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5 trails for running in Toronto that come with breathtaking scenery
Running trails offer a great way to get some cardio in while also soaking in some of the coexisting natural and human-built landscapes that make Toronto such a unique place to live.
Here are five trails around Toronto with spectacular views of both the city and the natural features that shaped it.
The Martin Goodman Trail offers a wide variety of scenery on its roughly 56-kilometre run from the Humber Bridge in the west to the Rouge River in the east.
First opened in 1984, the long route spanning Toronto's waterfront was only considered complete a full 35-years later when a short "missing link" was filled in.
Approaching its 40-year anniversary, the trail's views have changed considerably in the decades since it opened, with much of the route now running through densely-populated waterfront communities and busy parks.
You can follow the path of this former commuter railroad that served fast-growing Toronto suburbs in the early 1890s.
The nine-kilometre route carves east-west through what is now the city's midtown area, and though it crosses busy streets like Yonge, Avenue, Bathurst, and Dufferin, much of the route is serene and tree-lined, where you can tune out much of the city and focus on your cardio.
Even if the quiet nature and the sounds of gravel crunching under your running shoes aren't your bag, the trail features preserved rail bridges, including a prominent one crossing Yonge just south of the TTC Davisville Yard that offers great views of the rail facility and midtown cityscapes.
The juxtaposition of nature and human-made infrastructure is the running theme (no pun intended) along this 13.5-kilometre path stretching from E.T. Seton Park in the north to Corktown Common in the south.
Parts of the trail feel a lot different since a section of the Gardiner Expressway was torn down in 2021, opening up views to and from the trails.
Stretching all the way from the northern city limit at Steeles Avenue down to the aforementioned Martin Goodman Trail on the waterfront, this meandering path will take you on a meandering route along the Humber River's entire course through Toronto.
Whether visiting during salmon run season, enjoying fall colours along the river, or just looking for a shady spot to run in relative comfort during the summer months, the trail is a popular one for runners for much of the year.
You can get away from the city while simultaneously taking in the beauty of the city by visiting Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit.
A pedestrian-only trail extends 3.4 kilometres, while a longer multi-use path goes 5 kilometres out to the lonely automated Toronto Harbour Lighthouse.
Though it's entirely built on artificial landfill, the trail is surrounded by nature. It's a popular place for migratory birds and other wildlife, but the city never really feels too far away. Few places offer a better view of the downtown skyline, offering runners the perfect mix of city and nature.
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