dog parks toronto

The Best Dog Parks in Toronto

The best dog parks in Toronto will give your canine companion a much needed break from condo living and cramped backyards. If your pooch spends all day cooped up inside, then a trip to one of these parks is well-deserved. Whether you live downtown, in Scarborough or Etobicoke, there's ample green space for your four-legged friend to roam free.

Here are the best dog parks in Toronto.

High Park
If you like a scenic walk, High Park is one of your best bets in Toronto. The expansive green space boasts lengthy off-leash trails where you and your pooch can get a little exercise while taking in the sites and sounds of the park. Dog Hill, the fenced-in off-leash area, is also well-loved. It has a dog drinking fountain, benches, and plenty of space for your four-legged friend to run wild.

Trinity Bellwoods
Trinity Bellwoods is a popular spot for people and pooches alike. In the centre of the popular West Queen West park you'll find an off-leash pit where your canine companion can mix and mingle with the hippest foxhounds and French bulldogs in the city. Owners can post up on one of the grassy hills and enjoy a few sneaky Bellwoods beers while watching their dogs play.

Allan Gardens
The dog park at Allan Gardens may not be the biggest, but it's one of the most aesthetically pleasing in the city. The off-leash area is lined with manicured bushes and features a dog sculpture (you know, for all those art-inclined pooches that are sad about being turned away at the AGO). While it may not rival the indoor greenhouses, it's much prettier than your average park.

Withrow Park
If you live by Logan and Danforth, Withrow is mostly likely already your park of choice for dog walking. It boasts a fully fenced-in dog area with a wood chip-laden terrain, perfect for post-rain walks (it'll save you a trip to the groomers).

Greenwood Park
Leslieville may be known for its killer brunch spots and coffee shops, but the dogs who live here have it pretty good as well. Greenwood Park's off-leash area is mostly unobstructed by trees and shrubs, making it ideal for a game or two of fetch.

Sherwood Park
Sherwood Park in North Toronto is ideal if you'd rather go for a stroll than post up on a bench. The green space features a lengthy fenced-off trail area where you can let your dog run wild or get in a work out of your own by hiking alongside him/her.

Riverdale Park West
Riverdale Park West offers an expansive, grassy terrain where your dog(s) can release some major energy. The park's steep hills will help tire out your dog, and you as well (if you're into that sort of thing). The park is known to get pretty crowded on weekends, so it's ideal for pooches that are in need of some socialization.

Cedarvale Park
If you live in and around St. Clair West, Cedarvale Park is where to take your dog on their next outing. The designated dog area is free of trees, so you'll be able to keep a close eye on your canine companion at all times. Alternatively, if you're okay with keeping your dog on-leash, opt to explore the rest of the ravine - it's one of Toronto's best.

Wychwood Barns Park
Wychwood Barns Park is also a well-loved spot along St. Clair West, thanks to Artscape Wychwood Barns. The dog park here may not have lengthy trails or be as large as others, but it's location is what earns it a spot on this list. The space is outfitted with picnic tables, so owners can kick back while their dogs play.

Sunnybrook Park
Near Leslie and Eglinton you'll find Sunnybrook Park. The area is known mainly for its scenic walking trails, which are great for dog walking (if you don't mind keeping your pooch on a leash). The off-leash section of the park is small -- especially considering the size of the park -- but offers poop bags and seating for owners.

Etobicoke Valley Park
Etobicoke Valley Park's off-leash area is one of the largest and is located just outside the city. It's crowning jewel is the creek, where your four-legged friend can cool off in the summer or grab a drink. The area is definitely not as manicured as some of the downtown parks on this list, but that's part of its charm. A huge plus: there's free parking nearby.

Cherry Beach
When the weather's nice, there is no better place to be than the beach. Luckily, many of Toronto's best are outfitted with fences so your dog can enjoy it as much as you do. Cherry Beach is the place to go with your pooch in the Port Lands, offering a large stretch of land and shoreline. If you're farther east, check out Kew Gardens for a similar atmosphere.

Ramsden Park
Tucked away in Rosedale's Ramsden Park you'll find a dog park large enough for your four-legged friend to frolic to his/her heart's content. The space is well-loved because it doesn't feel as caged in as others in the city. It's also equipped with plenty of seating for owners, and a dog-drinking fountain, so you won't have to carry along water.

Thomson Memorial Park
If you hail from Scarborough, Thomson Memorial Park is where to take Fido. The Brimley Road dog mecca is divided into two sections, one for larger dogs and another for smaller companions. This helps to ensure that your dog won't get into a scuffle with a pooch double his/her size. There's also ample seating for owners to kick back on while their dogs socialize.

South Stanley Park
South Stanley Park is where all the King West canines congregate. The off-leash area will give your four-legged friend the exercise they need after spending all day in your apartment. The space doesn't get as busy as Trinity Bellwoods, making it a great alternative for those that dwell on the west side.

Photo by Ben Roffelsen in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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