This is a great walk that follows an old abandonned steam rail line and explores the wooded Don River ravines. It passes through beautiful Mount Pleasant Cemetery and the Evergreen Brickworks along the way.
24Mar07, 16Apr08, 12Oct09, 19Jul16
The Beltline and Central Ravines walk is mostly flat with a few hills in the latter part of the hike.
At the brickworks or at the cemetery arboretum.
Washrooms in the cemetery near the arboretum.
This hike follows an old (1890s vintage) abandonned historic steam rail line and explores the wooded Don River ravines. You will see evidence of the industrial heritage of the area and enjoy the park-like ambience of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery (dating from 1873). This cemetery features an arboretum and is the resting place for many famous Canadians.
Once on the outskirts of the city, today, with the growth in population, the cemetery is located in the centre of the city. While the original watercourses have since been filled in, the cemetery still has many kilometres of walking paths, interspersed with fountains, statues, botanical gardens, and rare and distinct trees.
Moore Park Ravine follows Mud Creek, a small tributary of the Don River, and passes through North Rosedale, Moore Park and Governors Bridge communities with their large older homes. Stormwater flows down this ravine to the Don River.
The trail passes the former Don Valley Brickworks located just east of the ravine where Evergreen is transforming the Brickworks into a thriving environmentally based cultural attraction. The former Don Valley Pressed Brick Works was begun by the Taylor family in 1891. Although later sold and renamed, the factory continued to manufacture bricks and became one of Ontario's oldest and longest operating brickworks, finally closing its kilns in 1988. At one time, water drawn from Mud Creek was used in the brick making process.
Take the UNIVERSITY/SPADINA subway line to the EGLINTON WEST station. The hike ends at the ST. CLAIR station on the YONGE subway line.
001 - 002From the Eglinton West subway station turn left along Eglinton and cross the Allen Expressway at the stoplights. Turn left and walk up the sidewalk to the right of the sound barrier wall. Soon you will arrive at a sign signifying the start of the Beltline Park Trail along with some interesting historical information (002).
Note: Due to ongoing construction at Eglinton West subway stop, it may be difficult to gain access to the trail along the barrier to the Beltline Trail at Allen Rd. Instead walk east along Eglinton for two blocks to Old Park Road. There is a Timothy's coffee shop at this corner. Turn left here and walk north on Old Park Road. You will see the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail just before you reach Elm Ridge Cir. Turn right onto the Beltline Trail and continue.
002 - 004Turn right on the trail. It’s safest to use the stoplights to cross the main streets you will meet - Bathurst, Eglinton, Oriole Pkwy (003), and finally the bridge over the Davisville subway yards at Yonge St which takes you to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery (004).
004 - 005Enter the cemetery grounds by the black gate on the right, turn left and follow the blue line painted on the roadway right through the cemetery keeping to the outer road. The trail passes through an underpass under Mount Pleasant Rd (005).
005 - 006At the intersection you can explore the arboretum straight ahead but our trail turns left heading up a slight curved grade still following the blue line. The path heads right through a landscaped park area. Continue forward to Moore Avenue (006).
006 - 010Cross busy Moore Avenue and head down into Moore Park Ravine. Soon the trail passes a small pond on the east side of the trail where a restoration project is underway. The trail passes under the Heath Walking Overpass (007), the rail overpass (008), and Governor’s Bridge overpass (named after the Lieutenant Governors of Ontario who resided at Chorley Park (009). There is some fencing due to erosion in this area as you walk along the ravine edge. Soon you will see a path down to the Evergreen Brickworks (010).
010 - 011You may wish to take a detour to explore the nature works and trails in the Brickworks. Continuing straight ahead the slope up to Chorley Park is evident and the trail curves to the right along the edge of Bayview Ave. The trail arrives at an intersection with three signs (011).
011 - 012Keep to the right heading straight ahead following the sign for David Balfour Park. Cross over the green bridge, following the paved trail with a concrete low berm allowing a view down into the gorge. The trail crosses under the overpass at Glen Rd (012).
012 - 015Cross over Mount Pleasant Rd at the stoplights (013) and turn right to continue along the trail passing under the Shaftsbury railway overpass (014). Cross the wooden bridge and after a steep climb the trail comes out to Avoca Ave (015).
015 - 016Turn right on Avoca and then turn left on St Clair Avenue. Walk to Yonge St and the YONGE Subway line (016) to end the walk.
Enjoy the walk and the day!
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