These picturesque ravines in Toronto follow the path of a partially buried creek
Williamson Park Ravine is the only one of the four that has the designation of being an environmentally significant area.
Nestled in a quiet residential community near Gerrard and Woodbine, a long wooden staircase leads down into the natural area of deciduous forest.
Small's Creek flows through the ravine before draining into Small's Pond, of which it's the largest tributary.
The creek is one of many streams that once flowed through the city, but due to development was entirely or partially buried underground.
It's visible at certain times of the year at the four ravines throughout this area, though. Just be careful where you step while at Williamson Park as it can be tricky to tell where the river begins and ends, especially when covered in snow.
Wooden planks have been laid down between the ravine slopes beside the creek so that visitors can make their way through the area.
Since the hike through the ravine is a bit on the shorter side, it's a good idea to continue your hike through another park within the Small's Creek ravine system.
Merrill Bridge Park is a great add-on, located just a 10-minute walk away. You'll have to make your way over on the street as the two ravines are disconnected by train tracks. Just head up to Woodbine Avenue to get to the other side of the tracks.
Here, you’ll find a good-sized dog park and pretty forest, as well as more creek views and wooden staircases and boardwalk.
There are also colourful ribbons around a lot of the trees in the area. A sign on a tree at either end of the park will tell you that these mark the trees that are at risk of being cut down due to a potential Metrolinx expansion that's said to begin in 2021.
Over 250 trees will be cleared in order to build a retaining wall in the ravine. Community members put up the ribbons and signs to spread the word about the project in hopes to save the small natural area in their backyard.
One community member who was out for a morning walk with their dog expressed that instead of tearing down and building over the natural area, they, along with many others from the community, hope the beautiful ravines can be connected.
Make sure to respect the park during your visit by picking up your trash to leave the area just as beautiful as you found it.
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