Visiting the leafy Sawmill Valley Trail, Mississauga, Ontario: with its Creek strategically important to Pioneers
New meaning to the transition between urban and rural
In the urban environment of Erindale, Mississauga, Ontario, the sudden immersion of the walker into this 2.2 kilometre trail evokes impressions describable in superlative language. My own venture to this outstandingly attractive area occurred in the fall, and I was privileged to obtain some photographs which capture something of the glorious colours which erupt annually along this narrow, herbaceous trail which follows the Sawmill Creek.
Mainly deciduous trees are found alongside the Creek and Trail, and trillium plants — protected in Ontario, for which its flower is, of course, the Province's floral symbol — have been known to flourish. White tailed deer may also be seen along the Trail
Important in pioneer Ontario days, the Sawmill Creek evidences the previous existence of a significant local industry for which the proximity of water was important. (Some of these pioneer families in the district are honoured by having local roads named for them.)
The Sawmill Valley Trail has been the venue for local enthusiasts to congregate regularly for organized walks.
One the of the Trail path entrances, at Mississauga Road's intersection with The Collegeway, is situated not far from the Creek's confluence with the Credit RIver.
Variations are sometimes seen in the name of this trail. Sometimes it is the Sawmill Valley Trail (a variation of this is Saw Mill Valley Trail). Then it is also called the Sawmill Creek Trail. But also, it has been called the Sawmill Valley Creek Trail. (And so it goes...)
There has also been a proposal to rename the Sawmill Valley Creek area the Roy Ivor Woods, in memory of a distinguished naturalist. (Some kind of compromise seems to have been effected; just south of the intersection of The Collegeway and Mississauga Road, a sign now says: 'Ivor Woodlands', while the Sawmill Valley/Creek Trail references have been preserved.)
But for myself, among the biggest of impressions with which the Sawmill Valley Trail left me was that it caused me to reexamine the division between notions of the urban and the rural. Those who are familiar, for example, with Ontario's City of Kawartha Lakes will realize that for certain reasons (not least, tax), a large and essentially rural area has had lines on a map drawn around it and has been deemed by the politicians to be urban.
Yet at the Sawmill Valley Trail, seemingly the opposite has occurred: an entirely built up, urban area has had preserved in its midst a long, narrow, wooded section of land alongside a creek, giving an apparent illusion of rurality (..though in postmodern terms, one supposes that the projection of the illusion might well be more of a reality for some people, than the reality which the illusion replaces...)
December 15, 2012
Also worth seeing
In Erindale , Mississauga, itself, other attractions include: the Glen Erin Hall Gatehouse, St Peter's Anglican church, dating from 1825; the former Springfield Methodist Church, now Erindale Presbyterian Church; the former St Peter's Rectory; and many others.
How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson Airport to the junction of Mississauga Road and The Collegeway, Mississauga : approx. 22 kilometres). A GO Train service operative between Toronto Union and Erindale GO Train stations (distance to Erindale GO Train station at 1320 Rathburn Road West: approx. kilometres). Local bus routes include 1C, 44, 101 and 110. Please check with the airline, your travel agent, or transportation company for relevant up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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