I was informed about the Love the Ravines project – lovetheravines.com – through Instagram last fall and have been using the #lovetheravines hashtag on my relevant photos there ever since. But I also take tons of shots with my DSLR and tend to not post them anywhere…so many photos, so little time 😉
So this is a collection of images from the various paths, meadows, bridges and parks of the wonderful Toronto ravine network, taken over the last couple of years on my many walks.
Love the Ravines
Evergreen Brick Works
Had to start here. So lucky to have this place just a short 3k walk away. I swing by about once a week. There is always something interesting and different going on. Every visit is a new adventure – the people, the projects, the wildlife, the landscape, the art…it’s a visual feast every time.
Just above the Brick Works to the northwest, a beautiful park on the eastern edge of Rosedale that was once the location of the Residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. There is a new trail being constructed this year that will more cleanly connect it with the Beltline and the Brick Works.
Moore Park Ravine Beltline Trail
A beautiful wooded section of the larger Beltline Path, behind the Brick Works northwards to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery entrance at Moore Ave. About half way along the Heath Street Footbridge takes you up to Moore Park on the west side and into Bennington Heights on the east.
Craigleigh Gardens, Milkman’s Lane & Park Drive Reservation
Another Rosedale gem, Craigleigh Gardens with it’s beautiful gate circa 1903 and the winding hill path Milkman’s Lane that sits behind it. At the bottom of the lane you can take the Beltline path northeast to the Brick Works, or west through the Park Drive Reservation trail to David Balfour Park at Mt. Pleasant Road.
David Balfour Park & The Vale of Avoca
Heading north from Mt. Pleasant Road the main trail here leads up to the Rose Hill Reservoir and its awesome fountain that reminds me of Atomium in Belgium. But there are several side paths and entry points to this area tucked in through Summerhill and Moore Park. Near the top of the paved path the heads up to Avoca Ave. there is a staircase down to a path that goes under St. Clair Ave. and eventually connects up to the south west end of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Lower Don River Recreational Trail
From Don Mills Road to the Lakeshore, this section of the larger Don River Trail is long, winding and diverse. Peaceful and serene to the north of Pottery Road, busy and definitely more urban to the south. Lots of different birds and wildlife along this path. I once had a baby snake slither under my foot before I could avoid it. I jumped and screeched at the top of my lungs, and then was relieved to look around realize that no one was there to witnesses my total girl moment, lol.
Tucked away behind the Loblaws in Leaside, the huge staircase leading down to the filtration plant it one of my favourite spots. The narrow winding trails here are popular with mountain bikers and Redway Road is a hotspot for skateboarders. There is a great vantage point to downtown from the top of the hill near where the wooded paths open up to the main Crothers Woods gravel trails and connect down to the the Lower Don Recreation trails.
Riverdale Park & Riverdale Farm
One of the best vistas of the downtown cityscape from aptly named Broadview Ave. Riverdale Park is divided into East and West, joined by a footbridge over the Don Vallley Parkway. The farm is on the West side at the end of Cabbagetown. The property was the city’s zoo until the Metro Toronto Zoo opened in Scarborough in 1974.
The lower section of the farm is a peaceful, lush swampy area that often bleeds its way into the lower section of Riverdale Park West in the spring or after heavy rainfalls.
Rosedale Ravine Lands
Just north of the Riverdale Farm on the north side of the Toronto Necropolis sits Wellesley Park and a staircase down to the Rosedale Ravine Lands trail along Rosedale Valley Road. The winding country-like road takes you down under the TTC subway bridge between Sherbourne & Castle Frank stations as well as under the bridges oftBloor Street, Sherbourne St., the Glen Road foorbridge and Mount Pleasant Rd. At the end of RVR is a small park that winds through to the end of the ravine and a staircase leads up to Crescent Road at Rosedale TTC station.
Taylor Creek Park
A tributary of the Don, Taylor Creek and the Taylor Creek trail heads northeast towards Scarborough starting at Don Mills Road and the Lower Don River Trail.
So many walks, so many photos and yet I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. Still so many parks and ravine areas to explore. The park and ravine networks in this city are absolutely fabulous. So get out there and love the ravines, Toronto!