Parks, Forests, Gardens and Trails of Toronto Through the Lens of Malik Merchant: The Superb East Don Trail

Jehangir (d. May 27, 2018), Maleksukltan (d. January 21, 2021) and Nurin Merchant at Queen Elizabeth Park with a view of Vancouver and its mountains. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.

(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.)

TORONTO’S MAGNIFICENT EAST DON TRAIL

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
Introduction. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.

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.

East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16 2021. An artistic pedestrian underpass under a railway line. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.

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

Video: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.

PHOTOS

East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Beautiful tall trees and shrubs. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
Frog East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Marshes, a perfect place for frogs. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
A space for a playground Fish East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A father lets his son go on a swing hung from a tall tree. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A chipmunk navigates through boulders. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
Crescent Moon East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Crescent moon and a jet plane over the trail. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Beautiful tall trees and shrubs. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Panel explaining high water levels on the trail. See stone artwork, next photo. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. One of several pieces of stone sculptures representing high water levels on Don River over the last century. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Wildlife – a colourful male mallard (bottom) with its female partner in a swampy area. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. The humble ant. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16. Beautiful tree and shrubs. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail., May 14-16, 2021. A future mountaineer? A young girl on a slope, watched by her father (not shown). Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A bridge over the Don River – cycling, walking, scootering! Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A red-winged blackbird feeds at a tree. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A dog cools off in the Don River. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A view from the trail of condominium buildings on Concorde Place. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A bird at the Don River. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Bird feeder hanging from a tree branch. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A goods train crossing one of two rail tracks on the Trail. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
Plastic garbage East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. An unworthy sight of a plastic bag securily tied to a tree. Its content included a plastic beverage cup and a straw. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
Pedestrian Tunnel art work East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. One of many fine vibrant woks of art in pedestrian tunnel, underneath a railway track. See photo near top of this post for external view of the tunnel. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A bird house, with a bird standing at top. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Canadian geese with their precious gosling. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
Crescent Moon East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Crescent moon, illumination 22%, over the trail. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
Fish East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. An exhibit on fish in the Don River. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. Little fish swimming around a log lying in the Don River. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.
East Don Trail Charles Sauriol Conservation Area Malik Merchant Simerg Photos Simergphotos Toronto's Parks Forests Trails and Gardens
East Don Trail, May 14-16, 2021. A beautiful male mallard in Don River. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos.

Date posted: May 19, 2021.

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