The largest city in Canada and home to over 6 million people, Toronto is a place with rich and diverse culture. According to an Index of city ranking published by The Economist ranked Toronto the best place to live in the world alongside Montreal. This city is known for its vibrant communities, high quality of life, reasonable cost of sustainability, safety, and food security. From neighborhoods with Bohemian vibes to spots of historical importance, Toronto has it all. Apart from that, Toronto is also home to 1500 parks sprawling over hundreds of acres with astonishing landscapes. The parks in Toronto are counted among the best tourist destinations that the city treasures and is proud of.
These parks are so popular, Toronto has earned the name of “The City within a park”. In this article, we will talk about the 10 best parks in Toronto that you should absolutely visit when you are in the city. If you are new to the city of Toronto and want to make the most of your time by visiting the tourist locations, you might get confused about where to start. With so many interesting spots to cover, choosing the best places to explore can be a daunting task for you.
Thus, to save your time, we have narrowed it down to the 10 best parks in Toronto. From bird watching to picnics, from playing golf to just enjoying the scenic beauty, you can do a lot of diverse activities there. Our list also has a National Park where you can go to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.
Here below is the list of Best Parks In Toronto to Breathe in Some Fresh Air and Revitalize!
High Park is probably the most popular park visited by the locals and tourists in Toronto. The park is located west of downtown Toronto and spans almost 400 acres.
It is a one-stop solution for almost all kinds of outdoor recreational activities. It is an excellent getaway for people of all ages who want a respite of a few hours from their busy life.
The High Park was opened for people in 1876. It was built on land donated by the celebrated official surveyor of the Government of Toronto, John George Howard.
The park has two large playgrounds for children, a wading pool, a picnic area, and also a snack bar. Apart from being a recreational spot with sporting equipment, cultural centers, and educational facilities, the park is also a house to a rare oak savanna ecology. It is also known for the beautiful cherry blossom trees which bloom in April and May.
Another attraction of High Park is the specially designed ” Adventure Playground” for children. The park also has a large off-leash play area for the canine members of your family. If you love hiking, High Park can be one of the best parks in Toronto for you.
There are several unpaved dirt trails suitable for hikers. You can also find two soccer fields, three baseball diamonds, and even a small T-ball diamond in the park. There are a few tennis courts too. An Ice Hockey rink is also operated in the park during the winters.
Address: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3
Phone: +1 416-338-0338
Opened in 1910, Withrow Park is one of the largest multipurpose parks in Toronto. It covers 21-acres of land and offers its visitors fun and adventure-filled day.
This park in the Riverdale neighborhood of Toronto is loved by both adults and children. It has a wading pool where kids can cool off on warm summer afternoons. The park also has a large playground.
If you love cycling, you can also make use of the park’s seven bike trails and explore its lovely landscape on wheels. The park also has a fire pot which you can use to enjoy a snack with your friends and family.
There is also a clubhouse and changing room. Withrow Park has an off-leash dog area too where you can play with your furry friends.
Address: 725 Logan Ave, Toronto, ON M4K 3B9
Phone: +1 416-392-2489
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Built on over 38 acres of land, the Trinity Bellwoods Park is one of the best parks in Toronto providing miscellaneous sports facilities. The park was first built in 1900 and is now owned by the Forestry and Recreation Division of the city.
It houses a community generation center, which is managed and owned by the City of Toronto. The recreational center comprises two indoor pools, a gymnasium, a fitness center, as well as indoor running tracks. It also has a few multi-purpose rooms for use by the athletes who come there for training.
Apart from the recreational center, the park also has a large playground, a volleyball court, and open spaces for playing softball, football, soccer as well as rugby. It also has an outdoor wading pool for kids.
Trinity Bellwoods Park is also preferred by dog owners because of its large off-leash dog play areas. Another attraction of Trinity Bellwoods Park is that it is home to the legendary white squirrels. If you are lucky, you can spot one or two of these rare albino squirrels with pink eyes.
Address: 790 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3
Phone: +1 416-338-2614
Opened in 1860, Allen Garden is a paradise for people to love plants. With hundreds of exquisite plants to see, a step inside that park will take you through an astonishing tropical journey.
The park is spread over 16000 Sq ft. of land and is filled with lush green and exotic vegetation that will leave you in awe.
This horticulture center grows and houses varieties of exotic orchids, camellias, and various other lesser-known flowers. You will also be able to see a wide range of cacti, opuntia, green jade vine, and aloe vera in this garden.
