This year, the winter season has been less than kind to Étienne Brûlé Park. The park, which took a beating in February during a flash thaw, took another one on Saturday when torrential downpours caused parts of the Humber River to spill its banks. On Sunday, we went down to the park to survey the damage, and we have to say that parts of Étienne Brûlé feel more like a treacherous obstacle course than a park. Since February, the city has tried to clear some of the paths, but huge chunks of ice still block most of the walkways near the Old Mill entrance. The parking lot, which sits at the base of the bridge at the end of Old Mill Road, is still entirely obscured by pools of water and dirty, and increasingly dangerous, sheets of ice. We managed to climb over or around most of the obstacles, but recent rains and the warmer weather have weakened a lot of the ice sheets, and we fell through several of them.
The ice, mud, and gigantic puddles haven’t stopped Torontonians from enjoying the park though. While we were there we saw several couples taking a stroll, families walking the dog, and dozens of people doing the same thing we were: exploring and enjoying the bizarre landscape.
All photos by Stephen Michalowicz/Torontoist.