By Linda Benson
I had some fantastic walks along Piers 8 and 4 during the frigid days of winter. I was not the only one though as you can see from these photos. As I was complaining to myself about the low temps and freezing conditions, I met Don, from Greensville. He started telling me the story of ice boating. Don belongs to a “club”, who meet frequently, depending on weather conditions, and they mostly come to Pier 4. This is not an official club, but rather a group of people who have a passion for this sport. Don was with his brother and a couple of other men when I met them. A couple of his friends were walking the lake checking the depth and condition of the ice. Don graciously gave me a history of ice boating, and mentioned he had been involved for over 50 years. He told me that his brother, as a youngster, had first heard of it in a comic book and was hooked from that day forwards. One of Don’s friends was sitting on some sort of wheel. I asked Don about it and he mentioned it lowers and raises the pier. I had never seen such a thing and again another fascinating story. I could have listened to Don for the whole day, but hey I had to go on and meet more strangers to talk to.
This is when I came across a group of women with baby carriages, I had to smile, sort of reminded me of something out of Mary Poppin’s. I asked one of the women if this was a Nanny convention, she smiled and said not exactly. A fascinating tale of how a group of friends, all got pregnant around the same time, during Covid. The one telling me the story lives in the North End, but her friends are scattered here and there. How wonderful, to raise their children together, and get together on a regular basis, for social activities, like this one. What a great story of being locked away during covid, and the amazing outcome.
So much ice fishing going on, which also fascinates me, but difficult to talk to any of those fishing, unless I took a walk across the ice. Me, being a true Brit, was and am a bit leery of such an endeavour, maybe next year I’ll pluck up the courage. Actually, I noticed a lot of people walking on the ice, not close to the pier either. To my eyes it seemed people were walking from Princess Point to Pier 4, now that definitely would have given me the heebie jeebies. I did walk the trail from Bayfront Park to Dundurn Castle. That was amazing. The staff at Dundurn was giving a tour, on what must have been the coldest day of the year, and in full costume too. Fascinating. I didn’t join the tour, but I did meander through the grounds. What a spectacular place this is, a winter wonderland. I totally enjoyed myself, but have to admit I was frozen to the core!
A word of advice if you are going for a walk, wear boots with cleats. It was extremely slippery. I hope you’ve enjoyed my winter walk about. The days are getting longer and the sun is getting stronger. I’m looking forward to my spring walks.
Happy Easter every one.