Best picnic spots in Toronto
There is no better way to enjoy summer than with food, friends, a Frisbee and blanket at your neighbourhood park. Picnic season may be short in Toronto, but city residents like to take full advantage, filling up all of the cities green spaces on weekends and during lunch or after work on weekdays. Here are some of the best picnic spots in Toronto.
Located in the east end of Toronto, Ashbridge’s Bay is home to Woodbine Beach, one of Toronto’s eight blue flag beaches, which means the water quality is good enough for swimming. People flock to the park to enjoy a picnic on the wide sandy beach in the summer, and go for a swim in Lake Ontario. Parts of the Martin Goodman and Waterfront trails also pass through the north end of the park, making it popular for cyclists, bladers, walkers, and runners.
Address: 1561 Lake Shore Boulevard East & Coxwell Avenue
District: Waterfront, Old Toronto
TTC: Travel to Woodbine Station. Board the 92 Woodbine bus southbound. Exit at Asbridges Bay Park.
Dufferin Grove Park is a popular neighbourhood park located in the densely populated area of Bloor and Dufferin. Locals vacate their apartment buildings and flock to the park on sunny days to enjoy the green space that is full of trees, picnic tables, a playground, wading pool and sandpit for the kids to enjoy while parents relax and enjoy this mini oasis.
Address: 875 Dufferin Street south of Bloor Street
District: Old Toronto
TTC: Travel to Dufferin Station. Walk south on Dufferin Street.
Earl Bales Park is well-known for its stellar views of the nighttime sky. In fact, if you plan a late afternoon picnic, you can catch a spectacular sunset. Bring a blanket and hot cocoa and stick around for some star gazing. The park also has a splash pad, a playground, a fire pit, bike trails, and an off-leash area for dogs.
Address: 4169 Bathurst Street south of Sheppard
District: North York
TTC: Travel to Sheppard Station. Board the 196B York University Rocket and travel to Bathurst. Walk south to 4169 Bathurst. Or take the Bathurst 160 bus from Wilson station, take the Bathurst 7 bus from Bathurst station.
High Park is Toronto’s largest park, at 161 hectares stretching from Bloor Street at the Northern edge to the Queensway in the South, and from Parkside Drive at the Eastern edge to Ellis Street in the West. Over 1 million people visit the park annually to see many species of wildlife and rare plant species. In addition to great picnic spaces, the park offers many fantastic natural areas and walking trails, sports facilities, the historic Hillside Gardens, a children's garden, Grenadier Pond, the High Park Zoo, Colborne Lodge, Trackless Train, the Jamie Bell Playground, a dog park, a couple of restaurants, and greenhouses.
Address: 1873 Bloor Street West
District: High Park, Old Toronto
TTC: Take Bloor and Danforth subway line to High Park Station or the 506 Carlton streetcar for the High Park Loop.
Located just south of the famous Bridle Path area of Toronto, Sunnybrook Park is a 59.5 hectare green space filled with massive trees and countless picnic areas dotted throughout the park in semi-private nooks. The parks is popular for bikers and runners who take advantage of the winding and hilly terrain to train. There are also fields for sports and recreation.
Address: 1132 Leslie Street at Eglinton)
District: North York
TTC: Take the 54 Lawrence East or 51 Leslie Bus to Leslie Street at Eglinton North Side Stop. Walk a few metres north to the park entrance on the west side of Leslie.
If you live in the popular and ever-expanding areas of Liberty Village, or King, Queen, and Dundas West, this is your escape on a hot summer day. Hipsters and youngish executives alike flock here to claim a patch of grass and some shade under one of the many trees in this 14.6-hectare park to people watch, play Frisbee, or catch with their dog. With access to great little food joints along Queen and Dundas West, you don’t even need to pack a lunch, you can just grab it to go across the street.
Address: 790 Queen Street West at Bellwoods
District: Trinity-Bellwoods, Old Toronto
TTC: Take the 501 Queen streetcar to Strachan Avenue or the 505 Dundas streetcar to Crawford Street
Another of Toronto’s blue flag beaches, this one is located offshore and requires a ferry to reach. It makes the experience that more exotic and requires a bit of planning but you are rewarded with smaller crowds and a quiet that you won’t find in any other park in the city. Grab a little spot for your family to picnic near the beach, take the kids to the playground, or bring your bikes over and ride around the island on the bike trails.
Address: 1 Centre Island Park
District: Waterfront (Toronto Islands)
TTC: Take 509 Harbourfront or 510 Spadina to Queens Quay Ferry Docks Terminal