Riding your bike from Eglinton Avenue West and the Allen Expressway to Davenport and Dupont – the park route

It’s a quiet ride. The trail starts at the end of the Beltline Trail, south of Eglinton West station and meanders through parks and playing fields until it reaches the rear of St. Clair West station at Heath Street. Just think, approximately 30 years ago the city planned on carving up all of the neighbourhoods south of the Allen Expressway into downtown Toronto. We almost lost these homes, parks, and trails to a highway.

My bike near Glen Cedar Road bridge

Glen Cedar Road trestle graffit

Graffiti on the Glen Cedar Road bridge trestle - close up

 

If I am feeling adventurous I will continue to Wells Hill Avenue and St. Clair where the trail continues south east through Sir Winston Churchill Park. This leg is a bit tricky since the trail is narrow, steep and rutted for the first 100 metres or so. Once that part clears the path takes you under Spadina road and the trail changes from gravel to dirt to a weird concrete lattice to sand then back to gravel. The sand and gravel makes the ride soft and sludgy because it likes to grab your wheels and turn you about. The best thing to do is spin in an easy gear and be brave.  

Crazy concrete on trail to Sir Winston Churchill Park

Follow the trail up and then right and then down though the Roycroft Park Marshes. There are sunny hills, park benches, and shady woods right up till the exit at Boulton Drive. 

Boulton Drive has it’s own bike lane and goes down hill all the way to Davenport and Dupont Roads.

A totally fun ride that is hidden in the parks under Toronto’s busiest roads. 

Next trip: The Toronto Islands!

Catching up on my Fish-eye Lomo photos

In my quest to find ever new and exciting bike rides through Toronto, I found a challenging one you can find starting at Moore Street near Mount Pleasant Cemetery. It isn’t long, maybe 2 or 3 km to South Drive and Glen Road in Rosedale. But the trail at the start is steep and rutted, a little too steep and rutted for me and I walked 100 metres or so until the trail evened out. The last half kilometre is a doozy. I walked up a seriously rutted trail that I couldn’t possibly ride up. And I was eaten by mosquitoes. They love me. 

After a simply terrifying ride thorough the Moore Park Ravine, I found the Don Valley Brick Works Park. I’d heard of it, but never visited. 

(Okay, maybe the ride was terrifying only to me. I passed by a number of walkers and runners who looked perfectly at ease as they made their way through the ravine. But, in my defense, I’ve never ridden through the ravine before, and it was the day after the Don River and it’s creek brothers flooded portions of the valley and I’m not used to riding on slick elevated trails with a steep drop further down the valley. And I’m a sissy. There! I wrote it! I was terrified. Simply sick to my stomach as I rode cautiously through the valley. Everyone else was fine. I wasn’t. Sheesh.)

Don Valley Brick Works Park in Toronto

Brickworks building from the top a corrugated metal staircase.

Bit of river, bit of greenery, bit of blue sky.

I like the way the sunshine bounced off the lens. I have to remember that the fish-eye lomo camera takes better pictures the closer you get to the subject. Intrude, my friend, intrude.

After I took these photos, I continued along the trail on my bike. The trail is beautiful! Incredibly it’s smack in the centre of the city and you rarely feel like you are near a major highway. I felt fortunate to see a couple of finches, butterflies, a chipmunk, as well as hear some mysterious scrabbling in the bushes (I didn’t dwell, I sped up a little). 

Along side Bayview Avenue, and in the distance is the Don Valley Parkway

In the distance is the Don Valley Parkway.

I had a few exposures left on my roll and I knew I had to take a picture of a house on Shaftesbury Avenue that has a Tin Man and family sculpture on the attic balcony. Once again the lesson learned is get as close as you can to your subject with your fish-eye lomo camera. I may need to scratch that sentence on the back of my camera…

Tin Man family on balcony.

And a couple of shots of wildflowers growing on the side of the road:

Now I have to put calamine lotion on my bug bites and eat supper. I am starving! 

 

High Falutin’ Jello

 

By now you know how much I loathe jello. Be it cherry, grape, lemon, or lime flavoured in bright hues, with or without fruit, shaped like a fish aquarium, eyeballs, or Canada’s flag, I hate it. It’s rubbery chewy texture sickens me and I can’t stand the weird over-sweet chemically taste. I cheerfully make do without jello for dessert. 

 

Imagine the shock and awe when I was flipping through a cook book and I noticed a recipe for eggs and vegetables in aspic. Oh. Ewww. It resembled a transparent bundt cake, but it was made from evenly distributed peeled hard boiled eggs, cooked veggies and covered (COVERED) in transparent jello. My eyes hurt and some bile bubbled up into my nose right there in the cook book section of Indigo. I don’t think I’m going to recover from that image for quite a while. 

 

So, aspic. It’s made from cooked down bones and gristle (head and feet are some choice bits of critter). It’s a thick liquid when hot but turns into edible rubber once it’s chilled. Pretty much any kind of  meat, eggs, and veggies can be cocooned within it’s clear clutches (some choice ingredients I found when I googled were veal, pigs trotters, pheasant, eel (you know, snakey fish), pig skin, cow skin, ox tongue).

 

Jellied Eels. Good for somebody else.

 

I thought I hit aspic gold when I read “Larks Tongue in Aspic” because that’s at least a 10 on the Vomit Scale, but it turned out to be 70s prog rock band King Crimson song title:

Can you imagine trying to catch the larks, then pulling out their little tongues, and then prepping them in aspic? This would definitely be a tedious afternoon chore. And any icky one.

Video Spoiler: There are no larks!