Tiffany Falls - Hamilton

 The Tiffany Falls, is really a very pretty waterfall.  Its classified as a ribbon waterfall and is 21 metres high.  It's a shame that I didn't catch this beauty right after a rainfall, but instead right in the middle of a heat wave in Ontario.  Tiffany is located in the Tiffany Falls Conservation Area, which is just off Wilson Avenue as you descend the escarpment.  There is a small parking lot off to the side and you see a large sign identifying it as you enter.  

Tiffany Falls is made

up of two waterfalls, the Upper and Lower Falls.  The Lower Falls, cascades 19 metres from a valley above the escarpment and the Upper Falls, is about 6 metres located above.  There are dolostone cliffs on either side, and as you can guess if you are feeling at all adventurous, you will have to climb the rock wall above the Lower Tiffany as seen here, to reach Washboard Falls (Upper Tiffany).  

Most of the waterfalls have typical Bruce trail terrain, with rocks to step over and steep ascents and descents, so even if the flow isn't there, you won't be disappointed with the beauty that's all around you anyways.  Hey with a trail that is 840 km long, you are bound to see a thing or two. 

Historically speaking, Tiffany Falls was named after Dr. Oliver tiffany who was the areas first doctor.  he studied in Massachusetts and came to live in Ancaster in 1796.  you will find this waterfall very accessible as it has a pull off area off of Wilson Avenue in Hamilton.  The route is direct to get to and is nearby Sherman Falls as well (Old Lions club Road).   

  Note: As of October 2, 2016 - No parking zones in affect.

Don Valley Brickworks Park and Moore Park

This is the last segment of the Toronto Beltine Trail on my blog, which features both the Rosedale Beltline and the Kay Gardner beltline. (previous posts).  As you travel east across Moore Avenue from Mount Pleasant you'll see the entrance (or exit) to the Moore Park Ravine and as the the trail shadows the Bayview Extension you will come to the Evergreen Brick Works.  The Milkman's Lane, which was built in the later part of the 19th century is said to have picked up its moniker by serving as a popular route for dairy workers who were transporting the products from the farms of the Don Valley.  The road was officially closed in 1958.

In amongst this part of the belt-line houses a very unique collection of historical building.  The entire works is known as the "Evergreen Brick Works"  I had already planned on taking a closer look here, but had the perfect opportunity during this years', "Doors Open Toronto" Photography festival to take some pictures of these architecturally, historically and socially- significant buildings, which were featured in the festival. 

The Belt-line trail itself was originally built as an 1890's commuter steam railway line.  It had circled the City by going around Union Station and coming up through North Toronto.  If you check out a google map of the trail, you can easily spot the loop. It only began being used as a multi-use trail towards the end of the last century.

Today the Belt-line is so heavily used for hiking, running or what ever is your pleasure that Toronto is seriously in the process of doing a very expensive overhaul to the condition of the trail.  Some of the deterioration occurring are the widening of the trails by almost 6m of the naturalized areas caused by foot and bicycle traffic.  Much of the improvements proposed will be right along the Moore Ravine.  

Historically, the Evergreen Brick Works or also known as the Don Valley Brick Works was created in 1889 by the Taylor brothers.  The brothers (3 in all) had bought this land where their first attempt was establishing a paper mill on it.  They did well and probably would have continued to stay in the paper mill business had it not been for the digging of the post holes to build a fence around the mill.  

While digging the older brother William had noticed some good quality clay in the ground.  He took a sample to a local brick works where they had determined that in fact it was very high quality clay.  It wasn't long after that, the brothers began a quarry at the north end of the site and a brick making plant was built at the south right near the Don River.

It was in operation for nearly 100 years of which that time they provided bricks for some very well known historical buildings like Casa Loma, Osgood Hall, Massey Hall and the Ontario Legislature.  The original factory has closed and today the quarry is converted into a city park.  Here there are naturalized ponds, a youth cultural centre, and a national charity which dedicates itself to building and restoring nature in a city environment.
Milkman's Lane

As for the future of Evergreen Brick Works, everything about Evergreen is here on an informative and event filled website, so I'll just let them to the talking.  Here's what they have to say.

