An urban nature preserve situated on the shores of the Credit River in Mississauga, Riverwood is a 150-acre property where history, nature, beauty and peace blend together to create an enjoyable and lasting outdoor experience.
Riverwood is co-owned by the City of Mississauga and Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). A public trail system provides visitors to Riverwood easy access its natural splendour and cultural heritage. The Riverwood Conservancy offers naturalist-guided walks, and trail maps like the one below are available for self-guided walks.
– Riverwood is open every day from 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
– Park admission and parking are free.
– Dogs are welcome but must be leashed at all times. Please clean up after your dog.
– Use the waste and recycling bins provided to keep our park litter-free.
– Barbecues and open fires are prohibited.
– In the event parking lots are full, please do not park on the grass. Additional parking is available nearby at the Erindale GO Station.
– Woodlands, meadows and tablelands, ravines and slopes, wetlands, creeks and floodplain, and former agricultural lands.
– The Credit River, where salmon and trout abound.
– Habitat to more than 475 animal and plant species, including over 150 species of resident and migratory birds (i.e., Owls, Cooper's Hawk, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, and Turkey Vulture), White-tailed Deer, Red Fox, Red-backed Salamander and many more.
– 200 to 350-year-old trees.
– Plant communities including Great Lakes deciduous forest, pockets of Carolinian forest, old growth forest and oak savannah, a diverse population of fungi, and wildflowers.
– The most ecologically diverse community in the Credit Valley watershed.
The history of the pond dates back roughly 10,000 years when a chunk of the last continental glacier broke off and sat surrounded by a lake formed by melting ice. In time the glacier receded, but the land-bound iceberg remained. When it melted, a depression remained and filled with water. There’s evidence of glacial fill in the pond sediment, and with the pattern of sand found around its periphery.
More recently, the MacEwan Pond, as it’s anecdotally known, served as wetland habitat to a range of native plants and wildlife. However, over the last decade, phragmites, a genus of large perennial grasses, have overrun the pond and choked its open water.
The Riverwood Conservancy – alongside the City of Mississauga, Credit Valley Conservation, and our generous private donors – is working to restore the pond. This year will see further study into removing the invasive phragmites and constructing new elements around the pond, including an accessible boardwalk.
Marking the entrance to Riverwood near the corner of Burnhamthorpe Road West and Riverwood Park Lane stands Pine Sanctuary, a public art pavilion installed in 2017. Creator MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY describes the piece:
“An inviting enclosure at a scale between sculpture and architecture, at once playful and mystical, it tempts a passerby to enter. Inside, intrigue is rewarded with a unique experience of space and light, and a deep, quiet, contemplative appreciation. This might translate into wonder about what this fantastical anomaly is, and how it was made, or something more introspective and meditative. The delaminated, double-layered skin provides a moire of colors, as well as shadows and speckled light to catch on the ground. This is a place for spontaneous play as much as it is a sanctuary for one to simply lose their time."
Pine Sanctuary was commissioned by the City of Mississauga, Public Art Collection, and partly funded by the Government of Canada.