401 Highway, West Don
401 Highway, West Don

Hidden Waterways

401 HIGHWAY, WEST DON

2004

Ref. 1.101.04

© Philip Jessup

Route 401 is Canada’s national east-west highway, the busiest in the world. Torrential rain drowned out all traffic noise when I took refuge under this bridge during a downpour.

 

Buy

Algae Pool, Brickworks
Algae Pool, Brickworks

Hidden Waterways

ALGAE POOL, BRICKWORKS

2003

Ref. 1.102.03

© Philip Jessup

Toronto homes were built with bricks made at the Brickworks. The City converted the clay quarry—once a huge hole in the ground—into a breezy wetland.

 

 

Burke Brook Culvert #1
Burke Brook Culvert #1

Hidden Waterways

BURKE BROOK CULVERT #1

2003

Ref. 1.103.03

© Philip Jessup

Some of Toronto's creeks are buried permanently. Burke Brook goes underground temporarily to circumvent streets. Grates prevent fallen branches and leaves from clogging the culvert.

Burke Creek Culvert #2
Burke Creek Culvert #2

Hidden Waterways

BURKE BROOK CULVERT #2

2003

Ref. 1.104.03

© Philip Jessup

Burke Brook goes underground near Sunnybrook Hospital and re-emerges across Bayview Avenue in another deep ravine, eventually emptying into the West Don River.

Road Debris #1, Yellow Creek
Road Debris #1, Yellow Creek

Hidden Waterways

ROAD DEBRIS #1, YELLOW CREEK

2003

Ref. 1.105.03

© Philip Jessup

Hiking Toronto's ravines one often comes across large concrete slabs like this one that have been dumped by demolition crews that tear up old roads.

Yellow Creek Culvert
Yellow Creek Culvert

Hidden Waterways

YELLOW CREEK CULVERT

2003

Ref. 1.106.03

© Philip Jessup

The most impressive culvert I found in Toronto, made of three large pipes that carry water from Yellow Creek beneath the Don Valley Parkway into the Don River.

Don Valley Parkway, Lower Don
Don Valley Parkway, Lower Don

Hidden Waterways

DON VALLEY PARKWAY, LOWER DON

2003

Ref. 1.107.03

© Philip Jessup

The Lower Don River was canalized to accommodate a six-lane parkway. Planning is now underway to re-naturalize this section of the Don.

Eroding Bank, West Don
Eroding Bank, West Don

Hidden Waterways

ERODING BANK, WEST DON

2003

Ref. 1.109.03

© Philip Jessup

The Val d’Avoca Ravine is a natural habitat along Yellow Creek that is abutted by multi-million dollar homes perched perilously on ravine walls above the creek.

Evening Commute, Humber River
Evening Commute, Humber River

Hidden Waterways

EVENING COMMUTE, HUMBER RIVER

2003

Ref. 1.108.03

© Philip Jessup

The provincial Go Train speeds across the Humber River at rush hour, carrying passengers from downtown Toronto to the western suburbs. .

Flooded Tree, West Don
Flooded Tree, West Don

Hidden Waterways

FLOODED TREE, WEST DON

2003

Ref. 1.110.03

© Philip Jessup

After torrential rain storms, the G. Ross Lord Dam releases excess water. During an extreme summer rainfall in 2003, trees along the West Don were inundated.

Humber Marsh
Humber Marsh

Hidden Waterways

HUMBER MARSH

2003

Ref. 1.111.03

© Philip Jessup

The mouth of the Humber River is rich in nutrients that come from the effluent of a nearby sewage treatment plant, supporting a large and smelly marsh.

Ice Formation, Lower Don
Ice Formation, Lower Don

Hidden Waterways

ICE FORMATION, LOWER DON

2003

Ref. 1.112.03

© Philip Jessup

In the spring when snow and ice melt along the Don River, sculptured ice formations appear when water levels drop. Spring rains quickly wash them away.

Mimico Channel #2
Mimico Channel #2

Hidden Waterways

MIMICO CHANNEL #2

2003

Ref. 1.113.03

© Philip Jessup

In west Toronto, the Mimico River traverses stormwater channels that control flooding. In some places, wildflowers and weeds have smothered the concrete.

Mimico Channel #1
Mimico Channel #1

Hidden Waterways

MIMICO CHANNEL #1

2003

Ref. 1.114.03

© Philip Jessup

Concrete channels throughout Toronto's five watersheds prevent flooding and property damage during spring's snow melt and summer's torrential rainstorms.

Morning Commute, Don Valley
Morning Commute, Don Valley

Hidden Waterways

MORNING COMMUTE, LOWER DON

2004

Ref. 1.115.04

© Philip Jessup

The Ontario double decker Go Transit train system carries 200,000 riders daily in and out of the city daily. Soft light flooded the Don Valley at 6 am.

Mouth of the Don
Mouth of the Don

Hidden Waterways

MOUTH OF THE DON

2003

Ref. 1.116.03

© Philip Jessup

Evergreen Foundation has launched an ambitious effort to naturalize the Lower Don, a real challenge. Council voted against dismantling the Gardiner Expressway seen here.

Sub-division, Val'd'Avoca Ravine
Sub-division, Val'd'Avoca Ravine

Hidden Waterways

SUB-DIVISION, VAL D'AVOCA RAVINE

2003

Ref. 1.117.03

© Philip Jessup

Toronto's ravines were carved out of glacial till by retreating glaciers. Homebuilders are grateful! The city's most expensive homes overlook ravines like this one.

Road Debris #2, Lower Don
Road Debris #2, Lower Don

Hidden Waterways

ROAD DEBRIS #2, LOWER DON

2003

Ref. 1.118.03

© Philip Jessup

Debris from the demolition of old roads and bridges was dumped in the Lower Don Valley. Gradually, wild plants and moss are dismantling the concrete!

Rouge River Culvert
Rouge River Culvert

Hidden Waterways

ROUGE RIVER CULVERT

2003

Ref. 1.119.03

© Philip Jessup

One of my favourite Toronto culverts along the Rouge River. Sculptured concrete blocks keep branches away from the grate.

Snake Grass, West Don
Snake Grass, West Don

Hidden Waterways

SNAKE GRASS, WEST DON

2003

Ref. 1.120.03

© Philip Jessup

Aboriginal people used snake grass, a native plant, to cure horse cough. It is being replanted to control erosion along Toronto’s creeks. 

Spring Shoots
Spring Shoots

Hidden Waterways

SPRING SHOOTS, WEST DON

2004

Ref. 1.121.04

© Philip Jessup

Hiking along the West Don in early spring brings viewing pleasures, such as a massive effusion of wildflowers that sprout in clusters around old trees.

Storm's End, Lower Don
Storm's End, Lower Don

Hidden Waterways

STORM'S END, LOWER DON

2004

Ref. 1.122.04

© Philip Jessup

I like exploring the Don Valley on show shoes—no bikes or roller blades whizzing by in mid-winter! This wild locale in the Lower Don Valley is 15 minutes from City Hall.

 

Buy

Summer Drought
Summer Drought

Hidden Waterways

SUMMER DROUGHT

2004

Ref. 1.123.04

© Philip Jessup

Corbel baskets made of chicken wire are used to build stormwater channels to control flooding. This one in North Toronto has no name and empties during dry summers.

Winter Reflection, Lower Don
Winter Reflection, Lower Don

Hidden Waterways

WINTER REFLECTION, LOWER DON

2004

Ref. 1.124.04

© Philip Jessup

During winter, green algae in the Lower Don River pops in color against a recent snowfall. An upstream sewage treatment plant pumps effluent that feeds the algae.

 

Buy