Colourful Top 10: Toronto - Part one

by christopher mackinnon

Toronto is a year-round, 24/7 smorgasbord of colour. Whether it's the eclectic storefronts along Queen Street, the fashion styles on display at an outdoor festival, or a sunset over Greektown on a Friday night, there's more than enough colour to go around. So it's kind of fitting that so many place names around the city are colourful, too. Here is Part One of the Top 10 most 'colourful' places in Toronto. Every place listed below has a colour in its name. (Part Two coming soon!). Let me know your thoughts on the rankings, and feel free to suggest any places you feel should make the top five. 

Yellow Creek

Yellow Creek doesn't exactly jump out at you as it flows through the Rosedale, Moore Park and Deer Park neighbourhoods of the city. This unassuming waterway almost hides in the treed and wooded zones of those midtown areas. It's not hard to imagine the abundant yellow foliage showcased here every autumn. According to local guide John Graham, the Yellow Creek ravine provides a very pleasant walking space for afternoon hikers.

White Squirrel Way

I don't know too much about urban wildlife, but I'm guessing actual white squirrels are pretty rare in West Queen West. Or any neighbourhood of Toronto for that matter. True, the city's home to thriving grey and brown squirrel populations, but white squirrels remain a rarity (so have your camera handy in case you spot one). This street, a few blocks from Ossington, provides entry to the sprawling CAMH campus. It's as good a spot as any to go looking for white squirrels.

 White squirrels are so rare, I couldn't track down a decent image of one. Here's a cute grey squirrel instead. (Photo by Pranay Pareek)

White squirrels are so rare, I couldn't track down a decent image of one. Here's a cute grey squirrel instead. (Photo by Pranay Pareek)

Blue Jays Way

Back in '77, when the Blue Jays baseball club hadn't been named yet, Blue Jays Way didn't exist. And if the team's then owners had settled on a some other moniker for the franchise, we'd likely have a completely different name for this thoroughfare outside the Rogers Centre near Front Street. But the colourful-sounding 'Blue Jays Way' has a nice ring to it and it's a name that sports fanatics and ornithologists can both get behind.

Rouge National Urban Park

Why not add a little French flavour to our Top 10 list, eh?  Rouge ('Red', en anglais) is the colourful name of this urban park mostly located in suburban Scarborough. It gets its name from its central feature, the Red River, first referred to as such on maps drawn by French explorer Louis Jolliet in the 1600s. If you're feeling kind of rosy, Rouge might be the place for some authentic nature time this summer.

Brown's Lane

At first glance, you might have thought #6 was about Brown's Line - that relatively expansive route that connects the Gardiner Expressway to Lakeshore Blvd in Etobicoke. But this entry on the list actually concerns Brown's Lane, a miniscule and scarcely-known laneway in the Bathurst and King area. It seems to exist as a type of service route leading to parking spaces behind the buildings at 95 and 111 Bathurst Street. Six brownie points if you can find it.

Check back soon for Part Two of the Top 10 most 'colourful' places in Toronto.