Top 10 Parks in Toronto
Summers in Toronto are beautiful, that is no question. And what better way to enjoy the beautiful weather and cityscape than to head to a park? Deciding to go to a park is easy, what’s harder is choosing which park to visit out of the 1500 parks belonging to Toronto. So we’ve narrowed down all your options to just the 10 best (trust me it was much harder than it sounds). Regardless if you are a resident or a tourist or a resident, these are green spaces you must visit all around the city. Each has it
This park is located in the west end of the city and is much more than just a park. This park, a 20 minute transit ride from downtown is home to sports fields, arenas, pools, famous play structures, and even a zoo. The park is fantastic for visitors of all ages, take a train tour around the park to see everything in a short period of time. For younger children the zoo is always a hit. Unique styled play structures are sure to keep kids busy for hours. The park even has a waterfront where you can relax by the lake for a picnic. While these are all amazing options, the big attraction at high park comes in early May when the cherry blossom trees begin to bloom. Thousands of people crowd the blooming trees to catch a glimpse of the short lived beauty lasting around a week. Parking to visit High Park is available though try to get there early to catch a good spot.
Trinity bellwoods is the green oasis located in the heart of the city. The 37 acre park can be accessed from Queen St. West and is accompanied by phenomenal views of the CN tower. The park is known for attracting the trendy Torontonians, and features several amenities like a wading pool, a rec centre, volleyball courts, a baseball diamond, and more. This is the perfect place to rest after a busy day in the downtown core. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch one of the many events that take place on the grounds. If you’re extra lucky, you might get to see the Toronto legendary white squirrels as well. The park itself is fairly busy, though there is so much space, you will find a place to set up your camp.
Evergreen Brickworks Park
The brickworks park surrounds the Don Valley Parkway and is recognized as being an environmental centre in the city. Featured on the television show Junk Raiders, the interior of the reclaimed brick factory is built almost entirely using reclaimed items from the city. This park is partially covered by the remaining parts of the brick factory, but behind the building there are gorgeous trails to walk through and fields to play or picnic in. The highlight has to be the greenhouse and plant gardens. Within evergreen, there are childrens green houses for the curious kid and for the adult, beverage testing at locations within the park and it’s buildings. If you want to pick up some fresh produce, head down to the site on saturdays for the famous farmers market. And if art is more your style visit the temporary and permanent art exhibits on the grounds. It is easy to see why this location is a favourite to many city goers.
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
Perhaps the best views in the city and of the city can be found at the waterfront of Colonel Samuel Smith Park. The park is located near the lakeshore campus of Humber college and south of the Kipling and Lakeshore Blvd intersection in Etobicoke. The perfect spot to watch fireworks on a holiday, or go skating in the winter on the famous figure 8 rink. With more than three beach areas, Colonel Samuel Smith park is the perfect place to chill out. Looking east onto the city is breathtaking, so is the sunrise if you get there early enough. The area is also great for people who love to walk their dogs seeing as there is a dog park within walking distance. Bikers will love this area with wide trails and a variety of paths to choose from. Parking is never an issue with more than three different parking lots.
Gorgeous flowers and wildlife are something you can’t miss at James Gardens. This is a great park to spend the day bird watching or taking photos of flowers. In the winter when the birds are migrated and the flowers dormant, nordic skiing is a popular attraction at the park. During the summer, in addition to bird watching and flower observing, lawn bowling is also an attraction. James gardens used to belong to someone privately but was sold to the city and is now free for everyone to enjoy. During the spring and summer months it’s not unusual to see a bride and groom taking photos amongst the flowers and greenery. The park is a favourite backdrop for wedding party photos.
Scarborough Bluffs Park
The bluffs are home to 11 different parks, covering over 15 km of water front, at 9 of these parks you will be on the cliffs looking out onto Lake Ontario. These parks are where you will be able to see ocean like waters for as far as the eye can see. An amazing option for a beach or hiking day, make sure to wear sunscreen as the sun can be very strong at the parks. While the parks are home to amazing views, visitors should be mindful that these are still cliffs and can be dangerous if one is not paying attention to where they are going. Overall, its stunning views draw large crowds, and are another popular destination for wedding photos, providing a tropical like beach scene.
This massive national park covers over 62 square kilometres of land. Located within the park grounds is the Toronto zoo. This makes the park the perfect place for nature lovers of all ages. A true urban park provides a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else in Toronto. You absolutely cannot miss the bright colours of the trees in the fall and the lush green in summer. And if the zoo isn’t for you, catch some of the animals in the wild, Rouge park is home to various different wildlife year round. Open every day of the year, free admission and parking nearby is amazing, though be mindful that the trailers are not maintained regularly.
Canoe Landing Park
One of the newer parks in Toronto but no less unique is the Canoe landing park. Covering a smaller area of only 8acres makes this the smallest of the mentioned parks. However the location makes this size seem massive. The giant canoe can be seen right off the Gardiner, and can be accessed easily from Fort York Blvd. Alongside the canoe, there are other modern art exhibits worth checking out. This may not be the kind of park you could spend the whole day at, the giant canoe big enough for you to stand in, along with the one of a kind benches have this park making our top 10.
Toronto Island Park
One of the beautiful attractions on Toronto’s famous island, has a variety of activities to take part in. A popular favourite amongst children is the William Meany Maze. This maze is made out of cedar trees and offers a unique experience for children. The other greenery on the island is surely something worth mentioning. The way to reach the park is an attraction in itself. The ferry is a 10-30 minute ride on the water and is relatively inexpensive. Toronto island also has had cherry blossom trees planted since 2011 so head out to the island in early may to catch a glimpse of those as well. Pack a nice lunch when headed over to the island park and pick a spot to sit down and have a nice lunch with views of the city, lagoon, or lake.
Toronto Music Park
Toronto’s Music garden located at the harbourfront tells a story, no words needed. The quaint park is split into 6 different sections meant to flow into each other the way music does. The architecture in each section is what differentiates this park. While it may not be as big as the others, it is certainly just as beautiful. The garden trailers and exquisite architecture of each section is surrounded by floral displays at every step. The sixth and final exhibit at the park is amphitheatre-like granite steps covered in grass, where visitors can sit and take in the scenery, or if they’re lucky enough catch a free concert. Walking through the park with some Bach and Yo Yo Ma playing in your headphones will surely produce a serine guided experience worth visiting for. So you’ve read all about the parks, which are you going to visit first, and did you know we even had this many cool parks? Of course you did, because while we only covered 10 parks, we know there are countless others dispersed at every edge of the city. This amount of parks is a rare occurrence in a city as large and densely populated as Toronto. So why not take advantage of this and check out a new picnic spot!