Here are the more popular Toronto parks:
201 Winchester St, Toronto, M4X 1B8
(Located 3 blocks east of Parliament Street along Winchester Street
Located 3 blocks north of Gerrard Street East along Sumach Street)
416-392-0329 fax: 416-392-0329
In the heart of downtown Cabbagetown, this 7.5acre working historical farm, is based on Ontario farms from the 1860s through until the 1920s. The barns and outdoor paddocks showcase rare breeds of livestock commonplace during this time, and hosts many different crafts programs are held including weaving, quilting, pottery and spinning. Other skills like cream and butter making, sheep shearing and gardening are demonstrated. Walk along the pathways through wooded areas, around ponds, and into butterfly-herb-flower-vegetable gardens.
On Tuesday mornings to watch volunteers preparing and baking bread in the Simpson House wood-fired brick oven. The Farm Kitchen prepares hot and cold refreshments and homemade goodies. The Shop at the Farm (416-961-8787) carries fine gifts, books, and keepsakes. The FRF Farmers’ Market is held every Tuesday (May to Oct, 3 pm to 7 pm). Open daily, 9 am to 5 pm Lower East Gate closed, December 1st to February 28th. Admission is free. Parking on neighbouring city streets only.
Sorry-dogs, bicycles, in-line skates, foot scooters, ride toys, and vehicles are not permitted on the Farm’s property. Please do not feed the farm animals, poultry, and waterfowl.
Allan Gardens Conservatory
19 Horticultural Ave, Toronto, M5A 2P2
(South side of Carlton St, between Jarvis Ave and Sherbourne St)
This conservatory has six greenhouses covering 16,000 square feet. There are permanent collections and seasonal displays. Particularly notable is the Victorian Christmas Show. Tours $.
TTC: College Street station (Yonge subway) then take an eastbound Carlton streetcar to Sherbourne St.
Bay-Adelaide Cloud Forest Conservatory
Richmond St W, Toronto
(Between Richmond and Temperance St, just west of Yonge St)
This indoor garden offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is very centrally located in the heart of downtown, between Richmond and Temperance Streets, just west of Yonge. The Cloud Forest Conservatory is wheelchair accessible and is open 10am to 2.30pm Mon to Fri, except on public holidays.
Glen Stewart Ravine
Kingston Rd (south side), east of Victoria Park
There are four or five entrances to this little park, via Glen Manor and Queen City noises disappear quickly in this ravine, with a high ceiling of trees providing shade. Nice cool place to walk, even in summer heat. Lots of squirrels and maybe even a fox.
Guildwood Parkway, Toronto
Located on the waterfront, this interesting garden with an artistic collection of architectural structures offers a peaceful retreat by the lakeside. It is open every day, all year round. Free parking is available.
1873 Bloor St W, Toronto
This large urban park is a focal point for leisure and cultural activities in Toronto. Set on a former estate, the park covers 161 hectares (398 acres) and is the largest park in Toronto. 1/3 of which is in a natural state. The park has sporting facilities for 2 soccer fields, 3 baseball diamonds, outdoor skating rink, outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and fields for football and lawn bowling. The landscaping in High Park includes sunken gardens, greenhouses and perennials, and a garden created out of hanging baskets. There is also an outdoor theatre that holds an annual Shakespeare festival, a trackless train ($), fishing on Grenadier Pond (no boats allowed), and a zoo dating back to 1890 that is open year round to visitors from 7 am to dusk .
Humber Bay Promenade Park
Lakeshore Boulevard West Toronto ON CAN
(opposite Fleeceline Road )
This waterfront park, on both sides of the Humber River, offers three scenic lookouts with spectacular views of the Toronto skyline. The gardens also features a marina (in the west park), a boardwalk and gazebo. Open to the public dawn to dusk every day, year round
Between Queen St. East & the Beaches Boardwalk.
Kew Gardens is a large, inner-city public garden which hosts a number of festivals, concerts, craft shows and outdoor exhibitions. The Beaches International Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz concert in Canada, featuring more than 400 musicians, takes place in this park.
Martin Goodman Trail
Along the Waterfront
The Martin Goodman Trail Stretches for 22 km along the waterfront (Lake Ontario) and is popular with walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers, to name a few. Passes through Marie Curtis Park (Mississauga) through Marilyn Bell Park, Battery Park, past Ontario Place and Harbourfront to Ashbridge’s Bay Park and the eastern Beaches. Part of the 350 km (219 miles) Lake Ontario Waterfront trail, from Niagara on the Lake to Kingston.
