Monthly Archives: August 2014

Barbertown

Saturday August 23, 2014

Overcast and 21 degrees but feeling more like 26 with the humidity.  We parked in the little parking lot on the east side of the Credit River just south of Eglinton Ave.

We encountered a patch of poison ivy that had started to turn red.  Poison Ivy is distinctive with it’s three leaf pattern on each stem.  It likes carbon dioxide and has doubled both it’s habitat and strength since the 1960’s.  Late in August the berries turn white as seen in the photo below.  The berries are eaten by birds and bears and are still viable after passing through them.  Some people can have a severe allergic reaction to poison ivy.

IMG_3016

We saw a small Dekay’s Brown snake lying on a branch sunning itself.  They can grow to about 50 cm but the young, which are born in late summer, are 8-11 cm in length.  This snake is not poisonous but can emit a foul smelling musk if it feels threatened.

IMG_3021

In 1843 the Barber Brothers, William and Robert, decided to expand their Georgetown mill operation by buying William Comfort’s farm and mill site just south of Streetsville.  In 1852 they built a 4 storey wollen mill.  When it burned in 1861 their workers just built a new one and opened again only three months later.  Within 10 years it was the fourth largest textile mill in Ontario.  During the first world war it was converted to a flour mill which it continues as today.  The second mill remains on the left in the photo below but has been covered over with stucco and aluminum siding.  The cover photo shows the mill as it looked in 1950.

IMG_3053

Mills used to be built tall to take advantage of shafts and pulleys that were turned by the water wheel.  In this four story mill the wool was carded on the top floor then moved to the third floor where it was spun into yarn.  On the second floor it would be woven into blankets and assorted textiles.  On the first floor it was was cleaned, checked for quality and prepared for shipping.

Carding wool is a process which runs the wool through a carding material.  We get the word “carding” from the Latin word “carduus” which means teasel.  When the Barbers ran their mill, their workers would have used the heads of the teasel plant to draw out the fibres of the wool into long strands that could be spun.  Today carding is performed with a set of paddles with many closely spaced pins on them.  Teasel plants still grow around the mill property.  By mid summer the plant can be up to 2 meters tall with large purple heads on them.  The flower forms a purple ring that works its way down the the head as it blooms.  The ones pictured below have finished blooming.

IMG_3017

The Barbertown bridge was built in 1898 to carry workers from about 40 cottages that were built along Base Line (now Eglinton Road).  The staff of the mill reached 200 at one point and used this bridge to access the cottages on the other side of the river along Barbertown Road.  The bridge originally carried a roadway as wide as the cross beams on the bottom.  A narrower foot bridge has been installed for modern pedestrian traffic.

IMG_3056

A sluice gate is used to control the flow of water at a mill site.  By raising and lowering the gate a mill could control the speed of the water wheel.  At Barbertown the sluice gate was raised and lowered by a hand crank that would have been operated by two people. When water power was finally abandoned here in 1974 the sluice was filled in. Today a tree grows where a deep ditch full of water once ran.  The tree has grown almost completely around the steel rod as if to still the works of man even further.

IMG_3057

The Barber dam was washed out in 1974 and never replaced.

IMG_3064

William Barber built himself a two story house in 1862 on the corner of Barbertown Road and Mississauga Road.  It survives today as a restaurant. An 1860’s carriage parked near the front of the house reminds us of how these roads and the Barbertown Bridge were originally used.  I can picture William coming out in the morning and getting onto perhaps this very carriage.  After an inspection of the mill, perhaps a trip down Mississauga Road into Port Credit to arrange the sale or shipment of some of his textiles.

IMG_3106

Rail corridors were strung with telegraph wires allowing transmission of information about train positions.  When electrical power was spreading in the early 1900’s the utility poles were converted to carry power as well.  Glass insulators were patented in the 1880’s and were used where each wire was attached to the pole.  In the picture below many of the original ones have been broken off but several good examples remain.  The light blue ones are possibly older than the clear glass style but to know for sure a date is usually embossed on the right side of the molder’s logo.

