Lake Ontario, ON - Julie Colgan
My Watermark is Lake Ontario.
I have fond memories growing up of all 5 great lakes. Having lived in the greater Toronto area (Mississauga / Burlington), Lake Ontario was always a destination getaway. A place, of beauty, of wonder. A place to get away from the rush of city and suburban life to rejuvenate. As a child growing up in 1980's and 1990's, it was a big deal to head "down to the lake".
I remember it being exciting and I couldn't wait to get there. Many family day trips were taken to Port Credit, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Port Dover and Niagara Falls, a world UNESCO Heritage site that was so mind blowing and memorizing to stand beside. I remember heading down to Port Credit and Burlington Beach for ice cream with my parents and playing on the sandy beaches and river ways that open into the beautiful blue lake. Even going through the stresses of every day life, I remember heading down to the water front for a walk, in order to clear my mind and reconnect with myself. We, who live here to southern Ontario are so close geographically in proximity to the worlds largest freshwater supply. People often take this luxury for granted. You can reach any of theses lakes within a 2 hour drive!
Fast forward to a much busier and hectic life style, living on London, Ontario for the last fifteen years, I work a stressful job and often find myself on my days off heading to Port Stanley on the edges of Lake Erie or Grandbend / Bayfield area on Lake Huron. Having taking up Stand Up Paddle Boarding, I am a member of the SUP race scene and more recently surfing the great lakes, I am out on the water on a weekly basis. Its wearing I go to clear my mind, reconnect with myself and nature. I can paddle for miles and the scenery is always something new and exciting.
I have met a whole new community of friends through SUP and surf. We all have the same fondness and love for the great lakes. We support each other and cheer for one another. These friendships will last a life time. Together, we create great memories, all of which revolve around our great lakes.