Morningside Park

Connect with nature in Morningside Park

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers

This is another fabulous find in Toronto for nature lovers. The large parking lot is open and attracts early risers to take advantage of all the park has to offer. 

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


As soon as we got out of our car, we could hear the Blue Jays in the forest. Birdseed and oranges are put out by local bird lovers, which successfully attracts Cardinals and Jays.  

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers

Orioles are in the park too, but so far, no photos.

Hiking Morningside Park in Toronto for dog lovers

Suggested route

Morningside is nearly 600 acres and is Toronto's largest park, so there is much to explore. In this post, I'll give you a route that follows the paved path along the river. The distance from the Morningside parking lot to Greenville Park and back is 8 km. This turned out to be too much for my dog Lucy. Several times on our way back to the car, she attempted to take a nap.

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


We saw a mother deer and her fawn during our visit. They were enjoying the greenery that grows next to the path into the forest. The fawn wasn't a newborn, but he stayed behind his mother hiding in the bushes. 

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


One thing that typically comes with deer is the possibility of being bit by a tick. Signs are posted throughout the park, with details on how to protect yourself and your dog. We have been lucky and have not been bitten.

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


The river is called Highland Creek. It is shallow enough in many places for a hot dog to cool off. We'll explore the neighbouring parks that Highland Creek goes through in future posts.

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


In the spring, you'll walk among blooming trees and lilacs. 

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers

If you watch for them, you'll see the bees busy at work collecting pollen. 

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


Although we didn't encounter many dogs on the walk, we did encounter an 8-week old sheepadoodle named Gigi. Our dogs immediately loved her, and once Gigi got over her fear, she was very playful with our relatively giant dogs.

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers

Lawrence Ave goes over the river. If you turn back at this point, your walk will end up being 5 km.

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers

Admire the art on the concrete bridge pillars. 

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


There are tables and barbeques near the Morningside parking lot. Benches are found frequently along the path, so you'll have opportunities to rest. 

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers

Many of the benches have signs showing stretching exercises, so instead of resting, do some stretching.

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers'


The trail is wide enough to practice social distancing, but not to let dogs off-leash. Many cyclists use these paths, so it's dangerous to let dogs off-leash while on the trail. There are several side routes or river banks where it is possible to allow them to play safely. 

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


Besides the natural beauty of the park, we only encountered one item that could be considered a treasure. Or perhaps someone lost this item, and it was placed on the tree to be found by the rightful owner.

Hiking Toronto for dog lovers


My go-to place for the history of Toronto is the Hiking the GTA Blog. From the Morningside Park entry, I learned that:

The land grant that Morningside Park sits on was owned by John Wilson in the 1870’s and he operated a saw mill using the river for water power. As the local timber supply dwindled the mill was closed and the property eventually sold for an estate. The original mill is gone but the remnants of a more recent concrete dam provide some flood control on the river.

Enjoy your hike through this fabulous park. 


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