serene spots toronto

The 10 most serene spots in Toronto

The most serene spots in Toronto aren't necessarily the quietest spots. Given that there's always been a weather-ly connotation to the term, these are places where you can sit for a while with no distractions, and where there's something to look at that's calming and peaceful: you know, a work of art, body of water, or just something pretty.

Here are the 10 most serene spots in Toronto.

Ontario Place

The new Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place offer awesome views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline. You can walk along the meandering lakeside trail before stopping by the granite bluffs or cap off an evening walk with a visit to the waterfront fire pit.

Weekdays at Cherry Beach

Cherry Beach might be a zoo on summer weekends, but head here on a Tuesday at 11am, and you'll be joined by only a handful of people milling about and watching the kitesurfers cruise across the narrow stretch of water between the Port Lands and Leslie Street Spit. There's something about the colourful, wind-filled kites that's perfectly calming.

city hall green roof

The City Hall green roof is a sanctuary in the heart of the city. Photo by Gabriel Li.

Green Roof at City Hall

A surprisingly quiet place despite its central location, the green roof at city hall is an excellent place to reserve a few moments of tranquility in the midst of a hectic day. The south-facing side of the roof has a better view, but is short on seating options. The back of the building is a better bet, where the flowers are a bit nicer, too.

Weston Learning Centre AGO

This might sound like a strange recommendation, but if you're looking for some quiet time in a calm setting, head down to the Weston Family Learning Centre at the AGO and walk to the southwest corner. Adjacent to Beverley St. is an area with a few comfy chairs that offers a secluded place to read.

crothers woods

The trails at Crothers Woods are a great place to get away from it all. Photo by Derek Flack.

Crothers Woods

Accessed from the Loblaws parking lot at Redway Rd. or the southern trailhead at Bayview and Pottery Road, this area has long been a haven for mountain bikers and hikers. Much work has been put in over the last five years to better maintain and mark trails, but you're still unlikely to see more than a handful of people if you visit during the week.

The basement at E.J. Pratt Library

U of T has a number of wonderful libraries that are easy enough to access even if you're not a student of the school. In winter, Trinity takes the cake with its fireplace-adorned reading rooms, but summer, the basement at E.J. Pratt is the spot. Here you look out onto a modern garden area with a waterfall that has a Frank Lloyd Wright-feel about it.

marilyn bell park

A sunset walk at Marilyn Bell Park is the epitome of a serene activity. Photo by Shannon W.

Marilyn Bell Park

Perched right atop Lake Ontario, Marilyn Bell Park makes for a beautiful walk in its own right, but if you want to take in more of the waterfront, keep heading west to Sunnyside where you'll connect with the western boardwalk and a lovely view of Humber Bay.

Leslie Street Spit

A trip out to the tip of the Spit lets you take in lake vistas on both sides, not to mention the fascinating ways in which nature has reclaimed this human-made peninsula. Stop to inspect bricks rounded by decades of erosion and contemplate the effects of time. Or just walk to the lighthouse for one of the best view of the city's skyline.

toronto music garden

A quiet day at the Toronto Music Garden. Photo by George Hornaday.

Toronto Music Garden

Tucked away between Queens Quay and the Waterfront trail, the Toronto Music Garden is a meditative space that's mostly unpopulated throughout the day. Find a bench and you'll have a decent amount of privacy to contemplate your thoughts or chat up the love interest you've brought along. 

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Most cemeteries are serene places (by definition), but something about the rolling terrain at Mount Pleasant Cemetery and its various nooks and crannies makes it one of the calmest places in the entire city. The Necropolis is also a remarkably tranquil spot, but affords less sweeping views and seating options.

Lead photo by

Derek Flack


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