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On  a day threatening extreme heat and thunderstorms, 10 Academy members gathered at Withrow Park for the  first of the Academy’s 2020 ‘Neighbourhood  Walks’.  Though tolerably warm, we were pleasantly surprised to remain dry as we circled our way through the Riverdale neighbourhood. From the meet-up at the north end of the 21-acre Withrow Park and view of our commemorative benches, dedicated to a dearly departed family member and  some much-loved  felines, we enjoyed the shady walkways and gardens of the historic Bain Avenue Co-Op, and the grand view of Toronto’s cityscape as we emerged onto Broadview  Avenue.
Circling the Bridgepoint Hospital complex which  includes remnants of the Western Wing of the old Don Jail, now providing administrative support to the hospital, we were able to glimpse some of Canadian artist Bill Lishman’s colorful leaping/dancing figures at the west-facing staircase of the hospital.   Emerging onto the trails of Riverdale Park East, we circled back onto Broadview, returning  along Hogarth Avenue, a street providing  much of historic interest including the 1875 Hogarth House and the Owen Staples House and Studio  built in 1904 in the Arts and Crafts style and occupied by the artist till his death in 1949.  Amazingly, we found the grand elongated picnic table in Withrow Park unoccupied and enjoyed reconnecting over our picnic lunches.   Thanks Dave  for co-ordinating the walks, and looking forward to next Tuesday where Donna leads us through the Rosedale Neighborhood.
submitted by Rene Laukat
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