Colonel Samuel Smith Park is Toronto's waterfront skating trail next to a power plant
Colonel Samuel Smith Park, which is situated on the wooded shore of Lake Ontario and spans nearly 200 acres, is one of Toronto's largest waterfront parks.
The secluded natural sanctuary is home to a variety of plants, trees, birds, and other wildlife, as well as an extensive network of paths and the city's first ice skating trail.
Although there are now a handful of ice skating trails throughout the city, the park's outdoor looped rink was the first when it opened 10 years ago.
The 250-metre, figure-eight-shaped rink which loops through mature trees and shrubbery is one of the few spots in the city where you can skate surrounded by a natural environment.
The red-brick 100-foot-high chimney stack of the historic power plant-turned community centre beside the skating trail also makes for a beautiful backdrop.
It was originally built in the 1930s to service the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital that occupied the grounds up until it closed its doors in the 1970s.
Besides the skating trail, the park boasts a constant variety of wildlife in its bio-diverse natural habitat. You might have the chance to see beavers, minks, foxes or ducks during your visit.
It’s also one of the top spots for birdwatching in the city, with over 200 different types of bird species in the area.
A variety of scenic paths will bring you through the park. Some lead to rocky beaches while others meander through a lush wetland habitat before reaching a lookout platform.
Besides the views of the marsh, enjoy panoramic lakefront scenery and sightings of the skyline of downtown Toronto in the distance.
The park is also a part of Toronto’s cycling network and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, a trail system that continues over 3,500-kilometres and crosses over Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Lake Erie.
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