Featured post

Day Hikes of Ontario Vol. 1

Day Hikes Cover FinalDay Hikes in Ontario Vol. 1 is now available. #hiking #Ontario #Dayhikes.

This book is written to help anyone interested in getting outdoors and enjoying the wonderful hiking trails that Ontario has to offer. The author focuses on day hikes, typically 2 – 4 hours in length, within a two hour drive of Toronto. It offers suggestions of not only where to go, but what to take with you and what other attractions you might find as part of an outing, such as local art galleries, good restaurants, vineyards and wineries, country markets or privately owned or municipal gardens. Getting outside need not be simply a hike, but the hike might be part of a longer day spent in the outdoors at fairs, on farms, picking your own vegetables or just sitting by a well-stocked trout pond,dangling a line in the water. 

The author includes tips on outdoor photography, trail etiquette, trail ratings, how to get to the hikes, site facilities, first aid concerns, how to avoid and treat insect bites and avoiding and managing bears.

The Value of Nature

IIMG_6871 lifted this Paid Post for the Waldorf School, in the San Francisco Bay Area, that I found in the New Yorker Online the other day. What caught my eye was the simple fact that there is recognition that getting outdoors, into a natural area, is of value to the spirit, mind and body – all the more so if it’s in an area that’s unfamiliar.

“The Waldorf School of the Peninsula, a private school in the Bay Area, is a technology-free zone. There are no tablets, no cell phones, no screens of any kind. Instead, the bookshelves are lined with encyclopedias and the classrooms outfitted with blackboards and chalk. Continue reading

Cam Snell Side Trail

An excerpt from the soon to be released Day Hikes of Ontario, Vol. 1.

Freewheeling

freewheeling-v2-0-copy

In Freewheeling, Horner takes his readers on a walk down Memory Lane as he provides them with well-told tales of some bicycle-related adventures he had while growing up in Toronto.

He and his friends get into trouble in the Black Creek, get pinched by a motorcycle cop in High Park, rescue a member of their party from Catfish Pond, get a deal at a police auction and more.

We are treated to a bit of history along the way as we learn, for example, that the Black Creek was turned into a flood control channel in the early 60s as a direct response to the devastating Hurricane Hazel that wracked the area a few years earlier.

Slow paced and introspective, Horner provides us with a series of richly textured tales of his early life as a footloose and fancy free cyclist.

ibookstore-logo

It can be downloaded from Apple iBooks.

ISBN: 978-0-9953161-3-3

 

The Family Camping Guide

A Grown-Ups Survival Manual

The Family Camping Guide

The Family Camping Guide from Canadian Outdoor Press is now available from Apple iBooks.  175 pages, $4.99 CAD  ISBN 978-0-9698297-9-9.

For every adult who has ever faced the family camping challenge.  This book shows you how to prepare yourself and your family for a great outdoor getaway. Included are tips for selecting tents, cooking, getting the kids to bed, treating common camp injuries, entertaining the gang, building a fire, securing drinkable water, camp lighting, checklists and much more.

Ed Horner has been camping, hiking and photographing through Ontario and Alberta for 45 years and brings his considerable knowledge, skill base and expertise to the pages of The Family Camping Guide.

Some time ago, I posted an article or two on the Glen Davis Ravine and the struggle the residents are having to stop the City from taking part of the “protected” land and allowing a developer to build a condo upon it.  That skirmish is still ongoing and it’s presently at the OMB.

I mention all this only because part of the background research I did for that article was to pour over old maps of Toronto and environs.  Like many before me, I’ve become fascinated with the little rivers, ponds and marshes we’ve managed to bury away or fill in as if they were some sort of black family secret. 

At the bottom of the Glen Davis Ravine, once, prior to 1953 the Tomlin’s Creek  babbled happily towards the SW, along what is now Love Crescent and Corely Avenue, in behind the Norway School across Woodbine Avenue, through the lowlands of the Norway Cemetery and finally into local Charles Coxwell Small’s pond – local farmer.  Small’s Pond was also fed by Small’s Creek from the north – which can still be seen flowing in a ravine north of Gerrard St. E. just east of Wembley Ave. Small’s Pond was fairly large, by pond standards, and somewhat “V” shaped with the bottom pointing towards the west end the old Woodbine Race Track.

This map is HUGE and may take a moment to load.

I found much of the hydraulic information from a longish document from the City regarding the Coatsworth Cut, which is an ongoing project to redirect huge amounts of sewage and storm water in this area.

“The construction of Coatsworth Cut — named after the City Commissioner who initiated the project — was designed to improve the circulation of water in and out of Ashbridges Bay and to improve its “malodorous” qualities. Subsequently, the Cut was made permanent with the construction of stone jetties in 1893 and 1894. Today, the Cut continues to link the remaining fragment of Ashbridges Bay with Lake Ontario.”from the Landscape Site Design Project Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Works and Emergency Services, City of Toronto October, 2003.

The only reason I bothered to post this article today is that as the rain pours down, I’m watching dirty water flow off the roads and into the sewers.  I see puddling all along low-lying side streets and overflowing sewers on Love Crescent.  Despite all the eforts and machinations of the Coatsworth Cut, despite the work on sewers and storm water basins – despite everyone’s efforts to hide the little creeks and rivers that we’ve buried, they continue to rise from the dead to remind us that they’re alive, roiling slowly, but with resolve, just beneath the pavement that we so confidently tread along every day.  Maybe, just maybe we ought not be so quick to bury the water, but rather, learn to live with it and enjoy the benefits it brings.

– Article courtesy of Ed Horner

My Buddhist Journal

 

Slide1Integrating my love for the outdoors and my Buddhist practice, My Buddhist Journal; One
Year in the Life of a Buddhist has just been released on iBooks.  The journal contains beautiful nature photos, a bit of history, some philosophy and of course my thoughts on meditation and Buddhism.

I hope you’ll at least click on the link below and follow through to the little website for it and onwards to the iTunes preview page (it’s a bit of a scavenger hunt).  Ultimately, I hope you’ll click “Buy Now” in the iTunes store (iBooks, actually) and download the book to your iBooks library.

Continue reading