IMG_3072

We disturbed a Red-Tailed Hawk who was having a little snack.  Although they eat mainly rodents they are not opposed to a little water fowl once in while as this one was enjoying. Females are up to 25% larger than males and this was therefore likely a female.

IMG_3098

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/hikingthegta

Follow us at http://www.hikingthegta.com

 

 

Middle Road Bridge

Saturday August 16, 2014

It was 15 degrees and perfect for a hike.  We parked on 43rd street beside the Etobicoke creek.  43rd Street is only a short stub north of Lakeshore today.  In 1954 it extended to the lake and, along with Island rd., contained houses on both sides of the creek near the lake.  A trailer park existed at the time on the west bank of the river between Lakeshore Road and the railroad tracks.  Seven people were killed and numerous houses washed into lake in October 1954 when hurricane Hazel hit Toronto.

Visible from Lakeshore are a triple set of tracks, now used by GO Transit as well as many CN freight trains.  When the Grand Trunk Railroad (GT) was built in the 1850’s it was two tracks wide.  The bridge in the photo below was built in 1856.  When the GT was incorporated into the Canadian National (CN) in 1923 a third track was added.  In the photo below the older track is sitting on the large cut stone blocks while the newer addition on the left is constructed on poured concrete which had become popular around 1900.

IMG_2913

Coca Cola was invented in 1886 in Atlanta by a pharmacist, Dr. John Pemberton. Originally it was sold as a syrup that was mixed in the pharmacy and sold at the counter by the glass.  in 1915 the distinctive “hobble-skirt” bottle was created.  Selling for 5 cents it contained a 6 oz serving.  Pepsi was created in 1893 and stole a share of the market by selling 12 oz bottles also for 5 cents.  The coke bottle below was made in 1959.

IMG_3011

A brickyard was opened in Port Credit in 1891 on the west side of the Credit River.  The business expanded and soon a scarcity of labour resulted in the use of immigrants to work in the brick yard.  Bunk houses were built to provide homes for the workers.  By the 1920’s the business was operating at a loss and it was closed down.  That means that the brick in the picture below is likely over 100 years old.

IMG_2916

The brick yards as they looked in 1907.

Brickyards

When hiking in the woods in August it is necessary to carry a small stick in front of your face to keep from eating spider webs.  The Cross Orbweaver is one of the more common ones, although it is not native to North America.  Females wrap their eggs in a protective sac of silk.  There are between 100 and 800 eggs in a single egg sac.  We found an egg sac that had just hatched.  The picture below shows a “daddy-long-legs” spider which has been captured and left for food for the little babies.  Note the tiny dots below the egg sac which are the emerging young.

IMG_2944

Just north of the tracks is the first old dam on the creek.  This dam has retaining walls which extend all the way to the edge of the ravine on both sides of the creek.  This is a good example of an old dam as you can clearly see the slots in the river bottom to hold the boards that would retain the water for the mill pond.

IMG_2926

Delco radios are standard on GM products.  In the 1960’s it was common to have only an AM radio in your new vehicle.  FM radio, CD players and MP3 inputs were all many years in the future.  We found an old AM radio with 5 preset channel function.  Having 5 preset stations was a luxury at the time as you didn’t have to try to tune the dial while driving (let alone dial your cell phone).

IMG_2958

The Etobicoke creek was calm and clear.  The west bank of the creek is a shale cliff which is slowly being eroded away from below.  Shale is formed from fine particles of sand that is deposited in slow moving water.

IMG_2961

The second dam across the Etobicoke creek.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found much information about the early miller families on the creek.

IMG_2971

Today was a day for hot water tanks.  We found two of them along the way.  One would wonder why someone would carry one of these out here to dispose of it.  Most likely these are remnants of the mess left when Hurricane Hazel ripped homes apart and washed them away.

