Added: March,5th 2008
Desciption: This morning I met my volleyball buddies Randy and Arne for a little mountain biking adventure. We started at the confluence of the Don River Taylor Creek Park and made our way south on a narrow mountain bike path on the west side of the Don River. Just south of the Leaside Bridge we came into a make-shift mountain bike terrain park constructed of sandy hills in the middle of the woods. I had never seen this area and was simply amazed at this sizable playground for mountain bikers, all built of sandy and muddy hills.
Someone had put a ton of work into building ramps and jumps made of sand, and there was even an old bicycle that had been turned into a human-powered energy source for a pump that supplies water to irrigate the terrain park - ingenious.
We continued further south and stopped off at the Don Valley Brickworks, a former industrial site (founded in 1889) that used to produce bricks for many of the housing developments in Toronto. Even famous buildings like Casa Loma, Osgoode Hall, Queens Park and Massey Hall used bricks made at the Brickworks. The complex stopped production in the 1980s and has since since been abandoned although restoration started in 1994. The former quarries at the north end have been filled with material from the construction of the Scotiabank Tower and the entire has been landscaped and now features three ponds with native wildflower gardens.
A non-profit organization called Evergreen.ca is planning to make this complex a destination that will feature gardening workshops, clay-making, a retail nursery and demonstration gardens. An organic food market is already held here every Saturday.
Our bike ride took us further south on the Bayview Extension and we came up at Eastern Avenue and made our way into the Distillery District, another Victorian-era industrial heritage site. The Distillery District, formerly the Gooderham & Worts Distillery, was fully renovated a few years ago and now features numerous cafes, restaurants, retail outlets, galleries, a theater and many other ecclectic businesses.
After riding south on Cherry Street and past the Cirque de Soleil we rode eastwards to the Beaches where we parked our bikes and found a spot for a much-needed brunch on the patio of the Nevada restaurant. On this gorgeous and very warm late October day the restaurant and Queen Street were just swirling with people.
We ended a beautiful day with a stroll on the boardwalk, where along with thousands of other sun-seekers, we enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon. People were out in full force and a juggler was displaying his craft. The entire Beaches area was packed with people, catching a few more rays of sunshine before they get ready for the long Canadian winter.
Check out some of my other travel stories and articles at www.travelandtransitions.com.