Eyelash Adventure: Part 2 - York/Simcoe
This is a continuation of the May 2022 adventure known as the Eyelash adventure. Part 1 includes the entry to Canada, and a little venture around Toronto. This is Part 2:
Leaving Boccone's we ventured to a few stores in the area. Terri wanted to look at some cute things for gifts, and we did a little bit of window shopping. We then ventured boldly into the TTC Subway system. Terri had never been on a Subway, and so I was eager to show her.
Fare Gates! Getting a ticket wasn't too difficult. Obviously the system in aimed towards passengers using a regular rider card, or some form of app. So paper single ride tickets are probably not too common. My ticket printed out fairly slow, like the machine had to do a cleaning process, or warm up before it printed. Terri's ticket came out quick however.
One thing I noticed, being that I work for a Light Rail system myself, is that the Fare Gates are similar if not exactly the same brand that we are installing. Many of us think that they will not hold up well, but if they seem to work well in Toronto, then maybe they will work well for us too.
So I did notice the cameras. In several spots they retrofit the new Dome cameras in to where the old Analog cameras were using a metal plate that they stuck over the larger enclosure. They are using Bosch cameras, I noticed. And they also had the same idea I did, in putting labels on the sides to identify the camera number. Another thing I also noticed, which isn't clear in either of these combined pictures, is that they are using a kind of BX / MC type cable for the Cat6 cable which both powers and connects the camera to the network. I wonder if just MC/BX type Cat6 exists down here in the States? I did find some on Amazon, and I wonder if our suppliers can get something similar?
Terri and I waiting on the St. Clair platform. I was explaining how things worked. Terri was a little nervous, until I explained to her that in Toronto's system, I do feel very safe. She was used to stories I would tell her about the system I work in, and how unsafe that system is.
Toronto has some very cool Subway trains. These Bombardier, Canadian made unit trains are super cool. They are known as the Toronto Rocket trainset's and I always recommend a ride on them.
Our ride was short. I only wanted to take her a few stations so Terri could experience it. We had a schedule to keep after all. So the plan was to ride down to Bloor, then change sides and ride back up to St. Clair. We got off at Bloor and switched sides. I noticed some Communications / Radio Shop TTC Employees who were working on testing a RF Antenna. After watching them for a while it seemed it was for their Radio System. There were a crew of, I believe 4 or 5 Commo guys there to work on the Antenna. And never once did I see any one of them alone. They always worked in pairs.
We were waiting there, but no trains stopped for a while. They just bypassed the station. We never did figure out why, but the rumor was that there was a police related incident above ground and they didn't want the suspect getting on the train and riding away. In any case, Terri and I exited and walked along the street to Rosedale Station, where we re-boarded the Train up to St. Clair. In a way, I think this made Terri a little more nervous, but I did explain that I felt fully safe walking in this neighborhood. And plus the sun was coming out and it was turning into a wonderful day.
I also saw TTC Bus 3333, and had to take a picture in true Transit Fan style. I am not really a transit fan, but I just thought it was cool seeing Bus 3333. My friend Mike apparently now works as a Controller for the TTC and maybe I can find out from him what the issue was at Bloor that Friday.
After getting back to the car, the journey continued. We headed up into Markham to visit the house I grew up in.
The house was looking good. The road was too. The road was likely paved in the 1970'tys, and hasn't been repaved since. The color of the pavement was light grey, but there were still barely any cracks in the pavement. This is likely because the municipalities in Ontario rarely use Salt, and so water rarely malts and re-freezes. Plus they also do a good job sealing any cracks. Meh, Miller paving is a good company, and it is Mafia run, so you'd expect them to do a good job!
After a quick stop at my Uncle's place to see his house (he wasn't home) and also pass by a nearby Train Watching spot I used to frequent, I then ventured towards the house I spent my Teenage years in, up in Aurora, Ontario. It also was looking alright, and the Forest behind the house was nice and dense. The Trail was closed due to damage from the recent wind storm which caused quite a bit of destruction thru Ontario.
This was the trail I encountered a wild wolf in one night when I was 18. That story can be found on this blog also. It was an interesting adventure in it's self. It for sure was a wolf. It was large, had huge paws and teeth. But I was a stubborn teenager on a mission, and didn't care that it was in my way.
As Terri slept, I headed up towards my Mom's house. I was surprised to see that parts of HWY-404 was now set to a Speed Limit of 110 km/h. I traveled to it's end and then East across Ravenshoe Road. Ravenshoe Road cuts across the South part of Georgina Township, in York Region, and is a bit of a short cut to get over to Hwy 12, the Trans Canada highway. As opposed to Hwy 48 which will get you there, but often has more traffic with the same speed restrictions. Plus the ride along Ravenshoe is often more enjoyable based on what you can see along the way.
Eventually I rode into Beaverton, Ontario. A cute little town on the East end of Lake Simcoe. Personally, I feel that that Eastern end of Lake Simcoe, extending Eastward to Bobcaygeon tends to be a little more laid back and down to earth than the communities you would typically find in Muskoka, or Huntsville, or even around Peterborough.
Lake Simcoe is a very cool little lake. I personally believe it is an old crater, but I think in reality it is just a glacial depression. There are many parts of the lake which used to be land and are very shallow. The Lake had been flooded to allow for boats to properly navigate the Trent Severn waterway. Curiously enough, near by in Holland Marsh, that was a lake connected to Lake Simcoe which has been drained to allow for farming. I believe it was actually closer to a large bog or wetland, but it was drained for the rich soil it possesses.
It was lovely to spend some time with my Mom, Step-Dad, and my big Sister and Brother in law, and Niece. My mother made some Chicken and Beef shish kabobs, and some cream cheese and red pepper jelly tarts which were delicious. A good time was had by all, with no apparent fear of COVID-19 or political talk which was refreshing to me.
We ended up being in a rush to leave however, as I had a hotel booked, and it was getting late. I was advised to take a different route which would save me some time. I glanced at the map a little bit, and sadly because I was flustered I didn't take in all the information I needed. I ended up making a wrong turn headed for the Hotel, but I made it there anyhow. The shortcut however didn't prove to save me much time. But that was my own fault.
We were the only ones staying in this hotel, and the owner had left the lights on in our room, and the key inside and the door unlocked. The hotel was up in the Canadian Shield. In Part 3, I will review the Hotel a little further - it was a good experience. We were way out of the city now, in pure darkness, and only the night time sounds of nature around us. I did attempt some night time photographs with my Nikon D5000, however I realized I forgot my tripod, and so the shots were not overly steady. However this one seemed to work. We then quickly went to bed, in preparation for an early start in the morning!
The next Part of this adventure will feature the trip to, and through Algonquin Park. It includes a wolf sighting, tho sadly the wolf is barely visible on film. Continue to Part 3 of the Eyelash Adventure.