My Backyard

Here I often write entries about “Appreciating My Own Backyard“- finding ways to enjoy the feeling of travel and tourism without leaving my immediate area. But what, exactly, is my actual backyard like?

As I live near the top of a big highrise apartment, I don’t have a back yard in the true sense of the word. I don’t even have a balcony. I’m actually glad about this. We had one when we lived on the 11th floor and it was always loud and windy and not really a place to spend time – but we still paid rent for the space so it felt like wasted space.

Our buildings are inspired by the Brutalist Movement of the late 60’s early 70’s with lots of concrete and steel. One of the movement’s biggest proponents was a man who went by the name of Le Corbusier who was enamoured with the idea of the “Radiant City” – tall towers surrounded by green space. Our neighbourhood captures this well:


Our “Backyard” is the Don Valley – a large park that goes from Lake Ontario well to the south to several kilometres north of here. I can actually go down here on my bike and ride to the lakeshore without riding on the road – though I do have to cross a few. If I head to the north I can, if I don’t mind riding a couple of kilometres on the road, go all the way beyond the city limits while staying away from cars. It’s lovely. And if you know the way, it can even take you to some delicious Sichuan style Chinese food.

The paths range from single-track mountain bike paths:


to paved trails (Check out how young Daegan is in this photo!)


It can take you past watchful gargoyles:


Past the CN Tower:


and to a library.

The best part, though, about having a huge and varied back yard like this is the fact that there is never a lawn to mow or a walk to shovel snow from.

Inspired by this week’s Dutch Goes the Photo’s Challenge: Backyard


12 thoughts on “My Backyard

    1. Thanks! I think there are a lot of different mindsets about what we want in outdoor space. Many people here dream of having a big back yard covered in grass that is their own private space that nobody else can use. I prefer public parks. Even if we don’t interact directly with others I love sharing space with people, riding a bike through a park where a happy family is having a picnic or friends are playing football. It feels very comfortable and friendly. A private back yard doesn’t have that same feeling.

  1. I am enjoying your posts of your home and city. I lived in and around Toronto back in 2012 for a few months and love the city and her people. It is one of my most favourite places. I am hoping to spend more time reading your posts and revisiting these places through your eyes. lovely writing!

    1. Thank you so much. I’m really glad you enjoyed our city. Some day I hope to visit your part of the world as well. For now I have to be content with visiting only via my (and some restaurants’) kitchens. Not quite the same for sure 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and your kind comments 🙂

  2. When I saw the first photo I thought I know this place. I was there for three days last October(2017). No bike though. Public transport and lots of walking. Beautiful lake side ( and beautiful, kind people). Thoroughly enjoyed.

    1. Wow – you made it up to our neighbourhood then. It’s one of my favourite parts of the city but not really somewhere that visitors come. I’m glad you enjoyed it – it’s a nice city to live in.

      1. Yes, I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. Drove from Pittsburgh, PA to New Jersey, then to Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto to Niagara Falls (both Canada / USA), back to Pittsburgh and then fly back to California.

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