Happy Earth Day!
Happy Earth Day Toronto
As a hiker I have had the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful spots in the city. Hiking through the Evergreen Brickworks in the fall amidst the changing colours of the leaves, seeing peculiar birds at Tommy Thompson Park or even staring out at the beautiful tree tops at Rouge Valley, Toronto has some amazing spots that host the many beauties of nature.
Here are my Top 5 places I would love to be on Earth Day.
Extending 5km out into Lake Ontario and behind the Toronto Islands, this is the best escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, while remaining in it. Tommy Thompson Park (the Northern Half) and the Leslie Street Spit is a man made peninsula, not an island, that is 250 hectares and the largest natural habitat in Toronto.
The area is stunning with a vast variety of plants, trees and animals. There are wildflower meadows, cottonwood forests, coastal marshes, cobble beaches as well as sand dunes. It is also home to many odd bird species that I have never encountered before. BirdLife International called the park a “Globally Significant Bird Area,” as over 300 birds have come to the park and apparently 55 of them are breeding there.
2. Rouge Valley
Rouge Valley is a stunning area that is a nature lovers heaven, right in the city. In fact a report by the National Postpointed out that it is actually 13 times the size of Central Park!
The area is filled with hundreds of plant species, trees and has a number of creeks, ponds and rivers. There are also a number of animals including deer, otters, coyotes, a variety of fish and reptiles along with 225 species of birds such as wild turkeys, vultures, trumpeters, and swans. In fact the wild turkeys were being hunted to the point they needed to be re-introduced into the area.
With beautiful ponds, hiking trails and the best view of the city, this old brick factory has become the hottest nature spot for trendy Torontonians. Hosting a number of festivals and events Toronto Festival of Beer to The Junction Flea, the Evergreen Brickworks is smart for bringing trendy events to attract a younger demographic. Introducing a younger demographic to the area allows them to witness and hopefully appreciate nature – I speak from experience.
Now the Bluffs are so important that it was given a historical plaque. Representing the last stages of the Great Ice Age the area contains a number of plant and animal fossils in the first 46m of the cliffs that were left by the Wisconsin glaciers advancement 70,000 years ago. Described as a geological wonder, the Bluffs stretch 14 km along Lake Ontario to a height of around 65m above the water. The Scarborough Bluff highlights how this amazing planet can make some beautiful wonders.
5. High Park
In the heart of the west end, I grew my appreciation for hiking, biking and nature here. From the cherry blossom trees to the numerous trails the trails to the zoo and finally to sitting under the stars during the Dream in High Parks park, this park may be last on my list, but if it wasn’t for it I would not have discovered and fallen in love with the list above.