IMG_2984

Along the way we noticed that there was a white line on the pathway.  Walking trails normally don’t have divider lines and so we suspected that this may have been used as a road at one time.  A few minutes later the roadway was lined with the remnants of a old parking lot on either side of the road.

IMG_2992

A couple of minutes later we saw the arch of an old bridge poking through the trees.  It turns out that this is called Middle Road Bridge and it was built in 1909.  It stands on the foundations of an older bridge.  Originally designed to carry people and horses it quickly became too small in the days of the automobile as it was 1 lane only.  It is the first example in Canada and only the second in North America of a reinforced concrete arch bridge.  The Middle Road was a major connection between York and Peel counties. Middle Road got it’s name from the fact that it ran in the middle between Lakeshore Blvd and Dundas Street. Prior to the Queen Elizabeth Way being completed in the late 1930’s this was a major 4 lane road running as far as Hamilton.  The portion of the old road which we had seen south of the bridge has been re-named Sherway Drive but it appears to be suffering from neglect as well.  The bridge is protected by two historical societies.  One end by Toronto and the other by Mississauga.  The cover photo shows the bridge from the western elevation.

IMG_2994

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/hikingthegta

Follow us at http://www.hikingthegta.com

 

Half-Mile Bridge

Tuesday Aug. 13, 2014

Tuesday evening and a couple of hours for a rare mid-week hike.  I parked on True Davidson Drive and went down beside the bridge to the abandoned CPR tracks.

The Canadian Pacific Railroad was founded in 1880 to complete a rail line across the continent and connect the provinces in the newly formed country of Canada.  When Confederation occurred on July 1, 1867 Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were the first four provinces.  Manitoba joined in 1870 and B.C. was enticed to join in 1871 by the promise of a transcontinental railway which was to be built within 10 years.

When the line was built it passed through Leaside and Toronto West Junction missing the city of Toronto.  Trains had to back up 5 miles from West Junction to Union Station.  In 1888 the CPR was granted permission to build a spur line from Leaside to Union Station along the west side of the Don River.  In 1891 the first freight train ran along this track into Toronto, with passenger service starting the following year.  A bridge was built to cross the Don River Valley.  One end was near Todmorden and the other ran past The Don Valley Brickworks.  A steel trestle bridge 1100 feet long (just under a quarter mile) and 75 feet high was constructed.  The bridge picked up the nick-name “half mile bridge” early on even though it is only half of that in length.  This photo is from the early 1920’s.

DonValley-Railway-Train-1920s-Brickworks-HalfMileBridge (1)

By the late 1920’s trains were becoming heavier and a new bridge was required.  As this bridge was the route of the Toronto to Montreal train it was decided not to interrupt service.  New concrete supports were built under the existing bridge.  Then new sections of steel were assembled beside the existing bridge.  When the train left for Montreal in the morning a crane would lift an existing section of bridge out.  The new section would be lifted into place and secured before the train came back that evening.  Finally the old girders were removed.  Throughout this section of track the steel plates that the rails are mounted on all read CPR 1953 indicating the last time a major restoration was done to the tracks and ties.  The bridge remained in use until 2007 when the line was abandoned. Metrolinx now owns the line and bridge with plans to integrate it into a future system.

The picture below shows the overgrowth of just seven years.

IMG_2856

A rail line right-of-way is 200 feet wide. Steam engines would have used this track into the 1950’s and the entire strip of land would have been kept cleared of it’s trees to prevent engine sparks from starting fires.  Today, trees that are two inches across are growing right beside the rails.

IMG_2857

Some of the old electrical poles still stand along right of way, many still with short lengths of wire attached.

IMG_2864

Walking along the tracks for a few minutes brings you to the half mile bridge.  There are 4 small platforms perched along the sides of the tracks.  Buckets of water were stored here and they may also have served as places of refuge for anyone caught on the tracks when a train approached.  Today these platforms would likely just drop you 75 feet to your death. Note how small the cars appear in the photo below.