St. James Gardens
King Street East & Church Street Toronto
This formal garden in the heart of downtown adds a burst of colour. Wheel Chair Accessible and open daily dawn to dusk every day, year round. TTC: Accessible from King Station (Yonge Street subway line) and the King Street East Streetcar
Franklin Children’s Garden, The
Centre Island, Toronto
Located on the Toronto Islands, this exciting garden offers a world of fun and discovery for children and their families. Inspited by inspired by Franklin the Turtle, the celebrated series of books written by Paulette Bourgeois, illustrated by Brenda Clark. Stories, games and fascinating learning opportunities sprout from every corner.
Bay Street and Queens Quay, west of the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel Toronto, ON
Set on the harbour islands directly opposite the downtown area, the Toronto Islands consists of three connected islands, Ward, Centre and Hanlan’s Point, and can be reached by a 10-minutes ferry from behind the Harbour Castle Hotel. The islands have great beaches, beachfront boardwalks, and lagoons with wildlife and leisure facilities. There is the Centreville amusement park, softball diamonds, wading pools, a Frisbee golf course and 2.5 km of bicycle trails. There is also a small airport on the west end of the islands (with its own access from downtown). Over 1,225,000 people visit this 230 acre 388 hectare park each year.
The Toronto Islands began as sand-bars originating from the Scarborough Bluffs slowly carried westward by Lake Ontario currents. By the early 1800s, the longest of these bars reached past the marshes of the lower Don River, forming a natural harbour between the lake and the mainland, as well as a sanctuary for migratory birds. Dredging projects in the early 1900s have stabilized shorelines, reduced sand-bar movement, deepened boating channels, and raised land levels.
The Hanlan family was among the first year-round inhabitants on Toronto Island, settling at Gibraltar Point in 1862. After the islands were transferred from the federal government to the City of Toronto in 1867, the land was subdivided for cottages, and the west side of the island, rapidly became a resort destination for the citizens of Toronto; the first summer cottage community was found here. In 1878, a hotel was built by John Hanlan (related to famous rower Edward “Ned” Hanlan) and the area became known as Hanlan’s Point. An 1894 lakefill project added space for an amusement park, a roller-coaster, and in 1909 a baseball stadium. In the 1930s the stadium was closed, and the amusement park was demolished in 1937 to build Toronto Island Airport. Hanlan’s Point has two beaches, one of them”clothing optional”.
Centre Island is between Hanlan’s Point and Ward’s Island. By the late 1800’s, many of Toronto’s wealthiest families built beautiful Victorian summer homes along the Lake Shore Avenue carriage route. In 1888, Island Park was established to offer an impressive panoramic view of downtown Toronto. Two distinctive bridges, still in use today, were built to handle traffic at the Centre Island Ferry, including the 1912 Manitou Road bridge and the 1914 Olympic Island bridge. Centre Island today, has an amusement park, several sailing clubs and a popular beach.
Ward’s Island, which used to be the east section of the old sandbank peninsula, was named David Ward a fisherman who first settled there in 1834. An 1858 storm dug a channel separating the island from the mainland. In 1882, his son William Ward built the landmark Ward’s Hotel by the ferry docks (it was demolished in 1966). Ward’s Island has a popular beach with a view of the shipping channel into the Toronto Harbour.
Toronto Music Garden
475 Queen’s Quay West, Toronto
(South side of Queen’s Quay Blvd W, between Spadina Ave and Bathurst St)
This park is a focal point of Toronto’s exciting waterfront, and inspired by Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, with twirling pathways, energetic gardens, each section of the garden corresponding dance movement within the Suite. Open dawn to dusk everyday, year round, and Wheel Chair Accessible.
Toronto Sculpture Garden
115 King Street East, Toronto
(at Jarvis near Church Street and opposite St. James’ Cathedral)
This park in the downtown core featuring contemporary, innovative installations by Canadian artists, since 1981. Tthe City of Toronto owns and operates the city park, and the Louis L. Odette family’s non-profit foundation funds the exhibitions. It has given many artists their first opportunity to work out-of-doors, siting their work in an urban outdoor environment and it has provided them with critical experience for future public art projects. Open daily from 8 am to dusk, admission is free. TTC: King Street station (Yonge subway line)
Beaches Boardwalk, The
This 3 km long boardwalk alongside the waterfront park with picnic tables and sandy beaches, and trails for biking & roller-blading. Busy from 6 am until midnight. Close to tons of fine restaurants, ice-cream shops, bars and excellent shopping along Queen Street East.
Along Lakeshore Blvd & Coxwell Ave, Toronto, M4L 1A1
This more than 30 acre park is located along Lake Ontario and features beaches, a boardwalk and at the location of the former horse racetrack. Park has a new children’s splash pad. Events through the year include the Waterfront Blues Festival.