Rediscovering our backyard – the natural trails of Crothers Woods

Over the years, I have written several Leaside Life articles about Toronto’s world-class ravine system – one of our city’s most important natural assets. The expansive Crothers Woods, located just south of Leaside, is an Environmentally Significant Area that offers up to 10km of natural, multi-use trails as well as photography spots for unobstructed views of the Toronto skyline. There are several distinct trails in the area that connect to the broader Lower Don Valley system, including:

  • Cottonwood Flats Trail, which is a 2m wide, 0.7km long granular surfaced trail, and
  • Sun Valley Trail, which is a 2.5m wide, 1.3km long granular surfaced trail.

In September, the City of Toronto began improvements to the Sun Valley Trail, a route that is enjoyed by hikers, cyclists, and nature-lovers alike. The multi-week project includes repairing and reinforcing eroded sections of the trail, improving accessibility, and enhancing safety and sustainability. In addition, culverts and check dams are being installed to divert water away from the trail, prevent washouts, and improve durability during heavy rain events. A map featuring the different hiking and biking trails is posted in the parking lot of the Loblaws on Redway Road. To request a digital copy of the Crothers Woods brochure, which includes a map of the trails, please contact my office by email at

As your local Councillor, preserving and strengthening our local ravine system has always been one of my priorities at City Council. In 2020, I broadened the scope of our City’s first comprehensive Ravine Strategy by incorporating the internationally-recognized concept of “Ecological Integrity” to measure the health of ravines. Through a motion at Council, I directed City staff to finalize an implementation plan in collaboration with major research institutions, focusing on strategies to mitigate the threat of invasive species. That same year, City Council approved a specific, costed Implementation Plan with tangible measures to protect and enhance Toronto’s ravine network over the next 10 years.

In Crothers Woods, the City has already implemented an award-winning Trail Management Strategy that successfully reduces erosion, soil compaction, and tree root damage to sustain one of our best-utilized local green spaces. I look forward to seeing the newly improved Sun Valley Trail reopened to the community.

About Jaye Robinson 51 Articles
Jaye Robinson is City Councillor for Ward 15.