The Keating Channel: January 2021

The Keating Channel is a 1,000-metre long waterway which connects the Don River to inner Toronto Harbour. The channel is named after Edward Henry Keating (1844-1912), a city engineer (1892-1898) who proposed the creation of the channel in 1893. The channel was built to connect Ashbridge’s Bay to the harbour; later, the Don was diverted into the channel, and its river mouth infilled in the early 1910s.

I have always wanted to explore this very industrial and urban area and did so on this day.

Some botany:

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
Black Locust (Robinea pseudoacacia)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Silver Maple (Acer sachharinum)
White Poplar (Populus alba)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Evening-primrose (Oenothera)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
Apple (Malus)
Apple (Malus)
Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Spindletree (Euonymus europaea)
White Spruce cone (Picea glauca)
Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)


The rayless sun,
Day’s journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.
Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.                     – Walter de la Mare (1873–1956)

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “The Keating Channel: January 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    It was even better before they embarked on their big reclamation project (you don’t show that), undeniably important and vitally necessary as it is, remediating the Don River mouth, which had been diverted way back when. My hiking buddy and I hiked the Port Lands enough over the years to contract cancer (not yet, thankfully) from that industrial wasteland, and we loved it! It’s good to see some of it again, here. Thanks, Miles!


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