Keeping Ravines Clean!

Don’t Mess With the Don is an all volunteer Canadian registered charity committed to protecting and enhancing the natural heritage of the Don Valley and Toronto ravines. 

Founded in April 2018 by a core group of 5 members, Don’t Mess with the Don was begun as an initiative by Toronto’s Don trail users to fight the problem of systematic dumping of waste & garbage in the Don ravines. In the time since then, DMWTD has removed over 180,000lbs of litter, trash, garbage and illegal dumping from the Don Valley. 

Along with our legions of volunteers, we have picked up just about everything that our industrial society has produced, with the most pervasive being single use plastics.

Recognizing that we face a Global Climate crisis, we choose to expend our energies locally where we can be the most effective…right here in Canada’s most urban river valley. 

To support our commitment to enhancing the Valley, in late spring 2020, we began a stewardship initiative. We located an area of the Don overrun with destructive non-native invasive trees, plants and shrubs and have now “adopted” the site.

This is a long term strategy and we are dedicated to removing the invasive species from the valley and planting important native species and pollinator plants to return the area to a more natural and ecologically diverse space. To date, we have cleared nearly 2ha and have planted 5 separate gardens along with many trees.

Hopefully with Covid restrictions behind us, we can return to leading school field trips where we introduce young people to the wonders of our natural world right here in the city. 

Our free bi-weekly ‘Saturdays at the Container’ are geared to parents and children with nature themed arts and crafts, a nature /history walk and a  BBQ featuring both meat and meatless options.

DMWTD is also an outspoken advocate for Toronto greenspaces and the environment deputing at city council and through frequent media interviews. Teaming up with other eco-sensitive  and green organizations in November 2021, DMWTD hosted a RALLY for the VALLEY and Toronto Ravines to raise awareness of the challenges both natural and man-made that are facing the Don. Joined by 350 concerned citizens along with local politicians and the media, we were successful in bringing attention to many of the problems facing our ravine system.

In the DMWTD community, there is an unspoken commitment to the idea of giving back. This idea of volunteerism is rooted in the deeply felt desire to do important work and in the process, find community.

DMWTD believes a volunteer who participates in an organization event should come away with a feeling of joy, a sense of empowerment and a greater fundamental connection to community and planet.

To take part in any of our activities (all volunteer hour eligible for HS students), visit

or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also join our community FB group:

A Park for All

Please support our all volunteer charitable group by donating. Click on the donate button on our webpage. We maintain a very low overhead and all proceeds are invested right back into the Don Valley.