Well, that was early! We woke up to a light dusting of snow in Riverdale; it is only Nov. 7. I decided to take my camera along on our morning ramble as Viggo and I checked out the first little bit of snow of the 2019-2020 winter season!
Viggo doing his business in our backyard – 8:00 a.m.
Our morning walk will take us up the Don River valley; it is hidden in the tree cover that goes from left to right across the middle of the panorama in the image below. It is a favourite ramble Viggo and I have done hundreds of times over the past decade.
For the past two months, dump trucks and tractors have been working on the slope you see below. They have been regrading it to eliminate bumps and cavities which were thought to be too dangerous for the many tobogganers who make this hill one of Toronto’s most popular winter sledding destinations.
We bump into Uba (“little bean” in Estonian) and her owner and Viggo does what he needs to to get a treat!
We headed down to the bike trail which runs up the Don River valley; it makes for a nice one-hour walk. The occasional Zen moments when I forget that I am in a city of millions of people is my reward. The snow also means that there will be a bit less bike traffic for Viggo to hyperventilate over! We also make use of the riverside trail and takes us away from the bike path and Viggo gets to walk off-leash for a while.
The Don River south of the Prince Edward (Bloor Street) Viaduct was straightened in the late 1800s and has all the charm of a canal. North of the viaduct, the river is still the way it was – bends and all. This is our favourite part of the walk! As we head up the riverside trail I do some basic maintenance, putting my little portage hand saw to work to clear branches and fallen trees.
From the footsteps in the snow, I can see that a couple of other dog walkers have already been by this morning. The two tents south of the viaduct, however, are abandoned, as is the tarp-covered camp spot to the north. Left behind were also piles of garbage. Over the next month, it will all get moved to the bike path where the City garbage crew will hopefully deal with it.
Just across the street from the view in the image above is the Rooster Coffeehouse, the perennial winner in Now magazine’s “most popular coffeehouse” category.
We walked by two of the original houses on Riverdale Avenue. They go back to the 1890s when the street was still called Preston Street. One of them still has a two-storey stable in the backyard. Our semi-detached house was constructed in 1907, with no stable included!
The pic below of our backyard 1 1/2 hours since we set off on our walk – and the snow is already disappearing. By tomorrow it will all be gone and it may be a week or a month before we get another installment of the white stuff!
Viggo and I are looking forward to a more substantial snowfall that will turn the Don River Valley into a bike-free zone for a few months!
In retrospect, that little dusting of snow chronicled in the above post did not deserve all that fuss. You want fuss – look at this from five days later – the biggest one-day snowfall in Toronto in 70 years – now that’s snow!