“All walking is discovery. On foot we take time to see things whole. We see trees as well as forests, people as well as crowds. When the mood is right – and walking provokes such a mood when we are in most need of it – we can even see ourselves with particular clarity. We get our feet back on the ground.” – Hal Borland, from To Own the Streets and Fields.
CAPTION: A portion of the west side canal trail (behind Notre Dame College School) on Sunday morning. (Photos by Joe Barkovich)
By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
I was somewhat blue and needed spirit-lifting green. So I went to a nearby place for a Sunday stroll.
It was the west side canal trail at the end of Thorold Rd. E. You know that piece of prime green estate stretching along the canal to the end of Smith St. and beyond.
Don’t come here if you want to be far from the madding crowd. It’s a Sunday strollers delight. Not to mention: dog walkers, baby-buggy pushers, cyclists on their own or in cheery packs of half a dozen or even a dozen and more. Quite the place on a cheery, sunlit Sunday morning.
Even the main drag here, Chippawa Rd. (the link between Thorold Rd. E. and Smith St.) is a site for sad and sore eyes. It’s pretty and picturesque, mature trees on both sides of the straightaway street.
I walked the canal trail with great expectations of silence and solitude, particularly at this hour of day. But this was not to be. This place is well known and well used by many, certainly not a well-kept secret known to just a select few.
If the high road is not what you are looking for, then try the low road for a sole-testing stroll.
It’s a dirt path that leads, eventually, to water’s edge, the canal, that is. This is a great walk in itself, the path is straight for most part but there’s a bend or two, just enough to keep you guessing about what’s out of sight around the turn.
From the other side of the brush you will hear the sharp commands of a rowing coach’s voice and if you listen closely enough the sounds of oars breaking the water’s surface. Then, precisely at 10 a.m, the recorded chimes from St. Anthony Croatian Catholic parish on the east side, sort of drifting across to the west. If I’m allowed to paraphrase: Do not ask for whom the chimes ring, they ring for you.
So long, blues.
(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City. WELLAND SNAPS is a photo essay appearing weekly on the blog.)