Toronto Hike - Glendon Forest and Crother's Woods


A departure here, not in the quality of the hike or the surroundings, but in the location. This is a wonderful hour long hike just minutes from mid-town Toronto, through the Glendon Forest and Crother's Woods, just east of Sunnybrook Hospital near Bayview Avenue and Lawrence Avenue.

The forest here is quite thick, and you're deep in a ravine following the Don River along a gravel path and a dirt path. The first time we took this hike was with our 5 year old, who enjoyed it as much as we did. Updates:

(I've designed this page to be simple with no pictures on it so that you can print a copy and take it with you. The pictures are linked at each stage, with a camera icon and are all contained on the pictures of the Glendon Forest and Crother's Woods page. Please send us any comments/corrections to brucetrail [at] Click here to return to the main page,) or grab your TTC pass, hiking shoes, compass, GPS, and camera and take a hike!

Location and details of the hike:

General Location:Midtown Toronto, Ontario
Location on the map:Map this hike location Show this hike location along with entries from other blogs!
Bruce Trail Reference 20.0(Not on the Bruce Trail

Directions to the starting point of the hike:

  1. Take Bayview Avenue just south of Lawrence into Sunnybrook Hospital at the SOUTHERN light
  2. Turn right at the first right and follow the road around the south end of the hospital, being extra careful around the Emergency entrance
  3. The road will make a 90 degree turn to the left, then turn right at the next intersection where the road says "Dead End"
  4. You'll now be heading downhill along a wonderful forested road -- watch out for walkers, runners, and bikes -- I used to commute up and down this hill on my bike
  5. At the bottom of the hill you'll see a small parking lot - you'll notice across the bridge is another way to get to this location if you are walking or on a bike (the bridge is closed to cars ).

Hike details

The hike starts to the north of the parking lot, just past the information sign along a wide gravel path. There are a number of informational signs along the hike describing the wildlife, plantlife, and the river. The path is easy to follow and starts out quite wide with flowers and trees on either side There was really no litter to mention at all, the trail seemed well maintained for the most part. I was there in late September; but based on the wetlands on either side of the trail I suspect there would be lots of mosquitoes in the spring and early summer...

About 10 minutes after leaving the car you'll come to a fork in the trail with a rough hewn stone bench . Keep to the left (west) for now (on our way back we'll take the path to the right). You'll be able to hear, and at points see, the Don river to your right.

After a while you'll notice a fenced area to your left, complete with a Guard Dog sign or two. I couldn't find information about what looks like a formal garden, but I assume it is owned by the house at the end of Valleyanna Drive. To the right is an informational sign about the West Don River and the restoration efforts that are underway. There is also a picture of one of the local inhabitants; the Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) complete with a crazy prehistoric looking tail. We saw one just feet from the sign on one hike, hidden in the leaves next to the fence. I also heard, then saw, a blue and white woodpecker right around here.

Continuing along the river you'll encounter the one part of the trail that was a bit tricky. The path gets quite muddy through a section that must see a lot of run-off in the spring and after each rain. The path has been built up with some pipes to help support the path.

Just past this section you'll be able to see upstream to the first bridge we will cross. It is a wide metal bridge, with no railings (as of the fall of 2006). Looking across the bridge to the north you can see the trees along the side of the valley, hiding the houses along Park Lane Circle in the Bridal Path.

As beautiful as that looks, we'll turn to our left after leaving the bridge, to follow the river (now on our left) farther upstream to the northwest. The trail here is less defined than before, with the forest closer on each side. There are also a few spots again where the water has run across the path, making it a bit tricky, but most people will have no problem with the trail.

Looking upstream again we'll see the second bridge, signalling the farthest point on the hike, and time to head back south. It is similar to the first bridge, but has a basic guardrail. You can no longer cross the bridge, as it was closed in early 2007 with a tall fence . Instead you'll have to retrace your steps along the river to the first bridge (which also has a gate which was open when we were there), and make your way up the other side of the river, along more picturesque paths and through the forest. When you reach the building and playing fields that you could see across the closed bridge it is time to turn around, retrace your steps, eventually passing the first bridge, the guard dog sign, all the way back to the first T junction we passed at the start of the hike, with the stone bench.

In this case keep to the left and follow the smaller path along the river, with more views up the side of the ravine. Enjoy the forest one more time, before the parking lot where we started comes into view