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Archive for the ‘Local exploration’ Category

047Friday was the opening of the month-long Christmas Market in the historic Distillery District. It was a mild evening and while there were many people out it wasn’t too crowded. Oh, and what a beautiful tree in the main square!

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The Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) holiday is celebrated October 31st-November 2nd; however, festivities are being held at Harbourfront this weekend.

Ballet Folklorico Puro Mexico

Ballet Folklorico Puro Mexico

Ofrenda for Amalia Hernández Navarro

Ofrenda for Amalia Hernández Navarro

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Toronto is having an atypically warm first week of November with temperatures around 20C. Add sunshine into the mix and what better than to spend the afternoon over on the islands. Many others had the same idea. A few people were swimming, paddling, kayaking, boarding and sailing. In Toronto, in November!

What a lovely place to spend an off season afternoon! I had forgotten about this past weekend’s time change and was surprised by how early and quickly it became dark. While there were many cyclists on the ferry when I set out for Ward’s the passengers on the 5:45pm return trip were mostly on foot.

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Fishers

Fishers

I noticed a number of tweets highlighting fall walks for this Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. I decided to head over to Tommy Thompson Park to take advantage of one of the volunteer guided walks. We went for a leisurely and informative walk over to the Bird Research Station. Along the way we met a few birders who were kind enough to share their binoculars with us. At the station we chatted a bit with the conservation staff person. He and the volunteers were busy banding birds. Our guide, I didn’t catch his name but he’s originally an oceanographer from Uruguay who met a Canadian woman and is now an environmental student here, mentioned that the cormorants in the park nest in the cottonwood trees. It’s unusual as cormorants normally nest on the ground and it’s killing the trees.

Bird banding at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Bird banding at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Cormorant nests in Cottonwood trees

Cormorant nests in Cottonwood trees

As I was already at the park and it was such a lovely day I decided to continue walking on my own after the guided excursion. I made it over to the lighthouse and had meant to look for the turtles at the pond on the way back but forgot about it.

Lighthouse at Tommy Thompson Park

Lighthouse at Tommy Thompson Park

When I left home this morning it was a chilly 6 degrees Celsius but by afternoon it had definitely reached the anticipated 15 degrees, or more likely warmer as I no longer needed to wear my jacket. I’m loving this weather!

Have you been out enjoying nature this holiday weekend?

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015crOn Saturday I made my way through the Distillery District and along Cherry Street to Cherry Beach continuing along the Martin Goodman Trail and then heading over to Tommy Thompson Park. The park is an urban wilderness on a man-made peninsula and is a popular destination for birding, fishing, cycling and hiking activities. I’ve only been here once before, about 10 years ago. Today I was just out for a walk in another direction so I’ll save the lighthouse for another day, when I start earlier and bring water.

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018I look for pastimes that are free and within walking distance. Living in Toronto’s downtown has provided quite a few options — music, dance, film, theatre and even yoga. A walk along the waterfront has become this summer’s “go to”.

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It’s summertime and I’m near the waterfront. It’s a nice place to walk and offers a diversity of sights, landscapes and activities.

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017I’ve been itching to get over to the Toronto Islands and Tuesday’s weather was perfect for spending a leisurely afternoon walking about. Exploring is always fun! Even though I’ve seen it before there are always things I’ve forgotten or there are new discoveries.

Let’s start with some random signage.

003cr031073101cr104 I like the village feel of the homes and landscaping on Ward’s and Algonquin Islands.

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013crOf course there are nice views of the CN Tower, too.

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Fun things to do and a lovely escape for people who cycle, walk, explore, sail, kayak, canoe, swim or still want to sun bathe. I should have taken more shots with actual people in them! Oh well.

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107Next time I need to rent a bike.

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011crI was out for a walk on Sunday afternoon and encountered a thirsty horse in Berczy Park.

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038Last weekend was the annual Doors Open event in Toronto. Rather than making a list and heading out to a number of spots I just incorporated a visit to City Hall into my walk.

I love the Metropolis relief sculpture; people are always getting their photos taken in front of it. I don’t know the people in this photo and they don’t know each other but I liked how the young woman’s hat mimmicks the circular centre of the sculpture and how the man has rested his hand on the nails.

I started my visit wandering around the rooftop podium. I was delighted by the greenspace! The revitalisation project up on the podium and at ground level make it so inviting.

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007More typically Doors Open oriented, I sat in the council chamber for a while and watched old docs and images and checked out the Hall of Memory and time capsule. Nathan Phillips Square is a popular spot, whether it be a formal event or just hanging around.

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