March 1, 2016
Do you love art? Do you have a dog? Do you like to get outdoors in the winter? Here is a wonderful winter art trek you can do with your dog: Winter Stations Design Contest down at the Toronto Beaches. If you’re tired of the same old walks, try a break in routine and get down to the beach.
Yes, it’s cold most days, but you won’t regret it, and here is why:
The Beach area in Toronto is designated off leash (between the lake and the snow fence) in the months between November and March. This incredible expanse of beach makes for vast running space for energetic dogs. We were so pleased to learn of this for our own dog’s sake. We’ve taken him down a few times now this winter, both as a meet up place for our intrepid group of German Shorthaired Pointer owners of Toronto, and for our own spur-of-the-moment romps. Our dog’s giant smile and graceful full-out gallop is a joy to watch, and a necessary activity for a bird dog living in the city. The winter off-leash Beach area is a blessing.
From Feb 15 to March 19, the beach is host to the winners of the Winter Stations Design Competition. In its second year, there are seven installations adorning the beach. The winning designs are culled from competitors world wide. It’s really worth a visit – this is a “four-for-one” activity:
If we’re not having an el niño kind of day, it’s best to dress very warmly as the wind coming off the lake can be biting. Throw a coat on your dog too, if they’re not sporting particularly warm natural protection themselves. Note that some of the stations are designed as “warming stations”, so you may benefit from that fact as you foray along the beach. One of the best (and true) warming stations is a gorgeous curved wooden wind shield which houses a protected wood burning fire pit (Douglas Cardinal’s “The Fire Place”). The smell from a distance will draw you in, and your hands will thank you as they warm by the fire. The memory will stay with your clothing for a day or so too, which is a bonus in my mind – nothing like a sweetly wood-smoked coat to don in the winter.
This 2015-16 Winter has been unusually warm, which makes a trip to the beaches even more enjoyable. Thank you El Niño. The dogs love it too. On one of the warmest days, I stole a few photos of some pretty dogs. If I haven’t named them and you know the dogs, please give a shout out and give their names in the comments below.
As always, if you are interested in having your pet photographed having a wonderful time with you at the Beaches or elsewhere, please contact me. The light and the space is amazing there in the late afternoons.