2018/07/28 – East Highland II

Good morning from Morningside Park. I’m going to follow East Highland Creek today. Heading west into the park a bit, you get to the confluence between Highland’s east and west branches. The west branch has a paved trail, I’m going down the dirt one.

TRCA has undertaken some bank stabilization work along here, allowing me to follow a construction access trail. Helps a lot, especially in tick-prone areas. Still had to cross the creek, but luckily I found a spot with sufficient rocks. This is the value of planning your walks.

Continuing north. Under Ellesmere, through the future Meadoway, to Military Trail. Erosion in this upper reach is still really bad and dramatic.

Had to cross the creek three more times. Not as clean as the first: it rained during the second jump, got caught neck deep in thick brush during the third, and stepped in the creek during the fourth. I’m wet and itchy now, but the views were worth it.

East Highland Creek’s main branch meets the Malvern Branch, and the latter hits the 401. Forces me out of the brush and back into civilization. Through Centennial College, over the freeway, and back east on the other side.

The Malvern Branch is open wide and beautiful here, but it’s overgrown. Gotta duck around through adjacent parks and streets until a formal path opens up north of Sheppard.

A bit more progress paralleling the creek, and then CP Rail gets in the way. This is the start of their line east to Montreal, opposite of their 127 hectare yard in Agincourt. A bit of effort to get around, but I manage to resume parallel to the north of it.

If you haven’t picked up on it, East Highland’s upper reaches are quite channelized, just like the numerous branches to the west. Under Markham, Finch, and CP’s mainline to Havelock.

Abandoned commercial parks and concrete creeks.

Welp, looks like this branch’s open streak has finally come to an end. It is buried north of Richmond Park Boulevard.

“Valley Stream Road” is false advertising. There’s no signs of water until Milliken Park, where there’s a giant headwater pond.

North of the pond, there’s a marshy stagnant stream. It’s fed by the headwater hidden in the brush. This appears to be the start of it all, just south of Steeles, making it a 100% Toronto tributary.

Date: July 28, 2018
Length: 17.2 km
Type: Riverine

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