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5 Perfect Places To Picnic In Toronto

photo credit: lucie capkova / unsplash

It’s officially springtime in Toronto (potential for late-April snowstorms notwithstanding) and that means that Torontonians are coming out of hibernation and the city is coming completely alive. It’s the best time of year to visit Canada’s largest city but Toronto isn’t all skyscrapers, shopping, and street art — the city does its own version of the great outdoors.

To see it for yourself, pack a lunch, pick one of these perfect places, and take a break from Toronto’s big city vibe with a picnic in the park, by the lake, or out on the island.

 

1. The Toronto Islands

The city’s three island destinations are just a short, fun, and inexpensive ferry ride away. There’s lots to explore including Centre Park, a classic theme park with rides and snacks, a petting zoo, bike trails and bike rentals, and a beach. A select few (very lucky) Toronto residents get to call the island home. Make sure to wander the streets where they have their beachy, distinctly un-Toronto homes. Make a day of it on the island and plan your dinner picnic for when the sun sets over lake Ontario.

 

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CN x 2

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2. High Park

Feel like you’ve escaped the city completely without setting foot off of the mainland. Taking up 161 hectares of Toronto’s west end, the park is at its prime in springtime when hundreds of cherry blossoms bloom, turning High Park pink and drawing travellers from all over the city and the world. Choose a spot among the cherry trees or along the shores of Grenadier Pond to set up for your picnic. Afterwards, head over to the High Park Zoo to check out the famous escaping capybaras.

 

3. Riverdale Farms

Say hey to a horse, greet a goat, or indulge in other animal-related alliterations at this east end Cabbagetown gem. The park is home to a working farm with all kinds of cute farm animals (go at the right time of year and you’ll see baby goats). There’s also a flower, vegetable, and herb garden, a serene forest to take a cool stroll through on a hot summer day, and a network of ponds that are home to their own wildlife crew. For bigger groups, you can call ahead and book one of the farm’s large picnic tables for free.

 

4. Trinity Bellwoods Park

Thanks to the weekly farmers market, your Trin Bell picnic can be a spontaneous one if you hit up the park on a Tuesday afternoon. Grab your GMO-free, sustainably grown, certified organic produce and pair it with something from the market’s great selection of ready-made foods. There’s also a selection of Ontario-grown wine and ciders for sale. On the weekends, Trinity Bellwoods is the place to see and be seen so stake out your sunny spot early — this park can get crowded (in a good way).

 

5. Scarborough Bluffs

Drama! The Scarborough Bluffs offer up the most extraordinary, most Instagrammable views in all of Toronto with their network of nine unique parks running above and below the escarpment which, at its highest point, rises up 90 metres above Lake Ontario. The 15 km length of the escarpment is so expansive that you can often find a spot all to yourself even in peak summer season. Bluffers Park is, however, is home to the escarpment’s busier beach scene so if you prefer to swim with a squad, go there.

 

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Lake Ontario was lookin’ kinda cute today – we should prob protect her from mass pollution🧐

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