Mississauga East - Waterfront Trail
|Trail:||Cycle Path, some residential on road sections|
|Connections:||Toronto West, Mississauga West, Mississauga Rd,Hurontario ,Etobicoke creek trail.|
Like may trails currently in Mississauga, the waterfront trail is a collection of interconnecting park trails. There is however, a good stretch between the Adamson Estate and Marie Curtis Parks for cyclists and people on roller blades. Mississauga has made an sincere effort to create a multi use path along the lakefront and many of the sections are relatively new. I think the city has been surprised at the usage this trail receives. It is one of the main cycle, roller blade and running trails in Mississauga created with the help of the waterfront trail commission, the NDP provincial government, and the city of Mississauga.
The trail description takes you westward from Marie Curtis Park to Port Credit.
Marie Curtis Park
Although this park is in Etobicoke, I have included it in Mississauga East section because the creek is otherwise considered the division between Mississauga and Etobicoke—now part of the city of Toronto. At the east end of the park, you enter from Lake Promenade street, south of the Long Branch Go station. It has a beach, washrooms, water and unfortunately, an oversupply of Canada geese (and their by-products).
The park was created as a flood control plain after Hurricane Hazel hit the Toronto area on October 15 1954. Seven people died and forty homes at the mouth of the creek were destroyed. The park is named after a member of city council who in 1954 helped create the Metro park system.
From the east entrance to the park you curve away from the beaches on the lake and cross the Etobicoke creek bridge . There is often people fishing, or just pausing for a look down the creek on the bridge. Before you cross the bridge, a plaque commemorates the 'Toronto Purchase' of these lands from the Mississauga Indians in 1788.
After the bridge, the trail heads back towards the lake, around an old woodlot on one side and parking areas on the other. The woodlot is supposed to be one of the few that date back to when lakeshore rd was an Indian trail. The parking lot seems to be a popular spot for roller or inline skaters to begin their westward trek. The path goes through the woods as it heads back toward Lakeshore Rd. Besides being cool for cyclists, you'll see many wild flowers that like to grow in it's shade.
On your way you will see 'The Wall' and the wooden targets when this area was the location for shooting practice and training by the Toronto Police. The path will again cross the woodlot and curve north as it heads back to Lakeshore Rd after crossing Applewood creek.
Connections Along the eastern bank of Etobicoke creek, just before you cross the bridge, a small nature interpretive trail takes you along the creek, up as far as the QEW with foot trails leading further north.
Lakeview Generating Station
The paved path continues westward along a roadside trail beside Lakeshore Rd before turning back towards the lake. The trail crosses several company entrances as well as a water treatment plant, but traffic to these premises on weekends is minimal.
The path continues straight till it crosses Serson creek. A plaque on the corner just after the generating plant's train tracks tells of Canada's first Aerodrome and flying school established here in May 1915 by Curtiss Aeroplanes and Motors Ltd. of Strachan Ave. in Toronto.
As you cycle back towards the lake, you can see the large mound of coal and the conveyer belt that feeds the generating plant. At full power, the plant consumes 4 train car's worth of coal each hour, producing 1,140 Megawatts. Built in 1962, it produces the average annual demand for the equivalent of 231,000 homes. Water is used for steam to power the turbines as well as to cool the steam before returning it to the lake. The discharged water warms up the surrounding lake water no more than ten degrees. Along the back of the plant you'll cycle beside the baseball fields. The plant's four smoke stacks can be seen from all over the surrounding lake as well as a checkpoint to guide planes heading in and out of Pearson Airport. The path crosses the yacht club access road and curves again toward the lake beside more baseball fields on the way to Lakefront Promenade Park.
Note: On Monday, June 12 2006, the Lakeview generating plant is no longer in service and the large smoke stacks were demolished.
Lakefront Promenade Park
The path again crosses the yacht club access road where you can chose to turn west and cycle past the park or continue south to the water's edge. If you do, there is a pleasant boardwalk and sheltered water beside the Lakeview plant that is popular with fish, herons (and fishermen), swans, ducks, and other water foul basking in the warm discharge water.
On a hot day, behind the boardwalk, you'll hear children playing in the popular water park. You can cycle around the headlands and find several nice places to stop and take in the view. Nestled amongst the lake parks is the Port Credit yacht club.
If you chose to cycle west, bypassing the boardwalk and headland park, you'll again cross over the yacht club's access road and follow beside the sandy beach towards the R.K.McMillan park. On your right, once again, is a base ball field with it's banner 'Home of Cawthra Baseball'. The hedges between the cycle path and the beach, by the way, are not only pretty, but also tend to keep the Canada geese from taking over. I have yet to see someone swim in the lake but if you could, this would be the place.
At the far end of the beach, the path dips away from the lake edge, and curves around R.K.McMillan park. The headlands have a cycle path that follows the park's shoreline and on the east side- not far off of the main cycle path is a covered picnic area a much appreciated water fountain and rest area. People on roller blades like the many mini trails in and around the head lands, as the paved surface is in good condition.
