2020/06/14 – Shoemaker / Borden / Voisin

Good morning. Fantastic day for a walk. I’ll be following Shoemaker Creek today, it’s a tributary of Schneider Creek and has a couple branches of its own. I’ll start at the confluence near Borden LRT station. Let’s go.

The confluence is in an urbanized reach of Schneider Creek. And Shoemaker bends around a box trench. If it had been dry for many days before, I might have been able to go further, but it’s a little too deep leading to Bedford. Gotta backtrack.

Apparently the creek is “private property” here. It gets buried into a culvert west of Courtland, until emerging again on the other side of the Huron Park Spur.

Concrete channel continues. There are stretches where the trees are thick and tall though. Not so much in the way of creekside trails yet.

Still channelized, but the concrete banks are starting to disappear. There’s also a nice Greenway in this reach just begging for a formal trail.

Meinzinger Park. Finally, a formal trail gets established. Thick tall wood on the banks.

Now things start to get all broken up. One small tributary splits off to the north, into Lakeside Park; I’ll come back to that later. Then another branch breaks off south of Greenbrook Drive. I’ll continue following the main branch southwest, and loop back.

The main branch goes through a groundwater well field protected by Concordia Park, until it dives beneath the Conestoga Parkway. Fortunately there’s a pretty easy way around.

So sometimes I gotta work with bad or incomplete information. Thanks to a road sign, I learned this is called Borden Creek, and while it is the larger tributary of Shoemaker, it is not called that south of Greenbrook Drive. Nonetheless, we continue south.

Sweeping through Laurentian Park, the creek meets the Heighthill Hydro Corridor. Gotta go around some backyards after this.

The creek meets its source west of Fischer-Hallman Road: the appropriately named Borden Wetlands. Despite the deluge fueled by Cristobal’s remnants last weekend, flow is docile, slowly being released.

A lily pond and a boneyard outfall. That’s the last glimpses of Borden Creek headwaters. Now to mosey through the suburbs, and catch up with the other creek branch.

Headwaters of the other branch (which hopefully, if it has a name, a road sign will tell me). The Laurentian Wetlands span a huge contiguous area. While they flank both sides of David Bergey Drive, the part on the east side is certainly the crown jewel.

The creek starts from the wetlands by entering a culvert south of Watercress Court. Then it goes under the Sunrise Centre, and emerges south of the Conestoga Parkway. After passing a stormwater pond, it crosses over to the north. Right-of-way there proves to be a dead end.

Voisin Creek. That’s the name of this branch. It’s tucked in behind single family homes, so you only get glimpses of it from crossing roads and sidewalks.

The creek winds behind some more houses before making a 90° bend, and coming back into the public realm. It’s at this point that Voisin and Borden come together to make Shoemaker Creek again.

Okay. Last tributary, which I’m fairly confident does not have a formal name. It flows through Lakeside Park. Not sure if the lake has a name either.

North of here, I was unsure if the tributary used to keep going. But a manhole with an inlet gave it away. Doubt it stretched any further than Highland Road though, this is likely the catchment divide for Henry Strum Creek. That’s gonna cap my walk today.

Date: June 14, 2020
Length: 19.1 km
Type: Riverine

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