RAVINES AND BURKE BROOK This series of ravine parks, displaying a wide variety of natural and human-made scenic landscapes, is connected by Burke Brook. First Peoples used these ravines as early as 4000 years ago. They camped, hunted and traveled in these areas. During the early to mid 1800s, logging was common in these ravines.
Today, Toronto's municipal by-laws protect these ravines and the City is restoring much of the vegetation. Burke Brook once flowed naturally through these ravines. Walking beside the brook today, you’ll be amazed at the number of ways people have modified the water course, including straightening, ditching, tunneling and burying, in order to accommodate excess storm sewer water. In sharp contrast to these modifications, you’ll find the eastern-most section of the brook, in Sherwood Park Ravine, in a nearly untouched natural state. Toronto is trying to return the brook to as natural a state as possible.
ALEXANDER MUIR MEMORIAL GARDENS Stroll among the herbs and flowers that bloom in this magnificent formal multilevel garden that was planted in the 1950s. The gardens act as a superb public gateway into the peaceful ravine system. Alexander Muir wrote the patriotic song, “The Maple Leaf Forever”, in 1867.
SHERWOOD PARK Explore Sherwood Park Ravine, one of the largest remaining protected natural areas in the city. This Toronto park contains a small remnant of the vast Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest, which once covered this region. Species you can see include white pine, hemlock, beech, oak and sugar maple. Some of the huge trees growing on the ravine slopes are at least 150 years old!
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