Bala below Doncaster sees not a lot of CN action these days. VIA's Canadian #2 still uses it and Richmond Hill GO service on weekdays, but I haven't seen freight action there in months. CP's Belleville and North Toronto subs are my freight train sources these days. The bridge work at Don Mills makes this less accessible for the time being. I can still get around through the area near Cottonwood Flats if I have time for longer runs. The level CP crossing at Wicksteed needs only 25 minutes for me to get there with the bridge open, but over an hour with the bridge out. Summerhill is more accessible right now and Summerhill has better viewing, albeit not at track level. I did try a few longer shots of the Leaside yard area from Cottonwood Flats but there are just too many trees in the way.
The reliable Kingston sub is always nearby. 6:30AM and on that is one busy line. Mutliple GO trains an hour, plenty of VIA trains coming in and going out. Being wakey wakey with the ever earlier sun shining in through the window and the window opened a crack for air, the Lakeshore line gets mighty noisy. This morning I headed down Woodbine Avenue to the crossing north of Gerard Street just in time to catch VIA combo 50/52 heading to Ottawa and Montreal with it's unique two train tandem.
Blink and you'll miss it:
They don't have the high-speed train warning signs posted everywhere on that line for nothing.
While scoping out some other locations on the streets nearby I'm glad I had the camera rolling here for this GO eastbound unit:
Not the best location, it was over a fence at the base of Westlake Avenue just south of the Danforth, but it was a unique catch. This double-ender had two of GOs refurbished F59PH units, #564 up front and #563 tacked onto the rear. These 59s have to double up to meet the performance demands of 10 car passenger service as they lack the oomph of the MP40PH 4000HP powerhouses on most of GOs trains.