Asbridge Estate - A Historical Home

One of the oldest homes in Toronto is right out front and personal on Queen Street in the east end near Coxwell (between Leslieville and the Beaches).   It's called the Ashbridge Estate and dates back to the late 1700s when the Ashbridge Family (United Empire Loyalists) came here from Pennsylvania and were given a large plot of land.  Can you imagine that?

So out they set clearing and farming and constructing several buildings including the main house, which still stands today.  The Ashbridge's (hence the namesake of Ashbridge Bay of course) were one of the first families to live here in our great city of Toronto and as the city grew, they eventually sold off most of their land by the 1920's leaving only the current 2-acre property which is now listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, thanks to the two remaining family members who donated their estate to the Ontario Heritage Trust.

But back to the beginning for a second.  When they arrived in Toronto as Quakers, the Ashbridge's were United Empire Loyalists (which simply means that they remained loyal to the British crown after the american Revolution) Fearing politicial persution, they fled to Canada and were officially granted 600 acres of land.  This land stretched from from Lake Onatrio to what is now known as Danforth Avenue.  If you know east Toronto, that is a huge spot of land!

I read that a log cabin was built on the trail close to the shoreline of Lake Ontario on a bay formed the mouth of the Don River, and boy I can imagine how beautiful that must have been.   They survived like most did back then on fishing and waterfowl from the bay and pigs that they raised.  They also were able to grow wheat and sold it to market, and ice in the winter.

If you take the time to learn about the places you visit or pass for that matter, you'll be amazed at what you'll learn.  There's a bit of history in everything you see.  It's important to take the time to appreciate that.  I think that's why I take pictures.  To remember that piece of history I left behind.

Toronto Waterfront Trail (Boardwalk Access)

The Waterfront Trail in Toronto covers some of the most gorgeous natural settings you will ever see.  Because of the amalgamation of the cities, Toronto runs from Etobicoke from the west to Scarborough Bluffs in the east.  

That being said, the waterfront trail is accessed from Kew Beach in the East, not Scarborough at all.  In fact the waterfront trail ends and can be picked up to the east in 22 km which is quite a trek of overhauling over rough terrain with your bike to get to where it begins again.  I always prefer going west for this reason only. 

I've comfortably been able to ride my bike from Toronto to as far west to Bronte and beyond going west using the Waterfront trail this past summer.  

The entire trail runs along Lake Ontario and covers an expanse of about 350 kilometers.  On the western shores of Lake Ontario it runs from Stoney Creek to Quinte West.  There are dozens of access points in Toronto and Mississauga to get onto this trail.  

The mere historical value of anything that you'll pass along the trail such as Commissioner Street for example, which runs from Cherry Street to Leslie) is one of the oldest streets in Toronto.  I love it because it's quiet and it makes me feel so good inside like a child again when Toronto was way less busy as it is now.

Now there are several movie studios that earn quite a pretty penny working out of Commissioner street.  Of course one of the now most popular spots at the foot of Leslie Street is the Tommy Thompson Trail (or the Leslie Spit)  

Biking has taken on a new meaning in Toronto since we hosted the Panam games in 2015.  Although in the aftermath of spending over $2Billion dollars constructing  venues and infrastructures such as the Union-Pearson Express rail train, we were left with the most amazing bike trail ever!  It's a marked path, that runs beautiful along the harbourfront right down towards the exhibition stadium and continues right through to the west.  

I might add a few more pictures here later, but for now you get the idea.

Happy trails!