david a balfour park toronto

David A. Balfour is an epic ravine and park in the centre of Toronto

David A. Balfour Park is on the cusp of massive change.

A five-minute walk from St. Clair Station, this 20.5 hectare park will eventually be razed down completely in order to upgrade the water reservoir it sits on: the Rosehill Reservoir. 

By next summer, everything from the park's children's playground to its gated garden will be destroyed.

david balfour park torontoThe good news, however, is that minus a few permanent demolitions, the park will be rebuilt with mostly upgrades.

david balfour park torontoThanks to $3.9 million dollars dedicated to the park via Toronto City Council, David Balfour is slated to see more trees (35 are being cut down for this project), new washrooms and more gardens by the time the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation is complete in 2021. 

david balfour park torontoThe Rosehill Reservoir is Toronto's oldest and largest. Built around 1873, the reservoir—which has a capacity of 33 million gallons of water—hasn't seen repairs since 1966.

david balfour park torontoFor years, it's acted as the foundation for the sprawling park that is David Balfour, where community members have gathered to enjoy the land's array of ornamental fountains and reflecting pools (all of which have been removed and barricaded by construction walls already.) david balfour park torontoToday, what remains is the playground and the community-tended Rosehill Gardens, which sprouted from the grounds of an abandoned playground nearly ten years ago and has since transformed into a beautiful gated space blooming with flowers. 

david balfour park torontoAdorned with wedding day-worthy pergolas, memorial trees and benches, Rosehill Gardens is a source of great pride for the locals who have volunteered to weed and water it.

david balfour park torontoSoon, this too will be gone, and green thumbs will have to start from scratch once again to built the new garden back to its former green glory.

david balfour park torontoThose who walk their dogs can't bring them into the Rosehill Gardens but they can walk them down to the connecting David Balfour Park Trail, which runs through the ravine below.

david balfour park torontoCertain entrances to the trail have blocked off since construction began, but you should be able to find your way down. 

david balfour park torontoOnce you've descended, you'll find yourself in a lush, forested getaway of steep paths and the sound of the Don River tributary, called Yellow Creek, flowing by. 

david balfour park torontoThe trail's loop doesn't take too long to walk, but it's definitely a bit of a hike, with a couple of bridges and slanted walkways to traverse before heading back up to the park. 

Though construction will soon take over David A. Balfour Park , the ravine and the trail that runs through it will remain untouched, meaning we'll have at least have a nature getaway as the wonders of industrialism work their magic up above. 

david balfour toronto

Photos by

Tanya Mok

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