riverwood park mississauga ontario
The Credit River at Riverwood Park Mississauga

Riverwood Park Mississauga

Riverwood Park is a popular park in Mississauga, Ontario. It is an interesting combination of unspoiled nature and formal gardens. Riverwood is a big (150 acres) facility with several historic landmarks within its boundaries, and it is located in the Credit Woodlands area of the city.

forest at riverwood park mississauga
Forest at Riverwood

A good portion of the park is situated on a hilltop that overlooks the Credit River valley. The valley and the river provide a natural setting, while the flower gardens on the hilltop attract gardeners, and people who love flowers.

There’s plenty to do at Riverwood Park. Some of the most popular activities include:

  • walking and hiking
  • enjoying the gardens and flower displays
  • nature and floral photography
  • learning from one of the many educational programs that are offered here
  • birdwatching
  • fishing

Riverwood Park is often associated with the Riverwood Conservancy, a charitable organization that is located in the park.

Riverwood Conservancy is very active in the promotion of ecological awareness, and it holds substantial educational programs and events year round. More on that later.

Why Parks are Important

Parks are often taken for granted in urban areas like Mississauga, but they play a critical role in our lives. They provide a much-needed escape from the pressures of the urban environment that we live in.

Here are four reasons why parks like Riverwood contribute to our well-being:

Reducing the Negative Effects of Air Pollution

Parks act as a natural filter for the air we breathe, absorbing pollutants and reducing the levels of harmful chemicals in the environment. Not only that, but they also help cool the city and mitigate the effects of climate change by providing shade and reducing the urban heat island effect.

Opportunities for Physical Activity and Recreation

Parks provide a range of facilities for people of all ages, from playgrounds and sports fields to walking paths and picnic areas. This not only helps maintain good health but also provides a much-needed escape from the urban environment, reducing stress levels and improving mental health.

Promoting Community Engagement and Social Interaction

Parks serve as a gathering place for residents to come together, share experiences, and build relationships. This helps foster a sense of community, build social capital, and promote social cohesion.

Protecting Biodiversity and Wildlife

Urban parks such as Riverwood often provide essential habitats for a range of plant and animal species. These spaces serve as important refuges for wildlife in urban areas, helping to mitigate the effects of habitat loss and degradation.

Riverwood Park provides all of these, and gives visitors with a valuable connection to nature.

Where is Riverwood Park?

As shown in the map above, Riverwood Park is located in central Mississauga. It’s about a half hour drive from downtown Toronto.

Municipal address for Riverwood Park is 4190 Riverwood Park Lane, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5C 1E3.

The nearest main intersection is Burnhamthorpe Road W. and The Credit Woodlands.

The park is easily reachable by car, and by public transit. There are plenty of buses on Burnhamthorpe Rd. West.

The nearest regional commuter rail and bus station is the Erindale GO Station on the Milton Line.

History of the Park

Riverwood has a long and interesting history. Originally a Crown land grant in 1833 to Peter McDougall, the property saw numerous owners, until it was purchased, in 1913, by Percy and Ida Parker. Percy Parker was a prominent Toronto lawyer.

The Parkers initially rebuilt a small stone cottage on the ruins of a former building that dated from the 1850’s, and used it as a summer cottage. This cottage is still standing, and today is known as the MacEwan House.

Chappell House

Then, in 1919, they built a second, much larger house, which Ida Parker named Riverwood.

After Mr. Parker’s death in 1936, Ida Parker gradually sold off parcels of the property in three stages. When she found the house to be too much to maintain, Ida Parker sold the property to Grace and Hyliard (Hyl) Chappell in 1954. Hyliard Chappell was a local politician who was eventually elected as a Pierre Trudeau-era MP for Mississauga.

When I first started researching the history of Riverwood, it was a bit confusing, because you will find the 1919 house referred to as both the Parker House, and the Chappell House. But it’s the same property.

In the 1990s, the parcels of land that Ida Parker had sold were re-assembled into a single property when the City of Mississauga purchased all three. Partnering with the Credit Valley Conservation Authority and the Mississauga Garden Council, the City turned Riverwood into a public garden park.

chappell house riverwood
Chappell House aka Parker House

Riverwood Park remains an important cultural and natural landmark in the Mississauga area.

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Park Attractions

Riverwood is one of about 500 parks administered by the City of Mississauga. It is open year round, although the best times to visit are definitely in the spring, summer, and fall. As with all parks in Mississauga, there is no fee for admission.

Pine Sanctuary

pine sanctuary sculpture by marc fornes
Pine Sanctuary Sculpture at the park entrance

As you enter the park, you are greeted by the Pine Sanctuary sculpture by celebrated New York artist Marc Fornes. This is a very cool sculpture, which you can walk underneath.

Walking Trails along the Credit River

Just past the Pine Sanctuary sculpture, there is a road leading down to the Credit River. At Riverwood Park Mississauga, the Credit River is located in a valley with lots of thick forest running along its banks.

It can be a rapidly flowing stream when the snow melts in the spring, or a trickling brook during midsummer.

