The Best Parks to Have a Picnic in Toronto
The best parks to have a picnic in Toronto don’t need much: just a little greenery to roll out the blanket, maybe some shade and, at the very least, a decent view. Enough distance from carbon emissions as possible helps too.
Here are my picks for the best parks to have a picnic in Toronto.
The epitome of Toronto picnic parks, it’s bound to get crowded at this sprawling space along West Queen West between Gore Vale and Crawford. Make sure to get here early to save yourself some real estate on the less patchy sections of grass.
With tons of lush, grassy space to pull out the wine and cheese, this park bordered by Bloor West and The Queensway is one of the largest in Toronto. Post up under a cherry blossom tree, or if you prefer benches to sitting on dirt there’s also 18 designated picnic areas here.
Hop on a ferry with your picnic essentials and head over to Ward’s Island, the easternmost part of Centre Island that’s not overrun with frolicking children high off the effects of g-force. There’s nothing like sipping iced tea on a sandy beach.
A post-swim picnic doesn't require a lot of planning at this park. Sit on the slope just off of Bloor or head further north toward the sports fields for more luscious green grass. There are also some pavilions with benches for larger picnic endeavours.
Walk past the main area along Lakeshore East near the parking lots to discover a charming little peninsula peppered with pristine tables and shady areas. This lakeside attraction is a popular spot to eat, but it’s also a pretty romantic setting when the sun starts to go down.
After years of construction, the building of this park's outdoor athletic facilities are finally complete. Bordered by Broadview and the DVP, just a little south of Bloor, this spot has one of the best sunset views of the city and the benches at the top of the hill make the ultimate picnic spots.
A beautiful park by Old Mill, you can tire yourself out on these hiking and biking trails along the Humber River where you might spot some jumping salmon before heading to one of the many picnic points.
Stretching along Lake Ontario for 15 kilometres, you can lay up on the grass, by the beach or in designated picnic areas with unparalleled lookout points throughout the area.
Just steps from Dufferin subway station, you won’t have to worry about lugging your picnic basket too far. Outfitted with gazebos, bonfires and two community bake ovens, this park makes an ideal picnic destination for convenience and efficiency.
Stock up on provisions at the nearby T&T and settle on this sandy beach in the Port Lands, also known as Clarke Beach, which offers a great waterfront view and two designated picnic sites.
With an incredible view of the escarpment and the lake, this remote park at the base of the Bluffs boasts some of the city’s most surreal scenery. Score one of few picnic tables on the sandy beach or stake out a grassy picnic area along the winding waterfront.
This park has a shelter and three picnic sites, sitting alongside the Kew-Balmy Beach south of Queen, with proximity to some restaurants like Hogtown Smoke that will help with the provisions pre-picnic.
Lush green trees, grassy fields and a fire pit make this park south of the Danforth a very attractive picnic destination. Plan your picnic on a Saturday to coincide with the weekly farmer’s market, so you don’t even have to pack a lunch ahead of time.
Mixing urban and natural scenery, the beautiful marsh trails of this park are supplemented with some playgrounds, a splash pad for kids and a pavilion at the top of the hill outfitted with a fireplace, outdoor grill and large communal picnic tables.
Jutting out into Lake Ontario, this super scenic park is the perfect spot for nature lovers who want to enjoy some snacks while birdwatching. It’s not too far from a butterfly habitat, so you might be receiving some colourful new party guests.
Take a stroll by the wooded shoreline south of Kipling and Lakeshore — an area that boasts excellent sunrise views and fishing waters — before settling down for a picnic surrounded by trees, birds, and other wildlife.
Hector Vasquez at Trinity Bellwoods
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