After being enchanted by Montreal, I was determined to show Joe that Toronto isn’t all concrete and business suits. I may not be an expert on all that Toronto has to offer as a city; I don’t frequent clubs, I’m not that into high fashion and I don’t eat out often. However, I am very familiar with one thing about Toronto: its parks.
One of my favourite things to do is circuit the best parks I know with my dog, Coco. A great place to take him is the Evergreen Brick Works, an old brick factory-turned-farmer’s market.
Weekends it has a farmer’s market and a flea market. Besides the trails, wildlife and off-leash dog park, there is a also an excellent cafe; The Cafe Belong, which offers natural foods for everyone’s dietary requirements and whose philosophy is “Food is fuel, food is medicine, food is love.” Couldn’t have said it better.
Joe and I walked along the snow-covered paths, enjoying the sunny winter Monday (the first day of my February Reading Week). I snapped pictures of the old rundown brick factory, Coco ran free in the woods, picking up a coat full of burrs as he went.
After looking at a large, artistic rendition of the Toronto river system, we entered the Cafe Belong where J ordered coffee (he’s the only person I know who likes coffee more than I do – what a man!) and I had a “Green Kambucha with Lime” tea. It tasted like mint.
Coco ate some crumbs on the ground and then we walked back to Castle Frank subway station, stopping to gaze at the giant Rosedale homes as we went.
Studies show that people who exercise outside are more likely to stick to their exercise regime. Getting some sun, especially in the winter, also ensures adequate levels of vitamin D. It’s also therapeutic to get the family away from the computer, and spend some quiet time with loved ones by enjoying life’s simplicity; collecting sticks, observing wood-peckers and chasing squirrels (Coco did most of the squirrel chasing in our party). Mostly, however, getting back to nature is the main practice that the pioneers of the naturopathic profession preached. While many of my colleagues in the holistic health world stress over dietary restriction, herbal remedies and body-sculpting exercise, I think it’s important to remember “fresh air, water and sunshine” are really what the naturopathic profession was founded on.
For more about The Evergreen Brick Works, other programs that they offer, farmer’s market hours and directions on how to get there, click here.