Brookbanks Park

Forest in Parkwoods for Dog Lovers

Brookbanks Park is a large ravine park in Don Mills with Deerlick Creek running through.


Brookbanks Park is near the intersection of York Mills Road and Fenside Drive. Many people know the intersection because of the Fenside Arena, but if you don't, the intersection is between the DVP and Victoria Park, just south of York Mills Road.

Bernedoodle running  in Brookbanks Park


Map of 4 km Loop

There are many entry points, but to make it easy, I'm going to use Tim Horton's (1277 York Mills Rd Unit E5) as the starting point. From this starting point, you can choose the length of many satisfying loops. The map shows a 4 km loop on mostly paved trails:


Map of Brookbanks trail for dog lovers


From Tim Horton's walk south on Fenside Drive, cross the street at the Brookbanks Library (210 Brookbanks Dr) and follow the paved path into the valley.

Entrance to Brookbanks park in the winter


Follow the trail to the bridge and continue along the creek. You'll pass a construction site that will one day be a new condo and a children's playground. I often spot blue jays in this area, so if you are interested in birds, keep a lookout for these beautiful birds.

At this point in the trail, you'll feel like you're deep in a forest. The busy DVP is deceptively close, so you'll hear the traffic unless it's a weekend when the highway is closed. The creek is called Deerlick Creek, but I haven't yet spotted deer in the area. The stream is shallow and seems clean, so if you have a dog that likes getting wet, this is a tempting spot.

Deerlick Creek in Brookbanks Park in the Fall


If you prefer water from a fountain, be sure to fill your water bottle at the fountain at the playground. The fountains in Toronto are only turned on in the summer months, so be prepared.

Cross Brookbanks Drive to continue your walk. Follow the paved trail on one side of the creek and a nature trail on the other. This gives you variety and makes it easier to let your dog off-leash on the non-paved side of the creek.

Bridge in Brookbanks Park near Cassandra Blvd

Cross Brookbanks Drive again, but instead of going all the way back on the paved trail, follow the man-made trail that goes up a hill along a branch of the creek. Across the street, you'll continue your walk in a ravine along a stream until you come to a paved path. Look for birds in this area, especially the cardinals that hide in the bushes.

Male and Female cardinals in a bush in Brookbanks Park


Turn left on the paved trail, cross Wallingford Road, and you'll find yourself behind the Crestwood Prep College near where you started.

There are many opportunities to lengthen or shorten the walk you take in Brookbanks Park. Watch for future blog posts with details.

History


If you want to know more about this urban forest, read this blog by the Don Valley Girls, where you'll learn about 1000-year old artifacts that were found in the area.

Dog walking etiquette


If you're a dog owner, you likely already know about the city by-laws about having your dog on a leash and picking up after them. If you're willing to risk a fine and can control your dog, the park is relatively safe for an off-leash run. The roads are far enough away that it is unlikely your dog will wander into traffic. The unpaved sides of the creek are a paradise for a young dog who likes to chase squirrels and jump fallen tree limbs.

Bernedoodle leaping in Brookbanks Park in the winter

Many people walk their dogs in this area, and in the summer, there is increased pedestrian and cycling traffic. As always, be respectful of the park and others.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bestview Park Nature Trails

Bluffer Park and Marina

Sunnybrook Off-Leash Park

New Trails in Charles Sauriol Conservation Area

Huntington Park, Markham

Earl Bales Park to Don Valley Golf Course

Sherwood Park Off-Leash Paradise

Humber River Trail - Etienne Brulé Park

Rouge Park Woodland Trail

Colonel Danforth Park to Old Kingston Road