Wednesday, April 30, 2008

To the lighthouse, and back

Nearly there

Four of us explored the Leslie St. Spit on Saturday -- an epic 4-hour psychogeography walk. The Spit, as you Toronto people already know, is an entirely manmade peninsula a bit east of the Toronto Islands. It's been constructed over 50 years from the rubble of demolished buildings, and the soil and rocks dug up in the construction of the subway system. (Lots of interesting background on the Spit can be found in this hugely informative Toronto Star feature -- be sure to check out the PDF info-graphic.) It's now a city park and bird sanctuary, but truckloads of rubble are still being added every week. So the Spit is an unusual hybrid: both nature reserve and junkyard. A lot of the old building detritus looks curiously organic; it's really interesting to see how the natural and the artificial blend together out there.

We saw a beaver lodge, rabbits, a hawk that glared at us but did not fly off when we walked up close enough to see its talons, pretty blue-backed songbirds nesting in birdhouses, and the famous double-crested cormorant colony. Also, the Quonset hut referenced in Spacing's April Fool's gag this year. And the lighthouse at the end of the Spit.

I took LOTS of photos and have put them up on Flickr with notes: click here.


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