Living in the heart of Midtown at Davisville Village has some huge advantages. Whatever you need is within easy reach. Whether you are looking for shopping, dining, nightlife, or to reconnect with nature, this fabulous neighbourhood has it all. One of the best parts of the area is Crothers Woods.
Crothers Woods is a hidden gem in the heart of the city. This 52-hectare parcel of land sits along the banks of the Don River and is loaded with mature woods consisting of beech, maple and oak trees, as well as new growth and some rare undergrowth plants. There are also meadows and approximately 9 kilometres of metre-wide dirt trails.
To the south, it is bordered by Pottery Road, and to the northeast by Millwood Bridge. It is easily accessible by TTC. Take the number 28 bus Bayview South toward Brick Works. Transfer at Moore Avenue to the 88A South to Millwood Road and Redway Road South. From there it is a short, two-minute walk to access the trail from the Thomas Hauser Memorial Trailhead. The access point to this 2.4-kilometre trail is tucked away behind the Loblaws at 11 Redway Road. You’ll find a trail map posted there and you can view the map online in the Crothers Woods Trails brochure (PDF). There is also ample parking.
Once you hit the trail and begin the winding descent down the hill, it’s easy to feel like you’ve entered a different world. From the bunnies that can be seen feeding on the vegetation, or if you’re really lucky you can catch a glimpse of a white-tailed deer bounding into the bush. During the fall, right around Thanksgiving, you can even head down to the river and see salmon swimming upstream, leaping the man-made waterfalls to make it to their spawning grounds. It’s kind of magical. If you follow the trail north from the trailhead, you can catch some great views of the city.
here are three access points for Crothers Woods, each of them with parking. One parking lot entrance can be found at the Don Valley Mountain Bike Trailhead on Pottery Road, across from Todmorden Mills. This path heads north, parallel to Bayview Avenue to the northern end of the park where you will find another access point from Bayview Avenue. This area is also known as Sun Valley, the former home of the Sun Brick Company which shut down back in the 1930s. It was owned by the Taylor family, who also owned Todmorden Mills and the Don Valley Brick Works. The family built their homestead here. A well-preserved re-creation of it can be found on site at Todmorden Mills. When the clay for brick making was exhausted, the area was transformed into a landfill pit that was capped with clean fill in the 1980s.
It is difficult to believe that this designated Environmentally Significant Area was an industrial landfill only a few decades ago. Since then it has become a hotspot for mountain bikers, nature lovers and urban hikers. Be sure to watch and listen for the cyclists as you share the trails with them. It is in large part thanks to these cyclists that Crothers Woods is so well-maintained today. Since 2005, organized groups of cyclists, volunteers and enthusiasts have lobbied and pushed for the city to maintain the area. Crothers Woods also easily connects to the newly renovated and revamped Lower Don Trail. If you want to explore these and other trails near you, check out our recent article.
As you continue along the trail by the Lower Don River, you’ll come to the abandoned CN Rail Bridge that runs parallel with the old abandoned Canadian Pacific Railway corridor which first began operations back in 1891. There’s also an active set of Canadian National Railway tracks if you want to do some trainspotting.
Crothers Woods is an urban nature lover’s paradise, rich in history and wildlife. It can be easy to overlook such hidden gems. They sit patiently, just waiting to be discovered right in your own backyard. Once you do discover them, you may wonder how you ever got along without them.
Greenrock Property Management loves to connect you to all the natural resources available in your community and give you a taste of the rich history that surrounds you. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street, 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.