Back Tracks – 8 Years of Trails

Sunday April 24, 2022

Hiking the GTA was founded in April 2014 and this post marks our eighth anniversary and our 553rd post. To celebrate, we’re presenting our top 50 posts as determined by the number of times the story has been read. You can click on either the post title or the picture caption to be taken to the original post, each of which is about a five minute read with 10-12 pictures. Each one also has a Google Maps link so that you can find it for your own exploration. How many have you been to and how many are going on your “places to visit” list? Have a look and see.

50 – The Bloor Viaduct (Published June 23, 2018)

The story behind one of Toronto’s most iconic bridges.

49 – Coopers Falls – Ghost Towns of Ontario (Published Dec. 12, 2020)

A famous cottage country ghost town with multiple empty buildings.

48 – Culham Trail Mississauga (Published May 23, 2016)

This trail along the Credit River links a lot of historic places.

47 – Adamson Estate (Published Jan. 25, 2015)

An historic estate linked to the Cawthra family and built in 1920.

46 – La Grande Hermine (Published Sep. 19, 2016)

This ship has become a landmark along the QEW but recently had its masts removed.

45 – The Alexandria (Published Jan. 12, 2019)

The story of a steamer that sank off the Scarborough Bluffs in 1915.

44 – Ontario Place (Published Jul. 21, 2018)

The creation and abandonment of a downtown Toronto theme park.

43 – Horseshoe Curve Rail Disaster (Published Jun. 14, 2016)

Seven people were killed and 114 injured in the worst rail disaster in this part of the province.

42 – Barber Paper Mills Georgetown (Published Jun. 9, 2015)

The story of the famous paper mill ruins in Georgetown.

41 – Cache Lake Trestle – Algonquin Park (Published Jul. 18, 2016)

The story of a railway through Algonquin Park and the decaying trestle left behind.

40 – Kerosene Castle – Oakville (Published Aug. 18, 2015)

A home and an empire built on refining kerosene in Oakville.

39 – Joshua Creek (Published Mar. 29, 2017)

A journey from upstream to the mouth of the creek.

38 – Glenorchy – Ghost Towns of the GTA (Published Dec. 17, 2017)

A ghost town in Halton with a famous bridge collapse.

37 – Taber Hill Ossuary (Published Apr. 16, 2017)

An indigenous burial site disturbed by construction in Scarborough.

36 – David Watson House – 1859 (Published Nov. 26, 201)

This house near Orangeville recently had the rear wall collapse and may soon disappear.

35 – Milkman’s Lane (Published Jan. 7, 2016)

The story of an old roadway near downtown Toronto that is now a walking trail.

34 – Hog’s Back Park – Oakville (Published Feb. 1, 2017)

A park on Sixteen Mile Creek with interesting ruins.

33 – The Devil’s Well (Published Nov. 30, 2015)

A giant glacial pothole near Rockwood Conservation Area.

32 – The Devil’s Punch Bowl (Published Dec. 29, 2015)

One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Hamilton area.

31 – The Hilarious House of Frightenstein (Published Apr. 6, 2019)

Actor Billy Van once owned this house which is falling over the Scarborough Bluffs.

30 – Cedarena (Published Feb. 2, 2019)

A once famous skating rink in now abandoned near Rouge Park.

29 – Spadina (Published Dec. 27, 2014)

A famous mansion beside Casa Loma.

28 – The Ridgetown – Port Credit (Published May 25, 2015)

The story of the ship at the end of the break wall in Port Credit.

27 – Raymore Drive (Published Jun. 15, 2014)

This community was washed away by hurricane Hazel.

26 – The Devil’s Pulpit (Published Jun. 12, 2015)

One of the most scenic hikes in the Caledon area.

25 – London Asylum For The Insane (Published Jun. 22, 2019)

The London Asylum for the Insane opened in November of 1870. 

24 – Mullet Creek’s Secret Waterfalls (Published Oct. 18, 2015)

This beautiful little spot in Mississauga has lately been posted as No Trespassing, a real shame.

23 – Half-Mile Bridge (Published Aug. 17, 2014)

The Don River and DVP both pass under this unused rail corridor which was opened in 1891.

