Discovering the Hidden Gem: Crothers Woods in East York, Ontario

Located in East York, Ontario lies a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts – Crothers Woods. This urban oasis is a testament to the city’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.

Crothers Woods, spanning approximately 52 hectares, is located in the Don River Valley. Its main entrance is found at the end of Redway Road, with additional access points along Pottery Road and Bayview Avenue. The park is just a short drive from downtown Toronto, making it an easily accessible retreat for city dwellers yearning for a dose of nature.

The history of Crothers Woods is as captivating as its lush landscapes. Once part of the vast Don Valley Brick Works operation, the area has transformed over the years into a vibrant woodland. Its name pays tribute to George Crothers, who owned a hardware business in the late 19th century and whose family once owned a large portion of the land.

Today, Crothers Woods is renowned for its well-maintained trails, attracting hikers, cyclists, and bird watchers alike. With 10 kilometers of multi-use trails that meander through mature forests and offer stunning views of the city, there’s something for everyone. The park is also a popular spot for educational walks, where one can learn about the local flora and fauna.

When it comes to the best time to visit, spring and fall are particularly delightful. Spring brings a carpet of trilliums and other wildflowers, while autumn sets the forest ablaze with vibrant colors. However, the park’s beauty shines throughout the year, making any season a good time for a visit.

Crothers Woods doesn’t stand alone in its appeal; it’s surrounded by other noteworthy attractions. The nearby Evergreen Brick Works, a former quarry-turned-environmental community center, offers farmers’ markets, workshops, and art exhibits. Additionally, the Don Valley Brick Works Park, with its beautiful wetlands and wildlife habitats, is just a stone’s throw away.

Serena Gundy Park and Sunnybrook Park are also nearby, providing further opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration.

To reach Crothers Woods, take the Don Valley Parkway and exit at Don Mills Road. Continue south until you reach Millwood Road, then turn right onto Redway Road. Follow this road until it ends at the parking lot. Alternatively, for those using public transportation, the 56 Leaside bus from Eglinton Station stops near the entrance on Redway Road.

Crothers Woods, with its rich history, inviting trails, and convenient location, offers an escape from city life without leaving the city limits. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful spot to unwind, this park is worth a visit.