York University Heights

Black Creek Pioneer Village
1000 Murray Ross Parkway
Black Creek Pioneer Village offers an opportunity to explore nineteenth century buildings with unique hands-on activities, and a chance to see heritage-bred farm animals and beautiful gardens. Opened in 1960, the Village features a collection of many of the oldest heritage homes and farm buildings from Ontario, a few dating back to early 1800s. It is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

Ruben Komangapik and Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley 'Ahqahizu' Sculpture
4700 Keele Street (front entrance of York Lions Stadium)
Carved from a 26-tonne piece of Stanstead granite, 'Ahqahizu' (a-ka-hee-zu) is a giant Inuk soccer player. According to stories told in Nunavut, the Aurora Borealis are aksarnek, meaning the trails of spirits playing soccer, waiting for their return to human form to play by the light of the moon on the frozen sea ice. The sculpture, commissioned by York University and the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage project, is a symbol of hope and friendship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. 'Ahqahizu' was unveiled on National Aboriginal Day 2016.

Archives of Ontario
134 Ian MacDonald Boulevard
The Archives of Ontario is the largest provincial archives in Canada. As the premier source of information about the history of Ontario and its people, the Archives has been collecting, preserving, and making available the province's documentary heritage since its founding in 1903 (it moved to its present location in 2007). Besides documenting the decisions, functions, and activities of Ontario's government, the Archives' collections also include donated records from individuals, businesses, and organizations that demonstrate the province's history and development. The collections date back to the sixteenth century and includes everything from handwritten letters and maps, to artwork and sound recordings; their textual records alone stand at a staggering 158,000 metres, equivalent to 286 CN Towers. The Archives also frequently hosts public building tours, presentations, free exhibits, and educational workshops for students.

Art Gallery of York University
8 Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street
The Art Gallery of York University is a public art gallery that provides exhibitions, programs and related activities focusing on contemporary art. Its aim is to enrich the cultural and intellectual environment of York University and the surrounding regions. On behalf of the university, the gallery maintains a permanent collection and outdoor sculpture garden. The gallery presents exhibitions of contemporary art and undertakes an extensive award-winning publishing program. Their Out There program works with youth from the Jane and Finch area including programming in the gallery. Admission is free.

Anatolia Islamic Centre North York
73 Alness Street
Established in 1998, Anatolia Islamic Centre North York is an Islamic organization with a long history of social involvement with both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The organization strives to build strong bridges of dialogue between the communities to promote understanding and cooperation for peace. They primarily serve the Muslim community in the Greater Toronto Area by hosting Islamic and Arabic cultural events and providing Arabic language lessons. The site also houses a mosque for worship. Additionally, the organization provides counseling, religious, and employment programs for youth and settlement services for newcomers.

Ghazaleh Rastgar Artbox
Finch Avenue West and Keele Street
*Please note that there is extensive construction occurring around this intersection for the Finch West LRT. Please exercise caution when viewing. I wanted to create a design that brings focus to oceans and marine life. There's major threat to ocean health and consequently our health. I'm hoping this design serves as a reminder to rethink the use of plastic and reduce, reuse and recycle properly.

Fountainhead Park
445 Sentinel Road
This 4.4 hectare park at Sentinel Road and Finch Avenue West features three lit tennis courts, a tennis clubhouse, a multipurpose sports field, and a children's playground.

Black Creek Parkland
1650 Finch Avenue West
Black Creek Parkland is an excellent example of a transformed urban space: what previously was a groomed parkland has been returned to a more natural wilderness. The north-end of the park is accessed from the visitor parking lot at Black Creek Pioneer Village by heading down the path into the valley. This leads to the Black Creek trail, a year-round accessible 6.3 kilometre moderately trafficked point-to-point trail that features a river and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. The park follows Black Creek through the ravine and south to Finch Avenue West, where it connects with Derrydowns Park.

Derrydowns Park
271 Derrydown Road
Derrydowns Park is a 28 hectare park that follows the Black Creek ravine as it meanders southward. Finch Avenue West at the north-end of the park separates it from Black Creek Parkland. In addition to bike trails and a fire pit, a trail travels the length of the park from Finch Avenue West to Grandravine Drive, where it connects to Northwood Park.

Sentinel Park
295 Sentinel Road
Located near Finch Avenue West and Sentinel Road, this park's 7.7 hectares of green space features three ball diamonds, two tennis courts, a splash pad, and a children's playground.