22 – Cedarvale Park (Published Jul. 27, 2019)

Three people were killed and thirty taken to the hospital in 1995 in Toronto’s worst subway accident with rescue operations being conducted in this city park.

21 – The Vandalized Memorial – Taras Shevchenko Museum (Published Dec. 15, 2015)

This memorial to Ukrainian hero Taras Shevchenko was vandalized several times and now is a housing development.

20 – Palermo – Ghost Towns of the GTA (Published Nov. 29, 2017)

Palermo still has several original structures but is threatened with urban sprawl.

19 – River and Ruin Side Trail (Published Aug. 19, 2017)

Unfortunately, someone decided to knock this old stone house over and ruined the famous ruins.

18 – Country Hospital For Sick Children (Published Oct. 27, 2016)

In 1928 the Hospital For Sick Children opened a building in the country for the care of children and the building still stands amongst the abandoned grounds.

17 – Scarborough’s Most Eccentric Home (Published Nov. 13, 2021)

One man’s collection of architectural styles all mixed together makes this a very unique home.

16 – Lotten – Cawthra Estate Mississauga (Published Feb. 4, 2016)

This beautiful house stands in the forests surrounding the old Cawthra estate.

15 – Omagh – Ghost Towns of the GTA (Published Jan. 23, 2021)

Omagh is outside of Milton and seems to have escaped urban spawl up to now.

14 – Graydon Hall (Published Jan. 12, 2015)

Apartment buildings surround the mansion and its gardens.

13 – Camp 20 – Bowmanville (Published Apr. 7, 2018)

These buildings have been a school as well as a POW camp for German prisoners during WW2.

12 – The Longhouse People of Crawford Lake (Published Nov. 24, 2015)

Several longhouses have been reconstructed at Crawford lake where an indigenous village once stood.

11 – Gates Gully – Scarborough (Published May 8, 2016)

Gates Gully cuts through the Scarborough Bluffs and holds tales of hidden treasure and sunken ships.

10 – Ringwood – Ghost Towns of the GTA (Published Feb 3, 2018)

Ringwood is near Markham but still has much of its small town architecture intact.

9 – Camp Calydor – Gravenhurst German POW Camp Published Aug. 6, 2015)

Little remains of the German POW camp in Gravenhurst as most of it lies under a subdivision now.

8 – Mimico Branch Asylum (Published Jan. 2, 2017)

Many of Toronto’s mental patients were housed here between 1890 and 1979.

7 – Toronto’s Abandoned Roads Published Apr. 9, 2017)

There are several abandoned roads within Toronto and this post shows you where to find them.

6 – Moccasin Trail Park (Published May 7, 2018)

This park features the famous Rainbow Tunnel that can be seen from the Don Valley Parkway.

5 – Merriton Tunnel (Blue Ghost Tunnel) (Published Feb. 28, 2018)

This abandoned railway tunnel was built under the third Welland Canal.

4 – Bond Lake (Published Sep. 13, 2016)

Bond lake once hosted a theme park and an electric railway station.

3 – The Gap (Published Nov. 16, 2016)

A gap in the escarpment is crossed by the Bruce Tail.

2 – Rice Lake’s Sunken Railway (Published Jul 26, 2016)

A railway used to run straight across Rice Lake and is still just below the surface.

1 – Newmarket Ghost Canal (Published Jun. 25, 2015)

The remains of a failed attempt to build a canal from Lake Simcoe to New Market

So, which one is first on you list now? Have fun and stay safe.

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13 thoughts on “Back Tracks – 8 Years of Trails

  1. Leslie M Kuretzky

    I LOVE LOVE this post. And of course, the newmarket canal is my fave too and the one that is closest to where I live

    Reply
  2. Joe

    Great work on hiking the GTA. I’ve never liked history in high school but each and every one of your articles has far more meaning to me. Keep it up!

    Reply
  3. Rekha Bhowandeo

    Very informative, as an immigrant I learned about Ontario, it’s landmarks and places of interest people can visit. Continue with your good work.πŸ™πŸ½

    Reply
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