151103 East Don Sound - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

A few weeks ago I went to the east Don river. It was a nice escape to a wooded ravine with fall colours on the tress, salmon in the stream, and construction equipment throwing rocks around. A backhoe was hard at work dominating the soundscape from the base of the CP Rail bridge, so of course I recorded it.

It's nothing fancy, with no adjustments or embellishments, and it's all from the same position on the far side of the bridge. I recorded other perspectives, but none of them were particularly close. This one's my favourite segment because it starts with a small work train going past on the adjacent CN track, and catches the beginning of a flurry of sleet and snow.

This is the little work train that went past at the beginning of the sound clip. I saw it a few times over the course of the day; it's a rail-riding truck pulling a rail hopper car and another rail-riding hopper behind it. I never actually saw what work it was involved in, but it kept things interesting.

My list of things to do includes coming back to this spot and just letting the recorder run for as long as I can. It's a reasonably accessible spot with relatively little road noise, which is enough to make it precious in the city all on its own, but the chance to catch two different active rail lines is very tempting as well. I just need a day with better traffic.


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