It’s easy to head to your local playground but, in case you’re craving a change of scenery, here are some suggestions for the best parks and picnic spots in and around Toronto.
Take the trail to the Evergreen Brickworks. It’s muddy at times, but home to a hidden geocache as well as mini ponds. You’ll end up at the Brickworks for a well-earned picnic.
And by picnic, we mean go on a Saturday when the Farmer’s Market is on and splurge on all sorts of delicacies to eat while overlooking the pond (where there are real live frogs). The kids will love playing and learning in the children’s garden. It’s the perfect oasis in the city.
Beachway Park, Burlington
Check out the water-jet plaza and pirate playground for a really great way to stimulate the imagination. Then meander down the waterfront trail to the clean shores and mature trees of Burlington Beach.
Beachway Park will make you feel like Martha’s Vineyard has headed north for the summer.
Hideaway Park, Leslieville
Shhh – this tiny, perfect park is a Leslieville secret. Complete with wading pad, Hideaway Park is almost hidden unless you’re in the know.
Which you are, now.
Charlotte Maher Park, Davisville
We love Charlotte Maher Park at Bayview and Eglinton because it’s away from busy streets and has a fence.
A ton of park toys, a great playground, and plenty of grass make this our go-to playground and picnic spot in Toronto.
Cedarvale Park & Ravine
Take an easy stroll through Cedarvale Park and Ravine and check out the playground and off-leash area. If you’re up for a hike, start at the Rosedale subway station, and avail yourselves of the park benches that make for a perfect pit stop for refuelling.
Venture on for the rest of your walking adventure through to the Beltline Trail near Yonge and Davisville.
Edwards Gardens, Leslie & Lawrence
From the Sunnybrook Park entrance, you have the option to head north to beautiful Edwards Gardens for a Jane Austen-style afternoon tea overlooking the very essence of a classic English garden.
Lots of free parking makes it easy to use the car as home base, and the paved trails make this a good bike route as well. Cue the crumpets.
King’s Mill Park, Bloor West Village
A good starting point for a more nature-focused excursion is King Mill’s Park. Start at Old Mill subway station, and then travel south towards the lake along the Humber River.
Marshes and the Old Mill plus bridge make this pretty neat for the kids, while the history behind the Shared Path is intriguing for the whole family.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, Toronto Islands
Save Centreville for another day and stroll from Hanlan’s Point to the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.
End the day with a play in Franklin Children’s Garden playground, and pack a picnic for a rugged beach feast.
McMichael Gallery, Kleinberg
It’s never too early to appreciate the Group of Seven and Tom Thompson paintings at the McMichael Gallery, especially if the wee ones have ever been up north.
Let the kids loose in the Discovery Space or hiking trails and have a delish picnic with some sweets and savouries from Kleinberg.
A picturesque wooded park with two wading pools, great trails, public bathrooms, picnic tables, and a large playground. The wading pools are located downhill from the park entrance and have several spray features for all to enjoy.
Sherwood Park features a fenced off dogs off-leash area and free parking is available at the front of the park.
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