Sometimes we get caught up with work and other distractions that we forget that we have some excellent places to explore (and an indeed “great” lake to our south). Toronto is a city with many parkettes but only a handful of parks larger than a city block. We Torontonians seem to take what we have for granted; its a shame. When visitors fly into Toronto, the view from 15,00 feet, they see a leafy expanse. Visitors “get it,” but we sometimes think we must escape the city to find nature. There are some beautiful neighbourhoods of Toronto where you will see mature trees and parkettes scattered about; the Annex parks, Rosedale, Lawrence Park and Riverdale are a few great examples. This gives a little wink to just what else is accessible for Toronto nature lovers, our parks are great!
Top 5 Toronto Parks:
Its northern boundary begins in Lytton Park (at Glenview Senior Public School) then travels through Lawrence Park, ultimately leading into another top 5 parks in Toronto, Sunnybrook Park. This is a portion of the longest stretch of park in Toronto; you can reach Lake Ontario’s waterfront by following the paths along the Don River!
This is a beautiful park nestled in the centre of the Riverdale Neighbourhood. The lucky homeowners that frame this park have a fantastic 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 – it’s a beautiful place year-round!
Are you a dog lover? We certainly are! Check out our Top 3 Dog Parks in West Toronto!
Sunnybrook Park is on the east side of Sunnybrook Hospital just east of Lawrence Park, south of the Bridle Path and north of Leaside. The horse stables are probably the biggest draw, and 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, and many families can be found BBQing and playing throughout the park.
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 pick-your-own 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!
High Park is found in the neighbourhood of the same name, bordering on the Swansea neighbourhood. 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!
Hmm, this is 6, right? Yes, that’s correct. We wanted to ensure that we added this one in. Perhaps you were wondering why we used the above blog image? Well, here is your answer, Toronto is so fortunate to have the Toronto Islands. You can find quiet spaces on each island. It’s our favourite oasis in the summer! 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. Formerly the Toronto Islands were not islands but a peninsula stretching from the Docks area on the Leslie Spit. A significant storm severed the land, leaving us with a quiet getaway, 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!