The 30 Day Challenge – Part 2

….our most interesting finds

Over the last 30 days we’ve certainly come across a whole host of unusual finds in the parks, on the beaches and between the rocks.

Lake Ontario is part of the Great Lakes in North America and provides fresh drinking water to over 9 million people in Ontario, Canada and New York State, U.S.. It is the 14th largest fresh water lake in the world and because it is so deep it never freezes completely.

There are days when the waves are so large you would think you were on an ocean. I bring this up because much of the garbage that we collected from the beaches was washed ashore during those days when the swells were huge.

Some of things that we found on the beaches and between the rocks were golf balls, styrofoam and plastic, old tires, chair parts, umbrellas, headless doll and a wallet with $20.00.88-B99001-EB72-439-E-B403-2-AD0-ADAA545-C

When we started on this challenge May 2 we were wearing winter coats, hats and mitts and now five weeks later we’re in our shorts, tee-shirts and sandals. We always say that here in Toronto we go from winter right into summer.

Friendly Friday: Photo Walk

…thanks to Snow from The Snow Melts Somewhere for hosting Friendly Friday

My photo walk takes place on Sunday. Friday and Saturday were exceptionally busy and I didn’t get out for my long walk. Today I made sure to get out before noon.

I left my house and walked toward the park that edges onto the lake.IMG-1910
I continued along Lakeshore Drive and turned onto 4th St. which ends in a dead end but the property on the east side is abandoned so I walked toward the lake again.IMG-1916
I noticed that a large flock of swans were swimming together at the foot of Prince of Wales Park so I continued east.IMG-1918

After taking a dozen or more photos I decided to continue on my walk along the shores of Lake Ontario before the swans decided they had enough of this intruder with her iPhone camera. You can see from one of the following photos that there’s still a little bit of ice hanging onto the shoreline.IMG-1931
As I left the park I continued through the neighbourhood until I reached a tiny parkette on Sand Beach Road.


I then turned north and walked towards the busy street of Lakeshore Blvd. and headed home.IMG-1948

The Aftermath of a Storm

….15 day ago we experienced a severe storm with freezing temperatures, high winds, ice pellets and freezing rain

It’s almost incomprehensible to imagine that less than 15 days ago we were witnessing a severe winter storm here in southern Ontario. Today all traces of snow have disappeared, the sun was shining and the temperatures soared to 20 degrees celsius.

On Sunday, April 15th, Lake Ontario looked liked an angry sea with strong crashing waves and many areas that were level with the lake took on water. Luckily where I live most homes and parks are situated high above the lake but the waves were so high and powerful for three days that a lot of debris from the bottom of the lake was washed ashore and sand, gravel and large rocks and boulders were tossed further inland.

Today I took a walk to Col. Samuel Smith Park where there was considerable damage to the man-made beaches on the eastern side of the reclaimed peninsula. I had seen photos of the area soon after the storm and it was evident that the Parks department had already been by and cleared away a lot of the garbage and gathered up the tree trunks, branches and large pieces of rebar and construction materials used to build this park in the first place. Much of the grassy areas are still covered in stones, gravel, bricks, asphalt and concrete remnants.P1060070

WPC – Tour Guide of Toronto

….thanks to Word Press  for a theme close to my heart

People always ask me if I’ll move away from Toronto when I retire. I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. I live in the southwestern area of Toronto more commonly known as New Toronto or South Etobicoke. I love being 15 minutes from downtown (depending on the time of day) and being able to take advantage of all the city has to offer. On the other hand, I feel blessed to live where I do. A century ago people used to travel to this neighbourhood from downtown because they had cottages here on the lake. A few of those old structures still stand today but they are quickly being eaten up by renovators who appreciate the value of the land.

My father recently moved back here after living in Oshawa for 20 years. He feels like he’s come back home. Nothing beats the view of the city skyline that I see everyday at the bottom of the street where I’ve lived for 39 years.


I love the nature trails and beautiful parks that you can find all over the city. The big one in my neighbourhood has wonderful hiking and biking paths that wind through Colonel Samuel Smith Park and the Humber College grounds. Part of it is a naturalized area with a pond in the middle and Lake Ontario at the south end. We have more wildlife here than we do at my cottage. It’s not unusual to see coyotes, foxes, beavers, turtles, o’possums, racoons, skunks and the occasional deer. We have birds and waterfowl galore. In the summer many people come to the park to take advantage of the beaches that line the eastern side of the extension to get relief from the heat or to paddle or kite surf.

If you’re not into nature the city offers the best in museums, art galleries, aquariums, recreational sports and the best restaurants.


Time for a Trip to the Toronto Islands

…..with the temperatures going into summer mode this weekend, there’s no better time

If you haven’t headed up to the cottage this weekend and need a little get away trip,  make your way to the ferry docks this weekend.

photo 1-138 photo 3-120

I would avoid Centre Island, unless you have children and need the amusement park for entertainment. Ward’s Island is a great alternative. It is a residential community where people own their homes but not the land and it’s the largest urban area in North America that has no motorized vehicles other than a few service vans. Most of the homes are tiny and on small lots. It looks very much like a cottage community.

My daughter’s mother-in-law was lucky enough to rent a house for a couple of months when she came back to the city before moving on to her next foreign adventure. On the Mother’s Day weekend we were all invited to her place for a meal. It had always been a dream of hers to own her own house on the island and every year for a number of years she paid a fee to enter a lottery when homes  became available for sale. Needless to say she was never chosen so being able to rent for awhile was the next best option.

photo 4-112 photo 1-130

While we were there we took a walk and enjoyed looking at all the cute homes and emerging gardens. As we continued north we ended on a beach and even though it was still chilly that weekend there were quite a few people walking along the beach and some were sitting on the sand and enjoying a small picnic. photo 1-134 photo 4-109

Our hostess loved living on the island. She was there in the middle of the winter and then again in April and May. Her only source of heating was a gas fire place in the shape of an old fashioned wood burning stove. She was toasty and warm all winter and she loved the solitude and quiet of her neighbourhood. The ferry runs every hour and residents can buy a monthly pass so if they have to make more than one run a day to the mainland it doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg. Most of the time if you’ve forgotten to buy something or have run out of something there’s a web bulletin board and your neighbours come to your aid if they have what you need.