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On Friday, March 8, we were lucky to have a bright sunny day with above 0°C temperatures. My wife and I decided to drive down to The Beaches which is only ten minutes from our home. Parking can be a challenge on weekends, but during the week it’s easy to find lots of free parking. The first street east of Woodbine Avenue is a one-way street running south called Kippendavie Avenue. If you go to the end of the street and turn left, there is lots of parking on Kew Beach Avenue. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 08-03-14, 10.50.04 AM

Typically the boardwalk is home to joggers, walkers, mothers with strollers, and dogs — lots and lots of dogs. There is an enormous off-leash section south of the boardwalk and it extends right to the edge of Lake Ontario. Technically dogs are to be on a leash everywhere else in this area, but many owners were allowing their dogs to run freely all over the beach.Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_1_2014-03-07_14-52-02_DSC_1442

Ice had formed on the shoreline as well as on the rocks and the groynes (breakwaters).Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_5_2014-03-07_14-53-43_DSC_1446 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_7_2014-03-07_14-56-48_DSC_1459 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_14_2014-03-07_14-59-00_DSC_1466

what looks like snow/ice is actually a thin layer of slush on the lake near the shoreline

what looks like snow/ice is actually a thin layer of slush on the lake near the shoreline

the often-photographed Leuty Lifeguard Station silhouetted against the Toronto skyline

the often-photographed Leuty Lifeguard Station silhouetted against the Toronto skyline

Needless to say, no lifeguard was on duty!Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_32_2014-03-07_15-14-18_DSC_1484

We came upon this large frozen mass and sitting on the slush were two swans and a single white goose.Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_35_2014-03-07_15-18-36_DSC_1487Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_53_2014-03-07_15-21-38_DSC_1505Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_39_2014-03-07_15-19-03_DSC_1491

As curious as we were to get up close to the swans and the goose, the off-leash dogs wanted to see them as well. A few smaller dogs slipped off the edge of the ice and more than one stupid owner had to go in after their pet. There were two enormous Great Danes that decided they wanted to get a closer look at the birds, but their owner screamed at them to get out of the water. This Great Dane is actually standing in the water:Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_55_2014-03-07_15-22-23_DSC_1507Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_72_2014-03-07_15-25-37_DSC_1524Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_73_2014-03-07_15-25-39_DSC_1525Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_79_2014-03-07_15-27-57_DSC_1531 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_85_2014-03-07_15-29-39_DSC_1537

We continued along the shoreline taking more photographs.Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_59_2014-03-07_15-23-03_DSC_1511 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_64_2014-03-07_15-24-02_DSC_1516 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_65_2014-03-07_15-24-38_DSC_1517 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_68_2014-03-07_15-24-50_DSC_1520 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_69_2014-03-07_15-24-57_DSC_1521Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_102_2014-03-07_14-53-57_DSC_1447 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_106_2014-03-07_14-54-38_DSC_1451 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_111_2014-03-07_14-55-05_DSC_1456Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_81_2014-03-07_15-29-16_DSC_1533

We left the boardwalk just west of the Balmy Beach Club and went north on Fernwood Park Avenue. This home is right on the edge of the Martin Goodman Trail:

the last house on Fernwood Park Avenue

the last house on Fernwood Park Avenue

A home was undergoing renovations and the City insists that existing trees must be protected on any construction site. It makes me chuckle when I see more lumber used for the protective fence than in the tree being protected:Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_94_2014-03-07_15-39-32_DSC_1546

My wife thinks I am crazy, but I am searching for a manhole cover from the year of my birth – 1952, which I have yet to find. The Beaches is a very old neighbourhood and here are some very old manhole covers:Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_91_2014-03-07_15-38-39_DSC_1543 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_95_2014-03-07_15-41-22_DSC_1547

it's hard to read, but this one is 1910!

it’s hard to read, but this one is 1910!

We walked up to Queen Street East and stopped at Cobs Bread for our favourite Cape Seed baguette, and then back to the car and home. It was a fabulous couple of hours in the sunshine.Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 08-03-14, 10.10.55 AM