Jogging in Toronto
By Elli Davis, August 4, 2011
Jogger by Ed Yourdon
Jogging became a very popular form of physical activity a couple of decades ago and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. It is a fabulous way to stay fit, and a growing number of those who want to keep in shape favour this type of exercise. Take a walk around a park when the weather is nice and no matter what time of day it is, you will likely see plenty of people jogging or running, staying healthy and burning calories. Hundreds of employees actually prefer to go jogging during their lunch break than to sit around.
Intriguingly, “while jogging the 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments, and a network of tendons, nerves, and blood vessels that make up the foot all work together.” As a modern city, Toronto should be a great place for jogging. Where can you enjoy this activity in our city?
First of all, let us talk briefly about equipment. Although it might seem that basically no equipment is needed for jogging, this is not the case. Obviously, shoes are the most important piece of equipment to a jogger. It is essential that the shoes you use are comfortable to wear, not too heavy, and provide sufficient ankle support. Invest some time in choosing the right pair and visit one of the specialized sport-shoe stores in our city. It is not only about the shoes, though. You will definitely need a bottle of water for your run as well as light, comfortable clothes, and if you decide to run in the evening or at night, a very bright outfit with reflectors or possibly even a blinking light is a necessity.
Once you have all you need for a good jog/run, you will want to find the perfect place to be able go! Luckily in Toronto we have a wide variety of options when it comes to jogging. It is up to you if you prefer paved trails in one of many Toronto’s parks or Conservation Area recreational trails. Here are some ideas!
Perhaps the most popular park in Toronto, stretching from Bloor West to The Queensway, High Park did not win the hearts of many without reason. Not only is it an ideal place for picnics or some time to relax in nature, but it is also great for jogging. There are many trails, both paved and unpaved, in this 400 acre space. The various stairs and slopes on the trails will make your run more interesting. I believe that jogging surrounded by all the beauty this park offers will make the activity even more enjoyable. By the way, if you are coming to the park by car, free parking is available for you along West Road and Colborne Lodge Drive.
Martin Goodman Trail
Raising the Heart Rate by Alan Strakey
The 20 kilometre long Martin Goodman trail stretches from the Eastern Beaches to the Western Beaches of Lake Ontario. It is perfect for those who are not big fans of noisy parks full of people. The lakeshore trail is pretty quiet, even though you are certainly going to meet walkers, fellow joggers, skaters, and cyclists on your way. There are separate lanes for cyclists and runners, however, which is a great benefit. Again, free parking is available for you, at Ashbridge’s Bay and Humber River.
Cabbagetown is a lovely Toronto neighbourhood, and some of its biggest attractions are definitely the very interconnected Riverdale Park and Riverdale Farm. If you are a fan of animals, you will love jogging around the place. The DVP runs right through the park, and along this highway, special trails for cyclists and joggers have been built. If you like privacy, though, you should go elsewhere, as there are always many people both in the park and right next door at the farm.
Winter Jogging Options
Unfortunately, the weather in our city can pose a problem for year round outdoor jogging. If you still want to continue with this type of physical activity when it gets colder, you might choose to become a member of a nearby gym and use a treadmill or indoor track. Gyms are not the only option, however. Take a look at The Walk Into Health website to see not only a list of Toronto’s parks (some of which have been mentioned in this article) but also of malls in the GTA that support walking. Each mall has slightly different rules and regulations, so make sure to be informed. Furthermore, the Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation department runs a couple of free walking programs in community centres across Toronto. For more details, check out the Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation FUN guide. Keep this in mind for the winter months, but for now enjoy jogging outside!