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Sunday, 20 February 2022

Downsview Park

Downsview Park Buildings.


 Location: North York, Ontario, Canada
Address: 70 Canuck Ave.
Date: Feb 2022
Website: en.downsviewpark.ca

   Downsview Park has always been involved in aviation.  There is still an active airport on the grounds.  In 1929 de Havilland of Canada manufactured planes that were used in World War II.  After that the Royal Canadian Air Force used the grounds.  The area has been used for large events such as Pope John Paul II visiting in the 80s or The Rolling Stones coming to Toronto after SARS.  The latest chapter has the area being used for mostly sports and recreation, but you are constantly reminded of the park's history.  Let's take a look at some of the things that Downsview has to offer.

Fighter Jet At Denison Armoury.

   As you curve around the Downsview grounds on Sheppard Avenue West you will pass Denison Armoury where some former Canadian Armed Forces equipment is on display such as the fighter jet above.

Downsview Hangar.

      The old airplane hangars have now been repurposed as a sports recreation facility.

Hoop Game Downsview. 
 
Within the giant hangar spaces you can now take part in volleyball, soccer, basketball and more.
 
True North Climbing At Downsview Park.

    There is even a rock climbing facility of which we were briefly members.  Remember to double check all your gear and put your trust in your partner before you start to climb.

The Bombardier Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview Campus.

     Centennial College has a campus on site in the former de Havilland of Canada building.  Here students can learn to be aviation technicians or aerospace engineers.

Centennial College Dwonsview Campus Plane.

     Next to the college campus was a yard with some planes which we assume were for the students to practice their skills on.

Downsview Park Merchants Market & Farmer's Market.

    As you head further west on Carl Hall Road you will come to a long building which houses a merchant and farmer's market.  A great spot to pick up some fruits and vegetables, buy and sell some old household items and more.

Downsview Mural In Front Of Film Studio.

    The side of the building with the merchant's market also now has a large mural painted on it.  Behind that wall is a film studio.

Ulysses Crazy Legs Curtis Mural Downsview

  Back along Carl Hall Road is a mural dedicated to Ulysses "Crazy Legs" Curtis.  Ulysses was the first full time black player on the Toronto Argonauts football team.  After his retirement he was a teacher  and worked closely with the youth of the Downsview area.

Downsview Park

    The next part of the park is our favourite.  It is the urban park portion which many wild creatures call home.

Wind Socks Downsview Park

     Some wind socks show you which way the winds are blowing today.  This area gets some strong winds as much of it is open and flat.  All the better to land a plane.

Airport Themed Playground.

  A plane had landed nearby in the children's playground.  The playground was airport themed so children get a chance to play pilot or air traffic controller.

North Plaza Downsview Park.

    The North Plaza is the start of the Sesquicentennial Trail.  It depicts the story of the Mississaugas and early settlers.  It was unveiled as part of Canada's celebration of 150 years since confederation.

Popsicle Bird House Downsview Park.

    In the wooded areas there are several bird houses set up.  Downsview is home to many small types of birds.

Dark-Eyed Junco Downsview Park

    There are often dark-eyed juncos which are a type of sparrow.

White-Throated Sparrow Downsview Park.

    There are also many other types of sparrow such as this white-throated sparrow above.

Cardinal Downsview Park

  Bright red cardinals stand out against the snow.  

Canada Flag Downsview Park.

As do Canada Flags.

Downsview Muskoka Chairs.

 And big wooden muskoka chairs.

Tall Grass Meadowlark Downsview Park.

  Some signage lets you know to return in the summer when you might see other birds such as meadowlarks, bobolinks and more.

Baby Squirrel Downsview Park.

     Not to be outdone, there are many small mammals also in the park.  As with most of Toronto there are many squirrels.  This little squirrel above was part of a squirrel nursery that had taken over a tree.

DHC-2 Beaver Plane Downsview Park.

  You should be able to spot a beaver while in the park.  Real beavers are found within Toronto and therefore not an impossibility, but still very unlikely in this park.  This beaver is a DHC-2 Beaver which is an early bush plane developed at Downsview in 1947.

Rabbit Hiding At Downsview Park.

  If you look carefully you may spot a real rabbit hiding in the bushes.  As darkness falls, these rabbits need to watch out for coyotes in the park.

Raccoon Downsview Park.

  Raccoons can be found in the park and they don't bother to hide from anything.  They are content to sleep the day away wrapped around a tree.

Red Tailed Hawk Downsview Park.

  Where there are small birds and creatures there will also be larger birds of prey.  Red-tailed hawks can be found in the park year round.

Long-Eared Owl Downsview Park.Short-Eared Owl Downsview Park.

    Owls are sometimes seen in the park.  The pictures above are of a long-eared owl and a short-eared owl.  We are hoping you can figure out which is which, or should we say who is who?

Toronto Wildlife Centre Downsview Park.

  All of the animals in the park and around the city are glad to know that the Toronto Wildlife Centre is located on the Downsview grounds.  The centre helps injured animals get back out into the wild where they belong.

The Mound Downsview Park.

  One feature of Downsview are the giants mounds which you can climb.  This mound is comprised of all the dirt taken out when a man-made lake was created in the park.

Wind Rose Art Project Downsview Park.

  At the top of one of the mounds was an art project called Wind Rose.  It is a series of flags and is named after a tool used to show wind speed and direction in a particular area.

CN Tower From The Mound At Downsview.

  The top of the mound is a good spot to look past the Bombardier buildings and see the familiar Toronto skyline.  As always the CN Tower stands tall above everything else.

Planes of Downsview Park.

    Downsview Park is a great place to explore our connection to the skies from the safety of the ground.  Whether it is from the top of The Mound or above the rim at Hoop Dome.  We can dream of flying, like the many planes that were made here or like the birds that call the park home.



Post # 308