things to do summer toronto

20 things to do in and around Toronto this summer that don't require a lot of travel

Things to do this summer in Toronto will keep you close to home unless you're Drake and find a way to jet off to Barbados. And while Toronto remains firmly in Stage 2 of reopening for the next little while, that doesn't mean there's not a lot to do.

Here are some things to put on your bucket list this summer.

Visit a museum or attraction

Museums, galleries and other major attractions all around Toronto have started to reopen with new measures to keep everyone safe. There's also the Vincent Van Gogh Exhibit, which will ultimately transition from a drive-in experience to one where you don't need a car.

Shop local at a farmers’ market

Farmers' markets are a great way to get your hands on some local fresh produce in the city. There's one in Toronto almost every day of the week including popular markets in Leslieville, the Brick Works and Trinity Bellwoods.

Go for a bike ride

Toronto already had lots of great paths for cycling. But the city's bike network has been expanding even further to provide cyclists with more space for social distancing with activeTO every weekend along the Lake Shore and Bayview as well as 40 kilometres of new lanes, tracks and multi-use trails.

Sign up for an outdoor fitness class 

Since gym facilities have had to close, they've been coming up with new ways to help people stay fit. And with warmer weather finally here, several gyms are now holding physically-distanced fitness classes in parks across the city. 

Catch a drive-in movie or concert

There are both free and ticketed drive-in events in Toronto this summer including films, sports broadcasts and concerts underneath the stars and from the comfort of your vehicle this summer at Ontario Place, CityView Drive-In, CF Sherway Gardens and Downsview Park just to name a few. 

Tour the best ice cream shops 

There are so many delicious new options when it comes to ice cream in Toronto so why not take a little tasting tour of your own, hitting up as many spots as you possibly can. From soft-serve to vegan options, the city has it all.

Spend a day on the water

Escaping the city grind can be just as easy as renting a kayak or canoe to enjoy Toronto's many river systems, lakefront beaches and inlets. There's lots of places to rent a boat or you can splurge for a private tour on a water taxi.

Sip the afternoon away at a beer garden

Visit one of the top beer gardens in the city. They're the perfect spot to enjoy your favourite IPA and catch up with some friends, all the while soaking in some much-needed vitamin D.

Take a dip in a public pool

Public pools are a great way to cool off and most of them are now open across the city. There's been some talk about unsafe conditions at public pools, so do so at your own discretion. 

Picnic in a park

There are so many great parks in Toronto where you can enjoy the outdoors and a bit of time with good friends. If you're a little confused about what's currently allowed in city parks, we've got you covered.

Take a hike at a provincial park 

Sometimes you have to get away from the city for a bit of nature therapy. There are picturesque hiking trails not too far from the city at Sandbanks Provincial Park, Algonquin Provincial Park and Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

Visit a flower farm 

Ontario's largest lavender farm and hotspot for Toronto daytrippers, Terre Bleu, is located just an hour away in Milton. The farm's now reopening to the public but will be limiting the number of guests. You'll have to be signed up for their email list if you want to purchase a ticket.

Unwind at a day spa

A few day spas are now reopening in Toronto. Elmspa, located in Church-Wellesley Village and a boutique sister location to Elmwood Spa, is reopened as of July 16 and Hammam Spa is now also open by appointment only.

Go to the beach

Enjoying a beach day has to be one of the most beloved past times of the summer and many beaches across the city are now open for swimming. Note that there are a few rules you should keep in mind when visiting this year

Visit a zoo

First opening as a scenic drive-through experience, the Toronto Zoo is now reopening in full swing. Riverdale Farm and High Park Zoo both also just reopened to the public. 

Day drink at a local patio 

Toronto finally feels a bit more like Toronto now that restaurants and bars across the city are opening their patios and life is returning to the streets. Here's what you need to know before you visit a patio. 

Go on a zipline adventure 

If you're in the mood for something a little more adventurous, Treetop Trekking offers ziplining and aerial games. There are six parks and all are a quick drive from Toronto. 

Dine at a castle 

Casa Loma is once again open for self-guided tours and also has a new outdoor dining experience. You can now grab dinner in the castle's terrace and gardens. 

Fill up on sweet treats at an apple orchard

Chudleigh’s Apple Farm, which just opened for the summer, boasts nature trails, live music, farm animals and a food market where you can buy homemade baked goods including caramel apple blossoms and pineapple upside-down cakes. 

Take a ferry to the Islands

You can once again enjoy the city's beloved summertime spot now that the ferry has resumed to the Toronto Islands. Try to purchase tickets ahead of time and travel during non-peak hours if possible.

Lead photo by

George Hornaday

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