If Not For Viggo – A Winter’s Day Walk Along The Don River

If not for Viggo, our Icelandic Sheepdog, I’d have sipped on a third cup of coffee this morning. Instead, we headed out for a walk at the tail end of a snow storm!  It was something I was actually looking forward to because the snowfall makes our favourite walk even better! Viggo, of course, loves the snow.

our backyard this morning – Dec 2, 2019 – after the snowfall

We head down into the Don River Valley south of Bloor Street on the east edge of downtown Toronto. The snow means the bike trail will be traffic-free and  I can let Viggo walk off-leash on some of the side-trails that go down to the banks of the river itself.

Another great thing about going down to the Don is that Viggo gets to walk on clean snow instead of the salt-saturated brown mush on the streets of our neighbourhood. This morning I carried him over Broadview Avenue to spare his paws from touching that stuff.

the well-salted road down to Riverdale Park East footbridge

Viggo coming down the steps to the Lower Don trail

I did notice a couple of sets of footprints and paw prints, one set of cross country ski tracks,  and one mega-wide bicycle tire track – but that was it for activity on the bike path itself.

looking back at the Riverdale footbridge over the Don River

As for our favourite side trails, no one had walked them yet this morning so we broke trail!  I have adopted and spent some time maintaining these trails over the past ten years – clearing deadfall, removing litter and garbage, etc.  Some Ontario paddlers adopt portage trails up north that they return to each year and take care of. I figure this trail running along the Don River two hundred meters south and north of the Prince Edward Viaduct is my portage trail contribution!

Here is a one-minute sample of a section of those side trails as it was this morning –

We walk north under the viaduct and continue along the river. This morning we returned on the bike trail. The shot below is taken from north of the viaduct.  Downtown is about two kilometers to the southwest.

the Prince Edward Viaduct over the Don River –

some graffiti art on the Bloor Street Viaduct base

Back at our favourite bend in the lower Don, I take the shot below for the 51st time! If I could only photoshop out that hydro tower and the wires!

a shot of the snow-covered Don River beach. looking south

Back up the steps we go. To the left is the Riverdale Farm and Cabbagetown. We are heading right (east) and our Riverdale neighbourhood. I do a bit of a detour to avoid the salt.

Viggo waiting for our walk up the Riverdale footbridge steps

Tonight we do another shorter clean snow walk in Riverdale Park East below Broadview.  If not for Viggo, I wouldn’t be doing that either!  Along with becoming my constant companion, he has made sure that every one of my days has its share of low-intensity aerobic exercise.  See below for this morning’s benefits.

some stats on the morning ramble!

 

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8 Responses to If Not For Viggo – A Winter’s Day Walk Along The Don River

  1. Garry P. says:

    RB,
    Enjoyed “Viggo’s Video” of this morning’s walk…as you said…”Hard to tell you are in Toronto”. I believe I used to take my neice…Erica…to Riverdale Park wheh she was small…is there a horse stable there?
    Garry

    • true_north says:

      Yes, a horse stable and a barn for the cows…a regular farm! We sometimes walk up to the Farm and around Cabbagetown for something different. Some pretty homes and in the fall great colour thanks to all the maple trees in the ‘hood.

      • Garry P. says:

        I remember renting a horse & walker for $20 for a 15-20 minute walk…Erica was 5…I recall. Don’t know if it was a usual thing…maybe some of the young stable girls making some pocket money…Erica always enjoyed it…good uncle memories.

      • There are two beautiful (young-ish) horses in residence. The big clydesdales that were part of the farm for decades it seems, they passed away over the past decade.

  2. My neighbourhood too! Thanks for reminding me why I love it here so much. All that is missing is my own sweet Viggo!

    • Garry P. says:

      Good evening Miss V.
      Couldn’t find a “Reply” button on for your reply to my last post above (strange)…so I’ll send it here. I would have been there ca 1975 with my neice. Can’t recall the Clydsdales tho they certainly could have been there. I’ve always loved the draft horses. What time frame are you speaking of?

  3. Thank you for sharing your walk, and Viggo!

    • true_north says:

      Thanks for taking a peek! It is Friday 8:15 a.m. and the snow is coming down heavy. We’re going back done there as soon as I finish this coffee. It’s gonna be great!

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