This is a leisurely walk along the outskirts of Rosedale, taking about 40 minutes outbound and 20 - 30 minutes to return. The directions given in this Pub Walk do at times seem overwhelming, as no Rosedale roads are straightforward. Look at this as a challenge as this walk includes sections of the city quite mysterious and only accessible on foot. All paths, however, are easily traversable and well lit, but the first section has a staircase, some park sections, and also the Rosedale footbridge, so exercise caution at night.
Leave the TTC at the Glen exit, Sherbourne subway station. This can be a feat in itself as there are strange wind patterns on the staircase that can defeat small bodies, and at the stair summit one appears to be in a very inhospitable bunker. Despair not, as it gets much better. Head north through the tunnel, over the footbridge and get a unique view of Toronto from this great vantage point.
If you are driving, park at the north terminus of the bridge, at Glen and Dale. Walk east on Dale - count the grand pianos in house windows to keep busy, remembering that this is the "poor" section of Rosedale. Make a left on Hawthorn, where there is a sign to Hawthorn Gardens. Proceed north but not to the aforementioned Hawthorn Gardens, keep going straight and you will find yourself in Craigleigh Gardens. If you have a dog, he or she will be happy to accompany you between 6 and 10 am or pm when this is a leash free zone and your pets can cavort at will. If you are paranoid against animals, avoid these hours. The park does seem to attract a friendly bunch of canines.
Follow the path through the park and exit through a lovely set of gates beside the doggie water fountain. Make a left and circle right along Elm. There is no grid pattern here and shortly you will lose all sense of direction. Periodically look up and around to see the Bay tower at Yonge and Bloor to keep orientated.
Cross Glen and go right at Dunbar. At the T junction proceed left on South Dr., cross the northern terminus of Sherbourne St. and make a right up Scarth through the no exit sign. At the end of this street you will find a footpath that takes you north, elevated above Mount Pleasant.
Cross Mount Pleasant, going west along Crescent Rd. Cross South Dr. and go left on Rosedale Rd. Make a right on Cluny Ave. and you will shortly join Cluny Dr. At this Dr. and Ave. intersection abandon the road and head for the hole in the barrier you will see ahead of you. This path is illuminated at night, but is gravel and can be slippery. So do not be too exuberant in inclement weather,
Follow the barrier and the path will bear left leading you down to the bottom of the hill where you will join the main paved path. Go right at the bottom of the hill, north, away from the Bay, which is clearly visible here. Head up the stairs chanting to yourself, "beer is waiting at the top." Feel self-righteous that you didn't just get off the subway at Rosedale.
Proceed north to the pub of your choice. The Rebel House is on the west side of Yonge, just north of the Rosedale subway, while the Quail is opposite, on the east side.
The Rebel House is a beer drinkers delight and has been reviewed on this web site before, but is always worth a second mention. It is a mandatory experience for any beer lover. It is one of the top 5 beer venues in Toronto. It also has one of the most unique and inviting patios in the city plus excellent food. There are usually 15 or so taps, all microbrews. Current selections this winter included McAuslan Cream Ale, Black Oak Pale Ale, Trafalgar Celtic Ale and Steam Whistle. Food snackers should try the "daily bread". The downside of this establishment is that it is small and crowded at peak times, so after this great walk you could be hungry and thirsty and not get in…thus join the other overflow patrons and imbibe at a not as unique, but they are trying, tavern across the street, the Quail and Firkin.
Obviously part of the chain, this pub is a fine addition to the drinking dens of this stretch of Yonge and is a great place to while away some free time. This is a comfortable, non-threatening, rather cavernous British pub style venue. Décor is heavy, dark wood with red velvet banquettes. Even the pool table is red. The food, however, is copious, well prepared and cheap bar fodder. The beers are unimaginative, with Creemore, Hoegaarden and Algonquin being the most enticing, but there are around 15 taps, so there is plenty of selection. Both of these pubs allow smoking, so leave the kiddies at home.
To return, go north from either pub and east along Roxborough. Make a left up Chestnut and follow this street to the end. This is not as easy as it sounds. There is a dirth of street signs and those that are there confuse. At one point the signs indicate that Chestnut goes east and west and also south and none of the sidewalks go straight either. However, whichever section of Chestnut you proceed along you will eventually bear right and end up back on Roxborough.
Take Roxborough east to Wrentham Pl., which will take you south to Crescent. Make a left here and cross back over Mount Pleasant. Continue east on Crescent and left along Lamport through the no exit sign. Do not be discouraged by the obvious dead end, you are following directions. Head through the bushes at the end of the street to the wooden fence. There is a gate and it is a public thoroughfare. Through the gate you will find yourself in unpaved May Sq., which shortly joins red brick paved May St. Go right on May St., jog left on South Dr. and right on Glen to Elm.
Proceed west on Elm, cross Sherbourne on the south side and look for #17, a grey house beside a large red monolith, recenty for sale, or you can rent the second floor for $5000.00 a month (so a friendly passerby informed me). Here is a nice paved drive with a whole series of not nice signs: private property, no trespassing, no thoroughfare. These people don't want you to drop in so if the lack of invitation bothers you, double back to Sherbourne. If you do proceed down the drive you will link up to Rachael St., where there are no signs to discourage you from using the driveway.
Rachael will lead you out to Sherbourne where you can head south to the subway main entrance. If you parked, go north up Sherbourne back to Elm but proceed east along Maple, which will take you back to Glen… provided that you did not decide to rent the house on Elm, believed all those no exit signs or tried to sample all of the different beers at Rebel House.