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.

Sunnybrook Park sign.


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.


There are two parking lots near the Sunnybrook Dog park. If you arrive at the park via Leslie Street, park across from the stables.

Map from Leslie Street to the parking area for Sunnybrook Dog Park.

Park next to the historic Sunnybrook building where you can find washrooms.

If you arrive from Bayview Ave, you'll come through the Sunnybrook Hospital Grounds via Raab Blvd.

Map from Bayview Ave to the parking area for Sunnybrook Dog Park.

The parking lot is at the dead-end.

Dead-end prevents traffic from Leslie to Bayview, by design.

If you wonder why there is no thru-way, it's because the Kilgour family stipulated that there should never be a road through this property that connects Bayview Ave to Leslie Street.

Off-Leash Dog Park

The dog park is flat and quite large. It can get really muddy in the spring or after it rains. A second fenced area is dedicated to smaller dogs.

Sunnybrook off-leash, fenced-in park is large and flat.

Many dog walkers bring six dogs at a time to this park. That means there are usually many more dogs than people.
Many dogs playing together in Sunnybrook Off-Leash Dog Park.

Be sure to keep your dog on a leash when not in the fenced-in area as it is often patrolled and can result in a hefty fine. 


Near the dog park is a shallow part of the river where dogs are often brought for a drink or to be cleaned after they play.

Creek where many dogs visit after getting muddy in the off-leash park.


You'll hear lots of bird song on your hike. As usual, I was able to get photos of hawks and cardinals but could only hear the blue jays and woodpeckers.

Cardinal posing near Sunnybrook Dog Park.

Hawk flying near Sunnybrook dog park.

Hike from the Dog Park

After playing in the off-leash park, I like to take Lucy on a 3 or 5 km walk in the forest along the river. There are many options for hikes from this starting point.

Burke Brook

The route I recommend is just over 3 km in length along both sides of a stretch of Burke Brook.

Suggested 3 km loop from the Sunnybrook Park along Burke Brook.

Leave the Dog Park from the gates furthest from the parking lots. Follow the path next to the fence.

Trail begins on the far side of the fenced in park.

The trail is gravel in some sections and wooden in others.

Trail along Burke Brook is gravel in areas and wooden in areas.

The trail officially ends in a fenced-off area at a ditch. You can turn back at this point, and your walk will be roughly 1.5 km in total.

Wooden fence where the official trail ends.

If you feel adventurous, cross the shallow ditch and continue until you reach Bayview Ave.

Cross this shallow ditch to continue your walk.

If Toronto were more pedestrian-friendly, there would be an easier way to cross Bayview Ave to get to Sherwood Park. Right now, you either have to jay-walk or walk a fair distance to a crosswalk.

Instead, at the top of the steep hill, stay to the left, and follow the forest trail on the other side of the ravine.

At Bayview Ave, take the forest trail to the left and continue along the top of the ravine back to your car.

The trail along this edge is in surprisingly good condition despite the narrow path and steep embankment. 

The ravine trail is narrow along a steep embankment.

The trail leads you to a parking area near Glenvale Blvd. Follow this paved path back to Sunnybrook Park and your car.

Parking area at Glenvale Blvd where the paved trail starts again.

Future blog posts will cover other routes you can take from the Sunnybrook Dog Park.


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