Let’s Take a Stroll by Carol Phillips

Let’s take a stroll.

stroll1Exploring the great outdoors doesn’t need to involve a hike in the woods or along a country trail, there’s plenty to see around your own neighbourhood.  Follow along with me as I take a stroll and then see what you can find in your own backyard.

I’ll start out on the green playing fields that are shared between two elementary schools, St Mary Immaculate and O.M. MacKillop.  As often as not, there will be an organized soccer or baseball game going on with enthusiastic parents cheering from the sidelines.

Crossing the park along a side street of elegant homes a path leads us to one of the two bodies of water within Richmond Hill Mill Pond Park. This part of the park is left in a wilder state with trails branching off into the wooded areas. Families walk these paths enjoying a little bit of nature’s splendor.

 

Making our way through the park heading south, you’ll pass the enclosure where some of the resident swans spend their winters; they’re now foraging happily in the pond itself.

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We arrive at the more developed part of the park with interlocking brick paths and lookout decks along the banks of the main pond. In the summer the fountain adds to the pond’s natural beauty and on a Thursday evening  you can enjoy a free concert – just bring your own deckchair!

This part of the park is very popular with families, and children are now enjoying the playground equipment – installed just this year. The pond has come a long way from when it was dammed in the 1800’s to provide power for the then on-site sawmill.

 

Turn east towards Yonge Street and we’ll pass through some of the most eclectic housing in our region. Original farmhouses, relocated historic homes, modest homes from various eras and inbuilt modern monsters can all be found along these leafy roads.

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On one street there’s the original village creamery, on another a home where the late author Farley Mowat was raised …then just a little further, the former village Temperance Hall.  There are homes that still have their Tuscan style columns supporting grand shady front verandas and gabled roofs with ornate lattice work. There are leaded glass transoms and beveled glass windows to play with the sun’s rays shining through.  There are perfect examples of  the arts and craft style era and some that make you shake your head at what the builder was even thinking! Dotted here and there are homes that yearn to share their stories of generations past and the gardens are a feast for the eyes.

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Let’s finish our walk through my neighbourhood at the old Town Hall building on Yonge Street right next to the Centre for the Performing Arts. Here we can sit for refreshments at the Covernotes Café or browse for a second hand book.

I hope you enjoyed our stroll…there are so many more all over York region just waiting to be taken.