There are multiple walking and hiking trails in the park. Many of the trails run along the banks of the river.

Riverwood Conservancy trails include the Culham Trail, which is an 13.2km long trail that follows the Credit River north along its right bank. You can follow the Culham Trail north through the Riverwood Conservancy.

There are other colour-coded trails in the park: The Red Trail, and The Yellow Trail. Both offer terrific hiking paths through the forest and along the banks of the river.

Wildlife Habitat

You will see a lot of ducks and geese here, during all times of the year. There are songbirds of every kind, and everything from hummingbirds to Great Blue Herons. It’s a great spot if you are into birding.

You will also see plenty of the usual small animals, including squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, and maybe the occasional fox, skunk, or coyote. There are herds of white-tailed deer in the park, although they are elusive. Winter is probably the best time to see the deer.

Riverwood Park has plenty of panoramic views along the waterway where you can soak in the beauty of the river, and listen to the sounds of the water flowing.

MacEwen Terrace Garden

macewen terrace garden
MacEwen Terrace Garden

The MacEwan Terrace Garden is a two-acre perennial garden opened at Riverwood in 2012. This is an accessible site that looks over the wetlands, grasses, and white pine and spruce trees. The heritage gardens attract birds and butterflies.

Over 7000 plants grow at the MacEwan Terrace Garden, including shrubs, trees, perennials, and ornamental grasses. Much of the gardening is done by volunteers. You can apply to become a volunteer gardener to lend a hand. This garden is a gateway to the nature that awaits you on the hiking trails.

There are several spots on the terrace that have panoramic views of the Credit River below.

Enabling Garden

The Enabling Garden is a hands-on teaching garden that is fully accessible and designed to assist children, youth, adults and seniors with physical, cognitive, emotional and/or developmental challenges in the region of Peel.

Therapeutic gardening programs are designed to encourage general health and wellness through both passive interaction with the garden and active purposeful gardening activities.

The Garden’s design, special tools and sensory-stimulating plant compositions provide the benefits of Horticulture Therapy and enable participants to build social skills, confidence and self-esteem in a safe and supportive natural environment.

Gardening programs can be customized to support an individual’s special needs while building opportunities to participate in fun and informative activities.

Heritage Buildings

There are several heritage structures in Riverwood Park.

These include the Chappell House mentioned above, plus the MacEwan House, and the MacEwan Barn, which date from the 1850’s.

MacEwan House

This is the small stone cottage that Percy and Ida Parker rebuilt and renovated in 1915.

The original cottage was first constructed in the mid 1800’s, presumably by someone named MacEwan.

The current building now houses Visual Arts Mississauga’s Great-West Life Heritage Studio & The Riverwood Conservancy’s MacEwan Field Station.

MacEwan Barn

macewen barn at riverwood conservancy
MacEwan Barn c.1850

The stone foundation and timber sections date back to 1850. Renovated in 2006, the barn is used today as an accessible classroom and camp lunchroom by Riverwood tenants.


There are two organizations that are based at Riverwood Park.

The Riverwood Conservancy

The Riverwood Conservancy is a volunteer and member-based charity that protects and restores Riverwood, and connects people of all ages, abilities, and cultures to the wonders of nature through conservation, education, gardening, and volunteering.

The conservancy has an extensive education program for elementary and high school students. It includes field trips, classroom instruction, and virtual classroom instruction.

Riverwood Conservancy have their headquarters located in the 1919 Chappell house. 

Visual Arts Mississauga

Visual arts Mississauga is a not for profit arts organization focusing on art education, exhibition and community engagement. They are located in a separate building near the Terrace Gardens.

Plan Your Visit to Riverwood

Riverwood Park is open daily from 7:00am to 11:00pm (or until dusk in winter).

Riverwood Park Parking

There is plenty of free parking once you enter the park. There are several parking lots, including the main lot near the Terrace Gardens, plus one at the Chappell House, and one lower lot near the river.

Online reviews of the park are very positive, currently ranking 4.7 out of 5 on Google, with thousands of reviews posted. For many people, this is their favourite Mississauga park.

There are free public washrooms at the park.

The park is dog-friendly! Dogs on a leash are permitted.

Entrance to the park is free.


Riverwood Park Mississauga is a delightful combination of beautiful flower gardens and undisturbed nature.

The park’s ravine and Credit River Valley areas support diverse wildlife and wildfowl, promoting various plant and animal species.

With its excellent central location and full array of attractions including walking trails, historic structures, and beautiful gardens, Riverwood Park is one of Mississauga’s top attractions.

We highly recommend Riverwood Park as one of the best parks in Mississauga.

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Next: Streetsville Memorial Park

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Riverwood Park
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Riverwood Park
Riverwood Park is a large park in Mississauga, Ontario. It features natural areas, a river, plus flower gardens, historic buildings, and public art. Riverwood Park is affiliated with the Riverwood Conservancy, a non-profit charity that administers the park and provides an extensive educational program regarding the environment.
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Randy Selzer - Real Estate Agent
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