• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


W07_8444_86The Humber River North

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Walk Info

This is a nice scenic walk along the Humber River from Bloor Street all the way up to Lawrence Avenue. Along the way you will walk through Etienne Brule and Magwood Parks and visit James Gardens plus three more enjoyable parks before you reach Lawrence.

Lat/Long N43.65025 W79.49498

02Nov09, 07Mar10, 04Jul2014

8.5 km


2.5 h


The Humber River North walk is fairly flat

Picnic areas in James Gardens and Scarlett Mills Park

In James Gardens



The Humber River is one of two major rivers on either side of Toronto, the other being the Don River to the east. It was designated a Canadian Heritage River on September 24, 1999.
The Humber collects from about 750 creeks and tributaries in a fan-shaped area north of the city. One main branch runs for about 100 km from the Niagara Escarpment to the northwest, while the other major branch starts at Lake St. George in the Oak Ridges Moraine near Aurora, Ontario to the northeast. They join north of Toronto and then flow in a southeasterly direction into Lake Ontario at what was once the far western portions of the city. The river mouth is flanked by Sir Casimir Gzowski Park and Humber Bay Park East.

James Gardens , on the west bank of the Humber River, is known for its flower gardens, stone pathways and mature trees. In 1908, Fred T. James purchased the land and for the next 40 years he carefully transformed his property into a picturesque garden where public visitors were always welcome. Before their main home was built in 1927, James lived in the coach-house that still stands next door. The terraces and collection pools were built almost 50 years ago. The Tommy Thompson Trail through James Gardens connects with Lambton Woods and Scarlett Mills Park.

Scarlett Mills Park is located on the west bank of the Humber River south of Eglinton  Avenue. Numerous members of the Scarlett family were early settlers  in the area north of Lambton Mills, and Scarlett Road actually traversed  many of their homesteads. John Scarlett owned a sawmill and distillery operation that was located on the west bank where Scarlett Road  crosses the Humber River. Most of Lambton Golf and Country Club, which can be seen across the Humber River,  is situated on John Scarlett's homestead. After Hurricane  Hazel inflicted considerable damage to life and property in 1954,  land was acquired from various sources to form the park.


This is a linear hike that begins at the OLD MILL station on the BLOOR/DANFORTH subway line and ends at the bus shelter on Lawrence Ave where you catch the Eastbound Lawrence bus to the LAWRENCE subway station on the YONGE (Line 1) subway line


Humber River


001 - 002From the OLD MILL subway station follow the curved sidewalk to your right to the road and turn right on Old Mill Road passing the Old Mill Inn. Cross the bridge over the Humber River and turn right down the steps to the river side (002).

002 - 003Continue along the Humber River through Etienne Brule and Magwood Park until you meet a pedestrian/bike control gate (003).

003 - 004Climb a slight slope and follow a dirt path on the edge of the ravine. Much squirrel activity can be seen in this area and the protective thorny bushes make for an abundance of birds. The trail passes under the Dundas St overpass and arrives at a green bridge over the Humber River. Cross the bridge enjoying the view in all directions (004).

004 - 005Past the bridge the trail climbs a slope and enters an open area with trails going off in different directions. Keep to the right on trails heading north along the river. This is a very enjoyable walk along the top of the ravine looking down at the Humber below. Soon the trail arrives at the landscaped grounds of James Gardens. Continue north along the Humber River  in James Park before entering Scarlett Mills Park passing under the Scarlet Road overpass. The trail climbs to the busy Eglinton Avenue W. (005).

005 - 006Cross Eglinton at the stoplights and follow along the paved path which soon turns right heading downhill to near the river edge. Continue through Raemore Park and cross the bridge over the Humber River. At the Y-intersection, take the branch to the left along the banks of the Humber through Lions Park. Just past the playground, turn right and head up to the bus shelter on Lawrence Avenue (006). Take the Lawrence Avenue bus east to the LAWRENCE subway station on the YONGE subway line.

Enjoy the walk and the day!



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