IMG_2875

The idea of walking across this bridge could be scary enough, but for some it isn’t scary at all.  They prefer to jump off the bridge as the bungee jumping ropes tied in the middle of the tracks suggest.

IMG_2879

Two thirds of the way across the bridge you come to the Don River.

IMG_2881

Looking back one can get a good view of the Don Valley Brickworks and it’s assortment of late 19th and early 20th century industrial buildings.

IMG_2889

A steel ladder is secured to the side of the bridge allowing access to a platform several feet below.  Prudence prevented me from finding out what is down there.

IMG_2885

From up here the view of the towers in the downtown core is quite spectacular.

IMG_2901

Along the way back I found one of the old concrete foundations for a signal post.  Track signals are used to inform trains of the location of other trains along the same track.

IMG_2906

This view of the train bridge, along with the cover photo, is taken from the parking lot of the old brickworks.  It has recently been renovated to become Evergreen Brick Works and is now home to a farmer’s market, bike repair and rentals and many gardens.  The old brick kilns remain on display as well.

IMG_2909

Google maps link: Half Mile Bridge

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/hikingthegta

Follow us at http://www.hikingthegta.com

 

Abandoned Pottery Road

Sunday Aug. 10, 2014

I parked in the Loblaws parking lot at Bayview and Moore Avenue.  Another beautiful, sunny day, around 22 degrees.  Perfect for a hike.  If you look carefully you notice a sign on the laneway between the Pharma Plus and the Loblaws.  It says “Pottery Road”.  It seems out of place as there is another Pottery Road that runs down the hill from Broadview Ave. to  Bayview Ave., right past Todmorden.

The interesting thing is that, until about 55 years ago these pieces of Pottery Road were connected.  The picture below, from 1947, shows pottery road (in red) wiggling up the middle of the picture and crossing the CPR tracks  near the centre.  The CPR tracks run almost straight up the middle of the photo.  This section of the road is now abandoned.

pottery2

 

Pottery Road likely started off as part of an east-west Indian trail that  crossed the city along the present route of Davenport Road.  Today only about a third of the original Pottery Road remains.  The portion going south from Loblaws has been taken over as an access route to a new construction site.  I walked down it but it is a dead end now.  Along the way, parts of the old road can be seen sticking through the grass.   This is a dead end now and you will have to go back to Bayview Ave and walk to Nesbit Street.

IMG_2787

There is a little trail just off of True Davidson Drive just before the bridge that leads down to the old rail line.  The old road crossed the now abandoned CPR tracks that lead to the Half-Mile Bridge and descended along the edge of the Cudmore creek.

IMG_2792

I missed the connection to the roadway and so I tried to find it from the south end of True Davidson Drive.  I ended up in Rosedale Valley Ravine at the top of a 130 foot point of land.  I found this shelter someone had built into the side of the hill.  A place to sit in the sunshine, or retreat in the rain.

IMG_2797

Inside they were using part of an old metal chute as a large scoop to dig their little hide-away.

IMG_2796

There appeared to be no going down the side of the ravine (even the coyote only had two places he would go).  There was a rope tied to the trees just behind the fort and a series of steps were dug into the hillside.  I decided to go down the hill using the rope to steady my decent.  At the bottom I found my way across Cudmore Creek and onto Pottery Road.  It has deteriorated badly in the four years since I first walked through here.  With the erosion and new growth of trees it is hard to see that vehicles once roared up and down the hill here.

IMG_2798

In places the old road is washed out 3 feet deep.  Under the pavement is a mess of broken bricks.  The Don Valley Brick Works, owned by the Taylor brothers who were running Todmorden Mills in the 1890’s, is just south of here.  Any broken or defective brick had to be discarded and so they litter the Don river and every hillside in the area.  It appears that they also formed the base for Pottery Road.  I guess that when they paved over the bricks it was “Goodbye Red Brick Road”.

