WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU? A Reflexology Footpath + mini-walk around Dufferin Grove Park. Two good reasons to get out of the house!
For years I've been criss-crossing the city on the look-out for all the whimsical things it has to offer. I only recently found out about the reflexology path in the heart of Dufferin Grove Park!
It has long been one of my favourite parks in Toronto, hosting a small cob house with a beautiful mosaic design that seems straight out of a Tolkien novel. A great starting point for exploring the park.
The Reflexology Footpath is located to the northwest of the little house. One has to take off her shoes to walk on the various pebble sections of this small 8-shaped trail (a symbol of infinity).
In addition to a unique artistic footpath massaging the soles of the walkers' feet, the small natural oasis features nine Ginkgo trees, promising of a very cool sight in the fall when their leaves turn golden yellow. The place is also a touching memorial to Jenna K. Morrison (hence the letters JKM traced with pebbles).
She was a 38 year old cyclist, mother of a 5 year old and 5 months pregnant, who died in a tragic bicycle acciden in 2011, loosing her balance while a truck was spinning... The Reflexology Footpath was officially opened in 2014, created with money from the City and a community fundraiser.
A 1-km long paved path runs around hilly Dufferin Grove Park, with many public benches and a few very impressive mature trees to lean on. It is one of the few parks in Toronto where you can get a permit to burn City-provided logs, and where there is a wood oven. (We'll have to wait until things get back to normal to enjoy these pleasures again).
It also includes public washrooms, a lovely garden, a wading pool (open until September 6 inclusively), a lovely playground and... a great sandbox!
Parents of little engineers will want to know that this park is the only one I know with running water squirting out of a tap, allowing kids to have fun in the mud! The children share real round-point shovels to dig furrows, make dams, create a stream. Kudos to the park’s management for trusting the children to make good use of these!
I like to complete this walk with baklavas from Arabesque Café. It wasn't open last time I visited so I went to The Common Espresso Bar across the street, serving excellent coffee and buttery pastries. Note that street parking is easily found on the small Gladstone Avenue which connects the south end of the park to College Street.
If you're looking for a café with a patio, Field Trip Café will do the job, a 10-minute walk north of the park. It includes a nice large outdoor space. Their coffee is excellent and they offer a few options for a light meal.
1068 College Street
Hours: (as of August 21, 2020) Not clear. I noticed pastries in their counters but the place was closed at a time their website said it should be open and nobody would answer the phone)
1071 College Street
Hours: (as of August 21, 2020) weekdays 7am to 2pm, weekends 7am to 5pm.
7 Westmoreland Avenue
Hours: (as of August 21, 2020) weekdays 8am to 6pm, weekends 9am to 6pm.
To get the guide, visit www.torontourbangems.com.