Nature Walks Around Don Mills: The Leaside Spur Trail

We stumbled upon this trail on our way to Edward’s Gardens the other week. Feeling adventurous, we decided to abandon our original plan and check it out instead – heading south off Lawrence, just east of Leslie. It was obviously an old abandoned railway line, but that’s all I knew about it when we started down the path. The path runs behind a few blocks of Don Mills houses – but then gets a little wilder as it runs by a ravine, small trickling river, and the backs of some industrial buildings. If you don’t want me to spoil the ending, stop reading – but I confess it’s a little anticlimactic – after about 15 minutes of walking, you end up at an impasse – a chain link fence blocking off access any further south, because there are railway lines there.

I especially liked this walk (despite the alarming overgrowth of Dog Strangling Vine) because it is again one of those places in Don Mills that you find yourself in, that makes you feel like you’re in the country, when you’re in the middle of the city. Milkweed pods bursting open. birds chirping. Water gurgling. Good stuff.

A little googling after the adventure was over informed me we had actually been walking the ‘Leaside Spur Trail’ – and there are some plans afoot to link it up with more paths, so at the current terminus, you will be able to cross south over the railway and Eglinton – hooking up with yet more parks and paths.

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2 Responses to Nature Walks Around Don Mills: The Leaside Spur Trail

  1. Ronald Kluger says:

    You might find a hole in the fence at the end quite easily then continue south to the end of the former rail line to the active tracks. Then you might cross the tracks with care as it is a live and active CP line. Then one would follow the other side south to the end of the fence on the east side of the tracks. This is all private property, so of course I wouldn’t do it. Then after you go around the end of the fence you’d find some bush. Turn left, north, into a clearing and there you’d be on the Celestica property, where you’d find a paved (private) road that goes south under Eglinton Avenue. Just south of the underpass, on the right, there is a woodland path into ET Seton Park, entering at the northwest corner of the clearing that is ominously signed as the “Lung Cancer Canada Grove”. Breathe deeply and walk back through the park. Since the City has been unable to negotiate an exit from the south end of the Leaside Spur Bike Trail to Leslie, some of us hope that they can negotiate a rail crossing and then an understanding with Celestica. Or maybe there will just be more condos and a trail to nowhere as the Celestica property is for sale and ripe for development.

  2. Jane says:

    I like how your directions are all hypothetical, hehe.

    I’d do it, but I am usually with a stroller… might make the adventure a bit hard! I’ll have to stick to the more beaten paths until my kid gets older. Thanks for writing!

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