The Best Picnic Spots In Toronto

| © Design Pics Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
Maheen Mansoor

Whether you’re taking a dip at the beach, or heading to a free concert, pack your favorite snacks and head to one of these picnic spots for a getaway from the city – in the city.

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Christie Pits Park

Located across from the Christie subway station, Christie Pits Park is easy to access for commuters and also has a nice parking lot for drivers. The Christie Pits Park is known for holding many events within the area of Bloor Street West and Christie. The park is perfect for a family picnic/bbq day out. It features a baseball diamond, pool, fire pit, sports field and more, as well as picnic shelters and sites. There is also an amphitheater that features the Christie Pits Film Festival, which runs until the end of August. The cost is PWYC, but $10 would be a suggested donation. The park is also a family favorite during the winter due to the man-made ice rink as well as tobogganing on the slopes of the pits.

High Park

The starting point of one of High Park’s many hiking trails.

If you know Toronto, then you know High Park. Known as Toronto’s largest public park, High Park attracts all sorts of people to its many facilities. Perfect for a picnic with a view, the park features a beautiful lakefront and lots of greenery: it’s an easy escape from the city without going the extra mile. There is an off-leash dog park for all our dog lovers out there, as well as a zoo. There are sports fields for groups of friends that want to play, and a playground for parents to keep their children busy. Drop a blanket under any large tree, and have yourself a feast. There are also hiking trails for those of us that want to walk off all the sandwiches, and a parking lot if you really would rather not walk at all. The park is a popular spot for every kind of person, especially in the summer months.

Dufferin Grove Park

This park (often referred to as a community center without walls) is the perfect picnic place for families. However, family or not, everyone can have a great time at Dufferin Grove Park. There are clean picnic sites and two bake ovens, as well as two large fire pits for a nice big campfire. Looking to get together with friends and have a nice bonfire? This park is the perfect place to do just that. Not too far from the subway station either, the park is located south of Bloor Street West. There is a wading pool and changing rooms if you’re looking to cool off, as well as a sports field, basketball court, and a skateboard park. Take a stroll through the farmers’ market that runs through 3-7 p.m. every Thursday year-round. Overall, the park has great facilities that are beneficial to whatever you plan to do and helps make your day in the open air a tad bit better.

Centre Island

View from Centre Island, Toronto, Canada

The Toronto Islands are a must-see in Toronto, whether you’re a tourist or a local. Centre Island is the main hub for the Toronto Islands. Plus, an added bonus is the perfect view of the Toronto skyline. Centre Island features an unbelievable amount of green space, and is the perfect place for picnics. There are over 20 different picnic sites on large areas all over the island. Picnic areas are spaced out, which gives you privacy if needed. If you’re visiting with the family then the Centreville Theme Park is the perfect place to take the little ones. There are also farm animals at a mini zoo. The island features five wading pools, three volleyball courts, two first aid stations, a baseball diamond and cafes all throughout. The island is a perfect place for a picnic date or BBQ with friends. There’s also a beach for those feeling a nice bonfire after a long day. From canoeing to biking, and everything in between; there’s something for everyone to do here.

Trinity Bellwoods Park

Baltimore Oriole bird photographed while in a tree in Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto.

This park is for those that want a nice and quiet place for a small picnic with loved ones. Trinity Bellwoods Park is a nice and clean neighborhood-friendly park that preserves nature. The park is surrounded by houses and is usually kept very quiet and so it isn’t the ideal place for someone wanting to make some noise and party (keep reading for more spots if that’s your agenda). There is a playground for children and overall, a serene atmosphere for a quiet picnic.

Thomson Memorial Park

This large wooded ravine allows visitors to get a taste of nature in the city. It is technically considered to be in the Scarborough District, but is a nice and clean picnicking park, if you’re willing to go the extra distance. The park has bike trails and a dogs off-leash area, as well as a baseball diamond and tennis court (both well lit). There is outdoor fitness equipment, sort of like an adult playground, that is a must-try. For picnics, this park is ideal, thanks to the sheltered picnic sites that insure that in rain or shine you can still feast away. The sheds are also a great place to bring a grill for a BBQ party. There are fire pits for anyone interested in starting up a bonfire.

