Classmates’ Retreats (Shangri-Las) and Interest in Conservation Activities: Henry Barnett

Living History
Written on: 
Monday, June 4, 2012
Class of: 

Henry Barnett, while still fresh to the staff of the Toronto General Hospital, had lunch one famous day with the persuasive Harry Botterell: “Barney,” he said, “you are fast approaching the time when you must acquire a place in the country where you can give full-time to your otherwise neglected family, recharge your batteries and regain a sense of equanimity.” I started to look around and in 1958 acquired for a song 80 acres of forested land in King Township.

Botterell was right and it became my Shangri La.  It was at the end of an unfinished road and no traffic went past. In spring, the forest floor is crowded with white trillium and the occasional red trillium. Only the hoots of Horned and Boreal Owls or the howls of coyotes disturbed the night. A chorus of Wood Thrush and other melodious singers kept the day filled with song, including very commonly Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (next page). The red-shouldered Hawk, once on the endangered list is known to nest in the Happy Valley Forest every year. He is noisy but welcome. Salamanders are common and the red eft at times is on the move and must be watched for by users of the forest trails


Barnett, Henry, Joan Borland, Jack Laidlaw, Neil Watters and Bruce Wells. The Epic Journey of University of Toronto Medical Class of 1944. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Medince, 2012. pg. 129.