IMG_2800

Closer to the Bayview  Extension the old steel posts for the guard rail stand like sentinels along the side of the old roadway.  Their wooden facing has dropped off and is rotting on the ground.

IMG_2802

When the Bayview extension was built in 1959 Pottery Road was cut in two and the portion that climbed the hill along the Cudmore creek was cut off and abandoned.  Today as you drive up Bayview avenue it is hard to pick out the location of the former road.  Just at the end of the guardrail there is a chain with a red flag hanging on it.  This marks the old roadway.  It would have come straight across and connected with the bridge over the Don river.

IMG_2849

The 1928 bridge lies behind the newer one in the foreground.

IMG_2805

At the top of the hill the road currently curves to the south as it climbs the hill.  The road originally went straight up the hill and met Broadview Avenue where Charles Sauriol Parkette is today.  Broadview Avenue was built in 1798 by Timothy Skinner who ran the mills at Todmorden and was originally known as Mill Road until 1884.  The name was changed to reflect the “broad view” from the crest of the hill looking over the mills in the valley.  There is a Dairy Queen at the top of the hill which proved to be a distraction that kept me from getting to the parkette to take a last photo.

Google Maps link: Pottery Road

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/hikingthegta

Follow us at http://www.hikingthegta.com

Todmorden Mills

Sunday August 10, 2014

It was sunny and warm, a beautiful day for a hike.  I parked at the top end of Pottery Road in the Loblaws parking lot.  I also hiked along the old abandoned roadway of Pottery Road but that will have to be described separately due to length.

When Governor Simcoe arrived in 1793 to build his town of York (Toronto) he needed a large supply of sawn lumber.  The only other mill at the time was the King’s Mill (now Old Mill) on the Humber River.  As it was a government run mill it was unreliable and went through many changes of millers due to crazy rules that made it impossible to recoup your investment.  Simcoe brought Isaiah and Aaron Skinner in and granted them 200 acres of land in the Don River valley.  They built a sawmill in 1794 and a grist mill in 1795.  The Skinners sold the mills to Parshall Terry in 1798 and when he drowned in 1808 the mills passed to Timothy Skinner who ran them until he was killed in the war of 1812.

Terry built the older portion of the Terry House, that part at the back which was made of logs.  The front part with the two chimneys was a later addition.  Taxes were levied on the number of chimneys you had, so having three fireplaces was a luxury.

IMG_2838

This picture shows the back end of the paper mill.  The mill race ran down the left side of the mill and this is where the mill wheel would have been.  The tall chimney was added about 1900.  In the cover photo the chimney is contrasted with the urban towers of Toronto in the distance.

IMG_2817

In 1822 Colin Skinner came into a partnership with the idea of chasing a bounty for being the first paper mill in Upper Canada.  They didn’t win the bounty but did become the first mill to install paper making machinery.  Eventually the paper mills spread into three locations and became a major industry in early Toronto.  When the mills closed down they were used for awhile to stable the horses from the brick works.  Later they were the home of Whitewood’s Riding Stable.  The word “White” remains on the side of the old mill.  Also, note the old mill stone mounted on the lawn just outside the door.

IMG_2844

When the Don Valley parkway was built the Don River was re-routed so that the large curve that used to pass through Todmorden and power the mills was cut off by the berm of the highway.  The river was straightened to run along side the railway line.  The part that used to flow under the bridge still has water in it and backs up from the river down stream when there is flooding, providing some flood control.  The picture below is taken from the bridge looking east.

IMG_2829

In 1821 the mills were sold to Thomas Helliwell Sr. and John Eastwood.  Helliwell Sr. came from Todmorden in England and it is because of him that the name of Don Mills was changed to Todmorden Mills.  One of the first things Helliwell did was erect this building as the brewery and distillery.

