The Best Parks to Have a Picnic in Toronto
The best parks to have a picnic in Toronto are popular destinations as soon as the weather heats up. While some offer little more than a patch of grass in a sea of picnic blankets, others are less populated and offer scenic trails and pristine views best enjoyed with a tall can in a brown paper bag and maybe some snacks if you're feeling fancy.
Here are the best parks in Toronto for a picnic.
This centrally located park is the place to be on a sunny weekend in Toronto, and everybody knows it. Food-wise, you can pre-order a basket from H-Bar or some BBQ from Big Crow, or collect your own impromptu picnic from Poutini's, Chippy's or Nadege.
This sprawling green space is a haven for picnickers because it features grassy areas and lots of shade. For big get togethers, there are 18 designated picnic sites, though barbecues are not permitted in the park. Pick up treats in advance or have yourself a bite at the Grenadier Café.
Escape the city to Toronto's serene islands for a day of R&R. Pack a picnic before boarding the ferry then spend the day lounging in the sun, sipping ice tea and filling your lungs with cool, lilac-soaked air.
A post-swim picnic doesn't require a lot of planning at this park on Bloor. Grab a slice of pizza and some doughnuts from Apiecalypse Now or a few snacks from Tacos El Asador and then find yourself a spot away from the sports fields.
Walk past the main picnic area near the parking lots to discover a charming little peninsula peppered with pristine tables and shady areas. The lakeside attraction is a popular spot to eat, swim and be merry, but once the sun starts to set it can be quite romantic too.
Scarborough Bluffs Park
This collection of parks stretches 15 kilometres across Lake Ontario and offering plenty of picnic opportunities and unparalleled lookout points along the way.
Dufferin Grove is very close to the subway and it's outfitted with gazebos and bonfires, making it an ideal picnic destination.
Cherry Beach Park
This sandy beach is accessible by bus and offers a waterfront view. Stock up on provisions at the nearby T&T or score a poutine at the food truck parked in the lot. If you stay past sunset, you can wrap up your day at the drive-in.
This remote park at the base of the Bluffs boasts some of the city's most surreal scenery. Swim at the sandy beach or stake out a grassy picnic areas along the winding waterfront for a BBQ.
The east end park boasts sandy shores and green spaces. It's easily accessible via TTC and the vibrant stretch of shops along Queen East offers all the provisions you'd need.
Follow the walking trails and waterways through the grassy lands near Leslie and Eglinton to find prime picnic spots. The park connects to the Toronto Botanical Gardens if you want to do some exploring.
Lush green trees, grassy fields and a fire pit make this park south of the Danforth a very attractive picnic destination. Plan your picnic on a Saturday to coincide with the weekly farmers' market and don't even bother packing ahead.
Beautiful marsh trails against an urban backdrop make this park appealing. There are playgrounds, a splash pad and a pavilion at the top of the hill outfitted with a fireplace, outdoor grill and large communal picnic tables.
Humber Bay Park West
This scenic park in Etobicoke juts out on to Lake Ontario. It's a sweet spot for picnics as well as for birdwatching. It's not too far from a butterfly habitat, which means you might attract some colourful new party guests.
Colonel Sam Smith Park
The wooded shoreline in the Kipling and Lakeshore area boasts excellent views of the sunrise and is known as a good spot for fishing. Take a stroll through a network of paths surrounded by trees, birds and other wildlife before settling down for a picnic.
Etienne Brulé Park
This beautiful park near the Old Mill offers hiking and biking trails along the Humber River with lovely picnic spots along the way. Bring your own food.
Lead photo by Hector Vasquez.