hidden toronto

10 hidden places to visit in Toronto before summer is over

Hidden places to visit in Toronto need not be illicit. On the contrary, many of them are merely off the beaten track and under-appreciated. From secret lookouts to secluded places to read, there's a whole other city waiting for you to explore.

Here are 10 hidden places to visit in Toronto before summer is over.

Osgoode Hall

One of Toronto's oldest buildings, Osgoode Hall hides in plain sight behind tall trees and an iron fence. But there are amazing things to find here. Intrepid explorers will want to seek out the stunning law library, while the less adventurous can admire the European-style courtyard.

Chester Hill Lookout

Possibly the best place to view the Toronto skyline, the Chester Hill Lookout remains a hidden gem despite a bit more press in recent years. Head up Cambridge Ave. from the Danforth and hang a left at the eponymous street to see the skyline rise above the lush Don Valley.

Craigleigh Gardens

Imposing gates welcome you to this pristine park located in the heart of Rosedale, which was once the property of Sir Edmund Osler, a wealthy businessman who helped build the area with Edgar Jarvis. This is the perfect place to escape city life for a few hours.

Redway Road staircase

This staircase near Millwood and Redway Rd. is actually designed as an escape route for employees of the North Toronto Sewage Treatment Plant. The Don Valley is a flood plain, and in the event of a dire situation, these stairs allow employees to get to higher ground. Despite their practical purpose, they offer a stunning view of the ravine.

Wychwood Park

While this private neighbourhood might not be the most clandestine of its type in Toronto, it's surely the most rewarding to explore. From the pond that feeds Taddle Creek to the Arts and Crafts architecture of the various homes, this is an amazing place to walk around for an hour or two.

The hidden laneways of Kensington Market

Hidden just beyond the hustle and bustle of Kensington Market, Kensington Place is home to a series of eclectic houses that date back to the late 19th century. After exploring here, you can take a few minutes to walk over to the neighbourhing Fitzroy Terrace, where the oldest house in the neighbourhood is located.

The Green Roof at the Big Carrot

Show the Danforth some love by climbing the staircase near the entrance of the Big Carrot to be rewarded with a secluded rooftop patio complete with an urban garden and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view.

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 lookout

Zig zag down the trail from the entrance at the Loblaws parking lot to the ridge that overlooks Sun Valley. Here you'll get a remarkable view of the natural landscape appears to lead all the way to the CN Tower. You can walk along the ridge trail for different angles of the skyline.

Canadian Film Centre

If you want to have a huge park all to yourself in the middle of summer, head to the CFC on a weekend. Its picturesque grounds are often deserted outside of working hours, which means you can have a secluded picnic in a wide open landscape, a surreal experience in the midst of a big city.

Lead photo by

chrisd666. With files from Derek Flack.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

A rare full worm super moon will rise over Toronto this week

Air Canada grounds Boeing 737 Max 8 planes until July

The former HMV on Yonge is turning into a cannabis dispensary

Guy wearing MAGA hat disrupts Toronto vigil for mosque attack victims

Toronto's huge new shipping container market announces vendors

Broadview station shut down for second day in a row

Toronto temperatures to hit double digits this week

Another bed bug was spotted on the TTC this morning