The Group of Seven has a strong connection to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and it is only fitting that this trail should begin in Kleinburg (Vaughan), which the McMichael calls home. While the trail can be accessed at any point along the route, we suggest starting at Bindertwine Park (299 Stegman’s Mill Rd.), which leads you right onto the Humber River Trail, and where free all-day parking is available. This 72km route includes a mix of paved trails and roads and is suitable for recreational cyclists. Access the route digitally via RidewithGPS, Strava and MapmyRide to help navigate you while you ride.
Below you will find a list of suggested nearby stops along the route. Check them out for a quick pit stop or make a mental note of them for a return visit to Vaughan, with or without the bike in tow!
Stop A – McMichael Canadian Art Collection
10365 Islington Ave., Kleinburg, ON L0J 1C0
Make your way south along the Humber River Trail. You will know you are approaching the McMichael Canadian Art Collection when you reach marker #13. Alongside the trail, you will also notice a sculpture called the ‘Peace Making Machine’, made of ash wood planks and steel pipe.
Spend some time visiting the McMichael, home to thousands of legendary Canadian art pieces by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, aboriginal groups, and more. Explore the outdoor hiking trails, the Ivan Eyre Sculpture Garden, the Tom Thomson shack, as well as the McMichael Cemetery where six Group of Seven members have been laid to rest. A trail map and audio guide can be downloaded here.
Stop B – Boyd Conservation Park
8739 Islington Ave., Woodbridge, ON L4L 1A6
Continue south along the trail to Boyd Conservation Park. This scenic stop is perfect for a picnic – plan ahead and pack some goodies to enjoy here. Public washrooms are also available before getting back on the trail.
Stop C – Big Cannoli Lane (at Market Lane)
140 Woodbridge Ave., Woodbridge, ON L4L 2S7
Grab an authentic Italian sweet treat and/or coffee at Big Cannoli Lane. A European classic, the traditional cannoli is made of a lightly fried, tube-shaped, pastry dough stuffed with a sweet creamy ricotta filling, then sprinkled with pistachios and confectioner’s sugar. Here, you will find a few extra delicious filling flavours, including Nutella and lemon amongst others.
Stop D – Magnotta
271 Chrislea Rd., Vaughan, ON L4L 8N6
Wine-enthusiasts can enjoy the delicious Ontario wines from Magnotta, a local, family-run winery. Their Vaughan flagship 75,000 square foot location features state-of-the-art winemaking, production and bottling facilities, microbrewery, copper pot distillery, underground barrel cellar and an outdoor patio. An extensive collection of original art, including works by Canadian Group of Seven artists, can also be found here. Try Rosanna Magnotta’s world-class sparkling icewine and red wines.
Stop E – Reptilia Zoo Vaughan
2501 Rutherford Rd., Concord, ON L4K 2N6
Vaughan is also home to a number of attractions with fun for the whole family. Near Rutherford and Creditstone, you will find Reptilia, Canada’s largest indoor reptile zoo, with over 250 species of reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids from all around the world. If you’ve got kids, you’ll want to return with them to check this one out. Skyzone Vaughan, just down the road, is also a great spot to help them burn off some of their excess energy!
Stop F – Mackenzie Glen District Park
220 Cranston Park Ave., Maple, ON L6A 2M4
Mackenzie Glen District Park is another great spot for a pit-stop, whether to just stretch your legs or for a leisurely lunch break. This wide-open space includes well-maintained picnic spots, public washroom facilities, and a nice walking trail that encircles a small pond. A playground and splash pad can also be found here, if you need to cool off during the summer months. Go ahead and run through it, we won’t tell. 😊
Stop G – Nature’s Emporium & St. Phillip’s Bakery
2535/2563 Major Mackenzie Drive West, Maple, ON L6A 1C6
Nature’s Emporium is the place to go for organic food including hot entrées, a bakery, and a juice bar. Started by a passionate family in the 1990s, this grocery store provides a wide range of food options and products that will suit your every need. Additionally, try some delicious Italian gelato, French macarons, or other sweet desserts at St. Phillips Bakery. Of course, if you just need a java fix to keep you going, here you can also enjoy an authentic espresso, latte or cappuccino.
Stop H – Black Creek Pioneer Village
1000 Murray Ross Pkwy., North York, ON M3J 2P3
Black Creek Pioneer Village is another location you’ll want to come back and check out when you’ve got more time. Travel back in time to 1867 and experience life as it was for our early Canadian settlers. Self guided tours are available to discover the 40 heritage buildings, meet the friendly farm animals, and more, at your own pace.
Stop I – Dave & Buster’s
120 Interchange Way, Vaughan, ON L4K 5C3
For fun with your crew, check out Dave & Buster’s, but you’ll probably want to head back here without your bikes. Their slogan is “Eat, Drink and Play”… do we need to say more?!?!
Stop J – Kensington Brewing Co.
1033 Edgeley Blvd., Vaughan, ON L4K 0H4
Enjoy a refreshing beer from Kensington Brewing Company at their newest “Uptown” location. A small patio area is available at this location.
Stop K – Kleinburg Village
If you’ve followed along our suggested route, you’ll be returning to the starting point at Bindertwine Park, but before calling it a day, we suggest a visit to Kleinburg Main Street, on Islington Ave., just up the road to view its beautiful heritage buildings and experience its quaint small-town charm. Right at the corner of Stegman’s Mill Rd. and Islington Ave. you’ll find Old Firehall Confectionery offering a wide variety of handcrafted artisanal chocolates and sweet treats. Balzac’s, a favorite spot amongst regular cyclists through Kleinburg, is a just little further up along Main Street. Grab a refreshing cold brew or treat to eat before heading home.
For more great things to see and do or for suggestions on places to stay in Vaughan, check out visitvaughan.ca. Don’t have a car? Vaughan is easily accessible by TTC via the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, or by GO Train, to either Maple or Rutherford GO Station. Your bike rides free!
*The Group of Seven Trails is one of ten tour routes developed by York Region and included as part of their York Region Cycling Tour Map. This YDH accompanying itinerary has been adapted with permission from York Region.
**Temporary trail closure is currently in effect for bridgework at Major Mackenzie Drive Road through Fall 2021. No through-access is available along the Humber Trail within the William Granger Greenway, south of Stop A (McMichael), until completion of the work.