Mill Pond Park
Fountain on the Lake
There is a jewel of a park in Richmond Hill just north of the Public Library on the lip of the hills that were once the shore line of ancient Ice Age Lake Iroquois The city has smartly chosen not only to develop the area but rather to zone residential around the park and refurbish the lake around the old mill way. So right next to the old Main Street there is a taste of the old wilds that was North of Toronto.
Gazebo with Lake
The city has added a reinforced pathway and steps down to the shoreline, a gazebo with surrounding trees and tables, plus wide pathways on the north shores. The steps and Gazebo are a natural lead into skating during the wintertime. In the summer, the fountains on the lake add a cooling mist to the breezes and a splendor to the park. And of course their are plenty of lake moochers … geese and ducks that get their fill of handouts from the local kids and walkers..
However, what is even more interesting is that the northern approaches and shorelines of the lake have been left largely untouched. So there are small hillsides dropping to the North Lagoon with big fields of bulrush and cattails shaded by water-hardy willows. And skirting around the lagoon, meandering up and down the hillsides are wide pathways that take walkers right into old lush stands of prime forest – big pines, maples, and oaks. This is primeval, climax forest.
These are the types of woods where kids energy and imagination can run rampant like playing as courier de bois making a beaver-pelt-packing run through to Fort York. Or one could be a swashbuckling pirate hiding a treasure trove just up the creek and by the big old Black Oak with its gnarled branches pointing to the hiding place. Or it could some menacing monster in the …. this is an adventure park for running away with your imagination.
Dining at Dusk
As well the park is for a variety of fun. If you go to the park you will see not a few joggers and walkers using the park as the starting or round and returning end point of their longer treks through North Richmond Hill. In fact Mill Pond is like Hyde Park in West Toronto, a place for general public amusement. I saw badminton players in one corner and just across the way an improv game of Ultimate with its fast passing of frisbee and great runs. This is a place to be entertained and entertaining and so its no surprise the city has everything from its Jazz Fest to Thanksgiving celebrations at Mill Pond.
In the clamorous rush of urbanizing, something that Canadian Sociologist Jane Jacobs so shrewdly watched and then wrote about so incisively, there has to be at times what Ms Jacobs described as serendipitous good fortune. In the suburbs of Toronto, there are many parks and golf courses, but few jewels as accessible and lovely as Mill Pond Park.