Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Walk In The Woods

Once again, it all came down to momentum. Most of my really good walks take place after I get off the streetcar on my way home from work, and this time was no different.I just felt like walking. I had no plan, no destination picked out, so because I was facing east when I got off the streetcar, that was the way I went. I walked along Queen St. until I got to Glen Manor Drive. One of the best things about Glen Manor, besides being in a fairly swanky neighbourhood, is that there is a series of parks and nature trails leading from Queen St. all the way north to Kingston Rd. This is where I headed.As I walked up the path, I was struck by how quiet is was. Here I was, not a hundred feet from the bustle of Queen St., and all I could hear were birds and the barking of a few dogs.Having passed through the first little park, I crossed Glen Manor Drive, and walked up into the second park, which among other things is apparently a very popular dog park, as there were several people out with their canine companions running around (the dogs that is) and enjoying the late afternoon sun. Halfway up is my favourite feature of this particular park - the wooden foot bridge. There is really nothing special about this bridge, but as a child I remember thinking that it was so cool to see something like this smack in the middle of an otherwise bustling urban neighbourhood. Of course, I didn't phrase it in my mind quite like that at the time. It was more like, "Cool... a wooden bridge...".On through park number two, and I arrived at the most interesting part of this trek; the nature trail. This is less of a park, and more of a path through a wooded ravine. When I was in high school, this was a popular spot to come to hang out, or have a smoke, or whatever, with a fair expectation of privacy. I was happy to see that there was a small brook running beside the path, and it actually looked clean and didn't have any crap floating in it. Always a bonus.It had been years since I'd walked through here, and once again I was struck by the sense of stillness and apart-ness from the surrounding city. I could just see the tops of the houses through the trees at the top of each side of the ravine, yet could not hear any street noise.Occasionally, I would pass someone walking their dog, or who was just out for a walk, and we'd nod or say "hi" as we passed, but for the most part, I was alone in the woods. That sounds a lot scarier than I meant it, considering that it was 6:30pm, and still essentially broad daylight. As I crossed the foot bridge, I saw what I can only describe as a gnarly tree. "That tree is totally gnarly" I thought, and so I had to get a picture of it.On my way up and out of the ravine, I stopped to turn around and look back at the path. I stood there at the top of the stairs, and just enjoyed the view. I find it amazing that there are still places like this in the city, when sometimes it seems that undeveloped natural land in the city of Toronto is becoming a thing of the past.


Skeezix said...

So pretty. I love parks in cities, it really does feel surreal to be surrounded by quiet nature when really you are in the middle of a city.

Ian said...

I know what you mean. Although, all of the benches, fences and signage are completely covered with grafitti, which is a little off-putting. Still, it's a nice place to go and just sit.