Category Archives: Spring

The Pine Tree

In Canada, the Maple tree and the Pine tree are two of the most dominant and iconic trees. The White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a large pine tree that is native to Eastern North America.

The White Pines are credited as being North America’s tallest tree and there have been reports of trees reaching over 70m.

Pine cones are long and slender and contain seeds that provide animals with food and serve as the trees way to reproduce.

The Eastern White Pine is the provincial tree of Ontario and the state tree of Michigan and Maine.

Emerging Buds

The Sugar Maple is one of the most important trees of Canada. It is the national icon that is used on the flag and various coats of arms. The tree is also used for making maple syrup and is logged throughout Canada as a staple hardwood.

*Unidentified deciduous shrub local to Southern Ontario*

This is a photo of the flowers produced by the Serviceberry shrub. This plant flowers in spring and eventually bears fruit in the summer. Where this plant is found locally its fruits are used for jams.


This is a Tamarack tree showing new growth. The name Tamarack is the Algonquian name for the species and means “wood used for snowshoes”. The Tamarack is an interesting tree because although it is not an evergreen it has needles. Unlike other typical evergreens the tamarack changes colors by the season and losses it needles for winter. In this photo one can see the new needles forming.

Spring Growth

Recently i was outside the city and in the countryside and was astonished at all the wonderful new year growth that was beginning to show itself. I was most interested in the various ferns that were beginning to grow and i thought i would share a few photos of what i saw.

This is a photo i took of a young set of fiddle heads coming up out of the ground. The Ostrich fern is a crown-forming, colony-forming fern, occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

This Cinnamon Fern is native to the Americas and Eastern Asia and grows in moist woodlands.

I believe this is a Marsh Fern but i may be wrong. It prefers to grow in marshy situations in full sun.

Cottage Country in the Spring

Spring is here and it is that time of year again when people start preparing for the warm summer months where they take time to explore the great outdoors. Recently, I went to my cottage in the Kawarthas, Ontario to do some reno work and prepare it for the summer. I was glad to finally see that: the ice had left the lake, the snowbanks had melted, and new growth had finally stated to show itself. Although the growth is far behind that of the Toronto which is more south it was reassuring that the winter barren-lands that i had visited in the winter was finally emerging as a summer tourism hotspot.

“Kawartha” is an anglicization of the Anishinaabe word “Ka-wa-tha” which means “land of reflections”. This is because the area has many lakes that are enjoyed by cottagers, tourists, and campers.

The Kawarthas is a mixed forest region dominated by pine trees. Most trees are deciduous and of the conifers most of them are pines. The pines grow so well because of the acid soil caused by the thin amount of soil and the underlying Canadian Shield.

As spring continues and summer approaches i will be sure to post more about my adventures in cottage country.

The Shores of Lake Ontario

These are all photos taken of the Lake Ontario shoreline from the Beaches neighborhood of Toronto. One could mistake these photos for beach getaway spots in southern destinations but in fact it is the shore of a very large Canadian city. Looks pretty clean to me!

All these shots were taken while on a quick bike ride and by the time i was heading home there was a lovely sunset beginning.

The Seats of Government

Parliament Hill in Ottawa was designed by Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones in the Victorian High Gothic style and completed in 1876 along with many of the other Parliament buildings of the area. The building was destroyed by fire on 3 February 1916 but was restored and then later in 1927 the peace Tower was completed which was dedicated to the Canadians that had lost their lives in the First World War. It is a national landmark and attracts over 3 million tourists a year.

The Ontario Legislative Building, as we now it presently, is the fourth building for the Parliament of Ontario and was officially opened on 4 April 1893 and is now the seat of the provincial government of Ontario. It was designed by Richard A. Waite in the Richardsonian Romanesque style and by its completion cost approximately CAD$1,250,000.

Toronto’s Old City Hall, located at the Corner of Queen St. and Bay St., was designed by prominent Toronto architect Edward James Lennox in the Romanesque Revival style and was completed in 1899. Now a designated National Historic Site this civil building was home to Toronto city council from 1899 to 1966. It is currently used as a court house for the Ontario Court of Justice.

This is the building where the Mayor currently presides and it was designed by Viljo Revell and completed by September of 1965. City Hall is surrounded by Nathan Philips Square which has annual festivals such as the New Year’s Celebrations and the Cavalcade of Lights. It also has a skating rink that is open to the public in the winter.

A Walkabout

The view of the downtown Toronto skyline from Cherry Beach.

A view from the marina out at Cherry Beach. These boats have yet to been repaired and wait with all the other boats for summer to arrive.

A picture of the afternoon tide on the Toronto shores of Lake Ontario.

Just some local geese that were in a harbor being protected from the harsh wind coming of the Lake.

Spring in the Beaches

Spring has arrived and the buds and birds are out. The many tourists and people seeking to enjoy Toronto’s beach neighborhood will soon be out too. The Beaches is a neighborhood a popular tourist attraction in Toronto that is situated close to the shores of lake Ontario. With an extensive beach and many parks this area of Toronto becomes a summer-city getaway. Want to go to the beach but not leave the city or break the bank, just head on down to the Beaches.

Leuty Lifeguard Station at Kew Beach

The Boardwalk provides pedestrians with a wooden walkway to stroll along beside the shore of Lake Ontario. On the North side of the Boardwalk is the Bike-path with connects cyclists throughout Toronto with a bicycle designated riding system.

The wonderful shores of Lake Ontario. (Pretty clean considering it is in the center of a major city)

This is the Toronto Skyline as seen from Polson Pier (The Docks). I would suggest that any photographer who wants a great panoramic shot of the Toronto skyline go to this spot. Easy to get to, this spot serves as an amazing photo opportunity for all.

The Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo located near the Rouge River in Scarborough is Canada’s largest zoo with 710 acres. The Zoo has over 5000 animals  representing over 491 species. It is a great tourist attraction for the Toronto area and it has close to a million visitors a year. I enjoyed it and i would recommend going there yourself if you live in Toronto or are thinking of visiting Toronto soon.

You can pay for guided camel tours in the Eurasia domain of the zoo.

The Red Pandas are usually very busy in their exhibit and they provide people with great chances to take photographs.

Hudson, the name chosen by voters, is the newest extension of the polar pear population at the Toronto Zoo. Hudson was born on October 11, 2011 and is now exploring his new exhibit.

City Reflections

I was downtown at Yonge and Dundas the other day and i was talking pictures of the bustling Dundas Square yet through my viewfinder i found some even more interesting shots. Rather than taking photos of all the people i focused on the reflections casted onto the sides of the glass buildings. The weather was great and it was a sunny and clear day. This helped my case as the reflections were very vivid and the colours of the Square and surrounding buildings were very stunning. Check it out.