The Late Great Province of Ontario

“Where do you think you’re going with that on a Sunday?” the wife muttered as we pulled up behind a truck with a trailer-load of roofing waste. I must admit to having been impressed with her powers of observation as I hadn’t even noticed. She was of course quite right. The local transfer station wasn’t open on Sunday, so where was this guy headed?

We followed his zigzag pattern north and west along the backroads, past the box spring and mattress in the ditch on Grist Mill rd. to Ganaraska rd # 9 where he pulled over at a non-descript shop-like building on the roadside. We drove past and took up a position further down the road and watched. He either had more patience than we did, or wasn’t planning on roadside dumping, so we eventually gave up and carried on. No idea whatever happened to that load of shingles.

The wife and I treated it like a bit of an adventure, but we were dead serious. This Spring is the most deplorable I’ve ever seen, and we’ve been walking backroads for many years. In an earlier posting I made light of the roadside flotsam and even did a bit of an analytical study on the most popular brand of beer for backroad booze-cruisers (see Booze Cruise Refuse). But just last week on Runnals Rd. and a short section of wetland on Stewart Rd. I came as close to “losing it” as I ever have.

Both sections are under the cover of trees which coincidentally, happen to be the favourite stretches of walks providing the greatest enjoyment. That is … unless this is what you see :


The above .gif is from a 500 meter section of Runnals Rd. where I simply took a picture of the roadside/ditch randomly as I walked along. As mentioned above, the wife and I used to carry bags with us to gather up the stuff we found on the roadside. This Spring ? We’d need a crew and a dump truck to clean this mess up. The kicker is that (with the exception of the mattress’s and box springs), it’s all recyclable and doesn’t cost anything to dispose of responsibly ! WTF ?!

Now … I love the bush, woods, whatever you wanna call it, but you couldn’t call me a tree huggin’ activist or zealot or any such slur. I’ll be amongst the first to admit that I understand we’re part of this Planet’s ecosystem and have just as much right to be here as a butterfly or a moose. But what we encountered on Stewart Rd actually made me feel slightly sick. Turn up your sound and listen to the video below :

That’s what literally thousands of Spring Peepers, Gray Tree, and Wood frogs sound like. If you know how to tell the difference, you’ll hear 2 pairs of mated Wood Ducks calling to each other in there too. The muskrat we watched didn’t make any sound. That video was taken as I stood on the gravel shoulder of a residential backroad less than 20 steps from some guy’s driveway/mailbox.

Twenty steps further on, I walked across the road and took these pictures :


Yes those are automotive parts thrown into the wetland. We couldn’t reach the plastic bottle of windshield washer that will eventually leak it’s contents into the ecosystem. ‘Course that won’t matter since the grease and oil the metallic parts were covered in, had already begun to spread across the water’s surface.

At least the idiot who dumped this paint and such, stacked it neatly on the roadside rather than try to throw it as far into the bush or water as possible.

late great province

I figure that’s how it was stacked in his car so’s he wouldn’t dirty-up his vehicle while transporting his waste to the backroads. In disgust I suggested to the wife we just give it up and go Home. Of course, we passed this on the way.


So, if you got plans to dump your crap on a backroad anywhere near our County you’d be wise not to. ‘Cause the wife, the Ranger, and I are watching for you. We’ll video you, copy your license plate, report you to the authorities, or better still, if I don’t see any other witnesses around …

Picking up a bag, bottle, cup, whatever, as you walk along is no longer “doable” nor sufficient. We need to do something drastic. Whether that be educational, or fine enforceable, SOMETHING has to be done here. The wife and the Ranger and I, will do whatever we can, but it won’t be enough. 2oldguyswalking has readers from dozens of Countries, and I don’t want to be ashamed to say that we hark from Southern Ontario, Canada.

But right now, I’m struggling.



  1. It is indeed a sad state of affairs….and this is the countryside. Just for fun, go to say…Toronto for an earth day clean up…you would be horrified by the things we used to find. Habits are learned, so i guess that makes us all a little responsible 😦


  2. Well, maybe we’re all a little responsible, but some of us are a lot responsible, and I fear they are rapidly out-populating us.



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