Lake Ontario (part one)

I spent two days last week exploring Lake Ontario, the body of water which separates Ontario, Canada, and New York State, in the USA. Toronto sits perched on the north-western edge of this freshwater reservoir. The lake has a total surface area of 7,540 square miles, making it the smallest of the five Great Lakes in North America. However, in the past, Lake Ontario spread over a sizeable portion of what is now the city of Toronto, and its impact on the physical terrain of the area can still be observed today. The streets of downtown Toronto are flat and even because they used to be part of the lakebed. Consequently, if you travel further north, the city becomes (in geographical terms!) reminiscent of Edinburgh.

humber

Toronto, situated on Lake Ontario, as seen from the west

For the first day, I decided to explore the Humber River, which runs for over 1000 miles, before feeding into Lake Ontario. I took the subway west and got off at Old Mill, a beautiful area of the city, full of picturesque old houses. 2 minutes from the subway station, there is an impressive bridge which straddles the Humber and offers incredible views. On a cold, frosty November morning, I was able to get some great shots.

Humber1

From the bridge, it is possible to access a footpath and follow the river all the way down to the lakeshore. However, construction work meant that the access point was shut, so I decided to catch a bus down to the lake, and visit Humber Bay Park, the point at which the river joins the lake.

It was a fairly simple task, catching the bus. Unfortunately, I got off too early, and had a walk down the ever-busy Park Lawn Road, under Gardner Expressway and past a wholesale market. It was, however, worth the struggle.

Humber Bay Park is absolutely beautiful. It is full of meandering pathways hemmed in by overgrown plants, that edge around ponds of clear water. The park itself was virtually deserted, allowing complete peace and freedom to explore.

Closer to the lake, there was an empty shoreline. It is an incredible sight to stand on the pebble beach a look out at the vast expanse of still water. Unlike the seaside, there isn’t a smell of salt in the air, and the lake itself is strikingly calm. It rolls out to the horizon like a sheet of silk.

I had originally planned to take the bus and subway home, but Lake Ontario was so beautiful that I ended up following its shoreline all the way back to downtown Toronto. The total distance I walked that day came in at around 10 miles! My feet were in agony by the end, but it was worth it! Here are a few of the highlights.

Some Canadian Geese doing their best attempt at an Abbey Road cover

Looking back to Humber Park in the late afternoon

The Expressway (note the double decker trains!)

Sunset on Lake Ontario

The Railroad at Sunset

This final picture is for my dad (I hope he gets the reference)

I have uploaded all my pictures to Facebook and Photobucket, so you can check them out. Here’s the direct link to the Photobucket album: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v329/the_delaney/Humber%20Bay/

I’ll be posting part 2 of my Lake Ontario adventure as soon as possible. It will cover Becca and my trip to Toronto Island.