I spent my youth in small town Ontario. Except when doing chores, eating or sleeping, we spent most our time outdoors. In those days the idea of personal electronics extended to the transistor radio that we used to carry around with us. We didn’t have cell phones, video games, computers or the internet to keep us occupied. We only had a dozen tv stations and we were discouraged from watching for extended periods. So, we explored.
We explored everywhere! Where ever our feet or our bikes would take us became an adventure. When we found something that was unusual we would try to find some information about it. That usually meant a trip to the library where there were a few books on local history.
Today I live in the heart of Toronto. The GTA is split by several major rivers and a few creeks as well. The Credit, Humber, Don and Rouge are each major rivers. The rivers were the first forms of transportation to the settlers. They soon became places of industry as well because the rivers supplied the water to run milling equipment. Following Hurricane Hazel all of the river lands were expropriated and turned into park land.
I still love to explore. I usually walk the less developed parts of parks through the trees and hillsides as they contain the wildlife and artifacts of the past. To me, a paved pathway in the park is only there to make quick passage on the way back to the car when the hike has ended.