Explore Henry Farm and Betty Sutherland Park

In a previous blog entry Betty Sutherland Trail, I documented a hike in Betty Sutherland Park from Graydon Hall to North York General Hospital. In that post, I suggested parking near Graydon Hall. This post shows a similar hike beginning on Havenbrook Blvd and traveling south along the Don River on nature trails where ever possible. 

Don River near Henry Farm

Suggested Route

This route, as shown, is about 3 km in length. It is easily shortened or lengthened as needed. 

Map for hike in Henry Farm Area near Sheppard and Don Mills

Park along Havenbrook Blvd in front of giant green space next to the 401. 

Park at Havenbrook Park near Sheppard and Don Mills Road

Play fetch in the huge field in Havenbrook Park

The field has a baseball diamond but would be perfect for playing fetch with your dog. On days when the heat isn't scorching, I've seen families sitting on the hill enjoying the fresh air. 

The baseball diamond is a great place for dogs to play.

Follow the paved path past the children's playground and tennis courts. 

Playground for kids in Havenbrook Park

To the right of the path, there is a copse of trees next to fenced backyards. 

Former home of George S. Henry


The house with a tower and conical roof piqued my interest. I learned that it is the former home of George S. Henry, Premier of Ontario, from 1930 - 1934. There is a nearby high school named after George S. Henry as well, so perhaps those who went to that school already know the history of Henry?

His house, built in 1924, was named Oriole Lodge after the birds that nested in the area. It is now a private residence and is home to two large dogs.

Don River

Follow the path to the river. You can travel north to Sheppard Ave or south to Duncan Mill Road. For this hike, turn left to go south under the 401.

401 Underpass to go south along the Don River to Better Sutherland Trail

Just past the bench with garbage bins, you can leave the paved path to walk on a well-established natural trail along the river.

Bench and garbages in Betty Sutherland Park

This part of the river is shallow, giving your dog a chance to play in the water. Make sure you wear footwear that can get wet or muddy.

Don River is shallow in parts of Betty Sutherland Trail

Between the trail and the river bottom, you can travel quite a ways without joining the paved path.

Great views of the river


Why avoid the paved path? This trail is very heavily used by cyclists in the summer. This is part of the bike trail system that people use to get to the lakeshore. When you are on the paved path, be sure to keep your dog on a leash and in control. Most of the cyclists are respectful and use their bells to alert you when they are getting close.

Up Hill

You'll eventually get to a point where you need to leave the river and cross the paved path. On the other side of the trail is a forested hill with plenty of trails. Follow the path that is covered in wood chips.

Unpaved path to the Betty Sutherland Hill

Continue along this trail until the path veers to the right.  Take the path to the left that is narrow with tall plants on either side. The mosquitos aren't bad, but bring repellent if you want to avoid getting bites.

Narrow path on the Betty Sutherland Hill

You'll be surprisingly close to the 404 / DVP ramp on the 401 East Bound lanes.

Betty Sutherland Trail takes you close to the 401

Continue on this path until you've explored the trails on the hill and you reach a staircase that takes you back to the paved trail.

Fabulous forest trails in Betty Sutherland Park

Leash up before going down the stairs to the paved path

Off-road cyclists use these trails on occasion, but often you'll find you can have your dog off-leash while on this hill. 

At this point, you can head back to your car using the paved path or retrace your route along the riverbank. 


The birds love this area and sing loud enough that they drown out the sound of traffic from the highway. I've seen blue jays, robins, woodpeckers, and red-winged blackbirds while hiking this trail. I was able to get photos of a goldfinch and cardinal on my most recent hike. 

Goldfinch seen in Betty Sutherland Park

Cardinal seen on Betty Sutherland Trail


During a heatwave, you're most likely to run into furry friends if you hike either early or late in the day. 

Young sheepadoo on Betty Sutherland Trail

Doodles love doodles

Black dogs rule

Alternative Routes

If you feel like hiking some more, there are many options. 

1) Continue south to Duncan Mill and Graydon Hall. Or in the winter, to Donalda Golf Course.
2) Go north to loop onto Manorpark Court.
4) Cross Sheppard Ave to the East Don River Trail to Finch Ave.


Enjoy your walk! When you post photos to Instagram, tag us at @hikingtoronto or #hikingtorontowithlucy


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