Urban Exploring

Image of an old house in an industrial area of Toronto
An old house hidden in the industrial areas between around Kipling and Bloor

Get outside, find new things and get some great exercise. These are just a few benefits of urban exploring, not to mention some great photo opportunities. It’s not a big deal, and it doesn’t cost anything. Just put on your best walking shoes and get out there!

I started doing this more seriously on the first day of January this year. It wasn’t one of those short-lived new year resolutions, but something I’d been building up to. Curiosity about my surroundings started it. You know when you’re a passenger in a car and see things that you didn’t notice when you were driving? Even when you’re driving along a regular route? One example is when I was a passenger, going along Bloor, just west of Kipling. I noticed a double garage at right angles to the road and what looked like an old brick house behind it. I’ve driven past there a million times and not noticed it. After walking back to take a look at it another time, I could tell it was originally an old farmhouse, did a little bit of research and found that it’s the John Ward farmhouse, dating from 1875.

Composite image of industrial area of Toronto
Composite image of industrial Toronto

Back to January 1st, though. I based the walk on one of the Toronto routes from Trevor Heywood’s great web site https://metroscapes.ca He’s done a lot of exploring and details the routes and features along the way. We walked the North and Jackson Creeks route. Well, we did veer off on a few occasions when we got distracted, but that was fine.

Basically we wandered through industrial areas from Kipling and Bloor meandering east and down to the lakeshore where we had the complete contrast of waterfront regeneration and conservation. After walking along through Humber Bay Park we looped back up for the return journey.

To add to the range of things we saw, the weather went from dull and cloudy to brilliantly sunny. In terms of photographic material, I couldn’t have asked for more. Turbulent clouds to sunny skies helped bring out the many colours and textures of old derelict houses, shiny new tower blocks, winter foliage and fantastic ice patterns.

Try a bit of you own urban exploring. So much to see, so much to do!