Last week, we made the long drive back to Toronto to attend a formal dinner. Here I am, looking unaccustomedly polished. My regular wardrobe runs more to jeans. We enjoyed a pleasant evening, and the next morning we took a leisurely stroll along Toronto’s Harbourfront before heading home.
It was a beautiful morning. Lake Ontario was calm, with just a bit of a swell rippling the water. Here’s the view out towards the Toronto Islands.
Our destination was the Toronto Music Garden. The set of 6 connected gardens are based on an interesting concept, a physical interpretation of six dance movements within Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007.
The garden was designed through a collaboration of internationally renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma, landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, and landscape architects from the City of Toronto’s Parks and Recreation department. The six dance movements represented are Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Minuets, and Gigue. You can read more about the Toronto Music Garden here.
In the Courante garden, a spiral pathway leads you up to a central court accented with a maypole designed by Anne Roberts, Feir Mill Design Inc. The path swirls through a planting of monardas, grasses and flowers intended to attract birds and butterflies.
Here’s the Music Pavillion fabricated by Tom Tollefson, architectural blacksmith. It looks out over a hillside that offers stepped seating for musical concerts, which are offered on summer Thursdays and Sundays. You’ll find the concert schedule here.
The gardens are serene, interesting and well-maintained. They offer a respite from the bustle of the city.
Or, at least, I imagine they would if it weren’t so noisy. A cacophony of sound assaulted our country-accustomed ears, with traffic and road construction to the north, and an active airport to the south.
Still, it’s a pleasant spot. We walked back along the boardwalk and admired the boats.
For those who enjoy fishing, sign boards outline safe consumption levels of Lake Ontario’s compromised fish.
Water fountains are a nice touch. You can leave your plastic water bottles at home! (Better still, don’t buy them.)
This walkway was designed to emulate waves.
There’s even a tiny patch of wetland, a nod to what the shoreline once looked like many long years ago.
In fact, the area reminded me of new housing tracts, where the streets boast names that commemorate what has been destroyed: Forest Lane and Green Meadow Trail. Oddest of all was a section of sand, contained within a neat wall of concrete and accented with yellow umbrellas. Are the children who bring their spades and buckets able to extrapolate from this tiny sample and imagine an ocean and beach? I hope they each have the chance to visit the real thing one day.