Enjoying the Outer Harbour

One of Toronto’s best kept secrets is the Outer Harbour, the bays of Leslie Spit, and in the canals of the Toronto Islands. If interested, I’d be happy to help you experience canoeing or dinghy sailing from the Cherry Beach area. Taking friends, and friends of, out on the water for a short excursion is a favourite pastime. As the season changes there is plenty online to learn more.

As the Communications Director for the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation of nine clubs and a youth camp I help promote water recreation and help get the word about getting out on the water from the Cherry Beach area. Below are some of my photos from several accounts I manage.

I was fortunate enough to have been introduced to canoeing and sailing from my father when I was a child. Somehow I managed to borrow his boats and bring them to Toronto. I’ve been sailing a Laser with The Water Rat sailing club for a few years and many more with the Outer Harbour Centreboard Club. I’m rarely in a motor boat but I also have the Canada Boating License Pleasure Craft Operator Card. I’ve been learning about the areas natural, industrial and recreational history, its people, ecology, wildlife and the largest urban redevelopment project currently underway in North America.

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Visiting Wards Island by boat

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Will reach shore sooner or later

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Kids playing on the beach

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Every location has a story. Let’s connect them online

Where there is a place, there is a story. In cities public places have a story of coexistence and connection.

I’ve long been hooked on connecting location information online with images, links and info. For years I have been using location apps such as Foursquare Swarm and Yelp to check into places, leaving a photo and an account. I’ve recently been inpsired by Jane’s Walks about neighbourhoods, the city building hash tag #2forTO, and an app I tried in San Francisco. The Detour App took things to a new level by offering audio/visual location tours that direct one to places not even imagined.

As a personal project, I created profile accounts in social media of a few local places in a consistent fashion. Profiles are different from a daily stream of events you typically find in social media. A profile offers basic info, a quick glimpse of what the topic is, and then links to more information on the web.

Below are the accounts I set up for people online to connect about a location while passing through. They are a spot for myself and others to put topical tips and media. For now they are simply profiles with a link to Wikipedia so one may learn more. I’m reaching out to others to profile here as well such as @StClairWestTO.

I wish the city would own these digital footprints so we could all move through our digital space more easily. By that I mean, common names would be registered and link to further resources. I rather the account names be ones about a location and not a dormant user account that has nothing to do with the location such as @CollegeStTO and @BloorSt on Twitter.