This park is located in the Garden District of Toronto. The land where the garden is built was donated by George William Allen, former mayor of Toronto, to the Toronto Horticulture Society in 1858.
It was earlier known as the Horticulture Gardens. The Municipal Government of Toronto acquired the park in 1864, and in 1901 the garden was renamed Allen Garden as a tribute to its original owner. In 1973, this park was enlisted as the City of Toronto Heritage Property.
The Park is also known for its famous conservatory known as the Palm House, built in a neo-classic and Edwardian style. The conservatory has six large greenhouses which house several Mediterranean and tropical plants.
The garden is built to entertain people of all ages. Even your pets can find this place quite enjoyable. It has an off-leash dog area with a separate area for smaller dogs weighing less than 20lbs.
It also has a large oval water fountain in the center of the garden commemorating Graeme Mercer Adam, the famous Canadian author.
Address: 160 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M5A 2E5
Phone: +1 416-392-7288
A former country estate turned into a recreational arena, Sunnybrook Park in Toronto sprawls over an area of 381 acres. If you love bird-watching, this can be one of the best parks in Toronto for you.
This park is also well-known for its wildlife. Many bird-lovers flock here indifferent seasons to spot several species of local and migratory birds. It is also a pet-friendly area.
Created in 1928, this park is also an environmentally significant area where you can take your dogs and experience the true essence of nature within the city. It is encompassed by sugar maple trees, eastern white pine, American beech, and eastern hemlock trees.
The Park also has a reserved wetland, which provides an abode to several species of animals and birds. You can spot turtles, Great Blue Herons, and Red-winged blackbirds in Sunnybrook. The park also has 25 biking trails making it one of the preferred spots for cyclists.
Address: 1132 Leslie St, Toronto, ON
Phone: +1 416-338-4386
Dufferin Grove Park
Though smaller than the other parks on the list, Dufferin Grove is just the place where you want to spend a quiet afternoon. The park is built over a 13-acre oasis on the west side of Toronto. The place is adorned with lush green vegetation.
The Dufferin Grove park also features a reflexology footpath, the first of its kind in Toronto. Dufferin Grove Park is developed to let people relax by stimulating and massaging sore feet.
It also has a wide sand play area where the kids can spend a lovely afternoon making sandcastles. It also has a playground for children, a skateboarding area, and even a multipurpose sports field.
The park has a wading pool too where you and your kids can splash around on a warm summer afternoon. It also has an ice rink and a clubhouse. You can even find two wood ovens near the basketball court in the park where you’re free to prepare snacks after a game with your friends and family.
Very near to Dufferin Grove Park, you can also find an organic farmer’s market. It is one of the oldest farmer’s markets in Toronto where many local organic growers flock every Thursday afternoon with their produce.
If you are an organic food lover and want to buy some fresh harvest for a healthy dinner, this is the best place you would want to be from 3-7 p.m. every Thursday.
Address: 875 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6H 3K8
Phone: +1 416-392-0913
Established in 1860, Queen’s Park is one of the oldest urban parks in Toronto. It is located in Downtown Toronto and was built on the property dedicated to Edward, Prince of Wales.
This oval-shaped park was named Queen’s Park, in honor of Queen Victoria. This park is home to several monuments and war memorials built and designed by renowned sculptors.
If you are a history enthusiast, a trip to this park will take you through a historical journey where you will be able to appreciate various important historic events and personalities.
You can also take your bike there and cycle around the landscape. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is also situated on the park site. There are picnic tables and sitting areas in the park so that you can spend a quiet relaxing evening with your loved ones there.
Address: 110 Wellesley St W, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2
Phone: +1 416-325-7500
A part of the Toronto Islands, the Centre Island in Toronto is one of the best places for a weekend getaway. The park spans over 818 acres and can be reached by a 15-minute ferry ride from downtown Toronto.
From the feelings of sandy beaches to the fun of an amusement park, you can get it all here. The park has provisions for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking too. You can pack a lunch to have a picnic at the Centre Islands, or you can also make use of the snack bars and eateries present in the park.
It also features several cycling trails. The park comprises the Centreville Amusement Park built-in 1967 designed in a 1900 style turn-of-the-century theme. The amusement park offers several fun rides and activities for kids.
It also includes a miniature railway. Not far from Centre Island, there is an officially recognized clothing-optional section in Hanlan’s point beach. You can get an experience of that too if you are comfortable.
