Sunday, October 21, 2018

Beamers Falls in Grimsby

Another Niagara Escarpment waterfall fed by Forty Mile Creek in Grimsby, Ontario lies along a side trail of the Bruce Trail with an upper and lower Beamer Falls. This cascading waterfall can be found on the web as both Beamer and Beamers Falls and is located beside Ridge Road West and there are nearby parking lots.
The top of the falls looking into the gorge

There is a path down to the base of the falls along the top of the gorge, however it is a difficult climb with steep slopes, loose rubble and muddy terrain, so be extremely careful. You can also climb up the falls but that is also very slippery.
Entering the escarpment trail off of Gibson Street
War of 1812 marker

Access to the falls can also be made from the Bruce Trail Beamer Falls side trail which can be reached from the Iroquoia Club section on Gibson Street. When you pass by the cool garage you come upon a War of 1812 memorial marker.
The climb up the escarpment is made easier by all the steps built into the path, but it is still a good workout. Think of the trip back down. 

See more of the visit after the jump.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Spencer Gorge in Fall

Tew's Falls and Webster Falls pour water over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton. Walking the Bruce Trail and various side trails is a delight in fall time, full of visitors checking out the gorge cut into the shale and limestone of the escarpment and standing on Dundas Peak (picture at top) looking over the city of Hamilton.
Tew's Falls
Tews Falls and Spencer Gorge
360 degree photo

Youtube video

The City of Hamilton's tallest waterfall is Tew's Falls at 41 metres high fed by Logie's Creek. There are two viewing platforms looking onto the ribbon waterfall located in Greensville, Ontario.

Webster Falls

Webster Falls is 22m high curtain waterfall with a large park attached to the falls. The steps to the base of the falls is closed off by fences.

The trail between the two falls are closed so you have to drive to each parking lots if you want to see both areas. The owners of the land in between the falls got tired of the people going off trail and decided to shut down the crossing. Apparently the Hamilton Conservation Area is attempting to expropriate the land so the trail can be re-established in the future. Parking is $10 per vehicle and is good for both Tew's and Webster Falls same day parking but please note that you can't park on summer weekends from May 12 to October 28. You will have to take the shuttle bus between Christie Lake Conservation Area and the park to visit the conservation area.

See more waterfalls and Spencer Gorge after the jump.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Late fall in Collingwood

Escarpment hills and the greenish-blue waters of Georgian Bay call to us in autumn and so we took our annual fall tour of the ski capital of western Ontario. It's been so long we also decided to go back to the caves of Collingwood on Sunday, October 14th.

People flying down the zip line

First of all, while you you can see splashes of bright colour scattered here and there, overall the peak fall colours are a muted, dull brown and yellow. The leaves will soon fall so get out there and enjoy nature.

The Scenic Caves Nature Adventures are open to November and have the trail of caves, caverns and crevasses, the suspension bridge, a Children's adventure playground and eco adventure tour. The mini golf, wagon rides and Thunderbird Twin Zipline (longest twin in Canada) closed October 14th, 2018. When we went last year the trails were closed due to rock fall, that seems to be fixed now. The caves are in the rocks of the Niagara Escarpment, limestone and shale hollowed out by weathering and erosion and the trail winds up the face of the mini-mountain. Admission is about $25 per person which only includes the nature trails, caves and suspension bridge. All else is extra.

Hanging 25m above the forest floor and swinging 126m long, the bridge wobbles as you walk and provides a great view of Georgian Bay and Collingwood.

Nature trails take you on a self-guided tour of 17 features including such holes in the ground as the Ice Cave, Fat Man's Misery, Fern Cave and Bear Cave plus a number of lookouts, cool caverns and a rock outcroping that resembles a Native Chief's head.
Then we drove the half kilometre journey to the top of the Blue Mountain ski lift and rode the last day of gondolas down the slope to the village. As we spent so much time in the crevasses we could only spend about a quarter hour at the bottom before we had to get back up. So after a quick dinner back up the hill, round trip for two only $37, we began our journey back to the Toronto area.

See more of fall after the jump.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2018 Royal Horse Show and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair coming soon

The 96th annual Royal returns to Toronto with exciting horse jumping and a celebration of farming with the world's largest indoor agricultural and equestrian event. Exhibition Place hosts the family friendly winter fair from November 2 to 11 and includes entertainment like food & lifestyle programs, craft beer & cider awards, country music culinary festival, rodeo and animal theatre with Superdogs. When you buy tickets to the Royal Horse Show you also get general admission to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Superdogs thrill the audience
In the Fair's Animal Theatre ring

Fans of horses, and I mean who isn't, can take in top Canadian and international horse jumpers with world class, big money competitions such as the Canadian Show Jumping Championship, the Jolera International Welcome, the GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ International Challenge and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto. Almost a million dollars is available in prize money and over 1,000 horses from around the world will be competing at this year's Royal.

