Walking Through the Summer

On a recent post I asked readers to submit their favourite walks in the summer. There were 3 great suggestions. And my husband Peter and I tried them out.

One reader suggested taking the trail to the Evergreen Brickworks. The path was a shady respite from the summer heat. Once we arrived at the Brickworks, we came across the warehouse, a reminder of what had been before Covid 19. A farmers’ market, artisan stalls, and kids’ camps used to occupy this large cavernous space. But outside, the grounds were still flourishing and as beautiful as ever. We wandered past butterfly gardens, lily ponds, and a children’s secret garden tucked underneath a large overhanging tree.


A highlight of the Brickworks is a unique map created in steel, with vegetation growing through it. The map illustrates the 3 river systems – the Humber, the Don, and the Rouge – that punctuate the Toronto landscape. These 3 rivers flow into Lake Ontario and give us the creeks, valleys, and trail systems that have been a lifesaver for us and other walkers throughout this pandemic season.

Map of river systems

On another day we met a reader in Marie Curtis Park and walked along the Etobicoke Creek. Here we found little surprises along the way: a collection of tiny man-made bird houses and bird feeders all colourfully painted, a mural of cyclists who speed along according to the viewer’s perspective, a carved face in a tree trunk peeking out from the foliage.

Bird houses

We stopped for a picnic lunch near a playground with no yellow tape in sight any more, and a large splash pad filled with happy children. Lake Ontario was nearby and there were lifeguards on duty, but, oh darn, I had forgotten to take my bathing suit along so I can’t tell you how cold the water was.

Etobicoke Creek

Then recently, on a cloudy and boring day, Peter asked me where we were going on our walk. I said, maybe a little too hastily, “Why don’t YOU plan somewhere to go today?” And he did! He suggested we walk along the shores of the West Humber River in the northwest part of the city where he had lived with his growing family for a few years.

We easily found the entrance to the trail and headed into the valley. It was a path lined with sumach bushes – how pretty it would be in the fall when the bushes turned red! Then we saw a sign for the Humber Arboretum. The garden was nowhere in sight so we asked another walker about it. She directed us up a flight of stairs which, she said, would lead us to the most beautiful spot imaginable.

At the top of the stairs we discovered a bountiful vegetable garden, overflowing with zucchini, cucumbers, beets, radishes, eggplant and tomatoes. Peter began to salivate. This was heaven for him. Good thing there was a fence! Signage told us it was a “learning garden” for the students of the college agricultural program. But we suspect it also feeds the patrons of the restaurant hospitality program. It was lush.

Peter salivating at the vegetables

But it wasn’t exactly beautiful. So we continued walking along the path, behind some Humber College buildings. Then we emerged – into a garden of delights. As we wandered around, we were astonished by the variety of flowers, waterfalls, lily ponds, rose gardens, Greek structures, trellises, arbors, in the park-like setting. We meandered through the garden, finally choosing a bench where we could sit and enjoy the views for a while longer.

Humber Arboretum

So dear readers, leave your covid anxiety behind, put on your best old sneakers, grab your water bottle, and head out. In most places you don’t even need a mask. This city is full of natural delights just waiting to be explored.


3 thoughts on “Walking Through the Summer

  1. You are an inspiration. We’re going to try some of these walks when we get home. I especially want to see the Brickworks. It’s so close and yet I never go.



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