Things to do in Toronto

Must Visit Toronto Parks

Picturesque forests and snow-covered meadows offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Join us at Toronto’s most breathtaking parks.

Toronto's skyscrapers brush the sky, bathing the city’s many nooks and crannies in shadows that dance along the streets as the sun shifts. But between these glass and steel behemoths, you’ll find verdant natural paradises where wildlife roams freely and people chat excitedly.

Toronto’s parks give life to the city and create serene retreats from the chaotic urban lifestyle. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Toronto that take you away from office cubicles and crowded supermarkets, venture to some of our favorite parks.

Downtown Toronto

1. Queen’s Park

During Queen Victoria’s reign, the British Empire circled the globe. Founded in her honor, Queen’s Park pays homage to Canada’s exciting history of intrepid explorers seeking new adventures in far-off lands. The imposing statues of several British and Canadian heroes still stand watch, lending a certain majesty to the grounds.

Stroll along the winding paths to discover something else that makes this park unforgettable. Clad in heavy stone and ascending into dramatic arches, the Ontario Legislative Building nearly drowns out the sky. It’s one of the grandest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture.

Trinity Bellwoods

2. Trinity Bellwoods Park

Take your canine friend off-leash and run through the manicured grounds of Trinity Bellwoods Park.

One of Toronto’s most functional green spaces, Trinity Bellwoods Park is home to lush emerald fields and sporting grounds. In summer, it becomes a hot spot for families. Locals gather by picnic tables under the shade of trees, and kids splash each other in the wading pool.

Photographer: Samantha Hare

Grange Park

3. Grange Park

Home of the wacky and unique, Grange Park doesn’t disappoint. Its center point and crowning jewel is Henry Moore’s Large Two Forms. These stone sculptures curve into a shape almost reminiscent of Stonehenge, albeit a much more alien and visceral version.

If undulating sculptures stoke your creativity, you’re in luck because Grange Park sits adjacent to the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Grange, the historic manor the park was named after, also sits on the grounds. While it was once the home of one of Toronto’s most prominent families, it now serves as another wing of the art gallery.

Garden District

4. Allan Gardens

Toronto’s 11th mayor, George William Allan, donated land to the Toronto Horticultural Society in 1858. Back then, the site contained ordinary gardens, but today, it’s the site of a grand conservatory.

Expanded over several generations, the conservatory houses numerous exotic plants. Their unique aromas waft through greenhouses, each replicating the specialized climate necessary to grow specimens you couldn’t otherwise see throughout Ontario. Allan Gardens also has a tranquil koi pond where you can relax while your little ones enjoy the playground.


5. David Pecaut Square

Toronto’s art scene is known and respected worldwide, with people traveling from all over to enjoy the city’s Luminato Festival. David Pecaut co-founded this international melting pot of free expression in 2007 and has been credited with bringing new cultural vitality to the city.

David Pecaut Square was renamed to honor the civic planner’s profound legacy. While it’s a beautiful location for quiet reflection, the square also bustles with activity occasionally. It also hosts many free art and cultural events.

Don’t forget to go sightseeing while you’re here. Iconic architectural wonders like Roy Thomson Hall and the Canadian Broadcasting Centre are nearby.

High Park

6. High Park

If there’s an outdoor space that better represents the duality of Toronto’s urban and natural environments than High Park, we haven’t found it. A third of the park sits undisturbed as nature intended. Home to waterfowl, rabbits, and all manner of amphibians, the Toronto park is filled with the sound of animals.

Next to this rugged wilderness, you’ll also find a playground. Your kids will love it because it feels like they’re stepping into a picture-book fairy tale and a swimming pool where they can escape the summer heat. Did we mention there’s a zoo with capybaras?

Photographer: Ronin

Christie Pits

7. Christie Pits Park

Canadians' love of sports is on full display at Christie Pits Park, one of the best spots for skating or playing volleyball in Toronto. Strangely enough, the park was named after the co-founder of the Christie & Brown Cookie Company.

We know cities aren’t always the most fun destination for children, and that’s another reason to visit Christie Pits Park. Your little ones will love navigating the labyrinth or whirling around at lightning speed on the playground spinner! Maybe they’ll even join us on the Cyr Wheel in the future.

Dufferin Grove

8. Dufferin Grove Park

Gather around the firepit as the smell of melting marshmallows fills the air. As much a community gathering place as it is a park, Dufferin Grove Park provides a space for people to cook outdoors, play table tennis, and skate right outside the nearby mall.

However, it’s also home to a reflexology path. Stemming from ancient times, this massage art was once practiced by Egyptians to soothe tired feet. While you’re probably not a pharaoh, walking like an Egyptian may still serve as the perfect remedy for tired feet following a long day of shopping.


9. Sorauren Avenue Park

After World War II, Toronto saw an influx of European immigrants seeking bright futures far from the devastation back home. While the Roncesvalles neighborhood has become more diverse over time, you can still see its unique Polish history through cultural festivals and the many traditional delis that sell delicious kielbasa sausages.

Situated in the heart of the neighborhood, you’ll find Sorauren Avenue Park. Here, the locals gather to sell fresh produce at farmers markets and join exciting events. What’s on the agenda? RC car races, pumpkin parades, and outdoor movies!


10. Earlscourt Park

Take a walk through Toronto’s unofficial Italian district. While not as well-known as Little Italy, Corso Italia draws its heritage from generations of Italian families. They transformed this humble neighborhood into a bustling hub of charming restaurants and shops.

