One of the many reasons Toronto is unique is because of the vast network of parks and trails embedded throughout its urban landscape. However, with over 1,500 parks to explore, it can be difficult to know where to start. With springtime in full effect, now is the perfect time to safely explore the natural elements of the city — start with one of these awesome GTA trails and parks.
Image Source: Ontario Hiking
The Glen Stewart Ravine, located at Glen Manor Drive & Stewart Avenue in Toronto's east end, is the perfect place to dip your toe into nature. As a designated Environmentally Significant Area, the forest is carefully maintained and protected; among birdwatchers, the ravine also has a reputation for being a home to several regionally uncommon birds. The trail takes about twenty minutes total to traverse and features a variety of landscapes, including dirt paths and an extensive elevated boardwalk.
Image Source: City of Toronto
Edwards Gardens is the northernmost park in a series of interconnected multi-use trails, situated directly adjacent to the Toronto Botanical Gardens. This gorgeous park is a serene oasis amidst the city landscape and provides infinite spots to explore and relax throughout a sprawling array of wildflowers, water features, and manicured gardens. Prior to its opening as a fixture of Toronto's public landscape in 1955, the space was a private estate of Scottish entrepreneur Alexander Milne. Best of all, Edwards Gardens are located only a 5 minute drive from 46 Foxden Road & 110 Cottonwood Drive!
Image Source: Ontario Place
Trillium Park is a stretch of newly refurbished waterfront greenspace, situated on the site of the now-closed waterpark Ontario Place. The park is home to the one and a half kilometre William G. Davis Trail, named after the former premier of Ontario Bill Davis, who presided over the province at the time of the park's original opening in 1971. It also features some innovative architectural design features, integrated into the natural landscape, as well as stunning city views at the southernmost point of the park. If the trail isn't long enough for your run or bike ride, don't worry: the trail connected to both the Martin Goodman Trail and the Pan Am/Parapan Am Trails comprising a whopping total of 2000 kilometres of trailspace.
Image Source: Glen Sumi/ Now Toronto
The Kay Gardner Beltline Park and Trail is a unique gem within downtown Toronto, comprising over thirty different bike trails following a historical relic of the city's past — a former railway track.NOW Toronto notes the nine kilometre trail as the ideal car-free, socially-distanced walk for "seasoned walkers and couch potatoes" alike. The trail is located minutes away from several of O'Shanter buildings located in the Deer and Moore Park, including 425 Avenue Road, 42 Glen Elm, Brentwood Towers and Deer Park Crossing. According to blogTO, entrances to the trail are marked with colourful tunnels, so be sure to bring your camera to capture the gorgeous mixture of cityscape and greenspace along the way.
Image Source: City of Toronto
In the list of great Toronto walks, you can't miss out on visiting The Brickworks Trail, a lovely, two and a half kilometre looping trail located at 550 Bayview Avenue. The former quarry is a remarkable example of urban ecosystems coexisting with the natural world, and offers plenty of educational resources for young explorers looking to learn more about the plants and critters cohabitating in their city. The Brickworks are also a great stopping point between the Don Valley Trail from Corktown Common to Wilket Creek Park, and is connected to the broader network of trails associated with the Beltline. It is an easily accessible walk from our Deer and Moore Park buildings, as well as Clifton Manor.