“This place is in Scarborough?!? You gotta be kidding me”. I thought to myself as I stare at photos on Google of the park. When my family first immigrated to Canada about 15 years ago, we resided in Scarborough for a couple of years. Looking back, I did recall that my father had brought us there as kids, but I did not remember the place to look like this.
The Bluffs stretch for about 15 km along the shore of Lake Ontario, starting from the Eastern Beaches of Toronto in the west, to East Point Park in the east. The Bluffs were formed as a result of a build up of sedimentary deposits over 12,000 years ago, spurred by the natural process of wind and water erosion from Lake Ontario ¹.
There are numerous parks in Toronto that have terrific views of the bluffs. During my visit, I went to the Scarborough Bluffs Park and Bluffer’s Park. Click the link below for park locations.
I started with The Scarborough Bluffs. The view was spectacular!
Within minutes of parking, you can already see the beautiful lake Ontario. Amplified by the sun, the water glistened, showing off its light blue, aqua, and dark blue colour palette.
The Scarborough Bluffs features a gorgeous bird’s eye view of Bluffer’s Park. The park also has tennis courts, and a large enough grassy area to play a light game of frisbee or soccer. The photo below shows the view of Bluffer’s Park while standing on a trail at the Scarborough Bluffs Park.
To the left of where I stood overlooks the yacht and sailing clubs in the area (the photo directly above). I continued on the path, hoping to find a way down to the marina. I asked a couple of people whom I ran into if they knew the way down to Bluffer’s Park. The man’s response was:
“Well, you can drive down there… or you can take a shorter, but more ‘extreme’ path.”
I have always been a fan of shortcuts. And I do like the thought of “extreme”. A slight smile form on my lips.
“Thank you!” I said, feeling a sense of excitement. I have always preferred more secluded and arduous trails for my hiking day trips, and this challenge was very enticing.
I followed the trail (headed east) and eventually found a route down that wouldn’t lead to my death. I climbed the trail barrier and started making my way down. What made this “extreme” way down so “extreme” was the muddy ground. Despite its disservice, it was also my saving hope. The way down was pretty steep, almost at a 60 degree angle. I lowered my centre of gravity, leaned slightly backwards, and used the trees and the mud to help ease my descent. The photo below shows part of the route down (though I don’t think that this is an accurate image of the obstacle).
Finally, I arrived at Bluffer’s Park. The place is a perfect destination for a small family outing or an afternoon out with friends. There are picnic tables, washrooms, a sandy beach area with volleyball courts, and walking trails with magnificent waterside views.
The park also contains a storm water treatment facility — The Dunker’s Flow Balancing System. The first of its kind in Canada, this facility was created to treat polluted storm water before releasing it to lake Ontario.
For more details on the system, see the following link:
I remained mostly at the west side of the park, which awarded me a closer view of the bluffs. The scenery was just stunning. For a place so close to downtown Toronto, I was surprised that it had a scenery this unique. I thought to myself that this would also be a great place to visit early in the morning to watch the sunrise and read a book.
The walk back to my car taking the “extreme” way up was just as challenging as the way down. Let’s just say I got a really good leg workout (even better than squats) from the uphill climb.
I decided to add the other parks that feature the Scarborough Bluffs to my bucket list this summer. Perhaps a relaxing picnic or a game of volleyball with some friends.
A long list awaits me.