A different perspective on this place we call home

For most of us “home” is a mythical place – constructed from a collective idea of who we are and how we live. It can be a very comfortable place and well worth celebrating.

June 16, 2015 | | Back Issues | Departments | Editor’s Desk | In Every Issue | Summer 2015

My son-in-law has a drone. You may well raise a quizzical eyebrow, as I did, about this latest “toy.” But when he set it loose over our little village, the view that magically popped onto the screen of his handheld device was entirely fascinating. Suddenly there was a brand new perspective on the small cluster of houses and surrounding fields and woods we had only seen previously from our lowly and segmented viewpoint anchored firmly to the ground. Soaring high, then swooping low, the drone offered a bird’s-eye view, and who, in the history of humanity, has not dreamed of seeing like a bird?

In this issue, visually and thematically, we do our own version of soaring high then swooping close to examine this place we call home. This year, the province is undertaking what it calls a Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review – which includes assessments of its Growth Plan, along with its environmental plans for the Greenbelt, the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment.

More than just a field day for obsessive policy wonks, the four plans have an enormous impact on the way life in our hills will evolve. So we asked Jeff Rollings, Tim Shuff and Nicola Ross to assess that impact in words, and Rosemary Hasner to put it in pictures. In particular, Rosemary’s splendid aerial photos dramatically convey the whole cloth of our landscape, its rivers and forests, its farmland and pits, and the definitive line where urban and rural divide. For Jeff’s story on the Growth Plan, we pulled up even higher, with a NASA satellite view showing how Headwaters fits into the “galactic metropolis” of the Greater Golden Horseshoe and beyond.

But lest all that altitude is making you queasy, we then settle back down to earth with two more contributions from Nicola Ross: her account of a leisurely paddleboard down the Credit and an excerpt from her new book on hiking in Caledon. In both, she gets up close and personal with the flora and fauna, woods and waterways – and village cafés – that define our landscape. As does Tralee Pearce with her 12 excellent tips on how to engage kids with the riches of outdoor discovery.

For most of us “home” is a mythical place – constructed from a collective idea of who we are and how we live. It can be a very comfortable place and well worth celebrating. But sometimes it’s also worth standing back to determine if the structure is still sound. In the pages of this issue, we hope we’ve done both.

About the Author More by Signe Ball

Signe Ball is publisher/editor of In The Hills.

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