Hottest Spots for Summer Picnics in Toronto
By Elli Davis, July 24, 2012
Toronto Island Park by Ignotus Homo
This summer can only described as one of the nicest and hottest summers Toronto has ever seen. The sun is bright and the air is warm — so let’s enjoy it before it’s gone! Looking for a great way to spend more time in the great outdoors? Why not grab your family and friends, whip up a quick meal and head to one of these stunning picnic spots? Enjoy good friends, loving family, delicious food and a whole lot of fun in Toronto this summer!
The Islands, Toronto
Nothing gets a picnic started off right quite like a boat ride. So you certainly won’t be disappointed when you hop on the ferry to the Toronto Islands. Whether you want to grab a seat on the beach and take in the panoramic view of the city while you eat or grab a table in the designated picnic zones — you are bound to find the perfect site for you on the islands. And when you’re all done with eating you simply must seize the opportunity to check out the attractions at the Centreville Amusement Park. If you have kids, they definitely won’t want to leave without visiting the interactive Franklin Children’s Garden or if there are a couple of history buffs in your party, treat them to the site of the city’s oldest stone building — the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.
The Toronto Zoo, Toronto
A quick car ride or bus trip out towards Scarborough is definitely worth it when it means you’ll get a chance to eat your lunch amongst the giraffes and elephants. The Toronto Zoo is a great place to enjoy a picnic as it is the perfect blend of food and entertainment. Spend the day learning more about the wildlife that exists all over the world and then settle down at one of their many picnic tables for a relaxing lunch. And if you suddenly decide those egg salad sandwiches you packed aren’t what you’re in the mood for, you can easily chow down on something from one of their many restaurants or fast food joints.
Erindale Park, Mississauga
If you live in Mississauga or are up for little drive out of the city, Erindale Park is a great place to go. There’s a little bit of everything so you can find the perfect picnic site for you. Interested in eating lunch to the sounds of rushing water? Set yourselves up by the Credit River. Or if you’d rather sit out in the warm sun, choose from one of the many hills or fields. And there are some great forest trails for you to walk off your scrumptious meal when you’re done eating.
The Beaches, Toronto
Swans and Picnic Table by John Vetterli
Nothing says summer quite like a picnic on the beach. So grab your basket and some close friends and family and head down to the Boardwalk along The Beaches that stretches along the waterfront from around Woodbine out East towards Victoria Park. There are many parks along the way for kids to run off their post-picnic energy and strolling along the sand is a great way to end off the day. And you can always enjoy the rare, refreshing treat of dipping your toes in Lake Ontario.
The Distillery District, Toronto
The Distillery District offers a unique and captivating feel you won’t get anywhere else. You may not be able to stretch out on a vast field of grass, but you’ll certainly enjoy your meal surrounded by cobblestone streets and historic buildings. After taking a look at some of the great shops, grab a seat on a bench or curb and soak in the glorious summer weather and fabulous historical feel. And if you have some energy left after your site-seeing and lunching, catch a show at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.
Bluffer’s Park, Scarborough
When you think of Toronto it’s unlikely that images of steep cliffs and dramatic bluffs come to mind. But that’s exactly what you’ll find when you head a little out of the city towards Bluffer’s Park in Scarborough. The Scarborough Bluffs extend for 14km along the shores of Lake Ontario and allow for all kinds of sights. Access to the water’s edge has been created in some areas so you can enjoy your picnic on the beach. Or if you aren’t afraid of heights, take in the incredible views from the top of the Bluffs while you chow down. Or if you happen to be interested in hiking, stroll through the forest trails until you find the perfect picnic spot where you can enjoy your meal in complete privacy.
High Park, Toronto
High Park by Vanessa Smith
The best thing about a picnic in High Park is all the great activities you can enjoy before and after you sit down for your meal. Toss a Frisbee around in one of their large fields, let the kids climb all over the playgrounds and treat your pooch to a run around the dog park. You can also check out the bison, llamas and wallabies at the High Park Zoo and finish the night off with some theatre at the amphitheatre where A Midsummer Night’s Dream is playing.
Your Own Special Spot
If none of these locations are accessible and/or convenient for you — don’t fret! A picnic is what you make of it. Put together a basket of all your favorite goodies and head to your local park, forest trail or beach. Or if that doesn’t seem doable, set up camp in your backyard or on the balcony. Ultimately, a picnic is all about enjoying the great outdoors with good food and good people — so enjoy your very own picnic wherever you are!