Skuggi Checks Out Riverdale’s Fading Fall Colours

The Three-Park Circuit – only #1 is fenced! See here for the interactive Google map if you want to see where Riverdale neighbourhood fits in to the overall City of Toronto

It was an overcast morning in Toronto’s Riverdale neighbourhood, and the ground was still wet from the drizzle of Halloween night. Skuggi, our nine-month-old Icelandic Sheepdog,  and I set off for our big walk of the day, a four to five-kilometer ramble punctuated with visits to three off-leash dog areas. It takes us about an hour and a half, though the actual walking time is about an hour.

Withrow Dog Park overview

First up was Withrow Dog Park, just around the corner from our house. Skuggi usually has a good time playing with the other dogs there.

Skuggi and a pal at Withrow dog park


After our brief visit, we headed for the gate at the park’s northwest corner. We walked along Hogarth Avenue to the off-leash area behind the swimming pool off Broadview Avenue.

The path up to Withrow Park’s NW gate.

Along the way, we took in the decorative – and often pretty tacky – Halloween props from the night before. Soon they’ll be gone, and so will the leaves.

Halloween decor in Riverdale

In a week or so, we slip into that six-month period where Toronto takes on a dreary grey look, only brightened up by the occasional snowfall. On our walk, it was clear that we were already past prime vibrant fall colour. A day with strong winds and the remaining leaves will fall to the ground too.

Riverdale fall colours

Broadview Avenue has one of the finest panoramic views of downtown. We lingered for a few minutes while Skuggi snacked on some of his breakfast kibble. Then it was time to head to the off-leash area behind the ice skating rink and swimming pool complex at the corner of Broadview and Hogarth.

Skuggi with downtown T.O. backdrop

We met up with Stanley and Martha, a new addition to the neighbourhood’s dog community. That is young Martha with Skuggi in the pic below, with Sal(ami) tucked behind.

As I knelt down to get a better angle for the shot below, I lost sight of where Skuggi was.  While Martha’s head was back in the hole she was happily digging, it soon registered that Skuggi was also in the image, gathering essential information!

Skuggi and Martha become one!

Skuggi and I  headed down to the path that runs north to south to the footbridge across the Don Valley.

Skuggi waits at the top of the path through the woods behind the swimming pool

On this day, it was very quiet on the other side of the valley in the large off-leash area. Before heading home, we walked along the fence to the southern end to use the water fountain.

hillside on the south side of the field by Riverdale Farm

Back to our street and more leaves on display. If there is one thing that makes the late fall and winter more bearable, it is, oddly enough, the occasional snowstorm that blankets the neighbourhood in ten centimeters (or more!) of snow.  Close by are two of the best tobogganing hills in the city – and spitzes like Skuggi love jumping around in the snow!

Later that morning, Skuggi was out in the backyard.  He was on the lookout for out-of-control squirrels. They were taunting him from the safety of the tree branches he is staring up at! Note his “I’ll get back to you in a minute” when I call him back!


For more pix of leaves and Icelandic Sheepdogs, check out this post –

The Last Of Autumn’s Colours – A Walk Up Toronto’s Don Valley To Mud Creek


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5 Responses to Skuggi Checks Out Riverdale’s Fading Fall Colours

  1. Tricia Goldie-Seal says:

    Thank you for posting, Ramblin’ Boy. Greetings to you and your loved-ones from the beautiful Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, where Spring is in full swing

    • true_north says:

      Tricia, nice to hear from you! Springtime, eh!

      Amazingly, I just got an email from Don Elliot responding to our 2023 canoe tripping plans up in Wabakimi. BTW, how is that novel coming?

      • Tricia Goldie-Seal says:

        Almost finished first draft, chapter sixteen, Book Three of my trilogy. Suffered a setback April 2022, when a medical test I underwent damaged nerves in my right hand, and I could no longer type. Lots of physiotherapy and a brace has helped, and now the warmer weather has arrived, I am typing in small spurts each day with little pain. Despite the suffering going on in the world as a result of climate change, Covid, Putin, Xi Jinping, and sundry other warmongers, I feel joyful, [and so grateful] for all the beauty and blessings in my life. Thank you again for helping me create the fictional journey my characters took through the wilderness of Northern Ontario via Whitewater Lake, Ogoki River, White Clay Lake, Pickett Lake, Raymond River etc. etc.

      • true_north says:

        Sorry to hear about your health issue. Your positive attitude certainly helps. As you point out, the world is moving into a dark dystopian period, and hope is in short supply right now. Your northern Ontario adventure trilogy is a great place to escape to – as are the things I end up blogging about! Let me know when the books make it to Amazon!

      • Tricia Goldie-Seal says:

        I’ve set 30th November 2023 as the completion date of all three manuscripts. Then I have to find an international literary agent willing to take on the task of [a] finding a book publisher and [b] pitching the trilogy to Netflix, Amazon, Walt Disney etc. as a television series of at least three seasons. I will certainly send you copies of the three books.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated, as are any suggestions on how to make this post more useful to future travellers. Just drop me a line or two!

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