The West Toronto Rail Path is quite the ride at night. Starting just west of the Dundas bridge, and riding north to Dupont you get smooth pavement, nice old buildings and maybe most importantly, no cars.
Along the east side are old brick buildings, mostly warehouses and factories, with the rail line on the west. There is random graffiti marking the buildings, giving you the feeling of old mixed with new. The quality of the painting is somewhat mixed, but this is a whole topic for a future post. It seems, not only, is the path new and fresh, but many of the buildings have been cleaned up and restored. Most of them have kept the original look, with re purposed steel and wood beams. Not going over the top with modern additions of chrome and glass. The mix is a real treat, nice buildings, fresh path and living green.
Some of the best features are the street markers and large steel mesh art pieces. To add to the old industrial feel, the designers made oversized, over simple, over stylized free standing markers. They used shortened names, like DUP for Dupont. This is sometimes confusing, but if you know the area, you would recognize the street with ease. I am still waiting to see what will be done with the tall steel mesh structures. They may be art, they may be future billboard stands, maybe they are mile markers? Even with no purpose, they add a nice visual marker along your route.
You feel safe along the entire route, due to the ample lighting and openness. You are never closed in, there are no dark corners, and there is nothing hiding behind the bend, as there is no bend. A very slight incline going north pays off in the reverse, as you can cruise from top to bottom with no effort. And the asphalt, so smooth, no cracks, adding comfort as well as a great visual river to float down.
I find myself going out of my way to get on the path and avoid the congestion of cars on the street. The spring will be a great time here. The bare dirt will be grown in, the graffiti will be layered, and the rust will be aged to perfection. Lets just hope it doesn’t get too busy with kids on scooters and rich moms with huge Cadillac strollers and a righteous feeling of Toronto Mom syndrome.