Yellow Creek and the Spark

5 years ago this weekend, I did back-to-back Metroscapes walks tracing Toronto’s Yellow Creek west of Yonge Street to its former headwaters, and east of Yonge to its confluence with the Don.

I had recently been inspired by content by Helen Mills and Lost Rivers Toronto, and decided to explore a (mostly) lost river myself. While I had been walking across Toronto since I got there in 2014, and some of my earliest walk threads date back to April 2016, this was different. Instead of a random aimless saunter, and short details or quips of what I saw (true to the Shawn Micallef style of the time), these walks had an aim and purpose, a consistent theme. And the descriptions were factual and more thorough, akin to a documentary format.

This was the foundation that this website was built upon. It took months more of exploring Toronto’s lost rivers, shoreline, railways and utility corridors for that focus and style to precipitate and solidify, and it was another year before I migrated to a platform that let me expand my city-scale analyses.

But as I’ve progressed through my migration efforts, I realized these two walks were a major milestone. I got a ton of engagement compared to prior walks, a lot of comments and appreciation of my threaded storytelling of Yellow Creek’s path. This was a bit of an epiphany, an inspiration to do what I do today.

So here’s a toast to a 5-year anniversary of that moment, that spark. All from a couple spring afternoons following an urbanized minor tributary of the Don River.


Explore the walks that started it all.

Yellow Creek I
Upstream to the Headwater

Yellow Creek II
Downstream to the Don

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