New doc explores the lost rivers of Toronto and beyond
Toronto is a city of rivers — only some of which exist above ground. The march of urban development has witnessed the burial of more than a few significant waterways in this city, but they've been anything but obliterated. Should you know what you're looking for, they're very easy to find and rather remarkable to explore, above or below ground. Those interested in such things will want to take note of a a new documentary by Caroline Bâcle that's screening tomorrow night at the Planet in Focus Film Festival. Called Lost Rivers, it sheds some light on the fascinating waterways that sit just under the surface of many modern cities.
While not exclusively about Toronto, our fair city does get some time in the spotlight, and as well it should. Along with numerous underground streams, a "lost river" like Garrison Creek has been the subject of much renewed interest over the last decade or so (for a fascinating history of the creek, see this post from Vanishing Point's Michael Cook), and is now one of the better marked underground waterways anywhere.
It's not likely that Toronto's buried rivers will see daylight anytime soon. Despite a movement to bring Taddle Creek back around the U of T campus a few years ago, the interest and will to make such projects happen doesn't exist at the level where would need to be. That said, other cities are starting to reconsider what they've done with past waterways and the renewed attention that films like this place on our underground history is reason for the most cautious optimism that one day we'll figure out a way to show off these lost treasures.
Photo by Inventor_77 in the blogTO Flickr pool