The Summer 2022 Academy Walks continued on August 9 with Simon Pearson leading us on a tour of Toronto Waterfront, Past and Present. We gathered at the welcoming Big Heart at the western entrance of the Distillery District, which was at one time on the waterfront of our city, and finished near Fort York, also once on the waterfront.
Simon provided much history on the various historic developments and structures along the way. We marvelled at the incredible expansion of the city southward, with nearly one km of land created south of the harbour, originally at Front Street, to the current shoreline. Passing through the St. Lawrence Market development, we stopped at the site of Ontario’s first parliament building (1798), then past the St. Lawrence Market, stopping at the newly erected billboard of the Blackburns, anti-slavery activists and community benefactors. We headed south on Jarvis St. to wonder at the public art installation “Wavelength” (Paul Raff 2014), the metal ceiling of a parking lot passage illustrating the level of the lake once glittering and rolling near it’s level. Heading west along the lakefront’s Martin Goodman trail past Harbourfront and the beautiful Music Garden (1999), at Dan Lecky Way we looped around Ireland Park (2007), a moving memorial signifying the arrival of Irish famine immigrants who first landed on these shores in 1847. Returning east along Fort York Blvd. past Canoe Park and it’s iconic red canoe, we settled on the patio of the local Fox and Fiddle for lunch, with several of us tucking into their ample and delicious all day breakfast.
Thank you Simon for this interesting journey of re-discovery of Toronto’s beginnings and expansion.
by Rene Laukat