Old Mill station offers a brief respite from the dirty grey walls of the subway’s usual monotony of underground tunnels. Crossing over the Humber River, the windows of the station offer a view of daylight and trees in either direction. Not surprisingly, Old Mill station is also the start point for another of the city’s Discovery Walks: the Humber RIver, Old Mill and Marshes.
From the subway station, Old Mill Road curves down past the Old Mill Inn and Spa, and into King’s Mill Park. The park was named after the first industrial structure erected in Toronto, a mill that supplied the wood that built Fort York and some of the city’s earliest buildings.
Walking across the historic stone bridge over the river and along some tree-lined streets, you come to Riverview Gardens, becoming Riverside Drive south of Bloor. Riverside is part of an ancient carrying trail used by First Nations traders to transport goods from Lake Ontario north to the Upper Great Lakes. It is also along Riverside where Anne of Green Gables creator Lucy Maud Montgomery spent the last seven years of her life, the site now marked by a plaque and a well-manicured parkette.
Continuing south, passing by a procession of grand old residences and the Humber Marshes, you finally come to the Queensway. Crossing the busy bridge over the river, you head back north along a paved walking and cycling trail past the sewage treatment plant and into South Humber Park. The trail breaks off at Stephen Drive, and picks up again a bit north, heading back into King’s Mill Park, past the Toronto Humber Yacht Club, and under the subway bridge before taking you back to Old Mill Road.
The Humber River is a rich historical and environmental resource for Toronto. The Humber River, Old Mill and Marshes Discovery Walk [PDF map] is a great way to explore this important watershed.