Dross Walk Delayed

I started my day with breakfast in bed served by Owen, aged 11. About 11am I headed out for a 35km cycle, the last 15km of which were in the rain and wind which began shortly after I left Starbucks having refreshed myself with a cappuccino and a chocolate chip cookie.

When I got home the last thing I wanted to do was go for a walk in the rain, but the forecast promised clearing so I had a quick, warming shower and we headed out enticed by Stephen Caulfield‘s humourous description for the Jane’s Walk entitled The Dross Walk that he is leading.  We drove down the 410 to Mississauga under gray skies entirely appropriate for the subject walk.

“Okay, enough with the suburban revisionism and the relentless positivity. Time to walk the dross. People, we’re gonna get you in touch with rage and depression, boredom and awe as we pass extractive industries, a species graveyard and a wingless aeroplane… Bring Tylenol. Get a tetanus shot.”

As we crossed into Mississauga, Highway 410 slowed to a crawl.  The concrete barriers had been moved closer to the centre to reveal and a new lane, and, apparently the change was enough to slow traffic.  Either that or induced demand is already at work.


I snapped a picture (from the passenger seat) and tweeted that we were on a new bit of Hwy 410 on our way to The Dross Walk. A few minutes later a Twitter contact pointed out that the walk is next Sunday, not today.  Oops.

So we decided create our own personal Jane’s Walk starting with a walk around Kariya Gardens, south of Square One, since we were there and no longer had anything to do. Unfortunately, the cherry trees are not out yet and the garden was rather barren.  Just north of the garden was an area long vacant with dross-like qualities.

We parked on the top of a multi-storey lot at Square One where the weather continued to threaten wet and windy conditions.  Down the stairs, across City Centre Drive and this great view of Absolute Towers juxtaposed interestingly with the Mississauga Manneken Pis.


We headed down this desire line, the most efficient way to a light-controlled intersection where we could cross to the Absolute Towers.


I can never get enough of these towers.  I always admire them from near and afar.

After exploring the little grocery store at the base of the towers we headed east towards a fabulous piece of active transportation infrastructure, over Cookville Creek, on the Burnhamthorpe Trail. Before this bridge was installed the trail was interupted where the road bridge was too narrow to carry it across along with the traffic lanes and a skimpy sidewalk.  Well done Mississauga.

We turned onto Robert Speck Parkway and discovered this great picnic table at the entrance to a park that led to Cooksville Creek.


Even though this area is getting very built up there is some nice green space. We followed the path along the edge of a parking garage on one side and some low rise office buildings on the other.


As we approached the turn in the path we could hear water and came upon this great view.


The glass office buildings almost disappeared into the sky, reflecting the conditions around them and made an interesting backdrop to the water and vegetation. I do wish the fence was not placed along the edge of the path.  One can go around the fence at the beginning or end of the path, so it seems rather pointless and creates a visual barrier.

Some attempt was made to create a pleasing space under the Robert Speck Parkway bridge crossing the creek.

At the end of the path, where one is expected to climb up to Robert Speck Parkway, we found another desire line leading to a couple picnic tables where we sat for awhile.


We ended our walk inside Walmart and took a trip up the “rampolator”, the only one I can recall ever encountering, left over from when Woolco was in the space.


I arrive home to a lovely bouquet of flowers from Trystan for Mother’s Day. Megan and Alun gave me Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars and a huge bag of M&M Peanuts.  I will need to do a lot more walking and cycling to work them off.










About Lisa Stokes

I am a stay-at-home mother of four whose hobbies include photography, quilting and cycling. I have recently started to advocate for better cycling infrastructure in my community. I am the photographer at the Brampton Quilters' Guild.
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