Humber River, and Finch Ave. Flood

Finch Ave. FloodOn September 5th, I went for a late-afternoon / evening bike ride. I decided to explore part of Toronto that I hadn't really been to yet, especially since there was a good chance to see the aftermath of the Black Creek flood that washed away part of Finch Ave.

I left home and rode to the Humber River by the Old Mill. Good thing I wasn't far from home yet: My front disk brake had finally worn down too much and the clip that holds it in place got mangled up. I had to go home and change it before re-starting my ride.

I rode up the Humber River all the way from Bloor, through Weston, right up to Finch Ave., basically. It's a bit tricky once you get farther north, and the Humber River recreational trails disappear in places, and they're not very well signed. But it was a nice ride anyway. I always enjoy cycling near water, especially twisty rivers. I really like bridges too, that's why I seem to have photographed so many of them.

Heading west along Finch Ave. isn't excatly the nicest ride. Pretty much an ugly suburban freeway out there. I knew I was getting close to the collapsed section of road when I saw all the signs to re-route the traffic. A large area on either side of the collapse was fenced off, patrolled by a sleeping security guard who didn't seem to care that people were wandering through an unlocked gate to get a closer peek. I didn't want to venture in there, and I was a bit bummed out at first that I couldn't get a closer look.

Fortunately, a few minutes later a worker came up and said that the new sidewalk / bridge is open! Excellent! I was among the first group of people to walk over this bridge and get a look at the re-formed ravine from this angle (I have some paint on my shorts and bike seat to prove it..from sitting down on the bridge to take pictures...heh.).

It was funny, in a way, looking at the destruction. Black Creek is really just a small trickle. But the strong rain on August 19th caused an amazing surge in water levels that the creek couldn't handle. Maybe if everything up there wasn't so paved over and channelized, the water would have had a better chance of slowly making its way into the creek instead of creating that flash flood?

There's a great photo series of this flood in progress on the Spacing Photoblog.

Of course, I took a whole bunch of pictures of my ride and the collapsed road too.

Riding home from Finch was a blast. Seemed like it was mostly downhill, so I was flying straight down Jane St. Not much traffic in the evening either. Fun fun fun riding in the city.


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