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Don Valley East

Ward 16

Leaside Spur Trail
York Mills Road and Scarsdale Road
The Leaside Spur Trail is an extension of the Don Mills Trail that runs along a former CN Railway line. Remnants of old railway equipment can be seen along the trail.

Dawn Redwood at Edwards Gardens
755 Lawrence Avenue East
Beautiful roses, wildflowers, extensive rockery in the valley and Wilket Creek running through, make Edwards Gardens a popular destination for flora lovers and photographers. Among the formal gardens and brilliant floral displays, there is much more to explore including rock gardens, a greenhouse, wooden arch bridges, a waterwheel, fountains and many walking trails. Near the Children’s Centre and Teaching Garden a massive, rare dawn redwood tree sits. It is believed to be one of the oldest deciduous conifers in Toronto.

Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence Avenue East
The Toronto Botanical Garden offers an array of 17 award-winning themed gardens spanning nearly four acres, designed to educate and inspire.

Wilket Creek Park & Ancient Lake Iroquois
1100 Leslie Street
Wilket Creek Park offers scenic trails filled with plenty of undisturbed woodland, excellent for nature walks. This is also a popular spot for local cyclists. Several uncommon bird species visit here as a stop-over point during seasonal migrations and mature coniferous and deciduous trees can be found along the valley wall. Follow along the park trail under you see a steep cliff on the right. When the last glaciers retreated from Toronto, between 13,000 and 14,000 years ago, deep layers of till, silt and clay were left behind. Water levels rose significantly, creating Lake Iroquois. As glaciers retreated, land levels slowly rose, water eventually drained through the St. Lawrence River Valley and the shoreline receded to its present location some 8,000 years ago. The Lake Iroquois shoreline is an easily detected landscape feature and can also be seen at the Scarborough Bluffs.

Aga Khan Museum
77 Wynford Dr, North York
An urban oasis beckons at the Aga Khan Park, a picturesque site that encompasses the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Spirit, art, and nature are combined in a contemporary context while maintaining a core connection to the history of Islamic culture and civilizations. Together, these three spaces draw on the strength of Toronto’s diversity to form a cultural hub within the city. The formal gardens across from the Museum feature five reflecting pools that mirror their surroundings. Pebbled pathways and two symmetrical serviceberry orchards offer a peaceful space for quiet contemplation. Beyond a perimeter of emerald cedar hedges, the gardens flow into a 17-acre park.

High Water Mark Installation
91 Wynford Heights Crescent
This installation is located along the East Don Trail. Follow the path past the tennis courts until the trail leads under a railway bridge. High Water Mark is an art installation by Robert Sprachman commissioned by the City of Toronto in 2011. It highlights the importance of the Don River and its water, reminding people that the water can be both tranquil and powerful. Each suspended stone is inscribed with a year and represents the height that the floodwaters could have reached in that particular area.

Charles Sauriol Conservation Area
1191 Lawrence Avenue East
Charles Sauriol was born in Toronto in 1904 and became a passionate conservationist. He worked hard to preserve the natural state of the Don River and co-founded the Don River Conservation Association in 1946. The Charles Sauriol Conservation Area can be found southeast of Lawrence Ave. and the Don Valley Parkway. It is part of the extensive East Don River Trail system on the east side of the Don Valley Parkway and the Don River. The extensive trail system takes you through a forested area where you can spot an array of wildlife and plant species.

