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Archive for the ‘Greenspace’ Category

The unseasonably warm and ideal walking weather prompted me to get out and enjoy nature and it’s autumn splendor once again. On Thursday I ventured westward over to High Park.

This is the park of my childhood. I grew up a couple blocks away and even though I had a large backyard I still spent considerable time in the park. It was where I caught tadpoles, went toboganning and socialized.

The last time I lived in Toronto I also lived in this area. As an adult I appreciated High Park for its natural and landscaped areas, serenity, restaurant and farmer’s market. The park has a zoo, sports facilities, an off-leash dog park, playgrounds, picnics areas, trails and ponds. In days gone by you could skate on Grenadier Pond in the winter and rent paddle boats in the summer. Ecological rehabilitation takes priority now. This park is a treasure!

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Autumn walk at Riverdale Farm

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053Once used for religious and political gatherings, public floggings and hangings, the square is another story of change and transformation. Situated behind the old Adelaide Street Courthouse, the square is a heritage site that was being used as a parking lot. The revitalized square was designed by Janet Rosenberg & Studio, CS&P Architects, and Susan Schell and built in 1997. It’s a lovely square with heritage plants and water features and I’m looking forward to seeing the garden in bloom.

The most famous hangings, and the last performed here, were on 12 April 1838: Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews, for their participation in the 1837 Rebellion.

I pulled this quote from the Lost Toronto blog, which references a plaque on Alan Brown’s website but the link is broken. I’m guessing it’s this plaque, located on a building near the square.

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Monument to Construction Workers

Monument to Construction Workers

This beautiful park sits on a half acre of land in downtown Toronto’s financial district. What a wonderful oasis for nearby workers and those of us who live downtown! There is an indoor garden as well but it’s only open on weekdays.

Cloud Gardens is a result of a partnership between the City of Toronto, Trizec Properties and Markborough Properties. Baird/Sampson Architects, Milus Bollenbourghe Topps Watchorn Landscape Architects, and artist Margaret Priest won the design competition in 1990. The awesome Monument to Construction Workers, built in 1993, is a tribute to the men and women whose labour has built and rebuilt the city.

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In bloom

DSCN2205It’s been a wet and cool spring. It’s nice to take a few moments and enjoy the fleeting grace and beauty of perennials in bloom. The photo above is currently in bloom; the photo below is from last week.DSCN2150

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Iris after the rain

DSCN2197crvDSCN2199A couple photos in the walled perennial garden at Maplelawn. I don’t know the name of the yellow flower but I like how it appears to be in flight.

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Backyard beauty

DSCN2142Taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature in the backyard.DSCN2136crDSCN2140DSCN2139DSCN2156

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Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Silver Poplar bark

That end of summer feeling is in the shops and mind. I’m not quite psyched up for the approaching fall and I thought I should get in a
pre-autumn walk before the non-commercial signs are too obvious. Umbrella in hand, I headed back over to the Arboretum and Central Experimental Farm. The rain held off and it turned out to be a perfect Sunday afternoon.

I’ve been looking at several books on trees, wild fruits and nuts, and foraging. I see people picking crab apples and I think I may try gathering some and experimenting with a jelly. Today, however, was about walking, not foraging, and I drew my inspiration from a copy of For the Love of Trees by Richard Hinchcliff and Roman Popadiouk, which is a guide to the trees at the
Arboretum.

I do love trees! I’m also drawn to architecture and have developed an interest in barn architecture. It makes
this a great place to stroll! As I wandered through the Farm I was curious about the “experimental” aspect of the corn stalks – they certainly attracted a lot of crows.

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Today I headed over to the Rockcliffe Park neighbourhood. Apparently, it’s Ottawa’s wealthiest neighbourhood and I suppose that explains the absence of public transit!

I started my excursion over at the NCC’s rockeries, after strolling through the residential neighbourhood to reach it, and was pleasantly surprised by the fountain and salvaged Carnegie library columns. I spotted a scooter – I don’t see too many of them in Ottawa – and then noticed its owner picking berries. I like the idea of foraging in public spaces; it goes hand-in-hand with local food and urban agriculture trends.

I followed the rockery path and then made my way along Rockcliffe Parkway, along the Ottawa River bike path, and over to Rideau Hall. At the lookout, I did read there was a public tram to the park at one time.

The overcast sky and a bit of light rain made for a comfortable hike.

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I’ve been meaning to checkout Hogs Back Falls for a while and today I finally did. Visually, technically and historically it’s an impressive site.

The falls are a result of the dam that was constructed for the Rideau Canal and are a waste water weir. Prior to the creation of the dam Hogs Back Falls, also known as Prince of Wales Falls,  did not exist. At that time what existed were the Three Rock Rapids, which had a drop of 1.8 metres (6 feet). The dam was necessary to raise the water level of the river. The dam raised the river 12.5 metres (41 feet) and hence created the falls.

This is the point where the canal leaves the Rideau River and the artificial channel continues to the Ottawa River. The canal is located to the west of the dam and the falls are to the east. Directly south is what is now Mooney’s Bay. For more information about the history of the dam’s construction click here.

Back in the late 1820s the Ottawa area was still a wilderness. One of the interpretation plaques states that it was a three-day journey from downtown Ottawa through forest and swamp to reach this site.

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