Exploring Toronto’s ravines…or trying to.
I had heard Toronto described as an upside down San Francisco. While the latter is hilly, the former is home to a network of ravines. Take the stairs at certain locations throughout the city and you end up in an urban forest. The trail here is ideal for an urban hike though you may see joggers, dog walkers and cyclists as well.
I have been lamenting the concrete jungle with its various industrial beasts (aka cranes, condo construction, road works, etc.) that seems to be all that Toronto is these days. I miss the easy access to nature that living in Vancouver and Calgary afforded me. Desperate for a nice forest bath I searched the Internet for any chance of a local nature walk. Enter the ravine system.
Though there were many links about them there were few maps and how-to-get-there tips. Luckily I was able to find an entry point (off Heath avenue just north of the intersection of St. Clair and Yonge) and off I went. It took me roughly an hour to saunter along the dirt trail and stop for a water break and photo stop. I was thrust back into city life when the trail met with the very busy Mount Pleasant Road. Next time I will return on the other side of this street and continue along the trail through the Rosedale ravine.
- Some of the trail passes under bridges, busy with traffic and often covered in graffiti.
- You may see homeless people as some set up home here. (Possibly more if rent continues to skyrocket out of control.)
- Not all ravine trails are well maintained and/or pristine. Possibility of encountering flooding, poison ivy and carelessly dumped garbage.
- As with any area that is not regularly ‘peopled’, be cautious if alone on some of the trails. Crime has occurred in places when very few people are around.