Random Run: David Balfour Park to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
I had wanted to resume my habit of strolling around Toronto on a Sunday morning. Then I recalled that I hadn't gone for a run in a few days, and decided to go for a jog instead. After two years of living here, this city is still new to me, so I took the opportunity to pick a random point and make a randomly generated route that I could run. Vancouver-based app RunGo would provide the turn-by-turn direction this time, as the app I previously relied on seems to be defunct.
This run would take me from Davisville Station, south on Yonge, and then east on St. Clair, where I would veer into David Balfour Park. (I would later learn, through the Yelp review, that the park is popular for cruising.) A rivine bisects the park, so the hills are long and sometimes muddy, and going up the stairs made it impractical to cross railroad tracks. (I had to go under it, not over it in this case.) That took me to Mt. Pleasant Rd., which is not pleasant at all. The entrance to the park is car-friendly, not person-friendly, so I had to dash across an uncontrolled intersection with no crosswalk. I failed to heed my own instructions, that is, to take a look at the route in Google Street View before setting out. The rest of the run, which I mostly walked, took me through TK and over the railway I couldn't cross earlier, using the Summerhill railway Footbridge. I saw a half dozen giant inflatable Santas, and at the end, I walked through the humongous Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. I reflected on how both Vancouver and Toronto have cemeteries in a place called Mt. Pleasant, and both are named Mt. Pleasant Cemetary, and both have wide streets running through them.
The “run” took me an hour and a half, though it was still a great way to see a strange city. You can see the route I created (imported to RunGo) vs. the actual route I took. I played the usual place-based games (Foursquare's Swarm, Fog of World, and even fired up Ingress to see what I should be looking at). Strava crashed a number of times, though I used the GPX from RunGo to upload my activity. It was smart to bring my battery pack, as the number of location apps running in the background took my level down to 16 percent.