“The Royal Horse Show is a pivotal part of the overall Royal Agricultural Winter Fair experience and we are proud to have of the world’s most talented athletes, both human and horse, join us in Toronto,” said Charlie Johnstone, CEO of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “We work tirelessly year-round to improve the Royal Horse Show experience and have again raised the bar by offering increased prize money and a new schedule to truly showcase the best of the best for our loyal audience.”
Kent Farrington of the United States will return to the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, to defend his title in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto presented by GroupBy. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

Australia’s Guy McLean will showcase his unique form of natural horsemanship throughout the 10-day Royal Horse Show running November 2 to 11 in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall visit to Centre Island

The fashion of the day appeared to be winter coats and mittens because it was cold and the sun wasn't always cooperating. Still there were quite a few visitors to the Toronto islands wandering the paths and checking out Centreville amusement park, now closed for the winter, and explore the other islands - Ward's Island, Olympic Island, Algonquin Island and Snake Island.
Timelapse video of ferry ride back to Toronto, video by Ann Hamilton

You can bring bikes over on the ferries, which run a fall schedule until October 23rd, 2018, so we biked around which is far superior to just plain walking. Besides the closed amusement park you could only find some tiny horses at Far Enough Farms, all the other animals have been moved.
We also saw the shipwreck on Hanlan's Point clothing optional beach.

See more of Centre Island after the jump.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Shipwreck on the Toronto Islands

Hanlan's Point clothing optional beach has a part of history sitting in the sand, surrounded by metal barriers put up by the City of Toronto. A part of an old ship is nestled in the sand, probably a rudder of a pirate ship destroyed in some great battle with an antique Toronto ferry.

There are many questions that I have no answers to at this point, like, did it wash ashore during a storm or is the rest of the ship under the sand, is it a rudder, was it really from the 1800s, and will excavations and archaeology studies be undertaken in the area?

See more of the relic after the jump.

Waterlicht at the Bentway

A light and sound installation is now at Bentway Park under Toronto's Gardiner Expressway. The large-scale work is by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde and is lit up at nights from 7pm to 11pm, October 12 -14, 2018. You can also listen to the installation by internet on their website.

Looking towards the CN Tower, a short video by Ann Hamilton

"This large-scale light installation illustrates the universal power and poetry of water and will have its Canadian premiere in Toronto from Friday October 12 to Sunday October 14, 2018. Waterlicht is a dream landscape created through the imaginative use of LEDs, special software, and lenses. Larger-than-life, cascading waves of blue light will soar underneath the Gardiner Expressway, simulating a virtual flood and calling attention to rising water levels along Toronto’s shoreline."

The park is working with partners to promote the importance of the environment including clean water and climate change. See more blue lasers after the jump.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cheltenham Badlands in Fall

The red hills in Caledon have been partially freed, now they are allowed visitors at the edge, looking into the cage. Where once the people roamed freely over the rolling ridges, the authorities shut down nature and fenced in the badlands, too bad they said, must keep people away. The area is owned by the Ontario Heritage Foundation and controlled by the Bruce Trail Association.

To protect nature they paved over a big chunk of it and put in a new 33-spot parking lot, guarded by a gate and charging a flat rate of $10 parking, every day of the week, from 8am to 7pm. You can walk along the Olde Base Line Road sidewalk from the parking lot to the Cheltenham Badlands where you can find the boardwalk located at the top edge, looking down over the hills eroded by the elements. When the hills are wet the soils becomes darker. Also, no drones (without a permit) are allowed.

You can find the badlands on the south side of Old Base Line Road between McLaughlin Road and
Mississauga Road. The area, stripped of grass and soil now consist of the gullies and mounds, red from the iron oxide in the Queenston Shale and with bands of greenish, white bands of the iron oxide. In fall, with bright sun and clouds in the sky, the hills and surrounding forest are spectacularly beautiful.
In winter the hills are closed from the end of October to May, for now they are open seven days a week. During weekends, especially with Fall colours, they recommend that you use the shuttle service which runs from 9am to 4:30pm, every 20-30 minutes from the Terra Cotta Conservation area. Cost for the shuttle is based on entrance to Terra Cotta, which is currently at $6 per adult and $8.99 during CVC Fall Fest, so after your shuttle you can take in the park.

See more of the badlands after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square