With a Particular Emphasis on Expressions By Ismaili Muslims in Art, Culture, Faith, Travel, Sport, Food, Heritage and Exploration
Parks, Forests, Gardens and Trails of Toronto Through the Lens of Malik Merchant: The Superb East Don Trail
(This post is in memory of my dad, Jehangir Merchant, who was extremely fond of nature. When he was little his father, Alibhoy Mohammed, would take him to Matheran, a hill station near Mumbai, on an annual basis — where he was introduced to the unspoilt natural beauty of the town. Alas, he didn’t see much of nature in the last several years of his life, although he was so close to the ocean and the beautiful mountains around it. He died on May 27, 2018 at the age of 89. He is pictured above with my mum, Malek, and daughter Nurin at Queen Elizabeth Park where they all treated me to a lovely dessert and coffee at the park’s beautiful tea room on the occasion of my birthday several years ago. My mum passed away 4 months ago on January 21, 2021 at the age of 89 — Ed.)
Very often what lies exactly behind your backyard is the last place you think about visiting. The East Don Trail, part of the Archie Coulter Conservation Area, was highly recommended to me by Ismaili artist and author Zeni Shariff who informed me that the hill climb back was steep, and would require good physical fitness. To be introduced to the trail, she recommended that I begin the trail via its Lawrence Avenue entrance, just off the Don Valley Parkway, and walk about a kilometre upto the physically challenging hill that takes you to condominium and apartment buildings on and around Wynford Drive and Concorde Place. I did precisely that and turned back at the hill. With the goal I am setting myself for this spring and summer, I hope to encounter Zeni and her husband on their way down without me showing any signs of huffing and puffing as our paths cross! Enjoy these photos taken between May 14-16, 2021.
On the path I came across many long term residents of Toronto, who recommended — from several feet away — other parks I should visit at nearby locations.
I begin with this extraordinary 20 second video. As I approach a marshy area, I hear a very strong and powerful screeching sound of a bird. I look up but there aren’t any trees close by. The noise gets louder and louder, as I try to locate the source. But it is coming from a kildeer bird on the ground, just 2 metres away and it is pretending to be injured with its wings stretched. To see this drama unfold in front of me was amazing, and left me breathless!
VIDEO: A KILDEER BIRD PROTECTING ITS NEST ON GROUND
Date posted: May 19, 2021.
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