Corktown Commons by bicycle today

The park on the west side of the Don River was closed to the public for the PanAm Games but it’s open again and the heat wave has broken. Perfect chance to go for a ride and explore.

  I thought we might be able to ride through the hilltop park, down into the streets of the Games’ Athletic Village, but they are still fenced off. A security guard, wise in the realities of unfinished construction projects, said nobody knows when the fences will come down.

So the slide show starts with what we could investigate. Lots of fresh paint on the support pillars of Underpass Park and a new pedestrian ramp to climb. It goes up to an Adelaide ramp and affords a unique new view of the city, looking west toward downtown.

Our trip through the Corktown Commons park begins with a view of a freshened up sculpture by U.S. sculptor Mark di Suvero. It’s called “No Shoes” and used to be in High Park.

I used the sculpture to frame what has to be the fanciest bathroom in Toronto. There’s a pavillion on the hilltop that is very modern and attractive. It is surrounded by nicely a landscaped park that features fun things for kids. There are wading, water-squirting areas, rubberized, spongy hills to climb, swings and and slides and such.

The  hill that is the park is a huge, artificial mound, created for very practical reasons. It acts as a flood control barrier protecting downtown from potential Don River overflows. Climate change, you know. The recreational use is a brilliant bonus and Corktown Commons is much enjoyed by the locals who live close by.