Donalda Golf Course

A Winter Wonderland

Did you know that golf courses allow local residents onto the property during the winter? Many golf courses prefer that you come only when the ground is frozen and covered in snow to minimize damage to the property.


Black dog on a snowy golf course. Donalda in Toronto at York Mills and Don Mills

This is a dog lovers' dream. Wide-open spaces next to forests and rivers are the ideal setting for a good hike with your best friend.



You'll meet many local dogs and their parents. I've met people on the course who are walking their dogs while they are waiting for their kids to finish tennis lessons.

Two doodles playing on the golf course in Toronto - Donalda, black dogs

Map of Donalda 

I live near the Donalda Golf Course, so I can walk from my home via Laurentide Drive and Barnwood Court as shown in the map.

Map of a dog-friendly hike on Donada Golf course Toronto

Parking 

I've shown several other entry points depending on where you're coming from. If you are driving, you can find parking in the Donalda Parking lot by the Club House (12 Bushbury Dr, North York, ON M3A 2Z7). There is also parking at the Church of Our Saviour and Three Valleys Public School.

Trail Route

My preferred entry point is behind the Three Valleys School and Park. A well-traveled path lies along a creek behind the park.

Three Valleys trail that leads to Donalda Golf Course Toronto

When it snows, the path looks like a postcard.

Winter wonderland with snowy branches with a black bernedoodle in the middle

You'll arrive on the course around the mid-point. If you walk straight to the trees and turn left, you'll be on a trail that takes you to the southern parts of the course. You'll be walking beside the DVP and get nearly to Lawrence Ave.

Iconic evergreen tree on the Donalda Golf course Toronto


We like to stick to the paved paths if they are visible and walk from one end of the course to the other. It wouldn't be hard to walk 10 km in a single walk, but my documented route is much shorter,  to make it comfortable for you and your dog.

Donalda golf course Toronto

Coyotes

Watch for the scat you seen on the ground. If you're observant, you'll see coyote poop. There are many coyotes on the lands, but you are likely not going to see any. Just know that they are there. They will be frightened by you and your dog. If you're visiting the area in the daytime, you're unlikely to see the coyote.

Don River in the Donalda Golf Course Toronto

On your walk, you'll pass over several bridges. The Don River is winding and fast-moving on the golf course.

Don River in the winter in the Donalda Golf Course Toronto

History

The buildings on the course are beautiful and have a long history in the Don Valley. I suggest you read the Donalda Farm post on the Hiking the GTA blog for a well-researched history.


Donalda Farm buildings golf course Toronto


Right of Way

Note that you'll be charged with trespassing if you are on the golf course during the open season unless you use the public passage from Chipping Avenue to Three Valleys Drive. My route takes you up the path to Three Valleys Drive.

Connecting Trails

The Donalda Golf course is in the center of a huge green space in Don Mills. As such, you can connect to many other trails in the area quite easily.

Brookbanks

From Brookbanks Park, leave the trail and follow the road towards the tunnel under the DVP. It is painted with scenery from the area.

Painted underpass on Brookbanks Drive and DVP Toronto


Cross the road when you get to the auto repair center. Walk to the right past the church. Follow the path behind the church.

Map of hike from Brookbanks park to Donalda Golf course Toronto

Laurentide

There are great sledding hills on a winter day in Laurentide park. Follow the path through the park and across Laurentide Drive to enter the Three Valleys Park. Part of this trail is paved, but stay close to the river to get into the golf course.

Map of hike from York Mills Road through Laurentide Park to Three Valleys trail to Donalda Golf Course, Toronto


Betty Sutherland

The Betty Sutherland trail connects at the north end of the course via Bayview Glen School. From Betty Sutherland, follow the river south under Duncan Mills Road. Continue following the path with the river to your left through a soccer field with a graveyard of broken balls. Go through the underpass at Moatfield Drive and you'll find yourself on the golf course.

Map of hike from Betty Sutherland Park through Bayview Glen School to Donalda Golf course Toronto


Bond Park

By car, it might seem like a long distance from Bond Park to Donalda. But, if you take the trail along Duncairn Drive you can cross Don Mills Road and walk along Chipping Drive. At the end of Chipping Drive, there is an entry to the golf course. There is construction at the time of this writing which leads me to think that the trail system will be expanding in the near future. I'll keep you up to date.

Map of trail from Bond Park via Duncairn Park across Don Mills Road to Chipping Drive to Donalda Golf Course Toronto

Note that the entry to Donalda via Chipping Drive is an all-year public access route. If you follow the trail, it will lead you directly to Three Valleys Drive. Only in the winter, when golf is not being played, can you go off this path and enter the rest of the golf course.





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