East End Alleyways: April 2021

While my car was in for servicing, I wandered about alleys near Eastern Avenue and Carlaw Avenue.

In my early adulthood I worked in downtown Toronto and became interested in the plants that grow in little laneways and out-of-the-way streets. Until the pandemic, I regularly led walks into these places and have a great fondness for them.

chalk board outside school
plastic crow


At the conclusion of the post, I will identify it.


Some botany:

Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Common Mallow (Malva neglecta)
Forsythia (Forsythia intermedia)
enormous Silver Maple
Christmas lights on Hackberry
Red Maple (Acer rubra)
Glory of the Snow flower
Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
Variegated Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Chickweed (Cerastium)
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)
Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
Asian Bleeding-heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
Linden (Tilia)

Some birds:

Rock Pigeon
House Finch (male)
American Goldfinch (male)
House Finch (male)


Garlic Mustard is in the top five of invasive species in our area.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)


Thanks to Yvette Matyas for these fine Green-winged Teal photos:

Green-winged Teal (male)
Green-winged Teal (male)
Green-winged Teal (male)


Oh, how fresh the wind is blowing!
See! The sky is bright and clear,
Oh, how green the grass is growing!
April! April! Are you here?                      – Dora R. Goodale (1866–1953)

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “East End Alleyways: April 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    As someone whose walking these days is necessarily (COVID-related prudence) confined to city streets and alleyways on my once-a-day extended walks with my dog, I can well appreciate how interesting and beautiful these can be from the point of view of plants, trees, gardens, houses and other features. I actually correctly “guessed” the “mystery plant”–one of the few I know really well by name, but mostly by seeing it in the Don Valley, it is more unexpected here! It was also great seeing the birds featured, and of course, an additional thanks to Yvette for the terrific pictures of Green-winged Teals. Thanks, Miles!


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