Parkwoods Donalda

Dan Bergeron Mural
Underpass on Lawrence Avenue East, west of Carnforth Road
Representing the divergent themes of nature and architecture this visually striking mural relates to both the physical and historical aspects of the surrounding community.

Jubilee United Church
40 Underhill Drive
Fans of the TV show 'Orphan Black' will recognize this church as a filming location for its second season. Alison rehearses for the musical here and it's also the location of Aynsley's memorial service.

Maryvale Farm/Senator Frank O'Connor House
Along a paved trail leading east from Mission Drive. The house is on the north (left) side of the trail, just before Senator O'Connor College School.
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. Built in 1933, this house was the home of politician and businessman Frank Patrick O'Connor. He was the founder of Laura Secord chocolates (which, back then, was a single shop on Yonge Street) and was also appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1935. The O'Connor Buildings, which include the estate, coach house, and shed, were given to the Toronto Catholic District School Board in 2000. Rehabilitation and renovation work began in 2010, to repair the deterioration that had occurred in the buildings. The estate is now used for various community organizations and as a teaching space.

Senator O'Connor College School
60 Rowena Drive
This catholic high school is named after Senator Frank O'Connor. Notable alumni include: former Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, long distance swimmer Cindy Nicholas, who was the first woman to complete a two-way crossing of the English Channel, Juno-Award-winning soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, Nasri Atweh (Grammy-Award-winning lead singer of MAGIC!) and Tim Micallef of the sports talk radio show Tim & Friends.

Deerlick Creek and Brookbanks Ravine
The trail begins on Brookbanks Drive just north of Overbank Crescent, on the left hand side of the road.
Dr. Mima Kapches, an archaeologist with the Royal Ontario Museum, conducted several digs in the backyards lining the ravine in the late 1980s and 1990s. During one of her digs she discovered a Meadowood-cache blade from 1000 B.C, making it one of the oldest ever discovered! She also uncovered a variety of artifacts from the Middle Archaic period, including a small peddle that displayed a human face in effigy and was believed to have been from 4,700 B.C, making it one of the oldest dated human representations in northeastern North America. These discoveries and a few others made in an adjacent backyard have led local archaeologists to hypothesize that the ravine may have once served as a seasonal pottery production and firing campsite.

Brookbanks Park and Trail
The entrance to the park is on Brookbanks Drive, just west of Underhill Drive.
This 26.6-hectare park lies south of York Mills Road and follows the ravine along Deerlick Creek, a tributary to the East Don River. The park has several branches into the surrounding neighbourhoods, which are connected to the park through a network of trails about 4 km long. Two children's playgrounds are located in the park; one is near Crestwood Preparatory College and the other is on Valley Woods Road just south of York Mills Road. A splash pad is located beside the playground off of Valley Woods Drive.

Sarah Collard Murals
Brookbanks Drive and Don Valley Parkway
The murals are titled 'Morning Ride' and 'Trillium Path'. The artist was especially receptive to community input during the creation of the murals subtly integrating elements such as the Donalda House Barns (originally a gristmill in the area) David Duncan House and Milne House, all of which enhance the murals' uniqueness to Don Mills. These and other elements are embedded in a colourful palatte representative of natural ecosystems found in the Don Valley.

The Gray Mills/Don Mills
On the south side of the York Mills Road bridge crossing the Don Valley
*Private property. Please observe area from the sidewalk only. This land was first purchased by Alexander Gray, one of six brothers to settle in this area in the early 1800s from Scotland. Collectively, the brothers accumulated 1000 acres along the Don Valley, building a saw mill on the west side of the river and a grist mill on the east side. These mills and others built along the Don River are what gave rise to the name Don Mills. Now a private golf course, the grist mill remains on the property along with two of the brothers' houses and some farm buildings later built by another family who purchased pieces of the property.

