Summer Fun – Biking The Don Valley Ravine to Evergreen Brickworks

It was a bit of an accident “discovering” the bike trail that goes from the Toronto’s Lakeshore up the lower Don Valley to the Brickworks.

What took us so long to get out there on the bike trail!

From Leslieville in Toronto’s east side to the Evergreen Brickworks – one our favourite places in Toronto – is so super close. But we hadn’t ventured the bike trail yet.

So we piled the kids into the bike trailer and set off for the day.

To see where to access the ravine, check out this cool interactive map: Love the Ravines.

 

I have to say, this is one amazing bike trail! Lush green expanses and a paved trail criss-crossing the Don River and winding the ravine right alongside the Don Valley Parkway.

#LovetheRavines

Birds chirping, fields upon fields of wild flowers, dense green trees, butterflies, bikers and walkers. Of course the hum of the DVP is a constant. But so is the feeling of being right in the heart of the city, yet apart from it and surrounded by nature.

Our green space is dwindling and this wild green space needs to be protected. Check out the Love the Ravine on Twitter (#LovetheRavines).

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Yup, we are just little specks in all that green!

This is a shot of us on the path going under the Bloor viaduct. So fun being down here and looking up at the subway going over head.

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I love the journey – but also the destination: the Saturday farmers’ market at the Evergreen Brickworks.

farmers market

Much more than a market, there are local wine makers, musical performers, arts/crafts, and food stalls. Fresh fruits, veggies, herbs. Artisan cheeses. Gourmet crackers and dips. And every other yummy thing you can think of.

It’s great for kids to know that our food is coming from farmers. Not from grocery stores.

Brickworks Farmers market

Here’s a mobile art installation to teach children about edible plants. She’s a part of the Eco-Art-Fest @ Todmorden Mills.

Todmorden Mills is right on the Don Valley Trail so a perfect next trip. It’s on until September.

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And then there are the food stalls. Doug McNish the vegan chef has a stall. Along with lots of yummy other stalls, including the homemade crepe guy. My personal favourite is the mushroom, spinach and cheese. Yum.

 

Walking off lunch around the grounds… IMG_4335photo-4

And finding a shady spot by the pond.   We actually spotted a rather large snapping turtle in the pond!

lush pond

 

You know we LOVE waterlilies here at Dream Child Organics….

 

lilies

 

 

A visit to Chimney Court the children’s garden is a must-do for the kiddies. My little one loves the sprinklers!

 

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The Evergreen Brickworks is truly one of the great treasures in Toronto.

It’s a former brick quarry that produced the red bricks used to build most of Toronto in its early days (including my own redbrick Victorian house). For years it was an industrial waste land.  Now the land is overgrown with wildflowers, naturalized ponds, trails. The former industrial buildings are converted and new ones house environmental and community-building organizations. It’s a really inspiring place.

 

Time to head home and was dreading having to head north on Bayview Avenue to meet back up with the path. Why can’t we just cut across?! (Right, a few train tracks and a river in the way).  But in the end it was just a slight detour and the path was smooth sailing on the lovely Don Valley bike trail all the way home.

This is a must-do for a fun, nature-inspired, kid-friendly, eco-friendly outing this summer.

And if you love all this green space, then check out this campaign, use the hashtag #LoveTheRavines, and sign the petition to let Toronto City Council know that you want our ravines to be added to the protected lands that make up Ontario’s Greenbelt.

 

What do you love to do with your kids in the summer? Post ideas in the comments below!

 

Blog by Shelley Smith, owner of Dream Child organic cotton bedding for kids. Dream Child bedding is bold, stylish and fun, made with organic cotton and toxin-free dyes and providing jobs to marginalized women in Toronto. Dream Child organic bedding is ethical and green from seed to seam to sleep.

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