Ontario Science Centre, Don Mills Road, North York, ON, Canada
Grab a friend
You’ll want to do this 11km run with a run buddy; not only will it be more fun to weave through the Don Valley with someone else, it’ll also make it easier to have a vehicle at each end of this point-to-point route. Meet up at Riverdale Farm and park a car there, then head to the Science Centre and start your run from there. Another option? Double back to the beginning for a long 22km run day, or take transit to go totally car-free (transit can work great for point-to-point routes).
Start with the forest
Starting at the Science Centre, work your way over with a 4km jaunt to Crothers Woods to see the towering oak, maple and beech trees (some of them are over 100 years old). Get back on the trail for a 1km stretch to Todmorden Mills Heritage Site for a peek into what life was like for Torontonians in the late 19th and early 20th century. You’ll wind past historic homes, the Papermill Theatre and the wildflower preserve.
Keep the route going for another 1.5km to Evergreen Brickworks. Formerly an industrial site where bricks were made for historic buildings in the city, it’s now been repurposed into an iconic urban multi-use green space (and was the site for past MEC Outdoor Nation events).
The area is home to a farmers’ market, a garden market, a beautiful trail system and a skating rink in the winter. You can make an early stop for your run here if you’re ready for a bite; a series of rotating markets and festivals mean there’s always something exciting going on.
Cap off your 11km run at Riverdale Farm, the site of Toronto’s first zoo. About 3km from Evergreen Brickworks, this restored 19th century farm is free to explore and is home to farm animals, a duck pond, tree-shrouded pathways and a handful of the original zoo buildings.