Graydon Manor
185 Graydon Hall Drive
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the parking lot only. This English Manor style house was built by financier Henry Rupert Bain in 1936, and it was likely named after the Gray family who (from the early 1800s until 1914) owned and operated a grist mill on the banks of the Don River. Rupert Bain's vision was to create a 'sportsman's paradise'. The estate included a park, race track, lodge house, stables for raising champion racehorses (housing over 30 thoroughbreds at its peak as well as polo ponies) and a large kennel for raising hunting dogs. The estate also included a large farmhouse that pre-dated the manor. A fountain from the central garden that featured a lady kneeling and holding a bowl is now located at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Betty Sutherland Trail and Park
North side of Duncan Mills Road, west of Don Mills Road
The Betty Sutherland Trail is named after Betty Sutherland, a former member of City Council and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. She was devoted to the improvement of recreation facilities within Toronto. The park is one of a series of parks along this trail and the East Don River. Bird watching is a popular pastime within the park and along the trail. Stop by and take a stroll along the Don and see what a variety of wildlife are still found in the area.

Explore Parkwoods Donalda

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

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Don't Miss

Artists from various disciplines present messages of hope and resilience throughout the city in the form of text-based visual art installations.
Kate Nankervis
Toronto Public Library: Don Mills Branch
888 Lawrence Ave E, North York, ON M3C 1P6

Check out main street storefront art installations, in the neighbourhood or nearby, created by Local Arts Organizations and Business Improvement Areas across the City.

Painting Icon StrollTO Guided Walks:

On select weekend dates, join guided walks and discover the diverse histories and cultural significance behind neighbourhood landmarks and attractions.
Learn more and register.

We hope that you enjoyed exploring this Toronto neighbourhood and found many other points of interest along the way. While StrollTO highlights some of the 'hidden gems' in the neighbourhood, there may be others that could be included in a future edition. Would you like to share a point of interest that you discovered in the neighbourhood? Email us at [email protected].

Neighbourhood Stroll

Bordered by the Don Valley to the west, Victoria Park Avenue to the east, Highway 401 to the north and Lawrence Avenue East to the south, green spaces and historic sites can be found around every corner in this neighbourhood. Great local businesses are located on Victoria Park Avenue, Lawrence Avenue East, and York Mills Road.

