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Glen Stewart

Gone, but not forgotten

Over the last few years, major reconstruction efforts in Glen Stewart Ravine have seen to a significant transformation of this outstanding tract of Toronto's wilds. On a recent visit, I was suddenly reminded of the quaint old wayfinding marker pictured above, and wondered if it might have survived.

When I first discovered it several years ago, I felt a vague twinge of nostalgia, like a long forgotten memory struggling to find its way to the surface. Perhaps markers like these were once more common in our ravines - I certainly feel like they were, but just can't summon the mental imagery to support it. Even digging around in books and on online I've been unable to unearth any proof that the one in Glen Stewart was anything but unique. Please drop me a line at info@ravines.to if you know differently as I'd be very interested to hear about it.

In contrast with the signage being rolled out under the City's new (and much needed) "Toronto 360 Wayfinding Strategy," the Glen Stewart marker was charming for its subtly and simplicity. Its material and shape made it seem right at home crouched amongst the red oaks. Its primitive lettering suggested an homage to early days. No doubt these qualities could have easily rendered the sign useless for its intended purpose at times, but they also gave it an elegance not found in our contemporary signage.

As far as I can tell, the marker no longer stands in Glen Stewart. And while there's little question that our new wayfinding signage will prove itself superior in almost every regard, I do hope someone thought to tuck this little gem away someplace safe, if only for posterity.

Posted on: May 11, 2015