Lasalle Park - Waterfront Trail

Lasalle Park is a section of the Waterfront trail that has been built along LaSalle Park Road..  You can follow this down to the pier to watch the boats and waterfowl.  Pedestrians can walk east along a section at the water's edge.  The trail then curves northeast through the park and rejoins North Shore Blvd.

There is plenty of historical value at Lasalle. The land was bought in 1915 by Hamilton which owns the 57 acre park, but leases it to Burlington.  LaSalle got its name to honour a French explorer, Rene Robert Cavelier de La Salle, who set out from Montreal in 1669 to find a passage to the southern sea.  He landed instead on the shores of Lake Ontario (Burlington Bay). 

In the late spring up until Fall, LaSalle is an active park for boaters, fisherpeople and bird watchers.  For those land lovers, LaSalle has a lovely wide view of the lake and marina from the elevated lookout at the south end of the park.  You will almost always get a chance to see a swan skimming across the water, or some Canada geese floating ashore.  

If you are on bike, you will enjoy a short section of trail that cuts through the north end of LaSalle Park along an asphalt path east and connects with North Shore Blvd.

Ah yes, and the the trail weaves its way along the tree-lined North Shore Blvd. where old estate homes shelter behind field stone walls and picket fences, as beautiful as anything that I've seen before.   

If you take the stairs from the lower portion of LaSalle to the top you will notice a beautiful building called LaSalle Park Pavilion.  It was originally built in 1917 as a dance pavilion.  This now has a heritage designation.  Back in its day the upper ballroom was the sight of big band sounds of Duke Ellinton and Glen Miller.  People used to come by ferry from Hamilton to dance the night away on the hardwood floor.  It was renovated in 1994, and now serves as a Banquet and Meeting Hall.

Bellamy Ravine

The Bellamy ravine flows down from Kingston Road in Scarborough south into the shores of Lake Ontario.  I've written before about the Bellamy Ravine (see Gates of Gully' in this blog).  The official name for the trail is the Doris McCarthy trail in honor of the renowned Canadian painter who occupied the first house on the Scarborough Bluffs, just above this site.

I had mentioned previously about a shipwreck of the Alexandria that sunk at the foot of the beach in 1915. There are very visible pieces of metal left over from the wreck and it is amazing how this remains here in the water after so many years.

I took another photo of the metal sculpture located at the base of the trail called, "Passage" done by Marlene Hilton Moore.  From this angle, it resembles a pair of hands folding (well from a distance anyways).

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Honor of Steve Stavros, former owner Maple Leafs
This post is in follow up to the recent trip through Rosedale Belt-line trail which continued through David Balfour Park.  In that I had indicated you could enter the trail through Mount Pleasant Cemetery from the south.  In the picture below you can see just off Moore Avenue in Toronto, where the entrance is to the belt-line trail to Moore Park Ravine on the north and Mount Pleasant on the south.  I didn't realize that I had been there before, but I began recognizing some of the familiar statues.  

In a minute or two a jogger went by, and then a couple of cyclists had pulled over to hover under an elm tree because of a sudden downpour.     The pictures appear a little moody as was the day they were taken.  Within a span of an hour there was rain, sun, wind and even hail.  I've never seen such a switch like that before, but spring in Ontario can be like that. 

Eaton Mausoleum
Mount Pleasant Cemetery on left, Moore Park on the right
Mount Pleasant Cemetery is situated from Yonge Street in the west to Bayview Avenue in the east and is divided right down the middle by Mount Pleasant Road, hence the name.  It began in 1873 as a 200 acre piece of luscious farmland with rolling hills and 12 kms of carriage drives throughout.   The setting was so unique with its distinct and rare trees and botanical gardens.   What added to its establishment and to its wonderful reputation made it a final resting place for many famous people and the grounds are said to be the most beautiful in the world.  
Royal Air Force
What made this place so special was that it was a resting place for all people.  Not just those of a specific religious denomination.  

