Located in the Don Valley, Brick Works Park showcases Toronto’s dedication to healthy and diverse ecosystems. The area is one of the city’s most valued natural environment parks and is home to wetlands, wild flower meadows, forest habitats, and steep cliff faces, not to mention the many species that call the park home. Transformed from a quarry site into a nature sanctuary, the park is directly north of the fabulous Evergreen Brick Works. An award-winning community environmental centre, it also features a year-round weekend farmer’s market and regular event schedule, as well as retail shops and the delicious Café Belong.
Brick Works Park, 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 392 2489
As the largest public park in the city, High Park contains an outstanding number of options for the nature lover and an incredible concentration of rare plant species. In addition to the famous cherry blossoms, hiking trails, sports facilities, beautiful lakefront, dog park, playgrounds, restaurants, greenhouses and picnic areas, there’s even a mini-zoo!
The Scarborough Bluffs stretch for about 15 km along the Lake Ontario shore, from the Eastern Beaches of Toronto in the west, to West Hill in the east. Formed by the natural erosion processes of wind and water from Lake Ontario, this stunning spot offers spectacular views as well as trails, beaches, and excellent butterfly watching in the spring and fall migration. The inclusion here could be considered a bit of a cheat since the entire area in fact includes nine parks.
Located on Queen West at Strachan, Trinity Bellwoods is easily accessible via TTC and jam-packed with amenities and space. The park has everything from volleyball, tennis, and baseball facilities to picnic sites and playgrounds. An oasis away from a tough day of shopping and caffeine consumption along Queen West. Information on the park’s greenhouses and farmer’s markets is available from the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods Park, and a full events calendar is available from the City.
Located in Riverdale, between Logan and Carlaw, just south of Danforth Avenue, Withrow Park is a hidden gem for newcomers and a weekend must for the neighbors The park is a whopping eight hectares and home to baseball diamonds, a sports field, outdoor tennis courts, table tennis, and a dog park, as well as children’s play areas and a wading pool. The Friends of Withrow Park host events in the park year-round, from skating and caroling parties in winter to pumpkin parades and picnics when the weather’s fine.
The park is also home to a farmer’s market every Saturday from May to October. Throw in a bonfire pit (permits are available from the city) and the fabulous Shakespeare in the Ruff performing every August, and it’s the perfect summer spot.
Since the 1800s, when the Beach boasted amusement rides and quaint cottages, both tourists and Torontonians alike have flocked to this east-end neighbourhood. With tennis courts, a baseball diamond, wading pool in the summer and ice rink during the winter, not to mention the picturesque bandstand and playgrounds, it’s no wonder that Kew Gardens is the go-to venue for those in the know. The park regularly hosts events, with movie nights a favourite throughout the summer; it’s also home to the Beach Guild of Fine Art, a group of local artists who regularly host exhibits and sales in the Historic Gardener’s Cottage. There’s even appeal in the rain, with the beautiful Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library on site.
Check out the Beach Village website for news on current events in the neighborhood.
Sitting opposite the Toronto Botanical Gardens, which themselves span nearly four acres, Edwards Gardens is a former estate garden featuring wildflowers, fountains, and merry squirrels. Be sure to check out the website for news on Edwards Summer Music Series, for the perfect pairing of eclectic tunes and eco-friendly vibes.
Edwards Gardens, 755 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 397 1340