Victoria Day Hikes
May 18th, 2015, the Victoria Day holiday, may have broken ORTA's record for hike attendance. While Malcolm led 9 hikers through the Ganaraska Forest on the 4th stage of their End-to-End, John led 29 through the York Regional Forest, Eldred King Tract, and Stan had 82 on his urban hike in Oak Ridges.
Stan reports on his hike as follows (with editorial additions in brackets):
Hu, what a morning . . . thanks partly to the announcement of the hike in The Liberal [and an e-blast from a dog-walkers' group].
By 0915 there were 40 people . . . by 0930 we had 66 signed in and ran out of even side space on the two Waivers I'd brought along.
Thanks to Bill Patterson who accepted the challenge of being sweep. Lots of children, five dogs and at least 4 strollers. As we moved off more people kept joining the file and Bill made the count 88! [This was after one of Stan's informative talks that captured the attention of a number of passer-bys.]
The crowd, which included many who'd not hiked with ORTA before, behaved well. [In particular, they were remarkably quiet and respectful when Stan was speaking.]
We had a good look at the new Lake Wilcox Park = Sunset Beach and learned some of the local history. Then went up Olde Bayview to Sandbanks Ave. and onto the Corridor Park Trail.
The major break was at the Old Colony Road Parking Lot where the large Map was useful to explain to folk where they were, how to access the trail for future walks and the route through to Bond Lake and across Yonge St. to Bathurst Glen.
We went another 15 minutes west but the trees planted about 4 years ago have grown so we could only get a glimpse of Bayview Avenue Bridge. Five people decided to go on towards Bond Lake.
At the Sandbanks Ave playground some local people decided to make their own way home; others set off for a faster hike back to the Community Centre...but didn't know the shortest route!
Impossible to know how many we should have had on the last leg, but, as Bill said "came behind and made sure there were no bodies left on the trail!"
Good on ya Queen Vic!
[If you remember Sunset Beach Rd skirting the east end of Lake Wilcox, you must revisit to see the changes. Most of Sunset Beach Rd. has been removed permanently, as has the portion of Bethesda Rd. west of the new alignment of Bayview Avenue. Skirting the shoreline now is a paved promenade punctuated with sculptures and other art installations. Construction continues—learn more at this Town page
Stan addresses the masses outside the Oak Ridges Community Centre before the hike
Stan describes the Lake Wilcox Park Promenade, including the green pilings visible in the water to support a future boardwalk. Across the water may be seen the boathouse of the Richmond Hill Canoe Club, and moored in the water between can be seen the training boat of Poseidon's Offspring, the York Region Dragon Boat Club team who are the 2015 Canadian National Champs Junior A Open & Mixed.
Art-in-the-Park. Several steel sculptures of animals may be seen atop steel columns. One assumes that the artistic medium is weathering steel, which oxidizes to form a tightly-bound layer of rust that protects the underlying steel from further corrosion.