Continuing with my series of Neighbourhood Spaces.
Six months of freezing winter months and the first signs of soaring mercury and I am ready to embrace the Canadian summer, the sunshine and colorful smiling nature a.k.a William Shakespeare…
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”(William Shakespeare…Sonnet 18)
June 4 weekend and we were footslogging in Tommy Thompson Park located on a man-made peninsula, the Leslie Street Spit, extending five kilometres into Lake Ontario, from the city’s east end in a southwesterly direction. This 500 hectares Park is an urban haven in Downtown Toronto with capturable views of Toronto’s skyline and Lake Ontario.
Bikes whizzed past us on the paved track, in tandem with brisk walkers/ trudgers, as the Park is a popular hiking, cycling, roller-blading, running haven. The 10 kilometres of accessible nature trails set amidst a natural habitat of Wildflower meadows, cottonwood forests, cobbled beaches with construction materials strewn around, coastal marshes, sand dunes, stone benches is a Summer/Fall crowd pleaser.
The bounty of about 400 plant species along with cottonwood and poplar forests, 300 bird species (designated Bird Area with Research Station) and a tranquil ambiance makes Leslie Street Spit ideal for ‘walkers’. No cars allowed.
We took the Nature trail (instead of the regular paved trail) along the shore line of merging Blues (sky and water), stone and driftwood sculptures, froliking Swans, chirping birds and cavorting fauna. It was a burning summer afternoon (21 C) and though the 7.7. mile loop trail is considered an easy route, it generally takes around an hour plus, on foot, to complete the loop. Our mistake was the timing. We should have ventured before the sun came out in its full afternoon glory.
The ambiance is certainly tempting to get creative. There are cool sculptures from blocks of concrete, rusted iron and driftwood. No fires are allowed, but there was a discarded barbeque stand.
Just be wary of snakes and ticks and wildlife.
The cool Lake breeze is refreshing but we stopped short of the Floating Pedestrian Bridge, the halfway point to the southernmost point of the Spit, the Vicki Keith Point, with incredible views of Cherry Beach and outer harbour. Further on, at the tip of the Peninsula, is the Toronto Harbour Lighthouse.
The warmness and hunger pangs ( nearing 2 pm) made us take an u-turn …via the Marina parked with private yachts and views of CN Tower.
Lunch at Lahore Tikka House (1365 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON) supposedly the best Pakistani/North Indian restaurant of Toronto. Well, I have eaten better Pakistani cuisine in Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong. The restaurant could do with better cleanliness management.