Sylvan ParkAddress: 55 SYLVAN AVE Map It
Sylvan Park offers a small area of cut grass and benches for park users to enjoy the view of Lake Ontario from the height of land. There is one pedestrian trail to the lake:
The Doris McCarthy Trail (Gates Gully): start from Ravine Drive, south of Kingston Road and head down to the lake
This park is part of Scarborough Bluffs.
Sylvan Park was named after the nearby Sylvan Avenue. In Roman mythology, Sylvanus was a woodland deity and Sylvan refers to the wooded rural character of the area. An earlier name for the park was the Cherry Orchard. It was purchased from private owners in 1966 by Metropolitan Toronto, the regional government at the time. Later it was transferred to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The land was acquired to curtail further erosion and to prevent possible development of housing on the site.
The western boundary of Sylvan Park is close to Bellamy Creek where it cuts thorough the Scarbough Bluffs to Lake Ontario. The ravine surrounding Bellany Creek known as the Bellamy Ravine is also known as Gates Gulley, after a well-known pioneer, Johnathan Gates who settled in the area in 1815. Gates later operated the Scarboro Inn, also known as Gates Tavern, on Kingston Road, just east of Bellamy Road.
More recently, the trail through Gates Gulley was named after the well-known Canadian artist Doris McCarthy, who lived at the end of Meadowcliffe Road and owned a portion of the Bellamy Ravine. Doris McCarthy, best known for her landscape paintings, lived on the picturesque 12-acre property from 1939 to her death in 2010. She referred to her home as "Fools Paradise" and she donated it to the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1998, hoping that other artists would use the lands on the Scarborough Bluff to inspire art after her death. She donated the lands in the ravine to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority for conservation and access purposes. A sculpture is located at the point where the Doris McCarthy Trail meets the lakeshore.