Prior to Mount Pleasant Cemetery, believe it or not only people of Roman Catholic church were allowed to be buried within the city limits.  This is what makes the foundation of this place so beautiful.
You will be amazed by the architecture and the ruins and in fact it was designated by the National Historic society as a National Historic site in Canada in 2000.

War Monument
Some of the more famous people on the grounds are people such as Timothy Eaton (Eatons), magnate of Eatons company and Steve Stavro, founder of Knob Hill Farms, and former owner of the Leafs. There are several Mayors of Toronto, Premiers of Ontario, and other politicians like Sir Lyon MacKenzie.  My favorite scientists ever, Banting and Best and several war veterans.  
ewwww.....a worm!
The tree collection has grown into North America's finest arboretums, and with it come the birds and other wildlife, that contribute to it's park-like setting.  I still only get pictures of robins since they are the easiest.  :) Artists have created wonderful monuments and sculptures which you'll see throughout.     An epitaph on a plaque, a statue of strength and a myriad of memories of people of all walks of life.

Cullen Gardens Miniature Village

The Entrance Hall
When my two sons were little, their father and I took them to Cullen Gardens Miniature Village once or twice a year.  

I thought it might be an idea to to see whatever happened to that beautiful and wondrous place known as 'Miniature Village'.  It was a place where little people lived together in a tiny village where everyone seemed to be so happy.  

Even as an adult I was lost in the imaginative world of the miniature people, so I can imagine how it must have been for children.

Entering the village
Some pretty bullrushes
Miniature Village was set in a very adult world of breathtakingly beautiful displays of flowers and gardens.  In the summertime, the lawns were of an deep emerald colour never before seen and the trees were manicured to take on shapes of animals or birds.  I found this on YouTube so thought I'd link it up here.  It shows a lovely display of the gardens back in the the heyday.  Everything was meticulously arranged to create a small town feel in a real world setting.  In a word, it was adorable. 

A beavers doing

Sadly, as children grow up and change, so does the world around them, and we must let go of the old to make room for the new.  So, on January 1, 2006 Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village closed for good.  The land is still accessible and these pictures were taken quite recently.  It is still used by joggers and photographers alike.  Although the property is owned by the Town of Whitby, it is a municipal park for now.  Although the gardens are modestly maintained, it isn't to the extent as it once was under the former owners.  

Mind you, Cullen Gardens was in the business of selling flora, shrubs, and landscaping services; therefore their business was on display as well as their gardens.  The town of Whitby does not have the same purpose.  

a lovely creek
I don't know exactly what will happen with this land, but there are several scenarios.  One is that it may link up with the Heber Downs Conservation Area (this I hope holds true).  If you check it out on a map, it really is the best way to use the land as Heber Downs Conservation area is only a few kilometres north.   

The Lynde House - circa 1812
After a little reading up, I easily found out that May 14, 2013 (no I didn't plan this) is the closing date of the Purchase and Sale Agreement between the Town of Whitby and the Auberge et Spa Le Nordki Inn. (owners: Chelsea, Quebec).  

It appears, much to the dismay of the locals, they have bought 3 hectares of land located on the 34 hectare property formerly owned by the Cullens.  There are still 31 hectares of property left remaining.  The good news (to me) is that the current buildings will be utilized again. I would have preferred to see it as a historical site, but apparently they are transporting a few of the older buildings to a museum site (ie the Lynde house and the log cabin).  This is a great scenario.  The spa will open all year with two restaurants and a retail boutique, all within existing dwellings.  This isn't my cup of tea, but at least the area will come alive again with a new generation of people to enjoy its surroundings.

Just like yesterday's memories, we found it nostalgic that someone had stuck a poppy in the wooded bridge, so I took a picture of it to say I remember too.