Edwards Gardens to Wilket Creek path in Toronto

A set of photos from June 2024 of the Wilket Creek Park and trail and the many bridges heading south from Edwards Gardens at Lawrence and Leslie down the City of Toronto Biking Route 43 to just north of Eglinton Ave East in Sunnybrook Park.

I was on my bike, but it is also a great walk down the path. It is around 1.7km or just over a mile, south, running parallel to Leslie Street up the hill to your left. As the pictures show, there are a lot of trees and bridges over the river, but no playgrounds or playing fields in this stretch.

I highly recommend spending some time in Edwards Gardens themselves – after the war of 1812 it was owned by the Scottish weaver Alexander Milne for wool and saw mills, then turned into a ‘country estate’ by Rupert E. Edwards in 1944. By 1955 it sold to the City for $160,000 – well below market rate – to be turned into a public park. We also have some historic photos of Edwards Gardens here.

Separate from the parkland itself is the Toronto Botanical Garden (formerly Civic Garden Centre) which has called the park home since 1959.

Edwards Gardens parking lot and trailhead

We’ll start at Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Botanical Garden, a private not-for profit organization previously called the Civic Garden Centre, located at 755 Lawrence Ave E, North York, ON M3C 1P2. There is a lot of parking here, and a few TTC buses run past Leslie and Lawrence.

Photo of entrance sign with trees and flowers.
Photo of driveway leading into the parking lot with flowers, trees, and a car approaching.

Towards the south west corner of the parking lot you’ll see the Edwards Gardens Trail Head – part of the City of Toronto Biking Route 43. All the trails farther west in the gardens themselves are for walking only. Well worth a visit! But we’ll head south from here across the bridge and down the path.

Downhill to main Wilket Creek Recreational Trail

At the bottom of the hill you will see the southern end of the formal gardens, and a very clear No bicycle riding, no dogs sign on your right. Instead we’ll head to the left, south down the river and across many bridges.

South (down-river) along the Wilket Creek multi-use path

If you are on a bike please be aware that there are lots of walkers, baby strollers, and kids on this section of the path, even during the week. Also be careful of wooden bridges – they are very dangerous until they have dried off, after a rain.

Sidetrail up to Salonica Road and recognition of Beverley N. Salmon

Part way along the trail, just before a bridge, you will see a wooded path leading off to your right (west). It leads through the forest to steps, and more steps that will take you up to a residential neighbourhood and and entrance to the path at 30 Salonica Road.

At the top of the hill, by the road, you will find a commemorative plaque in honour of Beverley N. Salmon (1930-2023) which reads in part: “In recognition of Beverley N. Salmon’s significant contribution to civic government… A woman who proceeds with calm, caring, firm decisiveness, never leaving a stone unturned

Retrace your steps back to the main path, turn right and continue south, downstream…

Along the main part of the path there are also few side trails – two on your left that take you east to Leslie Street, one on the right that heads west up to the Sunnybrook playing fields.

South end of the trail – washroom and park road

After crossing many bridges you will eventually get to the end of the trail, where there is a washroom and the park road – turn to your left to continue south down the Don River, under Eglinton towards Ernest Thompson Seton Park, and eventually the trail that runs from the Elevated Wetlands east through Taylor Creek or turn right to head west and north into Sunnybrook Park – we have some photos from Glendon Forest. You’ll also notice part of the trail we were on is called the “Bata trail” (but I couldn’t find any other details online about that name.)

iIf you want to start here and enjoy the trail in the opposite direction there are a couple of free parking lots close by in Sunnybrook Park, and Eglinton Ave East is a short walk south if you are taking the TTC.

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