Thursday, July 26, 2012


 NOTE ABOUT THIS BLOG:  You can see a full-page version of the photos by right-clicking on the photo and then clicking on "Open Link in New Window".  Close the page to return to the blog.

A look at a map will show that Toronto grew and developed on the north shore of Lake Ontario, one of Canada's five Great Lakes, the largest chain of fresh water lakes in the world. Flowing into Lake Ontario through Toronto are three rivers, the Humber, the Don and the Rouge. These rivers have cut deep ravines which, along with a large amount of woodland, have given Toronto the opportunity to create many wonderful parks. 

During Hurricane Hazel in 1954, there was extensive flooding after the Humber River burst its banks. Extensive flood damage led to the formation of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and its 1959 flood control program. Since then, the TRCA has been responsible for recommending on development that will be safe from flooding and that will conserve the natural resources in the watersheds of Toronto's rivers.  Information on the TRCA can be found here

Virtually every neighbourhood in Toronto has a park, and of all the ones I've seen, Chorley Park is the most beautiful.  A very interesting history of the park can be found here.

 Chorley Park Looking East

I will always associate Chorley Park with Monty, a Border Collie that my husband Paul and I had for fifteen years until three years ago. Maxwell, the Border Collie we have now, is eight years old. This most intelligent breed of dog is truly amazing. While young, being very energetic and determined, they require lots of exercise and a very firm hand. They mature into wonderful, loyal companions, however. They have a need to be with you and, because they want to communicate with you all the time, they learn many words. This trait is instinctive with the Border Collie. It derives from their being bred to be sheep dogs, totally dependable and in constant communication with the sheep herder. 

 Monty with a Stick

Border Collies are also noted for their sense of humour and their love of playing the clown. More than any other dog I have owned, they have very distinctive personalities. We think of Monty as a noble person and wonderful friend, for example, and of Maxwell as a sweet, mischievous and loving child. 

 Max as a Puppy with 10-year-old Monty

Chorley Park is where we most frequently took Monty for his exercise. He loved nothing more than to retrieve a ball or a stick. While on our way to Chorley Park, as soon as he recognized where we were headed, in his excitement he would begin circling around on the back seat of the car, completing as many as ten circles by the time we arrived. 

In Chorley Park with their Dog

We frequently took him over to the eastern beaches on Lake Ontario where there was an old bunker that he would jump from into the water to fetch a stick. He was a very strong swimmer, as you can see from the photo below.  We used to comment that Monty would continue to retrieve forever if he could, because he loved it so much. It seemed to satisfy his need to be doing useful work.

Monty Swimming Towards the Stick in Rough Water

Monty Returning with the Stick


Although both of our Border Collies have been well-trained and dependable about coming when called, we don't take Maxwell to Chorley Park. There are two reasons for this. Though he will retrieve, Max doesn't love it the way Monty did. The second reason is that the City of Toronto recently implemented a new dog policy. Prior to this, although having your dog off leash was against a city bylaw, dogs were running free in most Toronto parks as the bylaw was not being enforced. 

The new policy included creation of large off-leash areas and heavy fines. For his exercise, Max goes for long walks or to run and play with other dogs in one of the  off-leash areas. This suits him very well because he is much more interested in people and other dogs than Monty was.

Chorley Park is located in the Rosedale neighbourhood. It is connected to Moore Park Ravine which is part of Toronto's ravine system with its large inter-connected trail system. At the connection point, there is a view of the Don River Valley and the Toronto Brick Works.
Chorley Park Looking West

Houses Near Chorley Park

Old Church Near Chorley Park

View of the Toronto Brick Works from Chorley Park

Monty, the Happy Dog

No comments: