Go with the Flow: The Human River Walk this Sunday, October 21

What: The Human River Walk
When: 21 October, 12:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Where: starts at Christie Pitts Park, ends at Fort York

Do you have any blue items in your wardrobe? I hope you do, because they might come in handy this Sunday if you plan to join the Human River Walk organized by the Toronto Public Space Committee. The walk follows the path of the Garrison Creek, Toronto's largest buried river, bringing the stream back to life, if only for one afternoon. The walk starts at the Christie Pitts Park at 1 p.m. and finishes at Historic Fort York, at the free Human River Art Show hosted at the Blue (of course!) Barracks and featuring works of local artists focusing on environment and public space.

Until the late nineteenth century, Garrison Creek was a sparkling stream renowned for exceptional salmon fishing, and used as a source of drinking water by local breweries. However, by the 1880s the creek has been polluted by development, and eventually buried underground. Little evidence of its existence remains, but there are traces if you look carefully. Ever wondered why Crawford Street does this funny little curve just north of College? It follows the path of the now-invisible creek. And if you walk a bit further south, you'll notice that just south of Dundas Crawford has an unusually high curb on both sides. That's evidence of a bridge that was buried together with the creek. And of course it's impossible to overlook the great tobogganing slopes of the Christie Pitts Park which is a remnant of the now filled-in ravine through which the creek once flowed.

To learn more about the history of the creek and the current stormwater issues, join the human river for an afternoon of music, live performance and storytelling throughout the walk. The weatherpeople promise us a lovely sunny Sunday perfect for an afternoon stroll (I hope I didn't just jinx it).

Photo: "TPSC Human River Walk along Garrison Creek from Christie Pits to Fort York - Toronto - Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 104" by photopia / HiMY SYeD.

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