October was the month for Autumn colours, which is one of the few fun activities that aren’t cancelled. We were determined to get more out of Ontario’s natural treasures this year, so we triple-dipped at three different spots this year.
The first spot was Arrowhead Provincial Park, a couple hours drive north of Toronto. I’ve rarely driven this far up north, and the reward is scenery untarnished by power lines and buildings in the distance.
At the end of one of the trails was Stubb’s Falls. Being on the rocks while the rapids snaked around me was full sensory experience, what with the water seemingly coming right at me, the sounds of the crashing water, and even the breeze the water carried with it.
The next place we visited was Rouge National Urban Park, a national park carved around Rouge Valley on the east side of Toronto. If not for the power lines that cut through portions of the park, I would’ve never guessed this is right in the city.
The last place went for autumn colours was Evergreen Brick Works, a reclaimed quarry mill that I’ve been to numerous times before. The unique man-made geography of this place makes for some very nice views of the Toronto downtown skyline.
What was once a hollowed-out quarry is now home to many animals, including this absolutely gigantic beaver. It almost looks like a small bear, such is the immensity of its size.
Asides from the sight-seeing, the Covid situation in Ontario took a turn for the worse this month. With the shut-down of indoor dining imminent, we had our last huzzah at Sushi Nishi no Kaze, an omakase sushi restaurant in Scarborough. The reduced seating capacity meant there where only 4 diner at the seating. The food was wonderful both in taste and presentation. The chef was also pleasant to talk to, and we spoke briefly about the uncertain future of the pandemic. While he was not panicked just yet about about his restaurant due to his relatively low overhead costs, there was certainly of frustration about the restaurant industry being unfairly targeted.
It’s a sentiment I sympathize with. As a society, we are asking small businesses like restaurants to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Yet while this is happening, the rest of society is still refusing to compromise even a little bit of perceived privacy to better facilitate contact tracing through tracing apps. And that’s not even getting into the issue of masks, which could still be a thorny issue depending on where you live.
Though I don’t know what’s the best way to tackle a pandemic without doing undue damage to livelihoods, I know that personal responsibility matters. I fear that the lack of widespread compliance of public health countermeasures is shaping the policies in the future — a future of either partial capitulation to the virus or repeated lockdowns. As case numbers spike and the weather gets colder, I fear the die has already been cast, and we will reap what we have sown.