By Lori Bosworth
Since moving to the east end a few years ago, I have slowly discovered many of this part of Toronto’s sights and attractions. There are several parks that hug the Bluffs as you drive east along Kingston Road and one of them is fast becoming a favourite respite for me. Rosetta McClain Gardens features groomed flower beds, 100-year-old trees and a trickling waterfall sculpture that is the centerpiece of this peaceful park.
Each time I’ve visited, I’ve noticed that there isn’t a beehive of activity throughout the gardens. That’s because there are several park restrictions including no dogs (with the exception of service dogs), no picnics and no bikes. That doesn’t stop people from visiting Rosetta McClain Gardens for their daily walk, for birdwatching or to photograph the scenic surroundings. In fact, on my last visit, a photography class was taking place near the pergola. This fully accessible park even has braille signage.
You’ll be drawn to the center of the park where a rock waterfall commands attention. Gorgeous combinations of colour and flower species surround the waterfall and you’ll be tempted to sit on one of the many benches and take in the beauty. I saw one man sitting near the granite rock deep in meditation.
If you follow the path and walk to the southernmost part of the park, you’ll have a great view of Lake Ontario. (There is no access to the water as you are high up in the Bluffs.) Apparently, the park is on the migration route and many hawks can be sighted flying over the lake from August to November. Birdwatchers may see other birds including Bluejays, Cedar Waxwing, bluebirds and hummingbirds.
From Lake Ontario, turn north and follow the path to the rose garden. When we visited, there were several roses still in bloom. Next to the rose garden is a pollinator garden…I counted at least 15 Monarch butterflies when I was there.
Walking back towards the center of the park is one of the most pleasing experiences as you’ll encounter century-old trees of various species staking their place on the sweeping lawns…the scene is absolutely breathtaking. Many of the tree species are identified by plaque, which is very helpful. To the right sits a lovely gazebo.
I saw this gorgeous pergola near the gazebo. I can imagine this has been the backdrop of many wedding photos.
I highly recommend a visit to Rosetta McClain Gardens. After being in the presence of so much natural beauty, you’ll feel relaxed, restored and regenerated.
Rosetta McClain Gardens, 5 Glen Everest Road (at Kingston Road, just east of Birchmount Road), Toronto