Address: Toronto, Canada
Phone: +1 416-203-0405
Toronto Music Garden
Probably one of the most innovative parks in Canada, the Toronto Music Garden is located on the waterfront of the city.
Firstly, The park is designed by taking inspiration from a part of a film series ” The music garden” made in collaboration with the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma known as “Inspired by Bach”. Secondly, The garden will take you through a musical journey where you can physically experience the famous Bach’s Suite No. 1.
Much like the original music piece, the park is divided into six different sections.
- The first part, known as Prelude, is depicted in the park with a curving path around granite boulders and Hackberry plants.
- A forest of Birch trees denotes the second part, Allemande.
- The mesmerizing third part, known as Courante, is portrayed by a wildflower meadow.
- You can feel the poetic spirit of the fourth part, Sarabande in a fragrant Conifer tree grove.
- The fifth movement of the music piece, known as Menuett, is represented by a wrought iron Music pavilion.
- The final piece, Guige, is embodied by a public amphitheater.
Toronto was awarded this park in 1999. This grand project was designed and executed by award-winning architect Julie Moir Messervy. Moreever, if you have a poetic heart, this is one of the best parks in Toronto for you.
With an abundance of nature at your disposal, you can experience a regal serenity in this garden. You can also sign up for a guided tour through this park, conducted by the Toronto Botanical Garden volunteers if you are new to this place.
Address: Toronto, ON, Canada
Phone: +1 416-973-4000
Rouge National Urban Park
Established in 1995, the Rouge National Urban Park is Canada’s first-ever national park. It spans over 15 sq. miles to the east of the city. It stretches from Lake Ontario in the south to the Northern Oak Ridges.
Rouge National Urban Park welcomes visitors throughout the year. A must-see place, suitable for weekend trips, this is one of the best parks in Toronto for hikers and water-lovers alike.
The park features a 12-km rustic hiking trail where you will be able to experience a variety of landscapes. From meadows to wetlands, the park has it all. It is home to over 1700 species of flora and fauna.
You will be able to spot some rare species of birds, animals, as well as reptiles in the park. It also has provisions for canoeing, swimming, and fishing. It is also one of the best places for camping and bird-watching.
Address: Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8
Phone: +1 416-264-2020
We believe you have found our review of the 10 best parks in Toronto an informational and enjoyable read. With the essence of nature, wildlife, and exceptionally designed landscapes, all these parks are must-see places in Toronto.
We hope, the next time you are in the city, you will find it convenient to pick the best spots to visit in your leisure time. These parks are the best places where you can enjoy a short recess from the mundane urbane life and revitalize yourself for the next workday.
Take Time-Out from the Urban Life in the 10 Best Parks in Toronto.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who owns the parks in Toronto?
Except for a few privately owned parks, all the gardens and parks in Toronto are either properties of the Municipal Corporations under the Government of Canada or owned by Parks Canada, a federal agency of the Government of India.
The Municipal parks in Toronto are maintained by the Forestry and Recreation Division of the city. A few parks among them are provincial parks owned by the Government of Ontario.
What is the largest park in Toronto?
Sprawling over an area of 525 acres, Centennial Park is the largest Park in Toronto. It is maintained by the Parks, Forest, r,y, and Recreation Division of the city. It was opened in 1967, to commemorate the 100th birthday of Canada.
The area was previously a part of the Hiron’s Dairy farm, which was later converted into a public park. Centennial Park is not only one of the busiest parks with a variety of features but also there you will always find something interesting in Centennial Park.
It has an 11-acre wide pond, 2 cricket pitches, 7 soccer fields, a 120-acres golf course, a baseball,l and 5 softball diamonds, and multiple playgrounds as well as exercise equipment.
It also houses the Etobicoke Olympium, which is a large athletic center, and the Centennial Park Conservatory. This park was once one of the venues to host the 1976 Summer Paralympics.
What is the oldest park in Toronto?
Victoria Memorial Square, established in 1793, is the oldest park in Toronto. However, previously, it was actually a burial ground. The place was originally known as St. John Square and it also served as a cemetery for people affiliated with the Toronto Garrison.
The ground is grave to over 400 military personnel, including a number of victims of the War of 1812.
It was turned into a park in the late 19th century and today, it is a part of the Fort York National Historic Site. You will be able to see the famous monument commemorating the War of 1812, sculpted by Walter Seymore Allward when you visit the place.