The first settlers inhabited the area shortly after the war of 1812. In 1817, Alexander Milne arrived from Scotland with his family, established a mill, which operated for more than a century. The creek that passes through here was known as Milne Creek for many years.
In 1944, the land was purchased by Rupert E. Edwards, founder of Canada Varnish Ltd. For more than a decade, he developed the landscape with many gardens and a 9-hole golf course (which is no longer there today).
In 1955, the City of Toronto acquired the land, from Mr. Edwards, where it has been preserved as a botanical gardens and leisure area. It is connected to the greenbelt – including other parks such as Wilket Creek and Sunnybrook Park, to name a few.
The park is situated at the intersections of Lawrence and Leslie streets and there is ample parking. There are facilities to accommodate weddings and other affairs – or you can just take a stroll with your loved ones. The park has an abundance of flora and nature trails.
Apart from the banquet facilities, there is a cafe where you can purchase snacks and sandwiches. Weekends get busy with the usual mishmash of annoying people who walk in a row and get in your way. I suggest you visit on a weekday, as it is far less cluttered!
Fairly close to downtown Toronto, one can enjoy a taste of nature and unwind (at least on weekdays). There is wildlife in the park and offers some solitude from the day-to-day stress a big city can have on us.
Make sure you bring a camera!