Sometimes we get so caught up with work and other distractions that we forget that we have some excellent places to explore (and a “great” lake to our south). Toronto is a city with many parkette’s but only a handful of parks larger than a city block. It’s a shame since when a visitor flies into Toronto the view from 15,00 feet appears to be a leafy expanse. In some areas of the city there are mature trees and a sense of nature at street level as there are some wonderful parks to visit and explore! Here are the top 5 Toronto Parks:
5 – Sherwood Park – This long stretch of park through the ravine that starts in Lytton Park (at Glenview Senior Public School) then travels through Lawrence Park…ultimately leading into another top 5 park in Toronto… see #3. This is a portion of longest stretch of park in Toronto, in fact you can reach Lake Ontario’s waterfront by following the paths along the Don River!
4 – Withrow Park – This is a wonderful park nestled in the centre of the Riverdale Neighbourhood. The lucky home owners that frame this park have a wonderful view of the city and a sense of an ever expanding front yard to play in! Withrow has a soccer pitch, baseball diamond, wading pool for the children and an outdoor skating rink – its a wonderful place year round!
3 – Sunnybrook Park – Sunnybrook Park is in the east side of Sunnybrook Hospital just east of Lawrence Park, south of the Bridal Path and north of Leaside. The horse stables are probably the biggest draw, there is something magical about watching horses trot around in a Toronto park! Sunnybrook Park has got to be the busiest park in our city each weekend in the Summer, many families can be found BBQing and playing throughout the park.
2 – Dufferin Grove Park – Dufferin Grove Park is arguably the most well rounded and diverse parks in the city. Thanks to the Friends of Dufferin Grove and others in the neighbourhood the park has been turned into a family friendly place to visit. A hockey rink, free wireless internet, outdoor pizza oven with herb gardens (yes, this is correct!!), the largest outdoor farmers market in Toronto, the list goes on. The park is Dufferin Grove’s great backyard for all to share!
1b – High Park – High Park is found in the neighbourhood of the same name, bordering on Sawnsea nieghbourhod. Grenadier Pond is a great attraction whether it be skating in the winter or strolling through the Cherry Blossoms along the water’s edge in spring and summer. Another excellent feature is the Shakespeare in High Park (put on by Canstage) each summer – bring a picnic and your favourite beverage of choice… 😉
1a – Toronto Islands – How can this be left out?!? Our much forgotten gem in Toronto! Beaches abound! The quaint cottages are also a great place to stroll on a sunny day. The Royal Canadian Yaught Club is a beautiful property with an incredible view of the downtown core. Originally the Toronto Islands were not in fact islands but a peninsula stretching from the Docks area on the Leslie Spit. A major storm severed the land, leaving us with a quiet get away just a short ferry ride from the harbourfront. An interesting factoid: Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth hit his first ever home run on Hanlan’s Point!