Even though it was Groundhog Day a few days ago and Wiarton Willie has predicted an early spring, I have decided that I like winter. Now, I haven’t always been such a fan of winter. When I think back to the days of having to trudge through the snow and navigate icy sidewalks to and from my 9-5 government job, I was not as enamoured with the season. Waiting in -15°C weather for a TTC streetcar to find that it was jam-packed and that I would have to wait another 10 minutes for an available streetcar was no walk-in-the-park either.
Since I began working from home nine years ago, I have come to enjoy the winter. I realize this is a privileged position since I no longer have to battle the elements to get to work or squeeze in for a spot on a crowded streetcar. I can admire the snow falling on the ground from a coveted spot in my living room while enjoying a mug of my favourite Rooibos tea.
We have been hearing a lot about coyotes appearing in our neighbourhood recently. My neighbour advised that she saw two coyotes walking down our street at 8 a.m. last week! So I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about taking a walk at Rosetta McClain Gardens since this Toronto east-end park backs on to the Scarborough Bluffs, home of many wildlife species. So I grabbed my mother to come along – two people are better than one when it comes to intimidating coyotes, right?
We arrived at noon during the week since we figured this park would be fairly busy on the weekend. We began our walk from the parking lot and were a little dismayed that there wasn’t a shovelled path. (Apparently, the City of Toronto removes snow from winter trails in only select parks.) Fortunately, about 20 feet ahead, we came upon a path that, although it was not shovelled, it had been heavily trodden upon, which made it easy for walking.
Due to the relatively mild January, the lake has not frozen so we were able to hear the roar of the waves. It’s always magnificent to see Lake Ontario in winter.
Rosetta McClain Gardens is not a huge park – only 23 acres – so you have to walk the circumference of the park several times if you want to get some exercise. My favourite part of the park is the eastern section where century-old pines, cedars and hemlocks cluster. It really feels like you are up north walking in a woodland forest rather than in an urban park. I don’t know if they allow snowshoeing in the park, but it would be the perfect place to do this.
We really enjoyed our walk at Rosetta McClain Gardens. This scenic park looks absolutely beautiful dressed in winter white. I hope you get a chance to visit the park sometime.
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