Grandravine Park and Grandravine Community Recreation Centre
23 Grandravine Drive
Located near Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West, Grandravine Park is a 3.6 hectare park with a ball diamond, three tennis courts, a basketball court, and a children's playground. Adjacent to the park is the Grandravine Community Recreation Centre, a large, multifunctional, free centre that is home to many community groups. Amenities include four indoor bocce courts, five multipurpose rooms, a preschool, an outdoor pool, and indoor dry pad, and indoor hockey and pleasure skating arenas.

Northwood Park
140 Stilecroft Drive
Northwood Park is a 25 hectare park with picnic sites, a fire pit, and numerous bike trails. The park follows the Black Creek ravine south from Grandravine Drive to Sheppard Avenue West, and connects with Derrydowns Park in the north and Downsview Dells Park in the south.

Benjamin Boake Greenbelt
133 Benjamin Boake Trail
Located northwest of Sheppard Avenue West and Keele Street, Benjamin Boake Greenbelt is part of a series of parks that make up a densely forested trail in a shallow ravine. Visitors can hike all the way from Downsview Dells Park to the Black Creek Parklands along this 4.7 kilometre scenic trail, where they can also bike and bird watch.

Africentric Alternative School
1430 Sheppard Avenue West
The Africentric Alternative School was established in 2009 at Sheppard Public School in response to the community's request to address the high dropout rate and achievement gap affecting Black students. With the goals of developing high academic achievement, self-pride, and motivation to succeed in students, the school's curriculum focuses on the perspectives, experiences, and histories of Black communities. It is the only public school of its kind in Canada and students of all backgrounds from kindergarten to grade eight travel across the Greater Toronto Area to attend this unique school.

Explore York University Heights

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.

We want to hear from you! Click here to complete a short survey

Suppport small business owners by Shopping Small.

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.
Mark Reinhart
Toronto Public Library: Downsview Branch
2793 Keele St, North York, ON M3M 2G3

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

York University Heights in a large neighbourhood in the northern part of Toronto. Named after York University's Keele campus, the area is home to a multi-cultural population. It is also home to the Duke Heights BIA, which is the second largest BIA in Canada and consists of 2,500 businesses. This stroll includes an historical museum, an Inuk sculpture, the largest provincial archives in Canada, a unique school, and the neighbourhood's many spectacular green spaces.

