Neighbourhood: Bloor West Village
TTC: High Park Subway. [token entrance at Parkview Gardens]
Parking: There is one hour parking on Parkview Gardens, Mon-Fri., 8-6, unrestricted at other times, except there were tickets on some cars on Saturday. Clendennan and other surrounding streets do not have any posted parking restrictions.
Pub: Rebel Chop House, 2197 Bloor St. West
Beers: Great selection, if you do not find something that you like, you are too fussy!
Meeting People: You have ample opportunity to talk to other strollers. Passing people on the stairs always provokes comment. You can always shop in No Frills and chat to people in line, or try the library.

This is an easy half hour walk to the pub and similar time for the return journey. There are two steep flights of descending stairs; the first set [nature trail] is not cleared of snow. They are well used, so it is not usually a problem, but take care and do not try sliding down during an ice storm.

Exit High Park subway at the west end of the station, Parkview Gardens. Exit south to Bloor and proceed west to cross at the light at Clendenan, ending up at the south side of Bloor. Descend the stairs to West Ravine nature trails, provided that this is not an icy day. Admire [revile?] the condo development going in on the site of a former old gas station. If stairs are dangerous proceed to the next street, Ellis Park Road, and make a left. You can follow this street and bypass the stairs but that is not as much fun.

At the base of the stairs, follow the road Wendigo that skirts the park. Pass through the children¹s playground and play awhile if you wish. Meet up with the stair shirkers and keep going south along Ellis Park Gardens. The road veers uphill and to the left and you pass Grenadier Ravine Drive, which must be one of Toronto's smallest streets. Maps make it appear quite significant, but a wander down it is not impressive.

Ellis Park curves away from High Park; at the Church proceed right along Pallisades. Past #45 the road curves and after the green barrier another set of stairs is apparent. Head down these to Valleymede. Take a look at the house on the left with the elevator.

Valleymede meets up with Ellis Park Gardens so at this junction double back north along Ellis Park. Dacre will not get you to the pub as it actually is a no exit street. At the children¹s park take the left fork in the road, Olympus, and leave Ellis Park. Proceed with caution up Olympus as there is no sidewalk and cars seem to be practicing for the Molson Indy. Make a right on Harcroft and proceed north to Bloor. Turn left on Bloor and head west past the No Frills to the welcoming pub.

The Rebel Chop House is sister to the venerable Rebel House, already famously reviewed on The Bar Towel. This newer version is an excellent spot for beer, food and conviviality. The beer selection is as expected with around 15 craft draught and at least 30 bottled brews. There is a Chop House stout, brewed by Amsterdam. You can even get Labatt's or Molson's if you want to stoop that low, but you have to purchase quarts. Food is similar in both locations. Not general pub fare, almost gourmand nibbles are offered. The prices reflect the quality of the food, but the value is excellent. The daily bread is always great, overflowing with meat, cheese and vegetables and for $5.95 good purchase. You will find boar, bison, buffalo, trout, mussels and a host of other delicacies. There are not many vegetarian selections but there are enough to satisfy. There is smoking permitted at the bar section at the front of the pub, but the bulk of the area is smoke free. The décor is dark wood, copper, stucco and an interesting arrangement of seating makes good use of fairly cramped quarters. A mounted moose head and welcoming Mountie [replicas, not stuffed originals] echo the Canadiana theme.

When you leave the pub, retrace your steps east to the light and cross Bloor at Glendowynne. You can stop at the library to check your e-mail or read the paper or just appreciate that they have not torn this nice old building down yet.

Proceed north along Glendowynne. It will twist and turn, but you will keep following this road for the bulk of the return walk. These are substantial, brick 1920s homes with unique architectural flourishes. There is little infilling and little evidence of the mass destruction so prevalent in many of the older Toronto residential neighbourhoods.

Pass the imposing edifice of Ursula Franklin Academy and cross Evelyn. Homes here come with a built in fitness program. You would not want this road on your mail route and snow shoveling must be quite a challenge. Step out of some of these homes and you need climbing attire to reach the street, Cross Clendenan, still on Glendowynne, but at the next school make a right along Quebec and an almost immediate right again on Pinecrest. There are some very interesting gardening challenges along here as back yards appear almost vertical in spots. Make another right turn on Glenlake and stroll down the hill to Clendenan where Bloor Street is again in sight. Go south on Clendenan but before Bloor, turn left on Parkview Gardens and head back into the subway or locate your car, provided that you did not fall on the stairs, fall asleep in the library or fall for the specials in No Frills.

Happy wandering.


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