While I've spent a good deal of time driving along 401, exploring its underside usually means waiting for a traffic light to change. I suspect the psychogeographers were overdue for a look underneath Toronto's busiest road, as we did during last week's trek along a northern stretch of the Don River.
Info-to-Go pillar near Auberge du Pommier. Seems like an odd location, unless there was high demand from those walking through the valley, motorists whose broken-down vehicles barely made it off the 401 or smokers looking for reading material on a dinner break. From here we wandered down into the Don Valley Golf Course, which sees more pawprints than tees during the winter.
Walking through the course wasn't a problem, as previous walkers compacted the snow enough to form unofficial trails that led us under Highway 401.
Four bridges carry 401 over the Don, the oldest dating from the late 1920s. The eastbound express lanes were originally the northern extension of Yonge Boulevard, which was designed to bypass periodic flooding on Yonge Street in Hogg's Hollow. We noticed a clearing in between the eastbound bridges that led up to the freeway and carefully walked up the slope. Bundles of planks leftover from last year's reconstruction of the Yonge Street exit came in handy in steep spots. At the top, we felt strong vibrations from passing trucks and wondered if we were visible enough to cause any head scratching.
Earl Bales Park. The hike back up proved steeper than expected - each step near the top felt as if I had walked up nine flights of stairs, complete with raw throat feeling. A bus ride back to Yonge Street and a drink at a nearby pub allowed time to recover.
All pictures taken February 28, 2008 - JB