The main cycle path by-passes the headland park, and crosses over the Cooksville creek bridge where it exits onto Beach street. You ride westward on-road along Beach street a short block or two before entering the Adamson Estate Park.
Take care though , just before the Cooksville creek bridge the path branches north only to dead end at Lakeshore Rd. It's easy to miss the bridge after the sharp turn and branch north by mistake.
The Cooksville creek by the way, runs up to the Square One shopping mall to the north, near where I live. I wish we could cycle along the creek to access the lake one day. That won't happen anytime soon because south of Dundas street (Cooksville), several private homes remain along the creek's flood plane.
Beach street although short, has an interesting mix of homes and cottages from days gone by when this area known as Toronto Township and the cottage get-a-way from the big city!
As you enter the estate east entrance from Beach St., you pass by the white board 'Derry' summer house built by grandson Anthony Adamson in 1932 and later sold to Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Derry. Mrs. Derry lived there until the city purchased the house in 1992 .
This area was once the land of Joseph Cawthra purchased in 1809. His son, Henry, built a log cabin just in front of where the main house now stands. The only access to the property, at that time, was from the lake, or an Indian trail running beside the lake (now Lakeshore Rd).
After the Derry house, you cycle past the old barn and the main entrance to the estate. You can cross the entrance and cycle past the house or turn towards the lake and tour the property. The main house, as it stands today, was built in 1920 for Mabel Cawthra, great granddaughter of Joseph Cawthra, by her husband Agar Adamson. The 'folly', believed to be the only remaining wooden structure of it's kind in Canada, is a two story coach house that has been used as a nursery, a pottery studio, tool shed, and a children's play house at different times in the past.
The stone and cedar barn was built in 1870. Livestock was kept on the lower floor and hay and grain in the upper floor. The picture is taken sitting by the lake, looking back towards the main house. During the summer weekends, the estate is often used for wedding pictures.
If you skipped the estate tour, the path crosses the entrance road and heads through the woodlot. The tall white pines in the woodlot were used to make ship masts for the British Royal Navy. The path exists the woodlot onto Cumberland Drive.
The path exits the Adamson estate woodlot and continues on-street on your way to Port Credit. Cumberland has residential car traffic but the homes are worth slowing down for and having a closer look. The Samit-Linke House at 60 Cumberland Dr. was built in 1939 as a 'modern house'. The route curves around Hiawatha parkette, then bends north back toward Lakeshore road stopping at Wanita Road. Turn west on Wanita Road until you come to it's end on Elmwood Ave. Follow south towards the lake on Elmwood to Tall Oaks Park and enter the (new) bike path along the lake up to the Marina. Turn west then cross Stavebanks to enter the Port Credit Harbour.
If you turn north on St. Lawrence Dr, you meet Hurontario street and the famous 'Bee Hive corn syrup' St. Lawrence Starch Company administration building where you connect to the Hurontairo Path. The buildings were Built in 1889, and sold to an American company in 1989 then plant was demolished in 1995 except for this remaining admin building.
Connections At Lakeshore Rd. and Hurontario, you can cycle up Hurontario north to the QEW highway.
From Here you can detour and cycle past the green roofed Harbor restaurant out to the end of the pier or continue along - heading back to lakeshore rd and cross the river using the pedestrian bridge to the light house on the west bank. Maybe one day, you'll be able to cycle up the Credit river and join the beautiful Culham trail.
If you do venture out to the lake, at the end of the pier you'll see the Ridgetown freighter purchased to protect the harbor in 1974. .
The main trail crosses the Credit River by the pedestrian bridge over to the light house - the icon for Port Credit. On the west side of the bridge, turn south on-road and goes south on Front St. back towards the lake. You'll cycle by 32 Front St - the Wilcox Inn - built around 1850, on your way to Saddington Park. It was an Inn for the sailors and travelers going through Port Credit.
The trail enters Saddington Park at the foot of Front Street. The park is a pleasant area to pause and take in the view of the lake and is not really a cycle path. It does though, have public washrooms.
The streets between Lakeshore and the park have many old houses such as Thompson House, the Masonic temple, and Lynd House.
At the western end of the park, the trail exits onto Mississauga Rd. Cycle north back up to Lakeshore Rd.
At the intersection of Mississauga Rd and Lakeshore, there is a convenient bike store.
Connections Mississauga Rd heads north becoming the Oakridge trail and links up to the Credit River Culham trail at Dundas St.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Trail descriptions are provided as public information only. The author assumes no responsibility for damages or injuries that may occur to person or property as a result of biking or otherwise using the trails described herein. The author also assumes no responsibility for any damages or injuries to person or property caused by any person biking or otherwise using the trails described herein. Ride at your own risk. Pictures and web site copyright 2004,2005