The best parks in and around Toronto to visit this summer

Jun 25 2019, 4:47 pm

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Summer in the city marks the unofficial start of park season.

With a population of commuters and avid cyclists, the variety of Toronto parks accessible by TTC or two wheels can make for a great afternoon. When a vacation or a day trip isn’t in the cards, packing a picnic, planning a hike, or hopping on your bike for a little cruise makes for a sweet staycation.

Tommy Thompson Park

 

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This man-made peninsula by the waterfront is a great spot for hiking or cycling. The largest existing natural habitat on the Toronto waterfront, you’ll find sand dunes, cottonwood forests, coastal marshes, and cottonwood forests. It’s also an excellent place to catch up on some bird watching, with multiple species of wildlife flourishing in the park just across from Toronto’s skyline. The park is open weekday evenings from 4 pm to 9 pm and weekends from 5:30 am to 9 pm.

Rouge National Urban Park

 

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Canada’s first National Urban Park has a ton to offer. It hosts the only campground in Toronto, so bring your tent and sleeping bags along with your hiking boots for the trails, and don’t forget your canoe for a paddle through the marshes. Need an intro to the outdoors? They offer a ton of programming through the summer, including guided hikes, and a learn to camp program for those easing into their inner adventurer.

Trinity Bellwoods

 

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Trinity Bellwoods park is a Toronto-classic. Over the years, this park has become a cultural hub, hosting picnics, flea markets, and park games. Weekends here usually mean you’ll be sharing the space with a ton of people, not to mention a number of puppies. You’ll also be able to get athletic on its three baseball diamonds, eight tennis courts, and two volleyball courts.

High Park

 

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You can easily spend the whole day in High Park if you wanted to. Cool off in the outdoor pool, check out the zoo, go for a bike ride, let the dog run free in the off-leash area, or bring a picnic. Unlike Bellwoods, there are lots of shady areas, and while it’s still a high-traffic park, it’s much, much bigger. Plan your day so that you can check out Shakespeare in the Park later in the evening (this summer is showing Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure) — you’ll need some cash for entry, a blanket, snacks, and bug repellent for an optimal time.

Evergreen Brickworks

 

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Brickworks is another great spot in the city where you can spend the whole day. The park and community space offer a ton of programming: from the locally grown produce available at the Saturday farmer’s market to guided walks and hikes through the area. If you’re looking for a nice relaxed afternoon, grab lunch at Café Belong and go for a walk through the Don River Valley Park.

Bluffer’s Park and Beach

 

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Bluffer’s Park, in Scarborough, is definitely one of the more scenic spots to hang out in Toronto. You can relax by the beach, hike up to one of the lookouts, and sit down for a picnic, all next to sparkly blue water and gorgeous cliffs that’ll make you forget your just steps away from Toronto’s city centre.

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