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walk-w05-cedarvale-ravine-beltline

W05_8232_86Cedardale Park

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Walk Info

This walk begins with a pleasant trek through  Ramsden Park before passing some beautifully landscaped homes on local streets. The walk then enters Cedarvale Ravine with its' wetlands and follows the Beltline Trail to Davisville.

Lat/Long > N43.68430 W79.41358

04Sept09

11 km

Beginner

Intermediate

3 h

none

The Cedarvale Ravine and Beltline walk is mostly flat with some wet marshy areas. The trail is paved in areas.

Benches in Cedarvale Park

None

 

THE SITE

Cedarvale Park is bordered by very steep hills, and is located in the Cedarvale neighbourhood of Toronto. The Spadina subway line tunnels underneath it, between St. Clair West and Eglinton West stations. The north end of the park contains the Cedarvale Arena and Arlington Middle School. It is commonly used for dog walkers and students returning from the nearby school and the large open fields are heavily used by the community for everything from soccer games to kite flying.

South of the fields, the park angles southeast, and becomes more of a deep, naturalized ravine with steep sides, with a footpath down the middle. Cedarvale Ravine contains very sizable wetlands east of Bathurst Street in Forest Hill; the remainder of the natural portion is young regrowth forest (the ravine was largely clearcut during the construction of the Spadina Subway in the 1970s).

The path is heavily used and remains passable even in winter, with foot traffic packing down snow despite the lack of plowing, especially after drainage works in 2006 fixed the problem of water pooling and subsequent ice buildup.


The park benefits from its proximity to the Beltline Trail in the north and the Nordheimer Ravine to the south; these join together to form a large trail system through midtown Toronto.

LOCATION

The walk begins at the ROSEDALE Subway Station and ends at the DAVISVILLE station -both on the YONGE subway line. For a shorter walk, you can end at the EGLINTON WEST station.

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WAYPOINT WALK DESCRIPTION

001 - 002From the ROSEDALE subway station turn left and cross Yonge St. into Ramsden Park. Walk through the park behind the baseball diamond and towards the tennis courts. Climb the hill on the right up to the paved walkway and continue past the tennis courts. At Avenue Road walk north to cross the street at the stoplights. Continue north on the far side of Avenue Road under the railway overpass turning left on Macpherson Ave. Walk two blocks on Macpherson to Poplar Plains Rd (002).

002 - 003The trail then turns right onto Popular Plains Rd on the right passing the high level pumping station with its attractive gardens. You will pass many large brick beautifully landscaped homes here. At the small park on the left, the trail leaves Poplar Plains Rd and takes the dirt path that heads downhill to the next street. Cross Boulton Dr and continue on the gravel path ahead to enter the southern end of the Cedarvale Ravine. The trail passes the Roycroft Wetlands on the left. A display sign gives information on the ravine and the wetlands with its array of plants. Ahead some tall condos come into view as you pass the Glen Edyth Wetlands on the left with its own information display board. The wide paved path continues through Winston Churchill Park and under the Spadina Ave overpass. The trail crosses a small wooden bridge over a swampy area and at the fork in the road stay left into a wilder more overgrown area with lots of sumac and dogwood.  This change in vegetation is due to the building of the Spadina subway line through the ravine in the late 1970s and the resulting rehabilitation of the ravine after construction. The ravine itself survived when when Spadina expressway which would have run right down the centre of the ravine was cancelled in 1972. At a second fork take the left branch again. The trail climbs a set of steps to St Clair Ave. Cross St Clair at the nearby stop lights. Then turn right passing the Loblaws store. In one block the trail arrives at Tweedsmuir Ave (003).

003 - 004Turn left onto Tweedsmuir Ave. and then right onto Tichester Rd. You will pass the ST. CLAIR WEST subway station and take the path to the left of the subway station that heads downhill into the Cedarvale Ravine. Continue on the wide gravel path as it wanders through some marshy areas with bullrushes and amphibian wildlife. The trail crosses Bathurst Ave and passes under a concrete and iron walkway over Glencedar Rd. Here it enters Cedarvale Park where it’s more interesting to leave the gravel path by the first few benches taking the small path to the right heading into the bushes and along the edge of the river. Back on the main trail, the trail passes an off-leash area for dogs. Here you can head to the far right side of the park passing a fenced in area of wild flowers. Keep to the far right on the mowed grass line along the brush line. The thorny shrubbery provides an abundance of birds with protection from predators. Soon you arrive at the EGLINTON WEST subway station (004).

004 - 005Walk east past the subway station crossing at the Allen Expressway stoplights. Turn left and walk up the sidewalk to the right of the sound barrier. Just past Aldburn Road you will arrive at a sign signifying the start of the Beltline Trail along with some interesting historical information. The Grand Trunk Railway operated a rail line here running from downtown to Moore Park and Forest Hill in 1891 and survived until the 1950s when it was redeveloped into a multipurpose trail that is well treed. Turn right on the trail. It’s safest to use the stoplights to cross the main streets that you will meet at Bathurst and Oriole Pkwy. The trail goes under a wide tunnel under Eglinton Ave. and into a more woodsy area. Cross the bridge over the DAVISVILLE subway tracks. On your right take the concrete steps down to the Yonge St sidewalk. Turn right and walk a short distance north to the DAVISVILLE subway station (005).

Enjoy the walk and the day!

 

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