City / Great Lake swimming

Picnic revolution comes to the beach

Marie Curtis Park is a beach we love. It’s at the westernmost edge of Toronto, but when we get there it always feels like we have left the city and arrived at a small town beach. Just after noon we parked (free!) and walked from the parking lot through the grassy expanse with its picnic tables and tall trees that will shade the shoreline later in the day, toward the small strand of sand at the lake edge. It was uncrowded, scattered with dozy sunbathers and families in all styles of dress, speaking a variety of languages, gleefully shrieking and laughing in the shallows.

The water was chilly, of course, but not too cold for us to have a long leisurely swim. Afterwards, we nestled in warm sand and hot sunshine and the afternoon meandered on through a chapter or two of a novel, a little nap fostered by the sound of the waves, some paging through a couple magazines…. And then we were starving.

This was the moment, the dilemma. We’d brought nothing with us to eat – empty cupboards at home, and we’d rather swim than grocery shop. Must we leave now to go pick up food?  I mean, actually get up off our beach towels? Trudge across the grass to the only culinary choices in the park – the ice cream truck or the hot dog stand? Or worse, get in the car to go foraging for a meal? We did not want to move. Our swim day was not over. We were staying put.

The key to a great day is the smart choice of beach companion. My friend and fellow swimmer is a tech-savvy genius. Her inspiration – 

Suzanne placed our order and monitored her phone frequently, so she saw immediately when the driver, Harmeet, had missed the turn-off. No,no, come back, we are ravenous! A quick intervention brought her around.
Click on any image to enlarge

And then there she was – out of the phone and onto the beach. She was surprised, hadn’t known this spot on the shore – she takes her kids to the lake in Brampton where she lives. She smilingly declined our offer of a spare towel for a quick swim, pulled out our order from her insulated bag, and was promptly on her way to other hungry people.

Our dinner was perfectly hot, well-made and tasty with no soggy broccoli. Thought when we opened it that there might be leftovers, but of course we ate it all, every grain of rice.

Sated, satisfied, and we never moved off the sand. Ahhh….

– Schuster Gindin
Photos by Suzanne Long

This article can be found in The Big Issues in the section Great Lake Swimming.
We are @livingtoronto2 on social media. Follow us on Facebook. instagram 1371778321_twitter-128-black


Super! We will have to try it.
Alexander Moyle, Toronto

Never would have thought of ordering to the beach…will be sure to include a flag or something in my pack so the salad (ok, pizza) can find me there…Thanks for the inspiration!
Tam Boyko, Toronto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s