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The elusive urban forest that lies beneath Toronto


Although several trails already exist, the full loop will take users through nearly a third of the city’s ravines and over 20 diverse neighborhoods across the city. It will also connect and support the Meadoway, a continuous, multi-use pathway that will become one of Canada’s largest urban linear parks and ultimately connect downtown Toronto to Rouge National Urban Park, the country’s first national urban park. .

With over 27,000 acres of ravines stretching across the city, there’s an experience for every type of traveler. A must-do hike is the Lower Don Trail, a three-mile route that winds north to south along the eponymous river. With multiple hotspots throughout downtown, it’s ideal for those who came for Toronto city life but want a quick escape into nature.

The Rosedale Ravine Trail, accessible at the corner of Yonge and St. Clair streets in downtown Toronto, takes adventurers beneath the city into a forest where sightings of red-tailed hawks, beavers and other wildlife are almost guarantees.

Scarborough’s Doris McCarthy Trail, about a half-hour drive from downtown Toronto, offers a moderate six-mile hike to Scarborough Bluffs, a towering bluff with picturesque views of Lake Ontario on the waterfront east of Toronto.

For something less crowded, Koa Thornhill, program manager at Park People, a group that mobilizes Canadians to get into outdoor spaces, says Birkdale Ravine in Scarborough is well worth the trip. “It’s a bit off the beaten path, but it’s what I consider a hidden gem,” she says, especially in the spring to see the rows of cherry blossoms offered by Sagamihara, Japan (sister city of Toronto).