Crothers Woods, Lower Don, and Evergreen Brickworks

This is a great walk that takes you through three significant green areas near the Don River. As documented, the hike is 7.5 km in length. 

Lucy on painted concrete in Crothers Woods

Suggested Route

After a winding hike through the forest, you'll walk part of the Lower Don Trail. On the way to Evergreen Brickworks, you'll pass some impressive artwork. Once at the Brickworks, you can visit the off-leash dog park and have a snack at Cafe Belong. After visiting the lookout, you'll hike over an abandoned rail line that takes you back to your car.

Map of trail for Crother's Woods


Park at the Loblaws on Redway Road near the Thomas Hauser Memorial Trailhead. Parking is free and plentiful. You could start at Evergreen Brickworks but must pay for parking. 

Parking Lot at Loblaws on Redway Road


For a history of this park, see our earlier blog entry, Crothers Forest Trail. This entry explores a different part of the trail but begins in the same spot. Choose the trail on the left for this hike. You can shorten the hike by taking the middle or right-hand trail, but you'll miss a few interesting sights.

Painting at Thomas Memorial Trailhead

Hilly Trail

The first part of the hike switchbacks through a large forested hill. This trail is maintained and used by off-road cyclists. Keep your dog on leash through this stretch of the hike.

Hilly trail through Crothers Woods

Redway Road

Cross Redway Road and continue on the trail on the other side. 

Choose Easier trail in Crothers Woods

When you see the sign for Harder vs Easier, turn right to choose the "Easier" trail.

Signs in Crothers Forest


You'll come to an extensive boardwalk and stairway on either side of the trail. If you turn right, it takes you to the water treatment plant. If you go left, it seems to take you to a neighbourhood in Leaside. We haven't explored this trail yet. Simply continue on the path straight ahead.

Boardwalks in Crothers Forest

Service Road

This trail ends at the service road between train tracks and the water plant. There is a sign with a map and details of the full route. Turn right and follow the service road until you reach the next sign post.

Water treatment plant next to Crothers Woods

The Trail to Cross the Don

Follow the trail to a gravel path. Turn left and cross the bridge over the Don River.

Bridge over the Don River, Crothers Woods

On the right, just past the bridge, your dog can access the Don River for a swim. The K9 Training Unit is nearby, and we've met Police dogs playing here. 

Meeting Police Dogs on Don River Trail

You can follow the river till you can't go any further as there are excellent trails to explore with the potential to see birds like herons, kingfishers, and others. To get to the Lower Don Trails, however, you must cross the parking lot at the bridge, and then the rail crossing.

Rail Crossing to Lower Don Trail

Lower Don Trail

Turn right onto the Lower Don Trail that is paved. This is a very popular route for cyclists, so keep your dog on a leash while walking on this path. There are several spots to visit the river for great views, drinks, and swimming.

Train bridge over the Don River on Lower Don Trail

Pottery Road

Walk the paved trail until you reach Pottery Road. You'll see an arch bridge, street art, and a two-part crosswalk.

Pottery Road sign on Lower Don Trail   Bridge on Potter Road from Bayview as seen on Lower Don Trail

Bayview Ave

The Lower Don Trail continues, but to get to the Evergreen Brickworks, you must turn right towards Bayview Ave and cross the bridge. There is a paved path on the left side of the road, but I suggest you take the footpath closer to the fence. This keeps you further away from a busy street.

When this trail ends, you'll be a short distance from the crosswalk to Evergreen. Most spectacular are the paintings on the train trestle.

Street art on Bayview Ave near Evergreen Brickworks

Evergreen Brickworks

Read our blog entry about the Evergreen Brickworks Trail for details on the Off-Leash Dog Park, history, and more. We did visit the dog park, but it was completely empty. I wonder if the signs about poison ivy are to blame?

Evergreen Off-leash Dog Park

Instead, we grabbed a treat from the coffee shop and sat near the Robertson Davies’ Stones and played with other dogs on leash. We heard that parking and leash by-laws are being enforced.

Lucy, Benji, and a little dog playing on leash at Evergreen Brickworks

Lookout Point

Admire the views of the city and the Evergreen Brickworks from this vantage point. Be sure to come back when the fall colours are at their best. 

View of Toronto skyline from Evergreen Brickworks

Evergreen Brickworks is so beautiful in the autumn that you may not need to drive out of the city to see the splendour.

Trails of Evergreen Brickworks

Abandoned Train Track

To reach the abandoned train tracks, use a side trail on the right hand side. The rest of the walk is primarily on the trail next to the abandoned train track. This is a perfect spot to let your dog off-leash as you are unlikely to run into other people. 

You will see graffiti on the underpasses.

Graffitti along the trail in Crothers Woods

About 1 km in, you’ll connect to the Crothers Woods trail. Follow the trail until you’re back at the starting point.

Extend your Hike

This hike takes you through three great hiking areas of Toronto. Each of them can be a 5-10 km walk on its own, so there is no shortage of ways for you to extend your walk. We try to go once a week to try different routes and meet more people. 


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


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