During those perfect days when the sun is out and shining in Toronto, the last place you want to be is stuck indoors. Fortunately, the city is full of amazing spots to get away, set up a nice meal beneath the open sky and soak up the outdoors. Even when the sun isn’t out, few things beat the feeling of being outside and eating something delicious.
If you have a free day in Toronto and want to escape for a few hours, here are the best picnic sites in the city.
Just west of downtown is the gorgeous 400-acre High Park that perfectly blends nature and recreation. The hilly park has a diverse landscape that includes hanging gardens, Grenadier Pond, a ravine and the central plains—the best place to have your picnic. On a beautiful day, you can find an array of activities and people at the park, which makes it prime for people watching.
Food does not need to be a priority because of the amount of vendors at the park and the presence of Grenadier Café. If there’s just one place you could go for a picnic in Toronto, High Park should be high on the list.
Saying one of the best picnic spots in Toronto is on the Toronto Islands is somewhat of a cop-out because there are, in fact, multiple islands and great picnic spots there. The Toronto Islands are a fantastic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and offers some more secluded areas to share with your fellow picnicker—be it a romantic tryst or friendly getaway. If there is one spot on the Toronto Islands you should pick, it should be Toronto Island because it’s possible to escape from the crowds and set your picnic up so you have spectacular views of downtown.
Ashbridges Bay Park
East of Toronto Islands is another fantastic beachfront picnic area. Ashbridges Bay Park is on a nice peninsula and features gorgeous sandy beaches. If the weather is perfect, the park can get fairly crowded, but there are paths and areas in the park lesser traveled by visitors.
Besides the picnic tables that have great views of Lake Ontario, it’s also possible to engage in other activities at the park, including swimming, bird watching and exploring. These can be great before or after picnic activities to share with your loved ones.
Dufferin Grove Park
If you’re looking for a more family-oriented picnic location, head to Dufferin Grove Park, which is a block away from the Dufferin subway station. The park has seen a revival thanks to the neighborhood becoming popular with families and it’s come back to life with outdoor plays, a farmer’s market and a playground. The weekly farmer’s market also makes it easy to create a nice picnic without bringing anything from home.
During the winter, there are winter campfires and an ice rink, so you can have fun picnics year round. Whereas some of the other picnic spots are great for romantic outdoor meals, Dufferin Grove Park is a picnic spot for anyone.
For a truly unique picnic experience in Toronto, Bluffer’s Park is a prime destination. Beneath the geological wonder that is the Scarborough Bluffs, Bluffer’s Park captures a feel and look only approached by the beaches of Southern California or the limestone cliffs in England. Traveling along Brimley Road to the park is an adventure in itself and the views of the lake are just icing on the cake.
At the park, there are dedicated picnic tables, a sandy beach and breathtaking views. It’s definitely a great place to take a date.