Lake to Pond to Pavement

12 April 2014 — Here we still are, in Humber Bay (see previous post), approaching the Humber River pedestrian bridge from the west. I’ve just finished my latte at a smart new café, and I’m up for more walking.

First stop, Sheldon Point, just west of the bridge. It’s marked by various bold stone pillars, plus this terrific ankle-high rock. It’s worth stooping to read the plaques, follow the arrows. Well, twice a year…

solstice rock at Sheldon Point, by Humber River bridge

See? Crouch down, squint along your chosen arrow, and wait patiently. Eventually it will be the appropriate solstice, and you will see the sun rise.

Or stand tall and look east along the shoreline. There, shining white in the afternoon sun, the historic (and still active) Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion. As art deco as the name suggests.

east from Sheldon Point, with white Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion

Finally I head for the bridge over the Humber. I step onto it, and realize I must never have walked it in blazing sunshine before — that, or I haven’t been paying proper attention. Just look at the patterns thrown by the gridwork above.

Humber River bridge

I keep heading east, debating where-next, and decide to keep the water & nature theme going by walking up through High Park to Bloor Street.

This means a brief return to frantic city life, in the form of weaving my way over Lakeshore Blvd., under the Gardiner Expressway, over The Queensway, and finally into the park. Phew! Thank goodness for traffic lights.

There’s a handy map near the southern entrance,  only slightly defaced by the lame question scrawled in large green letters below. Oh, please. So obvious.

High Park map

I start at the south entrance, work my way north, zig-zagging between the higher pathways and Grenadier Pond down below. (It’s that long blue crescent on the left side of the map.) The pond is very deep, very large, rich in wildlife and legend as well. The story goes that 100 grenadiers drowned in the pond, hence the name. (Or something like that.) Um. I wouldn’t count on it being true.

Last year’s rushes are still tall along the pond edge, Red-wing Blackbirds are swaying among them, claiming territory.

Grenadier Pond

Ducks circle in the water, getting on with their own new season.

Grenadier Pond

I head up one of the fairly steep paths, crossing tracks with a father coaching his young son in the art of riding a bike down.  “Keep braking,” he says in a calm, encouraging voice. “You can do it, just a bit at a time.”

At a bend in the path I see a young man taking smartphone pictures of his partner, who has climbed into the low shrubs above us, her own camera in hand & intent on…  Well, I don’t know. So I stop and watch. A shout of delighted laughter, and she scrambles back down again, brandishing her camera, showing me the photo as well. “I got him!” Him being a possum.

Sometimes slopeside paths are in the open, sometimes in woods laced with their own mini-waterways.

in High Park

I have fond memories of this one: it was part of our long walk through High Park as group training before the Iceland Trek. I lean on the railing a moment, think of Eric & Wendy (good friends I made during that trek) and other trip highlights, and then head on.

The last bit upward is at quite a gradient, and I watch one little guy work out his own side-step as a way to tackle it. “Mama, mama, look, I’m going sideways!” he cries, but mama isn’t particularly interested. He does’t seem to mind, and I at least am impressed.

Finally I’m up and out, out to Bloor Street, where I decide to keep walking on east for a bit. My industry is almost immediately rewarded.

Ganesh & the sunbather on Bloor West

I have a nasty feeling this photo needs to be explained, which I know means I should have junked it, not included it — but the scene is too much fun to ignore. See that pink patch? That’s the sunbather’s T-shirt, with a sneakered toe intruding from below and his pale jawline visible above. And above all that, what caught my eye in the first place: a statue of Ganesh on the balcony railing.

Well, why not? This is spring, and Ganesh (I have been told) is the god of propitious beginnings.

I finally hop a streetcar at the Dundas West loop, grabbing a seat by a south-facing window and cracking it open just a bit. I cradle my camera in my lap. I’m hoping the car will have to stop at Howard’s Park Av. for passengers. It does! I get my streetcar shot of an extraordinary building I love to circle when in this area.

Here it is, covered in wildly exuberant graphics, wrapped ’round by the street’s own busy life.

Dundas St W & Howard Park Av.

And then a frail, mild-faced, little old lady sits down next to me and proves that a very strong will can lurk behind a mild face. “You will please close that window,” she announces. “It is cold.”

I am cowed. I close the window.

Leave a comment


  1. I do enjoy your tours of a place I thought I knew! This was a great one and the photos were excellent too…especially the Humber bridge.

    • What a terrific compliment, I’m so happy to think I showed you a few different angles on a place you know Truth is, you could show me new perspectives as well, we each see a bit differently. That’s the joy of sharing blogs, we share “eyes” as well

  2. Kay Morgan

     /  13 April 2014

    Hi Penny,

    I’m no expert, but I THINK THE SUNBAQTHER IS A SHE not he. Regardless, I enjoyed this jaunt qround the west end. On Sat 12/04/14 3:08 PM , WALKING WOMAN sent: a:hover {color: red;}a {text-decoration: none;color: #0088cc;}a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; }a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }/* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; }}*/ icelandpenny posted: “12 April 2014 — Here we still are, in Humber Bay (see previous post), approaching the Humber River pedestrian bridge from the west. I’ve just finished my latte at a smart new café, and I’m up for more walking. First stop, Sheldon Point, just west of t”

  3. I always look for your Weekly Digest and enjoy your commentary and pictures. You are right the patterns made by the Humber Bridge are really great.
    Spoke to my friend in Glenburnie – east of Toronto and on their laptop they showed me the snow still on the ground. Diana

    • I flew back today (Monday) from Vanouver — you’ll see that trip in my next few posts — and learned they expect snow here in Toronto tomorrow! it just won’t give up…

  4. Little old ladies……… they’ll get you every time.

    • I know! I’m little, and getting older by the minute, but I seriously doubt I’ll ever be as scarey as they are.

  5. Love the photos! My father lived on King St West at Roncy for 20+ years so on every trip back to Toronto (where I grew up and left in 1986) we would walk that bridge and along that gorgeous waterfront park, in all seasons. And High Park. Toronto is really blessed with great parks.

    I love those diamond shaped shadows.


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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