north york parks

The top 10 parks in North York

North York has some of Toronto's most beautiful parks, many of which were formerly private estates donated to the city around the turn of the 20th century. The lower density of this former borough means that green spaces tend to be large and less manicured than you find closer to downtown. 

Here are my picks for the top parks in North York.

Sunnybrook Park

Complete with a massive off-leash dog area, sports fields, picnic spots, and hiking and biking trails, Sunnybrook Park has it all. There are endless exploration options as you can access Sherwood Park and the picturesque Glendon Forest from here. 

Earl Bales Park 

Spanning nearly 130 acres, Earl Bales Park is a large green space that's home to the West Don River, a large network of trails, and a massive reservoir. It's also most notably known as being one of two ski hills in the city, though the ski hills and lift are currently closed. 

Downsview Dells

The nearby Downsview Urban Park tends to get all the press, but it's the Dells where all the scenery is at. It's one of Toronto's most picturesque parks with wetlands, bike trails, and a natural setting along Black Creek that seems wholly separated from the surrounding urban environment. 

Newtonbrook Park 

This secluded park and trail system follows Newtonbrook Creek. Although its steep ravine hills on either side are lined with residential homes, it still manages to feel far removed from the city. It's also connected to the East Don Parklands for further exploring. 

G Ross Lord Park

This massive park is for the sports lovers out there. In addition to three soccer fields, there are also a couple of cricket pitches and an extensive network of bike trails. There's less lush terrain here, but that's because this green space is designed for more than just hiking and picnicking.

York Mills Valley Park 

Walk south past the tall buildings at York Mills and Yonge Street and you'll be transported to this natural escape. The West Don River flows through a narrow canal with a viaduct for some nice vantage points. There's also a playground and well-maintained paved trails. 

Windfields Park

One of the city's most underrated parks, Windfields connects to the Canadian Film Centre, one of the best places in all of Toronto to plan a secluded picnic. There's hardly ever anyone around. Windfields itself is a valley surrounding Wilket Creek that's also quiet and picturesque. 

Betty Sutherland Trail Park 

This park is home to a scenic trail that follows the East Don River and runs under Highway 401. The area is also nice and quiet due to the fact that there’s no parking nearby. 

Edward's Gardens

One of the most beautiful places in Toronto, Edwards Gardens features beautiful flower beds as well as scenic bridges, mature oak trees, a rock garden, and ravine trails. Go in the morning to enjoy the place when it's not as busy. 

East Don Parklands 

This picturesque parkland area is home to an impressive 10-kilometre stretch of paved trails. The Don River flows through the area as well as German Mills Creek

Lead photo by

Daniel Fernandes

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