Sunnybrook Reach


1.2 km of Burke Brook from Bayview Ave. to the Don River

The Sunnybrook Reach is the last 1.2 km of Burke Brook, a ravine, from Bayview Avenue to The Don River, in Sunnybrook Park in the former City of North York. This reach passes through the former Kilgour estate, “Sunnybrook Farm.”

Bloorview Macmillan Centre Toronto Rehab Sunnybrook Farm Canadian National Institute for the Blind Lake Iroquois shoreline Sunnybrook Hospital Toronto Rehab

Start on the east side of Bayview Avenue, just north of the CNIB building and pickup the trail down into ravine across from the Sherwood Park trail. The descent to the creek is steep and at places difficult, passing over a disturbed slope on which grow Manitoba Maple, Crack Willow, Aspen and Elm.

On reaching the lowest point, take the trail on the north side of the creek which is easy, being mostly on bottom flats covered by Manitoba Maple, Elm, Ironwood, White Pine, Yellow Birch, Cottonwood, Ash, Crack Willow, White Birch, Sugar Maple, Black Cherry and Hemlock. Some Japanese Knot Weed was noted. There is a good stand of White Pine, Red Oak, Elm, Hemlock, Beech and other trees on the old slopes of the ravine to the north and south. Sunnybrook Hospital is visible to the north, particularly in the winter when the leaves are off the trees. Another point of interest is that the land here and about a quarter mile north was in one of the Clergy Reserves running east from Bayview to Leslie.

The stream is natural with curves, gravel bars and riffles. A fair sized erosion bank can be seen at one point on the south side, exposing a showing of interglacial deposits, either the Don Beds or the Scarborough Beds. Occasionally one can see a White Pine chico riddled with Woodpecker holes. It is a pleasant walk through interesting woodland to the open grassy lawns of Sunnybrook Park where Burke Brook enters the Don River.

From here one can walk up a road, closed to vehicles, to the grounds of Toronto Rehab, Lyndhurst Centre, where Scots Pine and Black Locust and other introduced species of trees have been planted. West of Toronto Rehab is the Bloorview Macmillan Centre. This centre has a noteworthy photovoltaic project and behind it may be found “The Spiral Garden” a special childrens’ garden. Walk through the grounds to Sutherland Drive, which was once the lane to Sunnybrook Farm. One can walk to Eglinton Ave. and the TTC bus over the flat terrain of the former Don Bay of Lake Iroquois. The streetscape is dominated by Norway Maple with some Manitoba Maple, Crab-apples, Colorado Spruce, Yew, White Cedar a large White Elm and Silver Maple.