If you were around High Park on Wednesday afternoon, you may have noticed clouds of thick smoke billowing into the air and wafting across the city. You may have even felt alarmed at this sight and wanted to call the police alerting them that High Park was on fire. It was, indeed, on fire, but this blaze was intentional.
The Parks and Rec department does this every year. It’s part of a program to save the black oak savannah, an endangered eco system. Very little of it remains in Canada thanks to the effects of urbanization and agriculture. Burning off ground leaf litter kills invasive species that are trying to keep the black oak down. Fire is also essential to the oak’s survival. It adapted it into its evolution. New life rises out of destruction.
This has got to be the coolest assignment I’ve ever had. Yesterday, I went on a full guided tour of what happens to the bottles we return to the Beer Store. The tour was offered in the spirit of Earth Day (which is coming up on April 22, by the way) so photographer Christopher Drost and I leaped at the chance to do this for Torontoist.
The tour took us from a Beer Store on Eglinton, to the Molson bottling plant near the airport, and to the world’s largest glass bottle manufacturer. It was really an amazing trip and even allowed me to satisfy some of my own curiosity concerning the fates of beer bottles, and what happens inside the Molson plant.
I would always see it driving by on the Highway when I was a kid and wonder. Now I know. I know it smells like beer in there and machines do about 95% if the work. Also, its really hot and noisy inside the bottling plant.