Biking Toronto's Don River Trail

Canada's flag
North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto
July 10th 2011
Published: July 9th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0

Toronto’s Don River Trail

Text and Photos last updated: July 2011
Number of times we have biked this trail: 1 (walked it many times)

The Basics:

Location: In Toronto’s Don Valley
Distance: 13.8
Trail Surface: mostly paved
Access & Parking: many places
Trail Head: Not really
Washrooms: at the many parks along the trail
Water: same as above
Food: there are few concession stands
Signage: some
Rest areas: Many
Garbage disposal: Lots
Points of Interest: Many
Access: many

I first discovered parts of this trail WAY decades ago while going to York University. York U’s Glendon College almost backs up on to Edwards Gardens. Over the years we have stopped off here many times on visits to this part of Toronto to take in the Gardens.

This year (2011) I had to have eye surgery and had to make 4 trips to Sunnybrook Hospital (beside Glendon College) and also backing on to Edwards Gardens. After walking it 3 times we finally decided to get up real early (5:30am) so that we could bike the Don River Trail before my final eye appointment at the hospital at 1:30pm.

Edwards Gardens is located on Lawrence Avenue East where it intersects with Leslie Street. There are many access points to the trail since the entire distance is park land. Many of the access points (with parking lots) are off Leslie Street.

We like to access the trail at Edwards Gardens since it is at the northern end and also well worth touring when the flowers are in season. Parking is free. There are also washrooms and water available here.

Since you are following the river to its mouth going south to Lake Ontario, you will be going downhill. About 2 km south of Edwards Gardens you will come to a public washroom at Sunnybrook Park. If you continue straight, you will come to the stables and sports field.
To continue on the Don River Trail turn left at the washrooms and cross over a small bridge.

Comment on the trail: There are very smooth paved parts, there are rough gravel parts, there are broken asphalt parts, there are parts through parking lots and there are parts on wooden bridges.

Since most of the valley is parkland, you are never far from a parking lot. Having said this, there are also many parts to the trail that resemble a wild and rugged area that could very easily be in Northern Ontario (see some of the photos)

As you get further south you begin to see more and more high apartment buildings and sometimes the traffic noise on the Parkway can be heard. But all in all this a great refuge from the hectic life above the valley floor.

There are some small signs indicating distance to intersecting streets and also some signs naming the bike route (45 South) or Lower Don Recreation Trail. Many other trails connect with the Don River Trail so it is not difficult to get lost.

Keep in mind that you are heading south, so try to keep the river in sight as it winds its way to Lake Ontario. Also there are always people on the trail that live in the area and are able to give directions.

The trail ends at the intersection of Lakeshore Blvd and Cherry Street. A round trip will cover just under 28 km.

Additional photos below
Photos: 34, Displayed: 24


Tot: 0.155s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 10; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0393s; 28; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 2; ; mem: 6.3mb