with its metal girders

below: Footings for the CP bridge

concrete footings on a metal railway bridge over the Don River

below: As the trail crosses land owned by CP Rail, it is covered by a metal frame canopy. It’s difficult to see in this photo but there is a series of small laser-cut metal artworks between the grey railings. The whole structure is “A Walk in the Woods” and it is the creation of both Robert Sprachman and Arnaud Boutle.

a metal canopy over a path and under a metal railway bridge

gnarly old dead tree that looks like screaming face

a woman walks along a path at the bottom of a hill. the hill is covered with leaves that have fallen off the tall trees

2 people walk on the sandy river bank on the side of the Don River, autumn with leaves in different shades of red and gold

below: Farther down the trail is another railway bridge. This is the same line that goes north to Oriole GO station and beyond. The scaffolding under the bridge is for the construction of another canopy similar to one under the CP bridge (above) as well as an art installation.

workmen on a railway bridge

below: Part of art installation “High Water Mark” by Robert Sprachman that is almost complete. There are 15 rocks each with a year on them. The height of the rock on a metal pole represents the height of the flood water on the Don River that year (but is not an exact height). There are four rocks in this picture and from left to right are 1926, 1934, 1942, and obscured (the last is behind the wood. Ooops).

Artwork called High Water Mark, rocks at levels that match the flood levels of different years, on metal poles by a bridge beside the Don River

below: Oak leaves

leaves on a small oak tree have turned a rusty red colour around the edges

below: Backs of houses overlooking the park

a white house up on a hill behind autumn trees that are starting to lose their leaves

below: A chickadee holding onto a dead flower as it eats the seeds.

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

below: Fish. Yes there are fish in the Don River, about 21 species apparently. This one, salmon?, although large is unfortunately also dead. Over the past 30 years the Don River has received a lot of TLC which has helped to reduce the level of industrial pollution as well as the amount of litter and trash found along the banks.

a large dead fish has washed up onto the sandy shore of the Don River

below: We were told “It’s not the best time” when we asked if we could continue on the trail. South of here the trail is a construction zone. Eventually (soon? I may have visited a little too soon?) the path will join with those farther south so that there will be a continuous trail from Lawrence to the lake. In the meantime, this is Wynford. You can exit here, or retrace your steps back to Lawrence. Next time!

two people with their backs to the camera stand on a path and watch a digger in front of them, there is a bridge over the creek ahead and workmen have parked their truck on the bridge, autumn colours in the trees around them.

path through the woods, autumn

three dried berries on a shrub with one red leaf, autumn

The other day I was near Yonge and Sheppard when I found myself with some extra time so I decided to drive around the nearby neighbourhood where I once lived.  A little trip down memory lane along with something new.

below: On Florence Ave looking northeast across Yonge Street.

at the intersection of Yonge and Franklin in North York, older houses on Yonge street that are now businesses, with large new condo buildings behind

I discovered that the little house where my family lived when I was grades 4 and 5 is still there and is one of only a few that haven’t been replaced or enlarged (no photos!).  Continuing on my tour, I passed the local school, Cameron Avenue P.S., before I thought that I would take a look at Gwendolen Park.  I have vague memories of it but it was just far enough away from home that we didn’t go there often.

Gwendolen Park sign with tennis courts in the background
park with exercise equipment and large trees

Southeast from Gwendolen Park there is a path through the ravine that is well worn. It passes among some of the tallest trees I have seen in the city – maples, oaks, and others.  It is darker than most ravine walks.  It is also quieter.  I didn’t encounter any one else while I was in the woods.

dirt path in the woods, with many large trees with exposed root systems

3 tall trees that have fallen beside a ravine path

below: A tiny little bird house with a brown plastic beetle.

a very small bird house with a bronw plastic insect glued onto the side, hanging from a large tree

a lean to built in a ravine off many fallen branches

below: At the bottom of the hill is Don Valley Golf Course.  The bridge in this photo is the 401 jst west of Yonge Street.  I was trying to figure out the best route to the bridge but I happened by this spot at the same time as the course marshal.  He kicked me out.

Don Valley golf course from the north end, looking towards the 401 bridge over the valley

Getting to the bridge was not an important goal but when someone tells me I can`t do something I feel that I have to try to find a way to do it.  Google maps shows this space as green but there is no differentiation between golf course and park.  I tried bushwhacking my way around the edge but I couldn`t find an easy enough way to make it worth my time.  So I retraced my steps…. but not before finding a souvenir of the day.

hand holding a taylor made 3 golf ball

large old dead tree trunk in forest

large gnarled tree roots exposed on a path

Don Valley Golf Course from up the hill near Gwendolen Park.  September has only started and already there are some colours appearing on the trees.

big willow tree and other trees, some just starting to turn to autumn colours, on Don Valley golf course from the hill on the north side of the course

below: Cliff by the park

cliff and trees at Gwendolen Park

below: Part of the path passes behind the tennis courts.

looking through the netting around a tennis court

below: Luckily there is a hole in the fence otherwise it`s a steep drop to the left!

hole in the chain link fence along the path behind the tennis courts at Gwendolen Park

below: The path continues to the northwest but a few drops of rain persuaded me to return to the park where my car was waiting.  Earl Bales Park is the next green space along the path although I am not sure if there is access.   Another day’s adventure.

large old trees with green leaves

below: This cat loves Mondays.

street art on the back of a blue metal sign, a yellow cat head and the words I Mondays, with a red heart between I and Monday, therefore I love Mondays

below: Perhaps I’ll follow the sign to the North Pole for my next walk?  Oh oh – I think that it says 4800 (kms? miles?) so maybe not…..

at an intersection, Radine and Franklin, someone has nailed a sign saying north pole onto the utility pole

St. Clair Ave East passes over a ravine just east of Yonge St. 

a view of the bridge from a path in the ravine from a short distance away.  It is winter so there is some snow and ice on the path and the trees have no leaves.

Looking south towards St. Clair

The Yellow Creek flows through this ravine.
To the north, the creek is underground until the south side of Mount Pleasant cemetery. 

A view under the bridge, looking from one side to the other across a creek.  The curved metal supports under the bridge are visible.  There is snow on the ground but the creek is not frozen.

The ground was slippery and the water in the creek was flowing quickly. 
  In other words, I didn’t cross over to the other side of the bridge.

At some point in the past year the graffiti that was under this bridge must have been “cleaned up”.  Since then, new tags have appeared.
Whether they are an improvement over what was there previously is a matter of opinion.

looking up towards the top of a bridge from a path along the ravine below.  two concrete supports are visible as well as part of the road way across the top of the bridge.  There is a graffiti tag on one of the supports.

southwest corner of the bridge

Two colourful tags on a concrete bridge support, each one is on a different side of the support

SORT and BEGIN

Graffiti tags under a bridge

Graffiti tags under a bridge