Dovercourt Park

This nice and clean park is the perfect place for a picnic date. Located near Dupont Street, Dovercourt Park runs for 2.4 hectares and features loads of sitting space. The perfect spot for a picnic would be under the shade of a large tree and on top of nice full, well-kept grass. This park is filled with just that. There are also two tennis courts, a wading pool and baseball diamond for all those that need something to do with their picnic. There is a fire pit, which is the perfect way to end a picnic date; some s’mores and a blanket.

Hanlan’s Point

One of the most beloved parts of the Toronto Islands, Hanlan’s Point rests at the north-west tip of the island. This is the go-to place for those of us who want to have a good time and meet new people. Hanlan’s Point features two beaches, both with excellent potential for a great picnic and day out. The first beach is a clothing mandatory beach, just like any other with volleyball courts and fire pits. The other beach is Toronto’s popular clothing-optional beach. The two beaches are separated by a fence if this option is a bit much for you, however the clothing optional side is a very popular spot for Torontonians. The whole atmosphere at Hanlan’s Point is very chilled out and party-like; great for a group of friends to have a nice BBQ and some drinks. There’s also a lighthouse to check out as well as picnic areas, changing rooms, bike trails, tennis, volleyball courts and much more. There is a facility that sells food and booze, but feel free to bring your own. So what do you think? Time to check off skinny dipping from the bucket list or nah?

Toronto Music Garden

Toronto Music Garden, Toronto, ON, Canada

Whether you’re familiar with Bach’s work or not, this park is truly a beauty. The landscape is a reflection of Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007, originally designed by world renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma, and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy. The Toronto Music Garden is a small yet perfect place for a picnic out in the sun. The garden has a great view of Lake Ontario, creating a great atmosphere for picnic dates. There are guided tours, as we all audio tours available at the park for those interested in learning a little more about the place and the music that inspired it. The park features Summer Music in the Garden, a summer-round festival of music running until September 18th, 2016. This celebration of music features classical and traditional concerts from around the world in an enchanting setting. So grab your loved one and a basket of food and head down to this lovely garden at Harbourfront center.

Ashbridges Bay

Woodbine Beach, Toronto, Canada

This beautiful area, located on the waterfront on the east side of Toronto, boasts a sandy shore and charming boardwalk to help it standout from other entries on this list. The Woodbine Beach of Toronto is a popular spot in the summers and supports a wonderful view of the east side. There are many biking trails laid out all throughout the park. Picnicking, bird watching and hiking are three activities that Ashbridges is known for. Enjoy a fresh swim at Lake Ontario and a great meal at many of the picnic sites. A great place to go for a full day of fun in the sand.

Riverdale Park East

Riverdale Park, Toronto, Canada

Riverdale is perfect for a romantic picnic date, ending with a sunset of the Toronto skyline. The park features a baseball diamond, bike trails, hockey pad, off-leash dogs area, fields upon fields upon fields, table tennis, a pool, picnic grounds, tennis courts and more. During the winter, there’s tobogganing and an ice rink as well. It’s a great place to appreciate the outdoors, with beautiful scenery and of course a great view of our cityscape. Riverdale is definitely a Torontonian favorite and a go-to park for picnics in the city.

Bluffers Beach

Bluffer’s Park Marina, Toronto, Canada

Located at Bluffers Park of Scarborough, this beach is a popular spot for residents of Toronto and Scarborough for a weekend getaway. The Bluffs are a beauty indeed, and the park itself features many activities. You can drive up to the Bluffer’s viewpoint, or down to the beach, or the marina, or the park itself. Overall, this is a beautiful place for a scenic drive and picnic. The beach itself is a popular spot for bonfires, and once the sun begins to set, an outline of bonfires appears all along the shore, making for a truly chilled out and free atmosphere.

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