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Oct 28, 2011

No more elk at Marylake

Photo by BarrytheBirder
Today I looked for birds along part of the Oak Ridges Trail at Marylake Augustinian Monastry, just south of the Sacred Heart catholic settlement in King Township.   I picked up the trail where it heads east from Jane Street (see photo below).   The trail follows the old fence line (see photo above) that marks the northern boundary of what was once the country estate of Sir Henry Pellatt, the builder and owner of Toronto's famed castle, Casa Loma.   Back in the 1920s and 1930s, Sir Henry's country estate boasted a hunting lodge from which he and friends hunted deer and elk.   The deer and elk were contained by an impressive  fence that enclosed several hundred acres of the estate.   Beaters would drive the animals past the hunters situated at the lodge, on the shore of the 40-acre Lake Marie.   In the photo above, the remains of the old fencing can be seen alongside the modern-day Oak Ridges Trail.   The cement posts rise 10' above the ground and support Page wire fencing, topped by six strands of barbed wire!
Photo by BarrytheBirder
A stout concrete pillar (see photo above) anchors part of the tall, one-time, deer fence along the Oak Ridges Trail.   The 10'-high fence is approximately 85 years old and although it no longer keeps deer and elk herds contained, many of its posts have a 21st-century use as trail markers for hikers.   You will no longer see an elk along this trail but White-tailed Deer are frequently spotted.
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