The Old Mill neighbourhood is nestled along the thickly wooded slopes of the Humber River Valley. This is an ideal neighbourhood for families as it offers miles of parkland with a myriad of recreational opportunities.
This neighbourhood has many unique and special landmarks including the ruins of the Old Mill – which provide an enchanting backdrop for the Old Mill restaurant, the historic Old Mill bridge, and of course the Humber River which has recently been designated as a Canadian Heritage River.
Without a doubt one of the prettiest settings in Toronto has to be at the Humber River as it flows alongside Etienne Brule Park just below the historic Old Mill Inn and Spa. This is the setting every fall around Thanksgiving for dozens of anglers. These fishing enthusiasts wade with their leg high rubber boots into the chilly waters of the Humber River to test their mettle against the teeming amount of Salmon swimming upstream to spawning grounds.
Fishermen are not the only ones who gather here on a nice fall day. Curious onlookers also line the banks of the Humber river to marvel at this spectacle; as hundreds of Salmon attempt to jump the weir in the Humber river. These schools of Salmon travel this route each fall as they make their way up the river from the mouth of Lake Ontario to spawn upstream in the Humber River headwaters which originate all the way up in the Oak Ridges Moraine.
This is not a recent discovery as far as fishing holes go. Salmon have been migrating along the river for thousands of years. The First Nations people fished here long before the settlement of Toronto. The Humber River was officially designated a Canadian Heritage River at a plaque unveiling ceremony in Toronto on September 24, 1999.
The beautiful Old Mill bridge, built in 1916, is the perfect backdrop for all the fishing enthusiasts. A short stroll from the bridge is the Old Mill Inn and Spa. This historic Inn has a very popular Sunday brunch and family dinner buffet, as well as a famous Thanksgiving Buffet. Good to know just in case you get hungry after a busy day watching the Salmon run.
If you prefer a more casual outing, Etienne Brule Park has numerous picnic benches. This park is a short stroll from the Old Mill subway station. If you are traveling by car there is plenty of parking available at the entrance to the park.