TravelRun Ontario – and the Trans Canada Trail


Processed with MoldivMuch as I enjoy travelling, it often means I fall behind on other stuff, like updating my blog. With the preparation for going away, plus a couple of evening commitments, along with that full-time job…I’m way behind!

So I’ll get right to it!

Thursday night, we took the red-eye from Vancouver to Toronto. The flight only took about 4 hours, but because of the screaming toddler on board, it felt like a lot longer. Arrived in Ontario with actual red eyes, having not had a wink of sleep, and drove home to Barrie (about an hour due north of Toronto). Greeted my Dad warmly, and promptly took a 3-hour nap.


On Saturday, we drove 2+ hours to Hamilton, at the western end of Lake Ontario, where we attended my cousin’s wedding. It was a wonderful time, getting together with most of the extended family (including a couple of cousins I’d never met before!), dancing, and enjoying the open bar.

Yes, you read that right. Open bar.

Despite the open bar, I had mentally committed to running in Hamilton. I lived in the area during college – but as many of you know, I was not a runner then. As such, I was determined to make this a TravelRun. After breakfast and a few cups of coffee (but unfortunately not enough water), I headed out.

I had packed for Ontario with the assumption that it would be cold. It was not. I was dressed for cooler temperatures in a thermal long-sleeved top with a t-shirt over it, running tights & shorts, and my Icebreaker toque. I headed out from the hotel past Dundurn Castle and along Harvey Park, which overlooks Burlington Bay in Lake Ontario.

Burlington Bay
Burlington Skyway in the distance

About a kilometre in, I was already sweating.


I pulled up my sleeves.

My destination was Waterfront Trail, requiring me to clamber down a fairly imposing and twisty metal staircase.


I then headed back the way I had come, only now I was right on the lakeshore. The sun was beaming down, the geese were honking, and the fact that I hadn’t rehydrated properly to compensate for a couple of quite a few gin & tonics had set in.

I passed a dead racoon.

It then dawned on me that I was at the base of a small cliff, and that there were railway tracks in between me and said cliff. In order to get back to my destination, I had to do a full loop – which included a hill and a bridge. I briefly took off my toque to wipe my brow, but with the sun growing in intensity on my pale scalp I feared sunburn, and slapped that hat back on.

FullSizeRender copy

Now don’t get me wrong – the Waterfront Trail is beautiful.

FullSizeRender_1 copy IMG_7012

But I was very happy when the hotel came back in sight. I freshened up, and we headed off for some waterfall sightseeing at the Spencer Gorge.

Webster's Falls Tew's Falls

Followed by a lovely lunch with the family and the newlyweds. Then we headed back to Barrie.


In order to ensure that the Ontario TravelRun was done right, I ventured out on Monday morning from my Dad’s place. I’ve run this route quite a few times. Most of it is pretty straightforward residential, all around the neighbourhood where I grew up: Letitia Street, Leacock Drive, Cundles Road, Livingstone Street, Lillian Crescent.

But then I get to run through Sunnidale Park. When I was a child, it seemed vast. Back in the 50s or 60s, it was a golf course. At one point, they wanted to pave it over, and my Mom fought tooth and nail to keep it as a park – and she succeeded. There’s a huge hill where I used to toboggan in the winter. But now I’m seeing it with fresh eyes (although it’s still a bit brown and bare).

FullSizeRender copy 2 FullSizeRender_1 copy 2

One of the coolest things – the path through the park is part of the Trans Canada Trail – a network of trails stretching 17,000km across Canada.

FullSizeRender_2 copy

As it turns out – the Waterfront Trail in Hamilton that I ran? It’s also part of the Trans Canada Trail!


Back to Vancouver on Monday night. This was a whirlwind trip, but totally worth it to spend the time with my family, who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.

On Tuesday, I ran the Seawall in Coal Harbour with three of my coworkers. The Seawall is part of the Trans Canada Trail, too. This fact makes me very happy.

Have you ever run the Trans Canada Trail? Any good TravelRuns in your future?

Have you ever over (or under) dressed for a run?


Comments are closed.

Back to Top