By Denise Bacon
Residents of the CCRA community are great walkers, enjoying all the neighbourhood has to offer – our canopied streets, parks and waterfront. We recently spoke with a few of them.
Ann Angelakos (top photo) was on her usual stroll with her two buddies, Max and Charlotte. It was a cold, blustery night with a waning moon and Ann was bundled up as she made her way around the south Centennial Road area. This is the bedtime routine for Ann’s two companions, so Ann dresses for the weather and braves the seasons!
“It’s very peaceful out here,” said Ann about her “awesome neighbourhood.” She sometimes comes across other late-night walkers in the shapes of foxes, skunks and raccoons the size of her dogs who come out of the nearby ravine. “Aren’t you scared to be walking so late?” I asked Ann. She grinned and replied that she was startled once by a coyote who surprised her by coming up quite close to check out her dogs..
Jenny and Bill Vining are motivated by their FitBits (devices like watches that track daily activity) to stay young and healthy! They usually walk every day after lunch, admiring the homes, gardens and changes in the neighbourhood. Colonel Danforth Trail is a favourite route as they see the valley change through the seasons. Jenny enjoys meeting people along the way.
Youngsters Adriel and Jonathan had a great time riding their bikes over to Adams Park to kick around a soccer ball. They love coming here because the nets are still up in the soccer goal posts. A temperature of 2 degrees C and sunshine was all that was needed for the boys to make the most out of a November afternoon.
How does one get the kinks out when working from home? Katherine and Joseph Collins each have overcome this challenge by getting out for a walk every day – individually or together. “Walking is a great way to clear my mind,” said Joseph who has a very busy work life out of his home. Katherine walks and runs in the neighbourhood. On the side, Katherine teaches adults about storytelling. She said walking helps to access the limbic part of the brain that helps with the creative biorhythm needed for good stories. The Collins family moved from the city to the Centennial neighbourhood two years ago and they love seeing rabbits and foxes as regular cohabiters of our area. Walking with their two children to Wanita Park’s playground is a great treat for the kids.
Trudy Kinkartz is likely one of the most familiar people in our neighbourhood as she has been walking in our area for nearly 40 years! This is a good way for her to get the latest news from the neighbours. Trudy loves the sighting of the lake during her early morning walks. She often walks with long-time friends and they are always enchanted by how different Colonel Danforth Park looks at different times of the day and through the seasons. The light changes and with that the feeling in the park changes. “It’s amazing!” Trudy said. Seeing deer in the park and witnessing the salmon run is always treasured by Trudy who effused, “We are so fortunate to have this in our backyard!”
Kyong Chang was proudly showing off the waterfront to her family who was visiting from Sao Paolo, Brazil. The vastness of the lake made them all feel peaceful and revitalized. The young visiting family was immensely impressed by our walking trails and easy access to the water.
If you’d like to spend more time walking in the community, just remember that there’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing! And please, don’t feed the coyotes!