Top 3 Adventure Spots in Toronto
I live in the city. Often known as a concrete jungle where trees are telephone poles and the closet thing to a canopy of leaves are the streetcar wires overhead. But for the city of Toronto, finding a natural oasis is closer than you think. Just outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown living are some amazing gems of green space that makes this city a unique destination for urban adventurers and nature lovers alike. When I go scavenging for new and unique woods for my cufflinks I often don't have to go more than a half hour from the city centre to find beautiful lush surroundings filled with aged woods and fascination foliage.
Sherwood Park - near Eglinton & Mt. Pleasant
A great park in Midtown Toronto with a busy off-leash dog park, peaceful streams, and lovely forested trails. This park has a great boardwalk down the side of some reasonably steep hills. It's a terrific get away just a hop, skip and a jump North of the city. There's a parking lot right at the entrance of the grounds which makes it very convenient for the city driver and for the transit user it's just a single trip North on the 74 bus with a short storll to get to the park.
Rouge Park - near Meadowvale & Zoo Rd
A giant National Park located in the East end of Toronto. This massive green belt is a gorgeous oasis just 20 minutes out from the city centre complete with winding rivers, steep embankments and wild hiking trails. Not particularly easy to get to via transit but with a fair amount of parking available. If you aren't careful it's easy to get lost and have a long walk back to the main park entrance. By the end of the hike I was exhausted but it was a beautiful landscape to experience.
Lower Don Parklands - near Beechwood & O'Connor
This area is the definition of urban parkland. Located right downtown and next to the Don Valley Parkway, this densely forested area is interwoven with a variety of hiking and biking trails for novice to advanced bikers. The Don River winds it's way through the park creating some spectacular views making it easy to forget that you're still in the city. There's plenty of street parking on Beechwood Avenue but the park isn't very accessible via transit.
High Park - near Bloor & Keele
I really like High Park for it's location. Pretty well right in the heart of downtown, densely forested with trickling streams, hiking trails, and towering trees. The reason it's not on my top 5 is because if you are anything like me and love adventuring off-trail, this park is lush with poison ivy once you get off the main paths. There are signs posted but unfortunately I found this out the old fashioned itchy way.
Photography courtesy of Aaron Sambey