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.

16 thoughts on “About

  1. Bushwhacker

    Hello hikingthegta,

    I’m admin for 2oldguyswalking. Thanks for the follow. I’ve returned it through WordPress and expect you will get another from Ranger soon.

    My story is exactly the opposite of yours. I was born and raised in Toronto, but have lived in small town Southern Ontario for the last few decades. In my youth, I likely explored alot of the areas you do now. I look forward to readiing on and seeing how things have changed in my old stomping grounds.


  2. Bushwhacker

    Great site. I was born and raised country. Love blogs on abandoned rail lines, saw and grist mills, rustic abandoned buildings and most things country. Keep up the good work.

  3. rhianna

    I truly appreciate all the information you supply alongside your pictures. I first found about your page from writing about my hometown in Georgetown at the Barber Mill and have been completely fascinated from there on. Thank you for all you do and keep up the great work.

  4. Linda

    Finally, a group of country born n’ raised who similar to me grew-up playing/exploring& learning in the great outdoors!

  5. Linda Hocquet

    Just found your sight and find it quite interesting. However your comments regarding Maclaren castle are incorrect. It was not completely destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in the mid 1980’s.. I used to live there until 2011.
    Regards, Linda

  6. Alex Halonen

    Hello. I saw on one of your articles you found a vinegar bottle from 1958. I found one that was vey similar to yours. I was wondering how you dated the bottle and if you could suggest any resources for me to use. It was from Canada Vinegars Limited. Hope you can help!

    1. hikingthegta Post author

      If the bottle has a date it will be on the bottom, often to the right of the bottle manufacturer’s logo. IE: Consumer’s Glass has a C in a triangle, Dominion Glass has a D. Not all bottles were dated.

  7. Anne

    Love, love this blog. Thank you for sharing your adventures and historical Toronto. Would love to make some suggestions for more adventures/history! send me an email and I will explain…

  8. lisawood46

    This sounds like my childhood on a farm near Alliston, Ontario (the closest hamlet was called Egbert). Our TV got 3 channels if we got the rabbit ears in just the right position 🙂 We had 100 acres of fields and woods to explore, and two creeks to paddle in. I miss it very much! I’ve found myself revisiting those days during pandemic lockdowns and am spending a lot of time outdoors walking with my dog in quiet spots around my new town of Paris.

  9. pauldaviescartoons

    Interesting article about the Don Valley Brickworks, I thought at first you were referring to the Don Valley in Yorkshire UK, more confusing was the mention of Todmorden, which is an industrial town in the east of Lancashire, UK. Fascinating to see that these locations are reproduced in Canada!

  10. Guy

    I was hoping someone could help me with this. My father bought the land at Bathurst and Hwy 7 in 1954 and it was lot #34. The farmer he bought it from was Randall Paige and the original crown grant was given to Nicholas Cober in 1798. I was wondering where I might be able to find the owners between the time of the original owner and Paige. I also grew up knowing the Bakers, Wingers and some others but not many descendants are around now but we still live on a small lot.


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