Don River Edition
August 26, 2017


Our book ride in the Don Valley will focus on mental health, nature and exercise through the lens of literature. Cycling, like reading, exercises the mind and can elevate one’s mood and decrease stress and depression.

Children's Peace Theatre at 11 am

We are honoured to commence our Book Ride on the sacred land of the original people. Tkaronto, "where the trees stand in water", is a part of the traditional territory of many nations: the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit. This land is subject to the Dish with One Spoon wampum belt covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and a confederacy of Anishinabek and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

Evergreen Brick Works at 1 pm

The Don Valley Brick Works is a former quarry and industrial site located in the Don River valley in Toronto, Canada. The Don Valley Brick Works operated for nearly 100 years and provided bricks used to construct many well-known Toronto landmarks, such as Casa Loma, Osgoode Hall, Massey Hall, and the Ontario Legislature. Since the closure of the original factory, the quarry has been converted into a city park which includes a series of naturalized ponds, while the buildings have been restored and opened as an environmentally focused community and cultural centre by Evergreen, a national charity dedicated to restoring nature in urban environments.

Corktown Common at 3 pm

There is a new jewel in the landscape of the West Don Lands, Corktown Common, a 7.3 hectare park located at the foot of Lower River Street and Bayview Avenue. Situated on former industrial lands, the park has transformed an underutilized brownfield into a spectacular park and community meeting place featuring a lush landscape. With a marsh, sprawling lawns, urban prairies, playground areas, a splash pad and a variety of inviting features like a fireplace, permanent barbeque, large communal picnic tables and washrooms, this spectacular new greenspace is at the heart of an emerging new community.

The Route

We cycled 8 kilometres!


A collection of fun things that happened during Don River Edition

  • Massey Creek

    Children's Peace Theatre

    From 11 am to Noon, we will honour the land and its ancestors with readings by local author Catherine Hernandez who has written her debut novel, Scarborough, in a multi-voiced story about a Toronto neighbourhood that refuses to fall apart in the face of poverty and crime along with Ghana storyteller, Adwoa Badoe, author of more than a dozen children's books. Together they will share their stories for families of all ages in the natural amphitheatre next to a meadow on the grounds of the Massey Goulding Estate.

  • Don River Valley

    Brick Works

    From 1 pm to 2 pm, within the former quarry and industrial site, we will see Robert Burley's extraordinary photographs of the enduring wilderness of Toronto's ravines and hear about the history of the area through the lens of literature with Alissa York. Our special guest is Nadha Hassen, a specialist on the impact of nature on mental health and author of Dancing in the Rain. Buy a farmer's market lunch, rent a bicycle, listen to authors & join us for a ride south along the Don River for the best afternoon in the city!

  • Urban Prairie

    Corktown Common

    From 3 pm to 4 pm, authors include Ayelet Tsabari author of the 'remarkable' The Best Place on Earth which has also been described as "powerful & brilliant". Jake Tobin Garrett, Park People Manager Policy & Research & contributor to Any Other Way will discuss the desire line. Additionally Jane Farrow will share her thoughts and writing about Any Other Way How Toronto Got Queer. This eclectic illustrated history extends from early colonial sex scandals and Oscar Wilde's trip to Toronto to the proliferation of queer shared houses, the demimonde world of Yonge Street strip and the emergence of Queer West. Intrigued? You should be ... Come for the words!

Featured Books

An Enduring Wilderness

Robert Burley

ISBN: 9781770413795

The Naturalist

Alissa York

ISBN: 9780345815002

Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer

John Lorinc, Jane Farrow

ISBN: 9781552453483

The Best Place On Earth

Ayelet Tsabari

ISBN: 9781443411967


Catherine Hernandez

ISBN: 9781551526775


Adwoa Badoe

ISBN: 9781554988167

Dancing in the Rain

Nadha Hassen

ISBN: Order Direct from Nadha