Thanks to Simon Pearson for leading us, on Tuesday July 19, a day on record as one of the hottest of 2022, along this somewhat far-flung but historically interesting route of the Huron-Wendat Trail. Departing from the Finch West station, seven of us headed north on Keele Street to access the trail, now the Finch Hydro Corridor and Recreational Trail. For the first 20 minutes we followed Simon along a vast expanse of grassland with hydro towers above but not a bit of shade in sight.
The path runs through the Parsons Site, a former Huron-Wendat village now considered one of the city’s major pre-European archaeological discoveries of Toronto’s Huron-Wendat heritage. Of note, the north shore of Lake Ontario, including present-day Toronto, was once the ancestral home of the Huron-Wendat people. Accomplished farmers and traders, between AD 1200 and 1600 they occupied numerous villages, mainly along rivers and creeks.
We continued westward, past the Four Winds Allotment Gardens onward to Black Creek. Here, leaving the Huron-Wendat Trail, we continued on the Black Creek Trail, stopping to admire the remarkable expanse of Rudy’s Garden, established 10 years ago by then 85-year-old Rudy Riske as a community garden to bring life and beauty to one of the city’s beloved trail systems.
From here we headed north along Shoreham Drive, quickly passing the National Tennis Centre, into the York University campus and finally escaping into the cool spaces of York Lanes Mall, where we settled into the dim interior of the Timbers Lodge Social Grill.
Fortunately, the power outage happened after our beverages arrived and we were much cooled down by the time the power came on and our lunch orders were served. After a lengthy social, the very jazzy newish York University TTC station brought us back to the city centre. Thanks, Simon, for a very interesting if hot outing. -Rene Laukat