Todmorden Mills Heritage Site features a group of historic buildings set in the scenic Don Valley that were once part of the small industrial community of Todmorden. The historic site exemplifies the changing human and natural history of the Lower Don Valley over the past 12,000 years. A 9.2 hectare wildflower preserve with a walking trail adjoins the museum site where a number of natural habitats can be explored, including upland and bottomland forests, dry and wet meadows, swamp lands and a pond.
Time-ticketed HistoricTO tours at Todmorden Mills is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10.
Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buy your tickets online to book a time slot for your visit.
Take subway to Broadview Station. Get on any bus (not a streetcar). Get off at Mortimer/Pottery Rd. (at Dairy Queen). Turn left and walk down Pottery Road. Please note that Pottery Road turns into a fairly steep hill at Broadview and can pose varying degrees of difficulty for individuals. Walking down and returning up to the bus stop takes about ten minutes each way. For specific TTC route and schedule information call 416-393-4636 (INFO) or visit the TTC website.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site opened to the public in 1967 as part of East York’s contribution to the celebration of Canada’s centennial. In 1821, the Helliwell family settled in the area and established a brewery and distillery. They re-named the area Todmorden after their home town in Lancashire, England as the landscape of the Don Valley was reminiscent of it. The Todmorden paper mill, now the Papermill Theatre and Gallery, was the first of its kind in Upper Canada to produce machine-made paper. It provided newsprint for some of the colony’s first publications including William Lyon Mackenzie’s newspaper The Colonial Advocate.
The Todmorden Mills Heritage Site grounds are home to a 9.2 hectare Wildflower (Nature) Preserve. The trail winds through several different habitats including Upland Forest on the slopes, Bottomland Forest, Swamp, Pond, Dry Meadow and Wet Meadow. The Wildflower Preserve is a long-term, ongoing project undertaken by volunteers. Their aim is to reintroduce the native plant species that were here when the settlers arrived and to remove the invasive non-native species that have been introduced. The preserve provides a green oasis within a major urban centre and is a highly valued spiritual, cultural, and environmental space.