Downsview Park in Toronto is a massive urban park around an artificial lake
Downsview Park is a massive urban playground in the middle of the city that comes with plenty of walking trails around an artificial lake and hilly terrain offering expansive views.
For those in search of some natural reprieve from city life, the walking trails provide reason enough to pay the area a visit. A 2.7 outer loop perfect for biking, jogging, roller skating or scootering, circles the entire park with various other offshoot trails to explore.
In the park's south end, the asphalt walkways circle around a small man-made lake that has accumulated from stormwater. The nine-acre artificial pond flows out to Downsview Dells and eventually into Black Creek.
With boulders, Muskoka chairs and lookout points set up around the water, there's a number of different spots you can sit to enjoy the view.
Lunchers flock here after picking up a bite to eat from one of the nearby restaurants. Just don’t let the geese, ducks or seagulls bully you into handing it over.
Head up around the south side of the water to cross over a quieter boardwalk section before hitting a picnic area atop one of the many hills in the area.
A couple of picnic tables are nicely situated under five large trees that provide a good amount of shade.
It's toward the southwest section of the park that you'll find an orchard. Fruit trees bearing apples, apricots, plums and plumcots grow here and a total of 400 trees will pack the orchard when completed. Keep in mind the fruit isn't for picking.
One of my favourite parts of the park has to be Boake's Grove just northeast of the lake. Forest trails covered in wood chips lead you through mature stands of silver maple and walnut trees. With nothing more than the sound of birds chirping through the area, it's a surprising forest oasis in the middle of the park.
If coming by TTC, Sheppard West is the closest subway station with buses 84A, 84C, 106 or 101 as options to get you the rest of the way.
Make sure to reserve a couple of hours for exploring as the expansive park takes some time to cover. Use the online map to help you get around and take your garbage with you when you leave.
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