Living at Village Green means that you’re right in the heart of the city, in the center of the action. Whatever you need is usually within easy reach. But sometimes what you need is a breather — an escape from the hustle and bustle in the concrete jungle. Fortunately, even beautiful natural escapes are conveniently located within easy reach. Here’s where to find nature near Village Green.
Head east from Village Green, along Carlton Street, until it ends at Riverdale Park West. Follow the path through the park and arrive at Riverdale Farm (201 Winchester St). It’s less than 10 minutes away by bike. At the historic farm, you can visit the farm animals, and the farmers as they tend to their chores. Tour the buildings, including the pig and poultry barn, and stroll the 7.5 acres of woods, paths, ponds and fields.
If you’d like to continue your journey and take in some more lovely and natural spots nearby, continue heading east through Riverdale Park West to the Broadview footbridge. The gate to access Riverdale Park and the footbridge is open from May 1st to November 1st, from 9:15 am to 4 pm daily.
Lower Don Trail
You can cross the footbridge into Riverdale Park East. The crest of the hill on the east side of the park is the perfect place to watch the sun set. But if you’ve still got some daylight left, and the desire to enjoy the great outdoors a little more, you’ll want to stop halfway across the bridge. The staircase at the mid point of the bridge has a side rail — which makes getting bicycles up and down a little easier. The stairs will lead you to The Lower Don Trail.
If you choose to head north on the multi-use trail, you can enjoy many kilometres of paved paths along river and through the woods. Learn more in our recent article, Bike trails to explore near Davisville Village.
If you head south along the river trail, you can connect to other paths and bike lanes, and stop for a visit in the the city’s new park, The Corktown Common.
Corktown Common is a new 7 hectare (18 acre) park at the foot of Lower River Street and Bayview. The Don Trail south will lead you there. What was once underused industrial land and an undeveloped brownfield has been transformed into an amazing park and community meeting place. The landscape is lush, with sprawling lawns, a marsh, an outdoor fireplace, a permanent BBQ area, picnic tables and washrooms. There is also a playground and splash pad for kids.
Once you’ve rested a bit at Corktown Common, it’s time to get back on the trail. The Lower Don Trail continues, branching off to take you in whatever direction you’d like. To the west it joins with the Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail. That route will take you across town, through the Harbour district. If you head east along the path, you’ll head along Lakeshore Road toward The Beaches. If you want to explore a little more, head south along the paved path on Cherry Street, all the way to the bottom.
Cherry Beach/Clarke Beach
At the bottom of Cherry Street, the path becomes a nature trail again, at Cherry Beach. This clean and relatively uncrowded beach regularly achieves Blue Flag certification in the summer. This means it meets strict water quality and safety standards — so bring your swimsuit! At the beach area, you’ll also find food trucks, restrooms, picnic areas and more. Are you craving even more nature? No problem, just continue along the trail. You’ll wind your way along the beach and past the tall grasses and trees. Eventually you’ll arrive at the base of Leslie Street. From there you can access the Leslie Spit and incredible Tommy Thompson Park.
Tommy Thompson Park
Tommy Thompson Park is a beautiful and accidental wilderness. The park is located on completely man-made land that was created for “port-related facilities” decades ago. In the 1970’s, it was clear that “port-related facilities” were no longer required. But by that time nature had already begun to take the man-made land over. It is now an amazing wilderness and nature reserve. The flocks of birds, including big, black cormorants, is truly a sight to see. The park is over 250 hectares (618 acres) and extends about 5 kilometers into Lake Ontario. Follow the path that loops around the lighthouse before heading back. There are breathtaking views, wildlife, and lots more to enjoy in this “accidental wilderness”.
Public access to Tommy Thompson Park is restricted to weekends, holidays and weekdays from 4 pm to 9 pm.
Living in the heart of Toronto means it can be easy to forget that the beauty of nature is all around you. Pack some water or a picnic, apply some sunscreen, and explore the green areas of your city.
Greenrock Property Management Limited loves to help you explore, and to connect you to all that your city and community have to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.