Today I walked the southern part of the Lower Don River trail. It’s not the most relaxing place to walk even though the path follows the river. I have a habit of absentmindedly meandering and I didn’t want to meander right into a cyclist on the narrow shared path. There was constant background noise from the cars and trucks on the nearby Don Valley Parkway but it was the GO trains that made the most noise as they rumbled right beside me. Yes, you are correct, it’s not my favorite place to walk. But I also knew that there was a reward near the end of the trail.
Near the ‘mouth of the Don River’ (in reality, where the Don River turns into the Keating Channel), there are some new murals on the bents supporting the ramps between the DVP and the Gardiner Expressway. They are part of the Love Letter to the Great Lakes project. A previous blog post, love letters in paint, concerned the murals from this project that were painted near Ossington and Queen West.
below: If you approach the area from the north, this is the first bent that you see. All sides of it have been painted by Kirsten McCrea. If you are driving south on the Don Valley Parkway and you exit to the Gardiner westbound, you drive right over this, and the next few, bents. In case you haven’t guessed, a bent is that concrete support thingy holding up the road.
below: The other side of the McCrea mural is in the background, behind the bent that has been painted by PA System (Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka). Amongst the swirly watery shapes there is a face near the top. Extra bit: The guy on the bike stopped to take a photo too.
below: The other side of the PA System bent. A large fish fits perfectly in the upper portion while a hand reaches up from the vertical part.
below: The work of MC Baldassari who is currently from Montreal.
below: The other side of the above bent. It looks like the woman has come through the pillar.
below: A woman with a mouse in her hand and a flower in her hair kneels beside the foxes,
a mural painted by EGR (Erica Balon). In the background you can see a much taller bent that has been painted blue. This bent is on a different ramp, the ramp that you would find yourself on if you were driving east on the Gardiner and then exiting to the DVP. It has been painted by Jason Botkin and it includes the word Wonscotanach. Apparently that was the First Nations name for the river before John Graves Simcoe came along in 1790 and decided to call it the Don River.
below: There are more animals on the other sides, along with a city lit up in the night in the background of the mural. Raccoon, rabbit and a pink butterfly fluttering past.
below: Rajni Perera‘s mural features red and yellow women walking or standing in the water.
below: Looking back
below: And one last photo before leaving the area… a quick note sprayed on a concrete support.