#metroscapes 2019 in review

2019 marked a milestone in exploring local metroscapes. 2018 was the first full year under the new brand, and when my walk planning was starting to get really organized. So this past year was about covering as much ground as I could; I was in the groove, but I had the inkling that this may be my last year in Toronto. I tried to cover off all that I could, but it’s hard being a father and working full time.

While I made some initial reflections of my time in Toronto, I decided to conduct another year-in-review, and bring in some of the ground I covered in the tri-city. I will go over the stats, the neighbourhoods and watersheds covered, and look ahead to the next decade.

Statistics

I did not top 2018’s total walking distance, but considering everything going on in my life, I still covered a good amount of ground.

  • Over 26 walks, I covered 407 kilometres (321 km Toronto / 86 km KWC), a little longer than driving between Niagara Falls and Kingston. This is a decrease of 150 km from 2018.
  • The average walk was 15.6 km, an increase of 1.7 km from 2018. This is the same distance as walking between Keele and Main Street subway stations in Toronto, or between Conestoga Mall and Mill Stations in KW.
  • The longest walk was the last one of the year (December 7), coming in at 23.7 km. This was following the proposed ION Stage 2 route, which is longer than the actual route because of the detours.
  • Most months were an average of 30 km total, the outliers being March (57 km) and June (77 km).

Neighbourhoods

There were 118 Toronto neighbourhoods covered in 2019, 84 of them which were truly walked through, down from 166 and 143 last year, respectively. Half decent coverage of the city, especially Etobicoke and west Toronto-East York North York was a bit of a void. 2 walks went beyond the City of Toronto borders, 3 of them in the Pearson airport area.

As for the tri-city, in which I completed a neighbourhood project for, I covered 41 neighbourhoods, 32 which were truly walked through. Many of them are concentrated along the regional north-south spine, as this happened to be the features I explored. 1 walk went beyond the borders of the tri-cities, when following the Grand’s west bank technically took me through North Dumfries.

Watersheds

Note: A watersheds project for Kitchener – Waterloo – Cambridge is still in progress, so this only reflects watersheds for Toronto walks. This section will be updated once KWC Watersheds is completed.

Last year, I was able to cover all 7 watersheds in Toronto. This year, I technically walked through all of them again, but fewer of my walks traced watercourses.

  • I covered 9 first-order rivers and creeks of 4 main watersheds (Lower / West Etobicoke, Lower / West / East Humber, Lower / West / East Don, East Highland).
  • 10 second-order or lower streams were followed (Black, Lavender and 4 tributaries, Mud, Curran Hall, West Hill and tributary).
  • 1 lost river was traced: Russel Creek, which drained straight into Lake Ontario.

Looking ahead to 2020

2020 will be a big year for exploring the metroscapes of the tri-city. I have lots of opportunities to go beyond the spine I’ve covered so far, and hit the far reaches of each city. In total, I have almost 500 km of walk plans. This includes:

  • 16 in riverine systems
  • 6 in hydro corridors
  • 3 along rail corridors
  • 2 along highways

In addition to that, I still have some unfinished business in Toronto, so I may fire down to the T Dot a couple times to try and cover more ground. This includes checking out some new stuff, such as Garrison Crossing and the new East Don Trail.

Aside from the walks, I have a lot of project work to do as well, and for starters I will finish and publish KWC neighbourhoods. I also have to get my head around KWC watersheds; it’s a bit of a different beast from Toronto, as it will be a number of subwatersheds of the Grand River.

I also hope to figure out a better mapping solution. I have been using Google My Maps as a primary tool, and MapHub for posting and sharing screenshots (since it’s open source). They’re free, which is the primary reason I’ve used them, but both are becoming limited in the scale and capacity I want to use them. I may move to a GIS tool if I have the time and energy amongst the rest of life’s demands.

Thanks for following, and I’ll see you in 2020.

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