A self-guided walking tour of Leaside Part 3 – Bayview Institutional Lands

Self guided walking tour of Leaside. Part 3 – Bayview Institutional Lands.

The third guided walking tour of Leaside deals with the institutional lands accessed from Kilgour Rd. This is north of Glenvale and south of Burke Brook. But is this Leaside? The historical boundary of the Town of Leaside was the lot line at the rear of the properties on Glenvale, so it is not technically part of Leaside. However, it is possible to consider Burke Brook as the “natural” northern boundary for Leaside. As Jane Pitfield1 wrote: “On the north, Sherwood Creek (Burke Brook) with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and other health-related institutions, effectively delineates the end of the residential area.” And we will see that Leaside has always taken an interest in the ravine and the park-like setting of the institutional lands, and the institutions generally reciprocate when developments are planned.

The walk begins at Bayview and Kilgour and proceeds east, taking in the five health institutions (CNIB, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Rumsey Centre, and Lyndhurst Hospital, and Bellwood), and Kilgour Estates, a multiple unit residential development east of the CNIB.     

The second part of the walk, to return to Bayview, traverses the public trail marking the “top of bank” beside the steep ravine slope of Burke Brook. This trail affords a window into the “back yards” of the institutions, many of which have planned spaces there such as the Daphne Cockwell Spiral Garden at the Holland Bloorview and the Fragrant Garden at the CNIB.    

The route follows Kilgour Road until it terminates at Rumsey, and continues, following the edge of the parking lot to Sutherland (Stops 5 and 6). Since the grounds of the Bellwood are temporarily closed to visitors due to COVID-19, to get to Stop 7, instead of continuing in an easterly direction, you head south on Sutherland to Glenvale Blvd., turn east and then north on Brentcliffe. You can view Bellwood from Brentcliffe through the entrance.

1Jane Pitfield, Leaside, 1999, page 134.

About Geoff Kettel 221 Articles
Geoff Kettel is a community connector and advocate for “making places better”. He is currently Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, Co-Chair of the Federation of North Toronto Residents‘ Associations (FoNTRA), member of the Toronto Preservation Board and Past Chair of the North York Community Preservation Panel. He writes a monthly column on heritage and planning in Leaside Life.