Main Streets: Victoria Park Avenue, Lawrence Avenue East and York Mills Road
  1. Dan Bergeron Mural
    Underpass on Lawrence Avenue East, west of Carnforth Road
    Representing the divergent themes of nature and architecture this visually striking mural relates to both the physical and historical aspects of the surrounding community.
  2. Jubilee United Church
    40 Underhill Drive
    Fans of the TV show 'Orphan Black' will recognize this church as a filming location for its second season. Alison rehearses for the musical here and it's also the location of Aynsley's memorial service.
  3. Maryvale Farm/Senator Frank O'Connor House
    Along a paved trail leading east from Mission Drive. The house is on the north (left) side of the trail, just before Senator O'Connor College School.
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. Built in 1933, this house was the home of politician and businessman Frank Patrick O'Connor. He was the founder of Laura Secord chocolates (which, back then, was a single shop on Yonge Street) and was also appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1935. The O'Connor Buildings, which include the estate, coach house, and shed, were given to the Toronto Catholic District School Board in 2000. Rehabilitation and renovation work began in 2010, to repair the deterioration that had occurred in the buildings. The estate is now used for various community organizations and as a teaching space.
  4. Senator O'Connor College School
    60 Rowena Drive
    This catholic high school is named after Senator Frank O'Connor. Notable alumni include: former Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, long distance swimmer Cindy Nicholas, who was the first woman to complete a two-way crossing of the English Channel, Juno-Award-winning soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, Nasri Atweh (Grammy-Award-winning lead singer of MAGIC!) and Tim Micallef of the sports talk radio show Tim & Friends.
  5. Deerlick Creek and Brookbanks Ravine
    The trail begins on Brookbanks Drive just north of Overbank Crescent, on the left hand side of the road.
    Dr. Mima Kapches, an archaeologist with the Royal Ontario Museum, conducted several digs in the backyards lining the ravine in the late 1980s and 1990s. During one of her digs she discovered a Meadowood-cache blade from 1000 B.C, making it one of the oldest ever discovered! She also uncovered a variety of artifacts from the Middle Archaic period, including a small peddle that displayed a human face in effigy and was believed to have been from 4,700 B.C, making it one of the oldest dated human representations in northeastern North America. These discoveries and a few others made in an adjacent backyard have led local archaeologists to hypothesize that the ravine may have once served as a seasonal pottery production and firing campsite.
  6. Brookbanks Park and Trail
    The entrance to the park is on Brookbanks Drive, just west of Underhill Drive.
    This 26.6-hectare park lies south of York Mills Road and follows the ravine along Deerlick Creek, a tributary to the East Don River. The park has several branches into the surrounding neighbourhoods, which are connected to the park through a network of trails about 4 km long. Two children's playgrounds are located in the park; one is near Crestwood Preparatory College and the other is on Valley Woods Road just south of York Mills Road. A splash pad is located beside the playground off of Valley Woods Drive.
  7. Sarah Collard Murals
    Brookbanks Drive and Don Valley Parkway
    The murals are titled 'Morning Ride' and 'Trillium Path'. The artist was especially receptive to community input during the creation of the murals subtly integrating elements such as the Donalda House Barns (originally a gristmill in the area) David Duncan House and Milne House, all of which enhance the murals' uniqueness to Don Mills. These and other elements are embedded in a colourful palatte representative of natural ecosystems found in the Don Valley.
  8. The Gray Mills/Don Mills
    On the south side of the York Mills Road bridge crossing the Don Valley
    *Private property. Please observe area from the sidewalk only. This land was first purchased by Alexander Gray, one of six brothers to settle in this area in the early 1800s from Scotland. Collectively, the brothers accumulated 1000 acres along the Don Valley, building a saw mill on the west side of the river and a grist mill on the east side. These mills and others built along the Don River are what gave rise to the name Don Mills. Now a private golf course, the grist mill remains on the property along with two of the brothers' houses and some farm buildings later built by another family who purchased pieces of the property.
  9. Graydon Manor
    185 Graydon Hall Drive
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the parking lot only. This English Manor style house was built by financier Henry Rupert Bain in 1936, and it was likely named after the Gray family who (from the early 1800s until 1914) owned and operated a grist mill on the banks of the Don River. Rupert Bain's vision was to create a 'sportsman's paradise'. The estate included a park, race track, lodge house, stables for raising champion racehorses (housing over 30 thoroughbreds at its peak as well as polo ponies) and a large kennel for raising hunting dogs. The estate also included a large farmhouse that pre-dated the manor. A fountain from the central garden that featured a lady kneeling and holding a bowl is now located at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
  10. Betty Sutherland Trail and Park
    North side of Duncan Mills Road, west of Don Mills Road
    The Betty Sutherland Trail is named after Betty Sutherland, a former member of City Council and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. She was devoted to the improvement of recreation facilities within Toronto. The park is one of a series of parks along this trail and the East Don River. Bird watching is a popular pastime within the park and along the trail. Stop by and take a stroll along the Don and see what a variety of wildlife are still found in the area.

Accessibility information: All points of interest are viewable from the street. Portions of Deerlick Creek, Brookbanks Ravine and Brookbanks Park and Trail are mostly unpaved. Betty Sutherland Trail & Park is paved.

Soundtracks of the City

From global superstars to local favourites and ones to watch, the Soundtracks of the City playlists all feature artists who have called Toronto home. Whether it’s a lyric about the neighborhood, an artist representing a cultural community, or a tie-in to the StrollTO itinerary itself, all the music reflects connections to an individual ward or the City as a whole.

Music was chosen based on an artist’s Spotify presence and each song’s broad appeal, as well as its associations with the cultures, languages and ethnicities that reflect Toronto’s neighborhoods and diverse music scene. Soundtracks of the City combines 425 songs that feature more than 500 different local artists or acts, showcasing songs in 23 different languages.