5 of the best Toronto neighbourhoods for nature lovers
If you’re new to the city, you’ll be pleased to learn that one of our slogans is a "City within a Park” meaning that wherever you are, you’ll be surrounded by nature.
Unfortunately, living in the climate of (a seemingly) never ending winter is never fun, which is why Torontonians really take the warmer months seriously. We daydream about getting outside and soaking up the sun, or the leaves, or the sand, or whatever!
In this post we’ll look at some of the best neighbourhoods in the city for nature lovers, so you can join in on the daydream and pick the right neighbourhood if you're in the market for a change of scenery.
When you’re looking to absorb the soothing and calm waves of Lake Ontario on a midsummer’s evening, you’re going to want to head south to Toronto’s revered Waterfront district.
A bonafide tourist attraction, the Waterfront consists of about three sections including the Toronto Ferry Terminal, which will take you to the seasonal natural escape that is the Toronto Islands; the Harbourfront, a community hub that features summer programming and free events; and Sugar Beach / HTO Beach, two manmade beaches offering up scenic vistas of Toronto’s Waterfront.
All of the Waterfront’s natural adventures can be accessed by following the Martin Goodman Trail, one of the city’s crossways for bikers and pedestrians running parallel to the lake.
If you’re tired of the manmade beaches and tourist crowds, it’s time you head eastbound on Queen Street until you hit Toronto’s real beaches in the aptly titled neighbourhood called, the Beaches!
Here you’ll find a network of beaches that also look over Lake Ontario, except unlike the Waterfront area, there’s actual water access with lifeguards on duty every swimming season.
Woodbine Beach, Ashbridge's Bay and Kew Gardens are great locations to have a gathering with friends and family, throw down a picnic and have a general good time. On summer holidays you’ll even be able to catch mind-blowing fireworks if you time it right.
All year you’ll find people meeting for walks with coffees in hand, dogs on leashes and strollers in tow, meandering through the park’s trails. But in the summer, you’ll want to snatch up some greenspace before someone else lays a blanket down to claim it.
This is one of the city’s busiest parks on the equally busy commercial strip of West Queen West. The park is where you'll find weekend markets and enough community events to keep you coming back for more, all summer.
You can play all the sports you want on Trinity's fields, or watch a recreational softball game from one of the three baseball diamonds.
Another historic park right in the middle of the city is the west end’s High Park. Established in 1836, this park is great for hikes, dog walking, playgrounds, recreation and even Shakespearian plays.
There’s no shortage of things to do in this natural escape, containing hundreds of rare plants, a museum, immaculate gardens, Grenadier Pond and its café, and two ravines.
At 400 acres, there's always more to see. It's nearly impossible to take everything in over just one day, but you can always try. Just a word to the wise: don’t get lost!
Another enormous city park, Riverdale is right in the middle of the city, effectively dividing both the city’s west and east ends. The park itself also has west and east ends, if you're ever wondering where to meet a friend.
Coming in at over 100 acres in total, Riverdale Park has amazing sports fields, trails and cute farm for the kids and kids at heart. Connecting to the Don Valley, another one of Toronto’s natural relics, Riverdale Park is ripe for exploration.
The east side of this magnificent greenspace, just off Broadview, has one of the best views of the city and we’d recommend a sunset hangout any summer day of the week.