IMG_2833

Thomas Helliwell Jr. built this house in 1837 out of bricks made from clay he dug out of the hillside behind the house.  The bricks were not baked but only sun dried and so they would crumble easily.  For this reason a protective coating of stucco was applied.

IMG_2840

The portion of the house at the rear has the notable characteristic of no windows breaking the roof line that suggests it was originally a log home.  The two story brick and stucco addition on the front was likely framed and then veneered with bricks and stucco.

IMG_2839

The old flag pole still stands on the front lawn of the Terry House.  Note the wooden cradle mount at the bottom of the pole.

IMG_2841

When Thomas Taylor died in 1880 the mills were handed over to George Taylor’s son’s who added the Don Valley Pressed Brickworks to their empire in 1891 just across the river from Todmorden.  The Don Valley Brickworks produced many of the bricks for the construction of Late Victorian Toronto.  Broken or defective bricks were dumped in the valley all around Todmorden.  The road leading to the bridge over the former Don River is made of bricks but is itself built on several feel of broken bricks.  The blue line on the bricks in the picture below shows the one time bank of the don River.

IMG_2830

A little up stream is old Todmorden dam.  This is a very quiet place to just sit and contemplate the people who made this city out of the woods around them.

IMG_2812

The Don Station was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1896 near Queen Street and the don river.  Between 1969 and 2008 it was on display at Todmorden before being moved to it’s new home in Roundhouse Park.

Google Maps Link: Todmorden Mills

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/hikingthegta

Follow us at http://www.hikingthegta.com

Claireville

Saturday Aug. 3, 2014

It was cool, at least to start with, at only 17 degrees.  We parked in the Humberwoods Community Centre and hiked north on the west side of the Humber.  Just south of Finch Avenue is a little park that has been developed as a bird flyway.  There are dozens of nests and things to attract birds and this is a great little park for bird watchers.  In the picture below are a couple of the many odd shaped nesting places that have been constructed there.

IMG_2715

The groundhog is a member of the Marmot family and is a type of ground squirrel.  They are one of the few species that enter true hibernation and they sleep until March or April. In the wild in Ontario they are always sleeping on groundhog day, and therefore, actually never see their own shadow.  After mating in the spring the pair stays together until the young are about to be born in April or May.  The male then leaves the burrow and the parenting to the female.  She gives birth to between 2 and 6 hairless blind kits. The young groundhog below was scared of us but didn’t try to run away.

IMG_2720

It was early in the morning and the dew sparkled on the spider webs.

IMG_2728

When the 427 was built plans were already in place to expand the highway by adding lanes between the North/South lanes.  As we went under the highway we could see the supports for the expansion that were built at the same time as the rest of the bridge.

IMG_2740

Claireville Dam was one of the flood control dams built in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Hazel.  in 1959 The Plan For Flood Control and Water Conservation was released.  Since 1960 over 40,000 acres of land has been acquired and 3 of the originally proposed 15 dams have been built.  Claireville dam was the first one, built in 1964.  The dam allows the Conservation Authority to collect water from heavy rains and release it slowly after the storm has passed.

IMG_2748

Indian Line started off as an Indian trail along the shore of the Humber river.  When the land survey was made it was part of the border between Peel County and York County. When hwy 427 was extended north it became part of an off and on ramp to the highway. In 1992 when the highway was further extended it was closed off and abandoned.  Parts of it now form hwy 50 north of Steeles ave.  Indian Line campground used to be accessed from just south of the river off of this road but is now accessed off of Finch Ave.  The picture below looks up the old roadway to the bridge that crosses the CN tracks.  When this bridge was built in the 1960’s this was an important road and it was made wide enough for 4 lanes to be opened one day.