Of course, it was only natural that a thriving Italian community deserved a beautiful park to match, leading to Earlscourt Park's founding at the district's edge.

After fully savoring your wood-fired pizza and caprese salad, head to the park to play football, or whip out your camera and capture a few photos under the breathtaking canopy of trees.


11. Riverdale Park East

Come sunset, a spectacular vista sweeps across the city when twilight sets in. But, if you want to see the skyline and other impressive views of Toronto in all their glory, few spots compare to Riverdale Park East. Don’t leave immediately after the sun dips below the horizon because nightfall also brings a stunning metamorphosis to the park.

What’s more romantic than walking hand in hand, guided by moonlight, as you follow the whims of Riverdale Park East’s hiking trails? If you crave friendly competition, you can also play hockey or tennis here.

Photographer: Arpan Parikh

12. Withrow Park

Go on an adventure sliding down grassy slopes with your best friend in tow. Another of Toronto’s most dog-friendly green spaces, Withrow Park even has fountains where your pooch can rehydrate after burning off excess energy. But don’t rest too soon. There’s more to see and do.

Dive after that ball on the tennis courts while the kids waddle through the wading pool. During winter, show off your skating prowess as you pirouette across the artificial ice rink.


13. Woodbine Park

Looking for a hip neighborhood full of vintage stores and wine bars? You’ll find it in Leslieville, where restored Victorian and Edwardian homes line the streets, inviting you into a world of modern chic and fond nostalgia. Afterward, walk along the beach and nearby Ashbridges Bay Park before finishing up at Woodbine Park for a picnic lunch.

Famous for its iconic pond, which attracts waterfowl and other majestic birds, Woodbine Park comes to life in the summer when festivals and musical events grace its fields.

14. Tommy Thompson Park

Dust off your fishing rod and head to one of Toronto's wildest areas. Tommy Thompson Park sits at the edge of the Port Lands industrial neighborhood. The land itself may be miraculous, but the conservation park it became was a fortuitous accident.

Photographer: Jeffrey Eisen

15. Greenwood Park

If you wander past the edgy, modern facade of Downtown Toronto, the city's east side is where cultures from all over the world meet. It’s where East Chinatown, Little India, and several smaller Greek neighborhoods coalesce into a vibrant and diverse community. It’s also where you’ll find another of Toronto’s best parks.

Greenwood Park feels like that park you always visited as a child — the charming suburban oasis where friends and neighbors gathered together to walk the dog or barbecue under the shade of old, towering trees. But if that’s not reason enough to visit, it also has a swimming pool.

North York

16. Earl Bales Park

Breeze along the biking trails of one of Toronto’s largest parks. Covering over 127 acres, Earl Bales Park has a storied history. It jumped from one identity to another over the past two centuries before it became a favorite cycling and hiking place in Toronto.

For its first hundred years, it served as farmland, contributing to the steady supply of food necessary to fuel a city that was expanding at an astronomical pace. If you think those wide, open fields would've made a great golf course, you’d be right on the money because that’s what it became next.

Nowadays, it offers a different kind of recreation: skiing. When the snow piles up in winter, the ski lifts start moving, and it’s time to careen down the hillside.


17. Downsview Memorial Parkette

Size hardly matters when it comes to parks, and we're sure you’ll agree when you see Downsview Memorial Parkette. While this tiny, unexpected oasis only covers a street corner, it offers a fun nod to Canada’s aviation history and commemorates those who served in World War II.

Surrounded by a line of gorgeous pear trees, Downsview Memorial Parkette welcomes you, inviting you to relax for a while. Once you get closer, you’ll see the unique MOTH sculptural garden where seasonal plants and flowers bloom with vigor.


18. G. Ross Lord Park

Get lost in the tranquility and quiet surroundings at G. Ross Lord Park. Named after a former commissioner of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and covering an impressive 355 acres, this natural escape seems to stretch as far as the eye can see.

The incredible size of G. Ross Lord Park means the farther you travel, the more distinct shifts you’ll notice in the land. At one point, you might encounter deer grazing over bounding meadows; at others, you might find yourself surrounded by dense woodlands where songbirds nest.

East York

19. Sunnybrook Park

In earlier times, when Toronto was still spreading its wings, much of the surrounding land was wilderness. The city has grown into a behemoth, swallowing up more of the natural environment. However, parcels of this rugged land remain preserved, including Sunnybrook Park.

On what was once farmland, locals now ride horses and bicycles. Others exercise outdoors or play chess, and there’s even a washroom where you can refresh yourself between activities. Surrounded by thick forest, you’ll feel like you’ve left the city entirely and entered a realm where time slows down.

20. Edwards Gardens

If there’s something that shines throughout most of Toronto’s city parks, it’s the unique charm each space brings to the urban landscape. Edwards Gardens is no exception, blurring the lines between wilderness and conservatory.

On one end, ducks rest by the creek, and squirrels dart across gaps in the trees. But if you travel far enough through the park, you’ll end up at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Suddenly, the wildland shifts into manicured grounds with roses and rhododendrons blooming in orchestrated bursts of color and fragrance.

Photographer: Jeffrey Eisen

Enjoy an Outing at Toronto’s Parks

Dreamy natural retreats lie in wait throughout the city, littered between old suburban neighborhoods and gleaming skyscrapers. So, strap on your boots and explore some parks in Toronto.

On your return, a different kind of adventure beckons — one that exercises your imagination. Prepare to be whisked away to a world where acrobatic feats bring excitement to colorful storytelling.

Come see our shows in Toronto, and we'll take you on an adventure you'll never forget.

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