It was still dark when I took the very first subway from downtown Toronto to the north-eastern suburbs. After getting on a bus, I was able to see that much of the city was still asleep when I got off and started walking towards the lake. I climbed over a rope to reach a trail, which indeed took me to the very edge of the Cathedral Bluffs - my destination of the morning. I not only looked out over the vast lake below me, but also realized that these bluffs were pretty high. I walked on the edge, and the sun, which had just started its climb into the sky, was casting a warm light on my surroundings. I could not find a way down, returned to the fields of the neighbourhood just behind the cliffs, where an old lady told me to follow a trail to the right and take a steep way down. I followed her advise, it was steep indeed, and eventually landed me in a bog. Cutting my way through quite thick vegetation, I ended up on a gravel trail with muddy shoes.
From here, it only took me a few steps to reach the beach, where I walked along the shore. It was almost empty; only a few people letting their dogs run and play were up. From the beach, I had unrestricted views on the Cathedral Bluffs rising from the trees behind the beach, and after the flat coastline of Lake Ontario, this looked like a curious shoreline. In fact, it was formed in the last ice age, and was once part of the Iroquis glacial lake. Now, it gives the beach a natural wall and extends the feel of a cosy place. I walked the entire length of the beach, until the very end, and returned. After passing the marina and parking lots, I continued walking westward, where the trail was surrounded by trees and I could well imagine seeing a coyote, as was advised on several signs.
Instead of animals, I noticed sharp cliffs rising above the trees, and realized I was about to arrive at the Scarborough Bluffs. Named as such by Elizabeth Simcoe, wife of the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, as they reminded her of the limestone cliffs in her home country, they are much more spectacular than the Cathedral Bluffs. Especially when I arrived on a small, quiet beach, the view of the Scarborough Bluffs rising vertically out of the water was a fantastic sight. The highest point of the bluffs is over 60 metres above lake level. I walked the beach, stepped over a big carp lying dead on the sand, and when I turned back, saw the face of the bluffs reflected in the tranquil waters of Lake Ontario. A local showed up unexpectedly, who told me that I had to turn back and that trying to climb the bluffs would be risking my life. Even so, I decided to follow what seemed like a small trail, and indeed, managed to clamber up the steep and in parts, gravelly slopes. Apart from providing me with a shortcut, it also gave me the bonus of great views of the jagged ridge of the Scarborough Bluffs with the backdrop of Lake Ontario. The day had just started, and I was already happy with it.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Scarborough Bluffs (Canada). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Scarborough Bluffs. Read more about this site.