Toronto Walks: Hoggs Hollow

Hi Folks. Since I don’t have any immediate travel plans, I thought I would explore my beloved city. Don’t know how far I will get in January, but the Fall in Toronto can be glorious.

I decided to use the walking cards of “City Walks: Toronto: Toronto 50 Adventures on Foot” by Neil Carlson. Hoggs Hollow was my first walk because I had heard it was a great neighbourhood to visit in the Fall because of the wooded streets.

But first, a bit of background. When Eve, Greta and I did the western road trip, I was able to walk around with no difficulty. However, when I got back, in July I started to develop hip pain when I walked. It was located at the Sacroiliac joint (SI) on the right side. The only way to relieve the pain was to sit for a few minutes. Then I could continue my walking.

Therefore my Hoggs Hollow walk was interspersed with sitting on a rock next to a Neighbourhood Watch sign (wonder how many were watching me?). Eve comes with me as Greta is off exploring Acton, ON.

The City Walks card gives a detailed description of directions and interesting sites to see along the route. It also has a map with the route marked out.

We get off at York Mills subway station. It is not often the TTC has an historic plaque mounted in the subway platform.

As directed, we exit the Old Mills Road side of the platform. We enter the York Mills Valley Park, pass some people walking there dogs and make comments about the warm, sunny day we have. I sit on a bench and a group of walkers to by being led by a tour leader. A popular spot.

We come to a statue of Canadian artist C.W. Jefferys who lived near Hoggs Hollow.

And the sketch that is engraved in the stone is the “Rebels Marching Down Yonge Street”. I remember this from the Upper Canada Brewery label for their Rebellion beer.

Just after the statue is a monument to the school that served Hoggs Hollow for 75 years. The bricks are from the original school building (demolished in 2004) and has the pediment and crest from the front entrance.

Eve stepped on something in the leaves that bothered her paw. We found a park bench and rested for awhile until she felt better.

The date on the street signs has 1797. Hoggs Hollow was first settled by James Hogg in 1824. However he was born in 1797 so I guess that is why the city uses that year. Notice that the apostrophe is used for Hogg’s. According to Wikipedia, both apostrophe and non-apostrophe spellings are used.

The area was settled by Scots, Irish and English. A lot of the homes were built in the 1920s and reflect English architecture – Cottage homes, Tudor and Georgian. The homes are surrounded by trees and wooded areas. It’s the main reason for doing the walk.

And a hog house number is not out of place.

The tree canopy is well maintained.

There are a couple of bridge crossings over the Upper Don River on the walk.

We head deeper into the “hollow” following St. Margarets Drive.

There are a surprising number of modern design homes.

This house was surrounded by trees but had to laugh at the “Slow Down” sign.

There are no sidewalks. You walk on the road hoping that the cars slow down and move off to the other side.

I liked the leaf covered chimney stone of this place.

This place had a cobblestone front with decorative stones.

We stopped at Millstone Parkette for a rest. There is a monument to the grist mill industry that gave rise to Hoggs Hollow. It is a grindstone from the past.

And there is a time capsule at the base.

There is a fenced off area. Maybe that is where the property line is. There was a stone structure at the top of the hill that I wondered about but couldn’t get to it.

A bridge over the Upper Don with an historic plaque for Hurricane Hazel.

I have a childhood story of Hurricane Hazel. I was born in 1953, the year before it happened. However people still talked about it in years to come. My maternal grandmother was named Hazel. As a kid, whenever my parents talked about Hurricane Hazel, I thought they were referring to grandma.

The river view from the bridge.

We start to head back and stop at the playground area of York Mills Valley Park. We rest up here, Eve gets treats, my hip gets comfort and we just experience the glorious fall day.

At the top of the trail is the historic Miller Tavern, aka Jolly Miller, which dates back to the 1860s. It was a stage coach inn and stopping off point between Toronto and Richmond Hill. If you go on the walk, you can make plans to stop here for a bit of respite (if you don’t have a dog with you, that is). The patio was closed so we moved on to the subway station.

I’m glad I got out on this walk. It took a little longer because of the rest stops I made but it was a perfect Fall outing. And I got to know a little more about my Toronto.


  1. Very interesting walk Larry. Beautiful photos and I loved that sign about the dogs at play.
    Is there anything they can do for your hip? Maybe a tens machine will help with the pain?

    • Thanks Denise. I don’t yet know what the cause is. The x-ray showed nothing. I’m getting an MRI on Oct 30th so that should determine the cause. Once my doctor knows, she will recommend and course of action.

  2. Good Morning Larry,
    I really enjoyed this tour of Hogg’s Hollow. Does Toronto have ” official ”
    Tour Guides ? You have a ” calling”.
    Denise’s suggestion that you might try a Ten’s machine for pain control is a good one to add to your present regime
    of weight loss and exercise at the pool.
    I have such a machine and would gladly lend it to you if you care to try it. Will be coming to Western in the morning I just found out. Kathy had an appointment for yesterday which she thought was Tomorrow because they both begin with a T :-))

    • Thanks Hugh. The tour guides are on those double decker buses. Think I’ll stick with walking with Eve. I’ll wait until after the MRI to see what I’ll do. I’ll mention the Ten’s machine to me doctor.

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