Where the views hide in Toronto

When I came to Toronto from Vancouver, my impression of the landscape here was dismal. Compared with spectacular views of mountains and sea, the flat, dull geography around here was pretty lame. Now, it’s never going to be as photogenic as B.C. but after a while I discovered that many of Toronto’s nicer places were below the horizon, in ravines.

ravine

Soon, this nearby example will be dense. lush green but it’s good to see it now because the co ntours of the ground are visible. Walks through here in the summertime require a liberal slathering of insect repellant. Mosquitoes!

contours

It is Toronto’s great good fortune that these ravines can’t easily be built up into real estate and sold. Some have been channeled into pipes for exactly that reason, but many bigger streams are left as pockets of nature, right through densely urbanized neighbourhoods. From the bottom of this ravine, I can look south and see streetcars on Gerrard. Look north and GO Trains are whisking commuters from the suburbs to the skyscapers downtown. In between, a relatively peaceful sanctuary for walkers, raccoons, foxes, skunks, birds … and bugs.