In October, a few of us from Friends of Temagami went out to go see how the Solace Wildlands are being impacted by construction of the Turner Road. For two days we camped at Twinkle Lake to the sounds of heavy machinery. We paddled down the Ames Creek to Seagram Lake and spent another two days exploring and filming the Wildlands. Four days later, logging companies had built two bridges through sensitive cold water fisheries habitat by driving heavy machinery through the creeks.
I’ve been visiting the Solace Wildlands for years now, but in the past two – with the ongoing construction of the Turner Road – I feel such a sense of loss every time I travel here. This isn’t out of the ordinary in Temagami. Climb the hills next to your favourite rivers in the region and you’ll see the clear cuts. You’ll see the tailings ponds near the old Sherman mine site. You’ll see the roads winding through the bush targeting the biggest and most valuable white pine.
I don’t know how to save the Solace Wildlands at this point, but I’m fully prepared to chain myself to a bulldozer and deal with the consequences. We only have one Temagami, one Canada, one planet.30 years after the Red Squirrel Road blockades, we’re still fighting to save Temagami’s old growth forest. Nothing changes unless we stand up.
Well folks, I’ve been very busy these past few months.
I’ve spent 34 nights in a tent so far this year, gone on countless day trips, completed my first year of J-School, volunteered as a director on the board of the Friends of Temagami, started freelancing for Rapid Media and I’ve written two articles for Ontario Travel. I have grand and ambitious plans to get some more trip reports up on the blog in the next while, but with school and other writing commitments I’m not sure how realistic those goals are. I am, however, very active on Instagram and I’ve been posting daily stories and photos from a recent 18-day canoe trip in Temagami if you want to check those out.
The articles I’ve written for Ontario Travel are about the places I paddle close to home. I know, it’s weird that I live in Toronto considering how much time I spend up north but we gotta pay the bills somehow. Andrew and I have explored many of Toronto’s waterways and there’s definitely something pretty cool about being able to canoe through Canada’s largest city.
Urban Canoeing Articles
The Canoe and the City explores some of the reasons that we and many others use the rivers and Lake Ontario for recreational paddling. Toronto has a rich history of canoe culture that continues to this day through paddling festivals, informal meet-ups and a thriving community of local paddlers.
Wild in the City is all about the places in Toronto we like to paddle and how to access them. The Humber River, the Credit River and the Toronto Islands are favourites of ours for the evenings and weekends we just can’t get away.
So don’t worry! I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth/sold my canoe/been eaten by a bear. I’m just in the process of turning my love for canoeing and writing into an actual job, which is pretty damn cool.