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DIG IN initiates inclusive community and cultural plans and actions that will contribute to sustaining a neighbourhood that is GREEN • CLEAN • SAFE • CIVIL by fostering improvements in the areas of its social, environment, cultural, economic and physical make up. Please join our Mailing List / Yahoo Group.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Guest Blogger #1 - Michelle Rosen - Railpath Run 2013


I'd like to invite anyone to participate as a guest blogger on the DIGIN blog. Just write a post and send it to me along with some pictures of things happening around our neighbourhood. Enjoy the first one from local resident Michelle Rosen. 


Michelle Rosen lives in the Bloordale Neighborhood and is lover of all things sweet.  When not working her 9 - 5 day job at the University of Toronto, Michelle likes to dabble in web design and development.  Encouraged by the Railpath Run, she is also training for a 10km race in December! 


On September 29th, I ran the Toronto Railpath Run.     It was a warm and sunny day for the end of September, and I was excited to get moving!  There were two parts to the run:  a competitive run at 9:15 am followed by a recreational/fun run at 10:30 am.  The goal was to run as many legs of the 2.1 kilometer trail as you could, in 45 minutes.  All the funds raised went to the STOP Community Food Centre.  I hadn’t run in quite some time but really enjoyed the community feel.   We began at the Wallace Street Bridge where volunteers were there to hand out running bibs and information. There were local political MPs and MPPs, community groups and even the Toronto Roller Derby Club to clear the path between races! The volunteers were friendly, and having the opportunity to ‘run like the wind’ (at least in my mind), without any cars or other obstacles to worry about, was all I needed to sign up.
 I also just really love the rail path.  I live just on the other side of the tracks and have been following the development of the project since I moved into the neighbourhood 3 years ago.  The path is an amazing intersection of nature and industry, past and present.  Depending where you are on the path you may feel like you are in a thicket in High Park, or visiting your favorite chocolate store.   Running past the old Tower Automotive Building and witnessing all the remediation work that is being done, reminds me of the history of the path and the positive attempt to revitalize the neighbourhood. There are art galleries and commissioned art installations, and impromptu displays of graffiti and street art that add to the diversity of the stretch.  The Friends of West Toronto Rail Path describe it as a linear park.  In my mind, the topography of the path may be straight (or slightly curvy) but the idea and reality of it is certainly not narrow!

The Railpath organizers also invited some community groups to the run, one of which was displaying alternatives to the proposed Metrolinx Noise Barriers.   I’m hopeful that some compromise can be found and a more integrated solution developed.  The proposed barriers seem incongruous to the way the path has developed, and the organic way it connects to its surroundings: the tracks, the trees, and the openness of the route.   It certainly wouldn’t feel the same to run with large, ugly, grey cement barriers lining the path.  I was really impressed with the ‘Sharing Boundaries’ plans and am encouraged by this hopeful alternative.  

I managed to run 6 kilometers and was cheered on by organizers and supporters.  There were prizes given away at the end of the race and plenty of food and water provided by the sponsors.  All in all, the run was fun and well organized.  It reminded me of how much I enjoy the West Toronto Railpath and the neighbourhood I live in. 

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