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The Humber

The Humber
Image Size: 28" x 24"
Old Mill, Toronto
Story by Bob Waller.
The Humber River at the Old Mill Bridge
An angler fly-fishes for salmon from the shallow waters of the Humber. In the background, spanning the river, is the well-known Old Mill Bridge, spared by Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Downstream, the river has cut through shale, sandstone and limestone to form a gorge. One can imagine Aboriginal villagers collecting fresh cold water from springs that flowed from its rock faces. In the foreground, two large salmon work their way upstream. A turtle, symbolizing mother earth to the First Nations who inhabited this area for over 12,000 years, rests nearby on the river's edge. The high ground on the east bank of the Humber formed part of the ancient Toronto Carrying Place Trail. This path connected the mouth of the Humber, known to the First Nations as Kabechenong (gathering place to tie up), to Lake Simcoe.
The main branch of the Humber meanders over 120 km from its headwaters in the ancient rock of the Niagara Escarpment and glacial hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine to its outlet at Lake Ontario. The watershed encompasses 908 sq km and is home to over half a million people. Over the millennia, the Humber has made an outstanding contribution to the development of the country. Elements in the oil painting by local Town of Caledon artist Cory Trepanier reflect the natural heritage, human heritage, and recreational values that led to the designation of the Humber as Ontario's sixth Canadian Heritage River in 1999.
The Artist and the Painting
Cory, an established oil painter who has lived near the Humber for most of his life, was a natural choice for painting the Old Mill scene which celebrates the diversity of the Humber. Cory hiked and canoed many parts of the Humber investigating possible views. "During my research trips, I encountered an abundance of wildlife along the Humber beyond my expectations. It truly elevated my appreciation of this precious environment.", says Cory. After the view was selected, Cory began the painting, which measures 26 inches by 36 inches, in the spring of 2002. It was completed in January of 2003.
The Toronto and Region Conservation and the Living City Region
Committed to protecting, restoring and celebrating the natural environment in our City region, The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) manages the renewable natural resources of the region's nine watersheds and 42 kilometres of Lake Ontario waterfront. TRCA's vision is a Living City Region, with healthy rivers and shorelines, a rich variety of plants and animals thriving in a network of green space, and people committed to sustainable living through education and participation. The TRCA works with six member municipalities, other agencies, interest groups, associations, watershed task forces, academic institutions, and more than 1,000 volunteers annually. Further information on the TRCA can be found on its web site www.trca.on.ca.
This painting is one of several initiatives of the TRCA to promote and celebrate the Humber River. The painting will find its way into schools and community groups, and be used to reward significant contributions by volunteers in watershed management. It can also be purchased from various locations, including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
"Seeing our environment through the eyes and paint brushes of talented artists causes one to stop and reflect on the beauty around us. The fine work of Cory Trepanier makes this happen in his painting of the Humber River at the Old Mill in Toronto", says Gary Wilkins, Humber Watershed Specialist for TRCA.

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