Showing posts from March, 2020

Sunnybrook Off-Leash Park

Socialize your dog, visit a creek, and hike through a ravine Enjoy nature in another historic area of Toronto Sunnybrook Park is a place you can visit often and never repeat an experience. There are trails in the woods, paved paths, and a vast off-leash dog area. It is a nice mix of experiences with an occasional encounter with a creek or river. History We can thank the Kilgour family for this fabulous park. In 1909, Joseph Kilgour and his wife Alice established Sunnybrook Farms on a 200-acre lot. Joseph and his brother made their fortune in the paper industry, specializing in cardboard and paper bags. After the death of her husband, Alice donated the property to the City of Toronto on condition that it never be developed. Many of the original buildings and stables still exist. You can learn the full history of the property in the Sunnybrook Park post of the Hiking in the GTA blog. Parking There are two parking lots near the Sunnybrook Dog park. If you arrive at the

Doris McCarthy Trail

Gates Gully and the Bellamy Ravine Art, History, and Nature Appreciation Hike down a steep hill to a rocky beach on Lake Ontario, and learn about a famous local artist and the interesting history of the area. Artist Doris McCarthy  is a Toronto artist, well-known for her landscape paintings. On the beach below her home and art studio on the bluffs, is the steel sculpture called "Passage." This sculpture was created by Marlene Hilton Moore to honour Doris McCarthy's work and teaching. The sculpture was designed to represent the rib cage of both a fish and a canoe.  The walk to the sculpture begins at Ravine Drive and Bellehaven Crescent, south of Kingston Road near the bottom of Bellamy Road. A sign shows you where to start your hike. Walk on a gravel pathway for 1 km. The path is next to the Bellamy Ravine Creek and is steep in areas. If you're on your bike, you're advised to dismount along the steepest section.  The path is wi

Bluffers Beach

Spectacular bluffs and a vast beach This is another jewel of the city. You get a beach, forest, and beautiful scenery.  There is a vast area to cover, so I'll break this hike into a few posts. This post focuses on the beach part of the park. The first step is to get to the right parking lot. Drive south on Brimley Road until it ends, then stay to the left until you see the parking lot for the Bluffers Beach as shown in the map: Once you've parked, you'll see a forked path: left goes through a forest, right goes to the beach. Let's start with the beach as your dog is likely already excited about the water. There isn't an official off-leash area in the park from what I've seen, but in the winter, the only ones using the beach are dog owners.  It can get frigid on a blustery day, and some of the trails have burrs and seeds that want to attach to your dog.  The beach is nearly deserted from Labour Day until Victori

Parkwoods Village

Brookbanks Park Next to the forest is green space connecting a village. My beloved neighbourhood park is so large that I need to publish a second entry to show additional paths you can take. The plaza Parkwoods Village is actually a shopping plaza that provides many of the services needed to satisfy a large community. A grocery store, drug store, laundromat, cafe, and more. Surrounding the plaza is a vast park and forest. The trails connect many streets to schools, a library, and playgrounds. Suggested walk Perhaps while waiting for your laundry to finish or a prescription to be filled, you can take a relaxing 2 km hike. For this route, start at Pizza Pizza (1277 York Mills Rd Unit #9) in Parkwoods Village. Cross Brookbanks Drive, and you'll be on the trail. The paved path follows a ditch and has several bridges and connections to streets in the neighbourhood. Follow the trail until it ends at the high school, Victoria Park Collegiate Institute. At