Moccasin Trail Park & Rainbow Tunnel
55 Green Belt Drive
This well-used neighbourhood park features walking paths through a ravine forest and around a large pond. The Rainbow Tunnel is most often seen by those driving north on the Don Valley Parkway. The original rainbow, at the entrance to the tunnel, was painted in renegade fashion over 40 years ago by Norwegian BC Johnson, in memory of his friend Sigrid. The mural is an upside down smile for Sigrid to look down on from above. The mural was frequently vandalized and Johnson returned to restore it many times. As part of the improvements to the East Don Trail system, residents asked to have the rainbow restored. The City’s Parks Forestry and Recreation engaged Mural Routes to restore the mural and to enhance it by painting the interior of the tunnel and adding another rainbow at the other end. Participants in mural workshops held at Flemingdon Library helped with the design concept. Lead artist Rob Matejka was assisted by Anthony Delacruz, local youth and many volunteers to paint the mural. The over 60-foot-long mural depicts urban and natural scenes in four rainbow-coloured seasons.

Don Mills & Supernova
939 Lawrence Avenue East
Supernova is a clock tower and sculpture that features 1950s model homes exploding in all directions from the core. Created by celebrated Canadian artist Douglas Coupland, it speaks to the Don Mills area’s building boom in the mid-1950s. Don Mills was planned as a model town, a “New Town” complete with schools, churches, industry and the latest in shopping facilities. It was to become a model for others to follow such as Flemington Village and Yorkwoods Village. Three plaques on the history of Don Mills can be found at Marie Labatte Rd & Aggie Hogg Gardens.

Gosia Komorski Art Box
The Donway E & Lawrence Avenue East
The design of this art box is a version of a quilt. Each patch has a bold pattern and colour that forms into a larger design. While the patterns and colours vary greatly, they fit together, much like Toronto’s cultural mosaic.

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Neighbourhood Stroll: Banbury-Don Mills

Stroll through this neighbourhood’s bustling main streets along Don Mills and York Mills roads as well as Lawrence Avenue East to visit a wide variety of local businesses. Then explore the oasis of green space, art and architecture included on this stroll, including Toronto’s iconic rainbow tunnel and the Aga Khan Museum.

Main Streets: Don Mills Road, Lawrence Avenue East and York Mills Road.

Note: Some neighbourhood strolls may cross over into more than one ward.

  1. Leaside Spur Trail
    York Mills Road and Scarsdale Road
    The Leaside Spur Trail is an extension of the Don Mills Trail that runs along a former CN Railway line. Remnants of old railway equipment can be seen along the trail.

  2. Dawn Redwood at Edwards Gardens
    755 Lawrence Avenue East
    Beautiful roses, wildflowers, extensive rockery in the valley and Wilket Creek running through, make Edwards Gardens a popular destination for flora lovers and photographers. Among the formal gardens and brilliant floral displays, there is much more to explore including rock gardens, a greenhouse, wooden arch bridges, a waterwheel, fountains and many walking trails. Near the Children’s Centre and Teaching Garden a massive, rare dawn redwood tree sits. It is believed to be one of the oldest deciduous conifers in Toronto.

  3. Toronto Botanical Garden
    777 Lawrence Avenue East
    The Toronto Botanical Garden offers an array of 17 award-winning themed gardens spanning nearly four acres, designed to educate and inspire.

  4. Wilket Creek Park & Ancient Lake Iroquois
    1100 Leslie Street
    Wilket Creek Park offers scenic trails filled with plenty of undisturbed woodland, excellent for nature walks. This is also a popular spot for local cyclists. Several uncommon bird species visit here as a stop-over point during seasonal migrations and mature coniferous and deciduous trees can be found along the valley wall. Follow along the park trail under you see a steep cliff on the right. When the last glaciers retreated from Toronto, between 13,000 and 14,000 years ago, deep layers of till, silt and clay were left behind. Water levels rose significantly, creating Lake Iroquois. As glaciers retreated, land levels slowly rose, water eventually drained through the St. Lawrence River Valley and the shoreline receded to its present location some 8,000 years ago. The Lake Iroquois shoreline is an easily detected landscape feature and can also be seen at the Scarborough Bluffs.

