Tommy Thompson Park Trail (Leslie Spit)

Once you reach the end of the trail at Lakeshore you can turn eastbound on the trail towards the Martin Goodman trail or you can veer right at Leslie street and follow the road straight down to the end.  There  you will see the opening to the Tommy Thompson Park Trail (or the "Leslie Spit as Torontonians call it). 

Who ever thought garbage could look so good? The Tommy Thompson Park Trail is a landfill site.  It is flourishing with an abundance of wild flowers and grassland covering what appears like rolling hills and valleys.  It is surrounded by the beautiful Lake Ontario.  As you can see the trail has a lot of beautiful scenery and there are many off road paths that take you to the waters edge.  Many secluded spots for exploring or having a lunch break.

At the peak of the 'spit' you will see an old lighthouse, called the 'Vicki Keith Point Lighthouse'.  (named after the Canadian swimmer, who swam across all 5 great lakes for charity in 1988).

The Tommy Thompson Park trail is open for cyclists, joggers, walkers, roller-bladers, and boaters on weekends and holidays.  During the week, it is bustling with dump trucks offloading and extending the park further.

I couldn't believe the number of birds that I saw, until I read up later and found out that the park is through one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Ontario. 

I love it here, next time I 'll come back with a pen and paper and just write. It's very peaceful and secluded and there's just so much you can take in and leave with.  

I remember when I was a little girl, my grandmother told me that she had been all around the world 4 times after my grandfather died.  She told me that Toronto was the most beautiful city in the world. I look back at all the trails and parks that I have been through in the past 5 months.  I honestly can't believe how much nature surround us 5 million people here.  

Lower Don Trail

Taylor Creek/Charles Sauriol branch
Enter Lower Don Trail
Taylor Creek begins branching off at the Charles Sauroil Conservation Reserve Parking lot (Don Mills southbound/DVP). If you pass over the white bridge you can head to north Toronto through the E.T. Seton Park, and Wilket Creek and end up at Edwards Gardens.  The aternative is to head south and accompany the Don River to the Lakeshore. 

Cement pants!
The first thing you may notice on the trail, is what a lot of Torontonians consider to be a bit of an eyesore.  It is an elevated man-made concrete wetlands sculpture known as “The Teeth”, but they look more like a pair of cement pants ! 

Pottery Road Crossing
Pottery Rd crossing

Trail sights
Leaside Bridge
As you continue on the trail you will have to cross Pottery Road.  I have no idea what they are working on right now, but it is a mess with construction, CATs, gravel and broken lanes.  They have a portion of the path fenced off for trucks and I am really hoping they don't plan on allowing vehicles down into the Valley but I guess I haven't been asking the right questions to the right people.  Once you pass Pottery road, you will continue southbound under the Leaside Bridge (Toronto's alternative "suicide bridge" to the Prince Edward Viaduct (or the 'Bloor Viaduct").  They erected a "luminous veil" which costs millions of dollars to prevent people from jumping 
Lower Don Valleywoods
to their deaths.  The only thing it did do was to cause more people to commit suicide in alternative ways or places.  (I will be covering the "suicide bridge" in greater depth in another post on my blog.)

Prince Edward Viaduct (aka "Bloor" Viaduct)
Further southbound you will see the Prince Edward Viaduct bridge.  I wanted to show you the inner structures of this brilliantly built bridge.  A lot of men lost their lives in the construction of the bridge before it was fully erected. It's really an amazing structure!

You will soon pass under Queen Street (there is a pedestrian bridge above if you want to get off the trail and carry your bike up the stairs to check out the "The Beaches" . The now defunct Eastern Avenue bridge (circa1933).

The defunct Eastern Avenue Bridge (1933)
The old Unilever brothers soap factory has been shut down due to bankruptcy since 2009.  It was a 120 year old factory and ended with a 12 million dollar debt.  Future plans still unknown.  The shut down hasn't seemed to have affected the wildlife around.

Unilever Factory and Lakeshore bridge (east/west trails)
Just up and over the hill and you are at the intersection of Lakeshore Blvd and Cherry St.  From here you can go eastbound on Lakeshore towards the Martin Goodman Trail (see "Martin Goodman Trail" on this blog) or Tommy Thompson Park ("the Leslie Spit").  Alternatively if turn right you follow the trail westbound towards Queens Quay and the Harbourfront (Waterfront trail). 

Oak Ridges Moraine (Brooklin)

Plenty of wildlife exists in bogs and ponds in Brooklin, Ontario.  Brooklin has become increasingly inhabited by people desiring the suburban life.  It branches on the northern outskirts of Whitby and continues to grow yearly.  Old farmland is being overwrought by housing developments and new construction of shopping malls and food stores.

Luckily Brooklin is part of the Oak Ridges Moraine which thrives and is protected by the Conservation protection act in 2001.  Here's a few pictures of a frog we caught, and a dragonfly which took me about a half hour to land the perfect shot :)

Martin Goodman Trail

The Martin Goodman Trail is a multi-use trail with a two way bike path, a walking path, and many hidden trail paths that venture into wooded areas. Walking westward on the boardwalk which runs east and west parallel to Queen Street, you will eventually find yourself with a choice between northbound to Lakeshore Avenue or continue southwest onto the Martin Goodman Trail.  It is all part of the Ashbridges Bay Park.  There are plenty of boat docks, and fishing areas around here as well.

At sunset you can see the breathtaking view of Toronto's skyline and Lake Ontario.  There are access points along the beach specific to the swimmer, the wader and the explorer.  A bird sanctuary houses many trees with birds of varied species.  I happened upon a baby cardinal, but unfortunately it grew way too dark to take any decent photos of them.

Just another trail in Toronto to explore!  It really satisfies enough of the balance of nature, that it isn't really necessary to travel up north to be a part of it all.  The trail extends about 20 km, from the Humber River in the west to Beaches Park in the east and connects to the Don River Trail.

Martin Goodman makes up part of the Waterfront Trail, which extends 900 kilometres from Niagara -on-the-Lake to the Quebec border, along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. (Parts of the trail have yet to be joined with each other.)

Annual Pride Toronto Parade

Every year Toronto's Yonge Street is all abuzz with "Pride Toronto Parade" usually the first Sunday in July 3. 

The parade starts from College Street and runs south to Dundas Street before heading west.

There are record breaking crowds that expand more and more every year since it's inception.  It's definitely once in a lifetime (at least!) for the music, colours, vibrance and joy it's really something to be a part of.

Costumes are all hand-crafted and are tasteful, there's lots of tongue in cheek humour which the crowd loves.  It's good to see people embracing differences and it's really what makes Toronto a favourite among celebrities and a truly 'rockin' town. 

We are multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-lingual, and Pride shows us that we also welcome multi-sexual, transgenders...whatever! We are all just people doing our own thing! It was loads of fun and the music was great!

There's been a lot of controversy over the years, from mayors heading to the cottage instead of attending, to Black Lives Matters making their political issues a part of the pride parade to the total ban of Police officers in the event.  Not sure what will happen this year! I say let's keep it the fun and accepting event it was meant to be.