The Best Parks and Green Spaces in Toronto

Toronto is full of expansive and unusual parks, including the spectacular Toronto Music Garden
Toronto is full of expansive and unusual parks, including the spectacular Toronto Music Garden | © All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo
Megan Honan

Summer in the city marks the beginning of every Torontonian’s favourite pastime – park hopping. With each park offering a different atmosphere and range of activities, we’ve rounded up the best green spaces in Toronto. From splash pads and tennis courts to picnic spots, Toronto’s parks are a blend of urban oasis and vast green expanse. Known as the “city within a park,” here are the best spots to head for when you need to reconnect with nature and your favourite outdoor pastimes.

High Park

Without a doubt, this is the most popular park in Toronto. Akin to New York’s Central Park, High Park is the largest public park within the city and also the most accessible. Located just down the street from High Park subway station, it’s easy to hop off the train and head straight into the rolling hills. With a small café on hand for snack breaks, you can spend an entire day here enjoying the facilities, which include a zoo, an off-leash dog park, a public pool, a skating rink, Grenadier Pond, picnic pavilions and hiking and biking trails. During the spring, High Park is also a popular spot to take in the swathes of cherry blossom.

Christie Pits Park

Bluffer’s Park

A favourite for those in the west end, a stroll through the scenic Bluffer’s Park can leave you feeling as if you’ve left the city altogether. Surrounded by the towering Scarborough Bluff cliffs, here you’ll find one of the city’s most pristine beaches, meaning its perfect for picnicking in the summer and just as appealing for icy, winter surf sessions. You’ll also find the Bluffer’s Park Marina, where you can cast a line on the dock and grab a bite at Bluffers Restaurant and Grill, known for its fresh and sustainable seafood. Outdoor enthusiasts can also tighten up the laces on their hiking boots and hit the trails, as there are plenty to choose from complete with Instagram-worthy lookout points.

Rouge National Urban Park

Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets in the city, Rouge Park is Canada’s first national urban park and a great spot in which to get back to nature. With paths stretching over 40 kilometres (25 miles), you can enjoy long all-day hikes here, as well as camping, fishing and even swimming at the little hidden beach. Also home to Canada’s largest wetlands, follow the helpful signs to try and identify each creature natural to the boggy land or, for a day out on the water, rent one of the canoes or kayaks on offer. While it may feel like you’re worlds away, Rouge Park is only around 30 minutes from central Toronto thanks to the city’s public transport system, TTC.

Riverdale Park East

Tucked away on the eastern side of the city, this park offers unparalleled views of Toronto thanks to its position high atop a hill. This spot is not only ideal for photographers wanting to capture landscapes, but also for wildlife photography, and there’s even a small working farm in the park with a number of animals including sheep, pigs and ponies. There is also a wading pool to escape the summer heat and a sizable off-leash dog park for four-legged friends.

Coronation Park

This picturesque park sits directly on the waterfront with sweeping views of the sailboats docking in the harbour. Get a group together for a picnic – made easy by on-site BBQ pits for roasting or keeping toasty during the cooler months – or keep active at the park’s bocce court, tennis court and two basketball courts.

Trinity Bellwoods Park

Although Trinity Bellwoods Park is often packed during the summer, something about the buzz of everyone enjoying the weather makes this park fun instead of crowded. Its location – right on famed Queen Street West – is ideal for combining a day of shopping and picnicking with friends, and on any given day you might also spot an art installation, beer garden, drop-in basketball game or a book fair taking place.

Toronto Music Garden

For a decidedly unique park experience, visit the Toronto Music Garden. Designed by internationally renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, the park was created as a reflection of Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007. The garden itself is a peaceful spot for reflection or reading, and guided tours detailing its history run Wednesdays and Thursdays (there’s also the option of a self-guided audio tour). During the summer months, there are even special concert series on Thursdays and Sundays.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article