outdoor fall toronto

The top 10 things to do outdoors this fall in Toronto

Outdoor activities this fall in Toronto serve as the perfect opportunity to appreciate what a majestic city this is when it comes to parkland. What better time is there to play sports and explore our many recreational spaces than when there's a bit of crispness in the air? It's not too hot and it's not too cold, so it's a joy to be outside.

Here are my picks for the top things to do outdoors this fall in Toronto.

Camp at Glen Rouge Park

Ever just want to escape the confines of your condo/apartment and sleep under the stars? Glen Rouge Park offers space to pitch a tent at the edge of the city, and it's open until October 29 for those who have high quality sleeping bags. The park is particularly at this time of year.

Check out fall colours in High Park

There are a lot of places to check out fall colours in Toronto, but High Park gets bonus points for its varied landscape, parking, zoo, and ponds. As much as I love a good ravine, there's more to do at High Park, which encourages prolonged exposure to pretty fall colours.

Seek out an underrated park

If High Park is too busy or popular for your taste, fall might be the perfect time to seek out one of the city's lesser known green spaces. Toronto is home to some incredible and yet underrated parks. Glen Stewart Ravine and Crothers Woods top my list.

Take a hike

You don't have to leave the city to go on a hike. Toronto has hiking trails aplenty, some of which will even give you a good work out. Check the link above for a longer list, but favourites include the Finch Meander Trail and those that line the Scarborough Bluffs.

Hit the trails on your bike

Fall is the best time of year to ride your bike off road. Whether it's mountain biking, cyclocross, or even just the act of taking your bike down a relatively smooth trail, getting off the street and into a natural setting feels exhilarating, especially amidst fall colours.

Have a campfire in a park

If you're stuck in the city this fall, one of the best ways to have a camping or cottage-like experience is to hang around a campfire at a Toronto park. Dufferin Grove is probably the best known for this, but there are plenty of other options, including the new Ontario Place.

Explore the Niagara Escarpment

If you want an easy day trip out of Toronto to hike, bike, taste wine, or just soak up fall colours, head to the Niagara Escarpment. It's closer than you think, with conservation areas like Kelso and Rattlesnake Point just a 45 minute drive away. Those willing to go further can explore Hamilton's waterfalls, and the wineries around Beamsville.

Play a round of golf

Few activities are better suited to a sweater than golf. And few cities have more golf courses within their official borders than Toronto. The best of the bunch is surely Don Valley, though Humber Valley, Scarlett Woods, and Tam O'Shanter are all fine places to spoil a good walk too.

Go surfing

It might seem counter intuitive, but late fall is one of the best times to surf on Lake Ontario. Modest waves are often kicked up thanks to seasonal storms, such that you can actually get something to ride for more than a few seconds. A full wet suit is an absolute must, though.

Get a head start on skating season

Lest you think outdoor skating was solely a winter activity, bear in mind that the rink at Nathan Phillips Square typically opens around the third week of November, a full month before the official start of winter. If you're dying to skate, don a sweater and get out on the ice.

Lead photo by

Kiril Strax

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