IMG_2771

Claireville was a community that started in 1850 on the estate of Jean du Petit Pont de la Haye at the intersection of Steeles and Indian Line.  He named the town after his daughter Claire.  A third road ran diagonal through the property and was originally known as Claireville Road because that was the location of the toll booth along the road.  Early roads in Ontario were known for their mud (an early nick-name for Toronto was “Muddy York”) and were covered over in planks as soon as possible.  Plank roads required continuous maintenance and this was paid for through tolls collected by the road keeper. A horse and rider would pay 1/2 pence and 20 hogs or sheep cost 1/2 pence.  A wagon was 1 pence if drawn by a single horse but 1 1/2 pence if drawn by two.  When the Claireville road was planked a toll house was established.  Of all the houses which once stood in this town only a few remain.  There is a white two story house which remains and this was originally the toll house.  Since the 1950’s the town has declined and is now mainly an industrial neighbourhood.  The picture below shows the town as it was in 1947.

Claire 2

This picture has nothing to do with this hike but is a follow-up to last week’s move.  As I was cleaning the apartment I swept deep under a baseboard heater and out popped a little round black disc.  At first it didn’t look like anything but I could see that there was some writing on it.  I placed it in Coke for a few minutes to remove some of the gunge on it.  King Christian 7 ruled Denmark from 1668 to 1808.  The 1 Skilling Danske coin I found is in poor condition but still has a value of about $10.  Thank You to the previous tenant in my unit who lost this coin.  Don’t worry, it has found a good home in my collection.  It is interesting to me that Toronto was founded in 1796 at which time this coin was already 25 years old.  I find a lot of older things out hiking, but the oldest one so far was right under my heater for the past 8 years!

IMG_2714

 

Hinder Property

July 26, 2014

Moving day, but still time for a short hike before we have to get serious about hiking between the apartment and the truck.  It was a cooler day and overcast.  We parked in Bathurst Park on the West Don River.

We hiked south along the river into an area known as the Hinder Property.  An extensive mountain bike trail runs through the area making use of fallen trees and boardwalks.

IMG_2677

As we hiked along the side of the Don river we found this sewer cover which commemorates a point in history for the City of North York.  The Township of North York (NYT on this cover) was incorporated on June 13, 1922 out of the rural northern parts of York County.  It became the Borough of North York in 1967 meaning that there are not too many covers made after this one that would say NYT.  North York was incorporated as a city on Valentines day 1979, leading to it’s solgan “City with a Heart”.

IMG_2681

Near this we found another cover that was nearly buried in leaves and soil.  This one is unlike any I’ve ever seen before.

IMG_2685

As mentioned in an earlier post, the province of Ontario was well known for it’s brick buildings.  Some bricks are made with three round holes that reduce the amount of clay required and improve the speed of drying.  A lot of early brick buildings are originally wooden buildings that have been veneered in brick.  The holes are then used to tie the brick skin to the building using metal straps.  This brick is unique in it’s patterned holes.

IMG_2688

Pop began to be sold in cans in the 1930’s.  The can went through several changes, an early significant one being the inclusion of a liner to protect the contents from tasting like the can.  Originally a can opener was required to pierce a hole in the top.  In 1959 the invention of a pull tab eliminated the need of an opener but created a litter problem.  This was solved in the 1970’s by the push tab where a small raised blister was pushed into the can to open it.  This exposed the finger to sharp edges and was eliminated with the “sta-tab” that continues to be popular today.  7-Up was released just two weeks before the stock market crash in 1929.  There was 7 main ingredients in the original recipe, including the mood stabilizing drug lithium citrate.  Originally it was a patented medicine marketed as a cure for hang-overs.  Unlike bottles, cans were never dated and so coming up with a date can be tricky.  In this case we can define this can as 1975, the year in which the marketing slogan was “The Un-Cola.”

IMG_2694

Climbing the hill to the clearing above brought us face to face with a dragon.  This is part of a large memorial being erected in North York Cemetery.

IMG_2701

As we arrived back at the car we passed through a double row of trees that mark an old lane way.  That was our clue to head home and start hiking the lane way into the house where my wife and I were moving.

IMG_2712