  5. Aga Khan Museum
    77 Wynford Dr, North York
    An urban oasis beckons at the Aga Khan Park, a picturesque site that encompasses the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre, Toronto. Spirit, art, and nature are combined in a contemporary context while maintaining a core connection to the history of Islamic culture and civilizations. Together, these three spaces draw on the strength of Toronto’s diversity to form a cultural hub within the city. The formal gardens across from the Museum feature five reflecting pools that mirror their surroundings. Pebbled pathways and two symmetrical serviceberry orchards offer a peaceful space for quiet contemplation. Beyond a perimeter of emerald cedar hedges, the gardens flow into a 17-acre park.

  6. High Water Mark Installation
    91 Wynford Heights Crescent
    This installation is located along the East Don Trail. Follow the path past the tennis courts until the trail leads under a railway bridge. High Water Mark is an art installation by Robert Sprachman commissioned by the City of Toronto in 2011. It highlights the importance of the Don River and its water, reminding people that the water can be both tranquil and powerful. Each suspended stone is inscribed with a year and represents the height that the floodwaters could have reached in that particular area.

  7. Charles Sauriol Conservation Area
    1191 Lawrence Avenue East
    Charles Sauriol was born in Toronto in 1904 and became a passionate conservationist. He worked hard to preserve the natural state of the Don River and co-founded the Don River Conservation Association in 1946. The Charles Sauriol Conservation Area can be found southeast of Lawrence Ave. and the Don Valley Parkway. It is part of the extensive East Don River Trail system on the east side of the Don Valley Parkway and the Don River. The extensive trail system takes you through a forested area where you can spot an array of wildlife and plant species.

  8. Moccasin Trail Park & Rainbow Tunnel
    55 Green Belt Drive
    This well-used neighbourhood park features walking paths through a ravine forest and around a large pond. The Rainbow Tunnel is most often seen by those driving north on the Don Valley Parkway. The original rainbow, at the entrance to the tunnel, was painted in renegade fashion over 40 years ago by Norwegian BC Johnson, in memory of his friend Sigrid. The mural is an upside down smile for Sigrid to look down on from above. The mural was frequently vandalized and Johnson returned to restore it many times. As part of the improvements to the East Don Trail system, residents asked to have the rainbow restored. The City’s Parks Forestry and Recreation engaged Mural Routes to restore the mural and to enhance it by painting the interior of the tunnel and adding another rainbow at the other end. Participants in mural workshops held at Flemingdon Library helped with the design concept. Lead artist Rob Matejka was assisted by Anthony Delacruz, local youth and many volunteers to paint the mural. The over 60-foot-long mural depicts urban and natural scenes in four rainbow-coloured seasons.

  9. Don Mills & Supernova
    939 Lawrence Avenue East
    Supernova is a clock tower and sculpture that features 1950s model homes exploding in all directions from the core. Created by celebrated Canadian artist Douglas Coupland, it speaks to the Don Mills area’s building boom in the mid-1950s. Don Mills was planned as a model town, a “New Town” complete with schools, churches, industry and the latest in shopping facilities. It was to become a model for others to follow such as Flemington Village and Yorkwoods Village. Three plaques on the history of Don Mills can be found at Marie Labatte Rd & Aggie Hogg Gardens.

  10. Gosia Komorski Art Box
    The Donway E & Lawrence Avenue East
    The design of this art box is a version of a quilt. Each patch has a bold pattern and colour that forms into a larger design. While the patterns and colours vary greatly, they fit together, much like Toronto’s cultural mosaic.

Accessibility information: The Gosia Komorski Art Box, Don Mills and Supernova are all viewable from the street. Leaside Spur Trail is fully paved throughout. The Aga Khan Museum Park and Toronto Botanical Gardens are wheelchair accessible. Please note that the remaining points of interest in this stroll may include steep hills, stairs and unpaved areas. This includes Charles Sauriol Conservation Area, Dawn Redwood at Edwards Gardens, Moccasin Trail Park & Rainbow Tunnel, Wilket Creek Park & Ancient Lake Iroquois and the High Water Mark Installation.