You may live in the middle of a busy neighbourhood or along one of the most hectic streets in Toronto, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the nature the city has to offer. Toronto’s ravine system is complex and wide-reaching, offering a little taste of forests and wildlife almost anywhere in the city. Explore one of these ravine walks for a chance to step away from the commotion of Toronto without having to even hop in the car and experience your own winter wonderland this year.
Glen Stewart Ravine
This ravine, located along the Glen Stewart Park Trail, is a real hidden gem right in the middle of the city. Found in the east end in the Beaches neighbourhood, this ravine is tucked away just steps from bustling Queen Street, so you’ll have to really look for it to find it. But once you do, you’ll be greeted by a massive forest landscape that is home to wildlife, snowy greenery and the Ames Creek. Visit this ravine for the experience of a peaceful, winter wonderland countryside hike right in the midst of city life.
Located near St. Clair West station, this ravine is bordered by Cedarvale Park and the Beltline Trail as well, so it’s an ideal location to plan a fun day trip with kids in tow. The ravine is home to a wetland area and includes staircases, footbridges and paths for beautiful views of the ravine itself. Take a trip to Cedarvale Ravine if you’re looking for a shorter walk (just 2.5 km) that can extend into either recreational areas or longer scenic trails.
Moore Park Ravine
Running between the Mount Pleasant Cemetery and Evergreen Brickworks, Moore Park Ravine has all the makings of a beautiful nature walk. The path is lined by trees that are even more breathtaking covered in snow. Sometimes the ravine, which includes a creek, can be a bit on the busier side, as the stretch of land is ideal for dog walkers, joggers and even families in midtown Toronto. The looming structure of the Governor’s Bridge makes for a real urban jungle oasis.
Coxwell Ravine Park
An underrated segment of the East Don Valley Trail system, this ravine is located north of Don Mills Road and starts with an 100-step staircase that will lead you down into the ravine. With multiple trails and pathways leading into other parks, Coxwell Ravine Park is the ideal ravine if you’re looking to do a bit of exploring and don’t quite have a set plan (or timeline!) in mind for the day. Enjoy the wintry trails spread all over the park!
You’ve probably heard of the Scarborough Bluffs, and Gates Gully is its quieter, more serene sister. Just a few kilometres east of the Bluffs, Gates Gully, also known as Doris McCarthy Trail, shadows Bellamy Ravine Creek and a whole bunch of interesting wildlife, including deer, foxes and beavers. You’ll find beautiful views of Lake Ontario and the escarpment here, and follow the trail to the lakeshore to find a sculpture paying homage to McCarthy, who was an artist best known for her landscape paintings.