~ a growing and changing community
Please take a moment to consider the South Black Creek Ravine.
It flows from the north and under Weston Rd and along Humber Blvd, Alliance Ave and under Jane Street and all the way to the Humber River. If you live in Rockcliffe-Smythe or Mt.Dennis, you undoubtedly remember the flood of July 2013. Otherwise you might just ignore the unsightly and smelly channel that runs through your neighbourhood.
When I moved here in 2015, I had little idea of what was there. I knew there was a creek, but mostly I thought of Alliance as an industrial road. I was amazed to discover the area just off of Alliance at Cliff Street called, Black Creek Site East (Nice name for a park, eh?)
At first I just walked the one side, behind the industrial buildings on Alliance. I was delighted to find native trees planted, some at least ten years old and some new. Could this really be a conservation project? Well, not any more. (Please see article below) At the end of that green stretch there’s a sneaky little path up to Rockcliffe Bridge that you wouldn’t know was there. It’s right next to the Police Auction building. It is usually strewn with a little broken glass and garbage.
I decided to venture over to the other side, the side that is next to the Toronto Parks Maintenance facility. It’s also a nice stretch of green. That’s when I noticed the beautiful graffiti under Rockcliffe Blvd bridge. Intense colours and images. I’m not sure what they are supposed to mean, but they seem harmless, and a welcome splash of colour next to the cold pavement of the man made channel. As you continue along toward the city facility, you almost feel like your trespassing. There’s no welcoming feeling to this part of the park space. There is a large sewer grate which has collected garbage as water has run through it. The water in the channel is composed of industrial and city road runoff and, when in flood, raw sewage and what comes out of Lavender Creek. When you get to lavender creek, which empties over a large slime-covered concrete wall into Black creek, there are a few concrete blocks that you can step over and you’ve arrived at another green space and part of the same site. This green space connects with the Symes Road Parkway Trail. At this point you have almost gone in a complete circle. One that you wouldn’t even know is there.
During one walk my, at the time, 6 month old puppy decided to jump in on a hot summer day. She was on a leash but there was no stopping her. She smelled like she had been bathed in the most putrid stew you could imagine. That was one of the days that I didn’t have the car and couldn’t make it down to High Park to the off-leash area. One of the ‘feels like 40’ days.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the water that was washing down the creek and into the Humber weren’t so rancid? If we could walk out the door and into the green space that lines our streets and feel safe and proud?
There is a way to restore Black Creek and naturally filter the water so that when it reaches the Humber, and eventually Lake Ontario (our drinking water supply). It can be free of many of the pollutants that it picks up on the way if it is allowed to naturally seep into the earth or flow over rock. It would be great to see the birds that sometimes sit in that water and think, ‘oh how lovely’ instead of, ‘oh dear, poor birds.’There is a way for this community to enjoy more green space and to be proud of our growing and diverse neighbourhood.
Our Ward (Ward 11) is on the City’s list as a Neighbourhood Improvement Area.
Let’s ask for change. We deserve Park equity.
Join our neighbourhood Facebook Group to stay in the loop and to add to the discussion: Friends of the South Black Creek Ravine.
Please Read This..an article about the Ugliest Side of Toronto’s Ravine. It’s not pretty.