G Ross Lord Park: A Complete Guide to One of Toronto’s Most Diverse Parks

Located at 4801 Dufferin in North York, G Ross Lord Park is one of Toronto’s most diverse parks with something for everyone, from nature lovers to sports enthusiasts. A large park with groomed grounds and well-maintained facilities, the park is popular year-round among those who live in North York apartments and who enjoy getting outdoors. Whether you’re looking for some solitude, a place to bring the whole family, a place to meet with friends, or somewhere to play a sport, this park has is worth a visit.

In the spring and summer, the park offers gorgeous green landscapes and perfectly manicured gardens. In the fall, the satisfying crunch of fallen leaves fills the air as park visitors stroll the paths and the fall colours are simply breathtaking. As snow blankets the park in winter, it feels quiet and peaceful but don’t let that deceive you, even when it’s cold there’s still plenty to do and explore at this beautiful city park.   


G Ross Lord Park: The History

One of the most remarkable things about G Lord Ross Park is its history. The park was created in 1972 and named after Dr. G Ross Lord, P. Eng., in recognition of his service to the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority as chairman between 1958 and 1972. After 1972, he continued as a provincial appointee with the Authority for an additional six years and further advanced conservation.

Though the park was created to protect nearby homes from flooding, a landscape assessment was conducted to identify how preservation, enhancement, and revegetation could improve conservation in the area. Many projects were undertaken, including planting native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Over the years, these conservation efforts have paid off and the park is home to countless species of wildlife. 


G Ross Lord Park: The Basics

Open year-round, this park is uniquely convenient to visit with eight parking lots and several ways to get there on public transit. Its location also makes it a great park to cycle, walk, or roller blade to. In fact, it’s often worth leaving the car at home on weekends when the weather is nice as the parking lots can fill up quickly.

There are two sets of washrooms and several water fountains conveniently located in the park. In addition, the park features many recreational amenities, including picnic areas, a firepit, a dizzying number of walking and cycling trails, three ponds, an off-leash area for dogs, several sports fields and two cricket pitches.


Things to Do at the Park

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find a lot to love about G Ross Lord Park. With so many facilities and amenities, the park has something for anyone who wants to get outside, whether it’s just to relax or to enjoy a recreational activity.  

Hiking and Cycling

With network of 47 trails measuring more than four kilometers, G Ross Lord Park is a hiker or cyclist’s dream. Well-maintained and manicured trails take you through beautifully wooded areas and over scenic walking bridges. You’ll find a combination of paved and unpaved trails at this park, making it a great walking and hiking destination for all abilities.

Off Leash Area

Located at the western border of the park the large fenced off-leash area within G Ross Lord Park is the perfect destination for a walk with your four-legged best friend. Here, your dog can run freely, chase a ball, and make new friends all while you remain relaxed that they won’t be able to run away. If you want to make the most out of a trip to the park, take your pup on a long on-leash walk through the trails and end the day at the off-leash area. Enjoying nature together is the ideal weekend treat for both you and your dog. Trust us, they’ll thank you for it!

Sports

Sports enthusiasts will find no shortage of sports to entertain them at this well-equipped park. Three soccer fields and two cricket pitches accommodate multiple games at once. It’s worth noting that these spaces can be used to play other sports, too! Toss around a football or frisbee instead. In fact, anything you can play on grass is fair game here. Just don’t wear cleats, which damage the delicate grass on the fields, as a courtesy to your fellow players.

Whatever sport you choose to play or practice at G Ross Lord Park, you’re likely to enjoy the experience. Not only do the fields in this park have beautiful surroundings, but they’re well maintained making them a joy to play on.

Cross Country Skiing

With an extensive trail network and so much green space, it’s not surprising that G Ross Lord Park has become a destination for cross country skiing enthusiasts during the winter months. Head to the park after a fresh snowfall to feel the perfect powdery snow beneath your skis as you take in the beautiful surroundings. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors during Ontario’s cold winter months.

Fishing

Located right on the West Don River, G Lord Ross Park offers urban anglers convenient access to the river. In fact, there’s even wheelchair access to the water. Fishing is primarily done from shore using live bait, like worms. Anglers can expect to find brown bullhead, carp, punkinseed, rock bass, and white suckers in this reservoir. While species are limited, bullhead can reach up to 12 inches and carp can exceed 10 pounds here. Just be aware that the river is also home to turtles, that are more than happy to bite into live bait. 

Wildlife

Wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers will find visiting G Ross Lord Park to be a rewarding experience. Frequently encountered species include skunks, squirrels, rabbits, and racoons. However, the park is also home to coyotes and deer.

In addition to common species like Canada Geese and Mallards, bird watchers have reported sightings of Hawks, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, American Goldfinches, Cormorants, Cardinals, Sparrows, and many more. Recent sightings are shared online on birdwatching websites like this one.


Firepit & Picnic Areas

Perhaps the most popular areas among visitors to G Ross Lord Park are the picnic areas. Here, park goers gather with friends and family to share meals outdoors while enjoying games and other recreational activities. Not surprisingly, these picnic areas get very busy on the weekends during the summer months.

One of the unique amenities at G Ross Lord Park is a firepit. Visitors will need to reserve this area and obtain a firepit permit to use it, but the process is straight forward and the costs are reasonable. To obtain a firepit permit through the City of Toronto, follow this process.


Getting to G Ross Lord Park

As an urban park, G Ross Lord Park can be accessed using multiple modes of transportation. The park has eight lots offering ample parking for visitors who prefer to drive. It’s also accessible on public transit via the subway and 105 Dufferin North bus. On warm spring and summer days, cycling, walking, or rollerblading are also great ways to access the park while getting some extra exercise.