I ran a half marathon and a little bit more this morning. Good planning on my part meant my early start helped me just beat the snowstorm that is now dumping 10-20cm on Toronto.
I’ve had a bucket list item to run up to what we call the Rainbow Tunnel up along the Don Valley Parkway. From downtown it’s just a bit too far for a Sunday run, but from our house, it’s quite doable.
The route I mapped out included a lot of climbing as I gained elevation and gave it back on multiple occasions. I’ve run most of the route at times over the years, but there was about 5km of new roads and trails.
Tunnels, Tracks and Trails
This route featured a few crossings of some of the rail lines that criss-cross Toronto and a peek at some of the rail history of the area. First up was the GO Kingston Subdivision just north of our house. Along Eglinton I crossed over the GO Bala Subdivision which GO uses for the Richmond Hill line. Back when the Canadian still ran, pre-COVID, it ran south through here at the end of it’s cross-country journey.
I crossed under the Bala Sub again on the East Don Trail and then also under the CP Belleville Sub and the twin track trestle over the East Don River.
The highlight and destination for the run was the Rainbow Tunnel under the Bala Sub, but I also wanted to run part of the Don Mills Trail which is a rail trail on the right of way of the former Leaside Spur that connected the CP Belleville Sub to the CN Bala Sub. The spur was abandoned by CNR in 1999 and in 2011 the first portion reopened as the paved rail path.
Technically it dead-ends at the CPR tracks north of Eglinton and signs warn you there is no exit, but a vacant property allows for access to Leslie St. along a fenced in trail. From there, I ran under the second twin trestle on the Belleville Sub that crosses the Don River just south of Eglinton. I used to live across the valley from here and could watch the CP trains crossing here many times a day.
The rest of my run was familiar territory behind the Ontario Science Centre and then over to Taylor Creek (crossing the Bala Sub yet again) and back to Victoria Park Ave. and home. The snow was just starting to fall as I made the turn onto our street and within a few minutes it was already coming down and accumulating.