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The Belt Line Trail

July 25, 2011

I have a trail outside of my apartment building that I discovered a year ago while cycling across Toronto. Many Torontonians know this midtown trail and it’s a haven for cyclists, joggers and walkers. I often cycle or jog with my dog since we moved in; loving the smell of fresh earth after a light rainfall or the snapping of branches under my whirring tires. The trail is sacred to us, kind of like a special tree house.  Once you climb up the many stairs at points that lead to the main roads, you have access to the best gelato shops, cafes and bookstores in the area. If you jog/cycle/walk far enough you’ll find two parks along the way–not including the one across the street from the Beltline Trail. It’s a beautiful, serene place where slivers of yellow sun manage to squeeze in through the branches and the only sound you hear is your own haggard breath. It’s tranquil and peaceful, void of the sounds of every day life: ambulance sirens, cars honking and chatty people who forget they’re only centimetres apart from each other. It’s a trail of mystery: you can get off and find yourself walking through streets filled with castles and sycamore trees–or go off the trail into the twisted branches of the forest and chase after a little white rabbit. 

My oldest dog loves the trail as much as I do. It’s different than the open area parks he frequents. The grass isn’t yellowing and crackling dry. It’s supple and moist and green. His paws luxuriate in the coolness of the damp earth and his bright red fur is spared the harshness of the brazen sun as the tree tops close in to offer this hidden retreat. He goes and wanders off, returning with a big smile and covered in burrs. I often bring my camera and just snap a branch that is transitioning from spring to summer; or a young woman jogging and waving at me. I cannot capture, however hard I try, the bewitching effect this place leaves on me all day. I just feel happier. 

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From → My CF Life

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