Milton – June 2016

So we spent the month of June at a campsite in Milton, situated northwest of Toronto, and is bordered on the north and west side by the massive Niagara Escarpment, a ridge of granite that extends all the way down the Niagara peninsula. We camped at Milton Heights Campground, a wonderful place that we highly recommend and that we plan to return to. It is clean, well-organized, with friendly staff and superb layouts.

Some people opt for the cozy village-like feel of the eastern side, and others prefer parking their rigs on the exposed field. The views of the rocky ridge are great, and during the week it is extremely quiet. Even when all the sites are full, people are either away visiting Toronto, or they are just quiet.

Milton Heights campground’s western side – open space all the way to the Escarpment.

Milton as a town is undergoing a transformation from a sleepy rural village to an active part of the unstoppable suburban sprawl, in which high-density subdivisions march across the fields, devouring the pastureland and covering it with geometric tiles of houses, parks and schools. These dense pockets are crawling ever closer to the escarpment leaving in their wake monstrous shopping centers that offer up the same stores as every other:Walmart, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, along with their subordinate franchises like Subway and Winners. I can’t deny we have been to each of these things a few times. You just can’t beat their selection even when you first try to buy local.

The other Milton, though, is a jewel. The carefully preserved old town is centered around the mill and the rail lines. The town has worked hard to preserve its century-old beauty, despite the subdivisions that surround it.

2016-06-21 Centennial Park, Milton
The old tracks inside Centennial Park.

Centennial Park is a well-preserved forest that provides shady walks on hot summer days. They kept the tracks for the original rail line, and these create a tempting space for dogs and their humans to follow.

2016-06-09 Vulture
The watchful vultures.

Everywhere along the escarpment, the turkey vultures circle overhead. They ride the thermals, as  vultures like to do, looking for rabbits or lost RVers.

Driving up, away from the densely packed subdivisions, you pass farms filled with corn and stables where beautiful show horses and the occasional donkey seem to never lose their fascination for eating grass. As you climb further along the winding escarpment roads, you get to see the millionaires’ homes – custom-built mansions with gates, long driveways and huge windows, all designed to take in a priceless view across the entire Golden Horseshoe, taking in Oakville, Mississauga and the entire skyline of Toronto, along with the blue of Lake Ontario.

We have enjoyed our month here, learning how to use the RV and getting used to life on wheels. On Monday, we pack up and move on. Next stop, Kingston, at the other end of Lake Ontario.

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