Main Streets: Steeles Avenue West, Finch Avenue West, Sheppard Avenue West, Keele Street, Dufferin Street.
  1. Black Creek Pioneer Village
    1000 Murray Ross Parkway
    Black Creek Pioneer Village offers an opportunity to explore nineteenth century buildings with unique hands-on activities, and a chance to see heritage-bred farm animals and beautiful gardens. Opened in 1960, the Village features a collection of many of the oldest heritage homes and farm buildings from Ontario, a few dating back to early 1800s. It is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
  2. Ruben Komangapik and Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley 'Ahqahizu' Sculpture
    4700 Keele Street (front entrance of York Lions Stadium)
    Carved from a 26-tonne piece of Stanstead granite, 'Ahqahizu' (a-ka-hee-zu) is a giant Inuk soccer player. According to stories told in Nunavut, the Aurora Borealis are aksarnek, meaning the trails of spirits playing soccer, waiting for their return to human form to play by the light of the moon on the frozen sea ice. The sculpture, commissioned by York University and the Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage project, is a symbol of hope and friendship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. 'Ahqahizu' was unveiled on National Aboriginal Day 2016.
  3. Archives of Ontario
    134 Ian MacDonald Boulevard
    The Archives of Ontario is the largest provincial archives in Canada. As the premier source of information about the history of Ontario and its people, the Archives has been collecting, preserving, and making available the province's documentary heritage since its founding in 1903 (it moved to its present location in 2007). Besides documenting the decisions, functions, and activities of Ontario's government, the Archives' collections also include donated records from individuals, businesses, and organizations that demonstrate the province's history and development. The collections date back to the sixteenth century and includes everything from handwritten letters and maps, to artwork and sound recordings; their textual records alone stand at a staggering 158,000 metres, equivalent to 286 CN Towers. The Archives also frequently hosts public building tours, presentations, free exhibits, and educational workshops for students.
  4. Art Gallery of York University
    8 Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street
    The Art Gallery of York University is a public art gallery that provides exhibitions, programs and related activities focusing on contemporary art. Its aim is to enrich the cultural and intellectual environment of York University and the surrounding regions. On behalf of the university, the gallery maintains a permanent collection and outdoor sculpture garden. The gallery presents exhibitions of contemporary art and undertakes an extensive award-winning publishing program. Their Out There program works with youth from the Jane and Finch area including programming in the gallery. Admission is free.
  5. Anatolia Islamic Centre North York
    73 Alness Street
    Established in 1998, Anatolia Islamic Centre North York is an Islamic organization with a long history of social involvement with both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The organization strives to build strong bridges of dialogue between the communities to promote understanding and cooperation for peace. They primarily serve the Muslim community in the Greater Toronto Area by hosting Islamic and Arabic cultural events and providing Arabic language lessons. The site also houses a mosque for worship. Additionally, the organization provides counseling, religious, and employment programs for youth and settlement services for newcomers.
  6. Ghazaleh Rastgar Artbox
    Finch Avenue West and Keele Street
    *Please note that there is extensive construction occurring around this intersection for the Finch West LRT. Please exercise caution when viewing. I wanted to create a design that brings focus to oceans and marine life. There's major threat to ocean health and consequently our health. I'm hoping this design serves as a reminder to rethink the use of plastic and reduce, reuse and recycle properly.
  7. Fountainhead Park
    445 Sentinel Road
    This 4.4 hectare park at Sentinel Road and Finch Avenue West features three lit tennis courts, a tennis clubhouse, a multipurpose sports field, and a children's playground.
  8. Black Creek Parkland
    1650 Finch Avenue West
    Black Creek Parkland is an excellent example of a transformed urban space: what previously was a groomed parkland has been returned to a more natural wilderness. The north-end of the park is accessed from the visitor parking lot at Black Creek Pioneer Village by heading down the path into the valley. This leads to the Black Creek trail, a year-round accessible 6.3 kilometre moderately trafficked point-to-point trail that features a river and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. The park follows Black Creek through the ravine and south to Finch Avenue West, where it connects with Derrydowns Park.
  9. Derrydowns Park
    271 Derrydown Road
    Derrydowns Park is a 28 hectare park that follows the Black Creek ravine as it meanders southward. Finch Avenue West at the north-end of the park separates it from Black Creek Parkland. In addition to bike trails and a fire pit, a trail travels the length of the park from Finch Avenue West to Grandravine Drive, where it connects to Northwood Park.
  10. Sentinel Park
    295 Sentinel Road
    Located near Finch Avenue West and Sentinel Road, this park's 7.7 hectares of green space features three ball diamonds, two tennis courts, a splash pad, and a children's playground.
  11. Grandravine Park and Grandravine Community Recreation Centre
    23 Grandravine Drive
    Located near Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West, Grandravine Park is a 3.6 hectare park with a ball diamond, three tennis courts, a basketball court, and a children's playground. Adjacent to the park is the Grandravine Community Recreation Centre, a large, multifunctional, free centre that is home to many community groups. Amenities include four indoor bocce courts, five multipurpose rooms, a preschool, an outdoor pool, and indoor dry pad, and indoor hockey and pleasure skating arenas.
  12. Northwood Park
    140 Stilecroft Drive
    Northwood Park is a 25 hectare park with picnic sites, a fire pit, and numerous bike trails. The park follows the Black Creek ravine south from Grandravine Drive to Sheppard Avenue West, and connects with Derrydowns Park in the north and Downsview Dells Park in the south.
  13. Benjamin Boake Greenbelt
    133 Benjamin Boake Trail
    Located northwest of Sheppard Avenue West and Keele Street, Benjamin Boake Greenbelt is part of a series of parks that make up a densely forested trail in a shallow ravine. Visitors can hike all the way from Downsview Dells Park to the Black Creek Parklands along this 4.7 kilometre scenic trail, where they can also bike and bird watch.
  14. Africentric Alternative School
    1430 Sheppard Avenue West
    The Africentric Alternative School was established in 2009 at Sheppard Public School in response to the community's request to address the high dropout rate and achievement gap affecting Black students. With the goals of developing high academic achievement, self-pride, and motivation to succeed in students, the school's curriculum focuses on the perspectives, experiences, and histories of Black communities. It is the only public school of its kind in Canada and students of all backgrounds from kindergarten to grade eight travel across the Greater Toronto Area to attend this unique school.

Accessibility information: Many of the points of interest on this stroll are viewable from the street and are on streets and paved paths, however, there may be some unpaved paths and uneven surfaces along Fountainhead Park, Black Creek Parkland, Derrydowns Park, Sentinel Park, Grandravine Park, Northwood Park, and Benjamin Boake Greenbelt. There may also be additional barriers, including but not limited to stairs, steep inclines, and narrow passageways, along or at other destinations.

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.