Spring Creek Ravine

See also Wendigo Creek & Pond, Eastern Ravine

In contrast with the prairies and dry oak woodlands surrounding it, Spring Creek ravine contains many moist and wet habitats. Wet meadows and marshes flourish at the bottom of the ravine. Deep and narrow, it traps the cooler air. The east-facing slopes are coolest because they are in shade for most of the afternoon.

Just underneath the sandy soil of the park's uplands is a layer of clay that forces water to travel sideways - creating a supply of water where it seeps out along the lower slopes of the ravine. Due to the constant presence of water and the cooler temperatures, the forest and marshes are rich in plant life and alive with creatures.

This ravine is home to six different plant communities. The ravine's dominant plant community, the Red Oak-Red Maple Deciduous Forest, is found nowhere else in the park. Two other plant communities, the Red-osier Dogwood Thicket Swamp and the Bluejoint Meadow Marsh, are found in only one other place in High Park. The coolest areas have more boreal affinities, with Eastern Hemlock and understorey plants associated with more northerly conditions.

Red-backed salamanders breed on the damp forest floor, while birds such as wood thrush and chipping sparrow forage and nest in the trees above.

Articles on Ravines

Toronto’s ravines, the jewels of the city, need help battling the effects of climate change, invasive species, and other challenges. The ravines are featured in the September 2019 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine , the magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Read the article here

The fight to save Toronto’s ravines from invasive species McLeans Magazine Aug 28, 2019

Karen Yukich
False Solomon's Seal
Karen Yukich
James Kamstra
Sassafras in fall
Karen Yukich
Wood Thrush
Howard Shapiro
Japanese Knotweed
Linda Read
Chipping Sparrow
Iain Fleming


Red Oak

Black Cherry

Red Maple


White Ash

White Birch


Choke Cherry

Red-osier Dogwood



Herbaceous Plants

False Solomon's Seal

Wild Sarasparilla


White Trillium

Wild Geranium

Zig Zag Goldenrod

Invasive Plants

Manitoba Maple

Garlic Mustard

Japanese Knotweed

Lily of the Valley


Source: High Park Nature Centre brochure, 2008

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Content last modified on September 06, 2019, at 08:10 PM EST