The King's Mill and The Humber Marshes

common parking lot birds, the cute Kildeer
King's Mill Park is located just south of the Old Mill Subway Station in Toronto (if you are getting there by Toronto Transit) or east of Bloor W and Islington by car (Vehicles can enter at Humber Valley Drive, north of Riverwood Parkway or from Old Mill Rd).   If you are biking it, you can travel through the park on the beloved Tommy Thompson Trail.  

It's a little over a half a km walk so I decided to cover a longer stretch in this post, from our walk from Kings Mill to the South Humber Park which is is over a 2 kilometre walk.  It that takes you through large open and leveled park lands which I recognize to be a similar characteristic all over Etobicoke.  
...and some pretty interesting pieces of history as well.  One thing I learned was that most of what is Kings Mill Park is a land fill site from the early 50's.  

this kildeer tried to run away, but I still caught him
After you pass the Toronto Humber Yacht Club, which was established in 1956, there's a strange looking flying-saucer like structure off into the distance.  It kind of reminded me of those old-fashioned drive-in restaurants from the 50's, but as it turns out it was nothing more than a neglected and vandalized public washroom. 

Abandoned flying saucer building
clockwise: hidden bike trails, and the flying-saucer
Historically speaking, this large open park was once the site of the King's Mill and Reserve, established by Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe in 1793 as Etobicoke's first industry. In 1821, Thomas Fisher leased the King's Mill, just below the Old Mill site, where he built his home.

The Humber River and Marshes, as you may know is the largest one in Toronto and is a crucial corridor for migratory song birds and monarch butterflies.

The Humber River has over 60 different species including some sports fish like trout, pike and salmon.  The Humber Marshes are one of the few remaining river mouth marshes in Toronto and provide a breeding habitat for ducks, turtles and fish.  Humber River’s importance is recognized now by its designation in 1999 as a Canadian Heritage River.

Overall an easy walk through some pretty areas just before you reach the shores of Lake Ontario at the South Humber Park, which is next.

I wanted to mention something about the Kildeer, because I posted it a couple of times here.  They are actually very common shorebirds that you can see without ever having to go to the beach...you can spot them often on lawns or golf courses and football fields and even parking lots! They are so cute and scamper hurriedly in jolts stopping now and then to check their progress.  Their calls are high-pitched can be heard often even at night when the are in flight.