Jennifer, Marina and I—the boy stayed home to study—decided to check out a part of the city we’d never been to before: the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail. On the way we scooped up Catherine and drove to the northern edge of Mount Pleasant Cemetery where you can pick up the trail.
FUN FACT: the park is named after my boss’s mother who was instrumental in getting the project done.
The trail is an old commuter railway line which opened in 1892 with the purpose of promoting new suburban neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, the service wasn’t profitable and after two years, the line was shuttered. In 1970, CN tried to sell the land but most home owners whose homes backed onto the railpath wanted to extend their property line. This sparked a public debate calling for a bike trail which is what part of what the path became in 1972. CN sold the remaining property in 1988 and a full conversion to a walking/cycling trail began in earnest.
The Beltline Trail measures 9 kms and cuts through a variety of different neighbourhoods. We walked no more than a couple of kilometres before turning back, but the hike was interesting nonetheless. The trail was teeming with cyclists, runners and other dog walkers; a little busy for my taste but still, a nice diversion within the city. I’m thinking it would be lovely to bike up to the start of the York Belt Trail—about 6 kms from home—which itself hooks up with the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail, making the venture a 15K one-way ride. Not sure I can convince JF to do so, but I think it would be fun.