The city’s Discovery Walks program, while extensive, doesn’t cover every nook and cranny of Toronto. For instance, there is very little ground covered east of the Don River.
Great Country Walks Around Toronto by Elliott Katz fills in many of those blanks. This pocket-sized guide covers parks and trails from the Humber River Valley to Rouge Beach, the Islands to Black Creek. This week, Torontoist follows Katz’s guide into Taylor Creek Park.
Taylor-Massey Creek (Also called, at different times in its history, Silver Creek and Scarboro Creek) is a tributary to the Don, and was once home to paper mills and other industries. Its headwaters, now buried by Highway 401, are near Pharmacy Avenue. This walk starts at Victoria Park Avenue and runs five kilometres to the Forks of the Don.
From the Victoria Park subway station, walk north, cross at the Crescent Town Road intersection, and continue walking until you see a set of stairs heading down into the ravine. As you descend, the street and towering apartment buildings around you melt away, replaced by trees and a paved multi-use path. The path winds through Taylor Creek Park, following the newly-naturalized riverbed and passing a series of manicured parklands and picnic areas. If you can avoid the temptation to explore the many side paths that split off from the main trail, you’ll pass under the O’Connor Street bridge and cross a few footbridges criss-crossing the creek before reaching a parking lot just before the Don Valley Parkway. This is where Taylor Creek meets the East and West Don Rivers.
Passing under the DVP and crossing the footbridge over the railway tracks, the walk ends at Thorncliffe Park Drive. From here, you can take the 81 Thorncliffe Park bus to the Pape subway station, take the trail back to Victoria Park, or flip to page 19 of Great Country Walks and continue along Wilket Creek into E.T. Seaton Park (a walk Torontoist will explore in a future article).
The path that serves walkers, cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboarders in the more temperate months becomes a casual-use cross-country skiing trail in the winter. In an area that was once a hub of industry for Toronto, Taylor Creek Park now offers year-round recreation with close proximity to transit, the DVP and parking. This is definitely an area of the city worth checking out.