One of the things I love about my neighborhood in Toronto is that I’m a block away from the Humber River, a historic fur-trading route that flows into Lake Ontario. Back in 1954, after Hurricane Hazel flooded homes in the valley, the city expropriated a bunch of land and turned it into a linear park meandering through the city, with tens of miles of bike trails and gravel paths running alongside the river.
This happens to be the same neighborhood where I grew up, so I’ve seen the parkland change over the years, from vast swaths of heavily manicured and pesticide-ridden lawn to a more natural mix of forest and unkempt savannah. These days, running on the trails, it’s much easier to imagine you’re in the middle of nowhere. And if you hop into a canoe, you can effectively leave the city behind (as long as you don’t paddle too close to the sewage plant near the mouth of the river).
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