7 stunning Toronto locations when you need to escape the city this summer

Jun 22 2016, 1:31 am

We love Toronto.

From the gridlock to the daily grind, we generally prefer our days to be filled with everything the centre of the universe has to offer. But sometimes we also like to get away from the high rises and head for the hills, the water, or just wherever we can find a few animals to take selfies with.

And Toronto has more than its fair share of nature to offer – especially if you know where to look.

So the next time you’re in search of a solid escape from the city, look no further than these 7 Toronto options.

We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Leslie Street Spit

Birds, bikes, and one hell of a view, the officially named ‘Outer Harbour East Headland’, is a fantastic place to make an escape from the city. Enjoy the view, and the fact that there are no cars for the latter half of the 5km stretch.

Address: 1 Leslie St, Toronto

Leslie Spit

Tommy Thompson Park/Facebook

Water Treatment Plant (Beach)

If you haven’t been to the R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto you’ve been missing out on one of the architectural beauties of our city. However, you see that short stretch of sand at the front of it? Yup, that’s exactly where you want to go. The Beaches to the west and no direct road access make it one of the best escape options in Toronto.

Address: 2701 Queen St E, Toronto

Toronto Water Treatment Plant

Google Maps

Evergreen Brickworks

Whether you’re in the market for, well, a great local farmers’ market, or you simply want to wander the wooded trails and take in the lush surroundings, skip down to Evergreen Brickworks for an afternoon full of nature.

Address: 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto

Evergreen Brickworks


High Park

With 400 acres to explore, High Park offers every kind of nature escape you can imagine. From wooded trails and a zoo, to dog parks and Grenadier pond, you can get your fix at several different spots. Best to avoid the weekends, however, if your idea of escape means not seeing too many other people.

Address: 1873 Bloor Street W, Toronto

High Park

Michael Mayer/Flickr

The Islands

Bike, canoe, kayak, walk, or just hit up the beach – the Toronto islands are one of the city’s most popular summer escapes for a reason. This beautiful option is just a short boat ride away, but know that on summer weekends it can feel more like a circus than an escape so plan the timing of your trips accordingly.

Address: You’re going to need a boat (Ferries can be caught at 9 Queens Quay W, Toronto)

Toronto Island

Caroline ALEXANDRE/Flickr

Riverdale Farm

Yes, there’s a farm in the middle of the city. And yes, you’re a fool if you haven’t been. Located in the heart of Cabbagetown, the farm still has several types of animals you can snap a selfie with and an an adorable shop across the street where you can grab a much needed ice cream cone.

Address: 201 Winchester St, Toronto

Riverdale Farm

Kira Oschipok/Facebook

Don Valley Trails

Looking for a quick escape from the city’s urbanity? Jump on one of the many Don Valley Trails to get your nature fix. With some 32 kms of trails to choose from there’s a route for walkers of all ages and experience. You can find a detailed list of walking trails here.

Address: Various

Don Valley Trail

Joseph Morris/Flickr

Eric WainwrightEric Wainwright

+ Summer
+ Torontonians