Toronto Parks & Gardens
Set on the harbour islands directly opposite the downtown area, the Toronto Islands consists of three islands, Ward, Centre and Hanlan's Point, and can only be reached by a 10-minutes ferry from behind the Harbour Castle Hotel. The islands provide a true haven from the hectic pace of downtown Toronto. Great beaches and boardwalks can be enjoyed, as well as lagoons with wildlife and full leisure facilities. An amusement park, sofball diamonds, wading pools, a frisbee golf course and much more is available. A stroll on the Avenue of the Islands, an illuminated promenade, is lovely.
Located on Toronto's waterfront, HTO Park's main draw is its man-made urban beach sporting bright yellow shade umbrellas and is extremely popular during Toronto's hottest months. The park also features paved pathways through a pleasantly rolling grassy area.
Featuring a bread oven, ice rink, playground and community-run gardens, this park is located at the site of a large historic grove of old Toronto trees. An award-winning community building is also present. Activities include many theatre and dance productions, music and puppet shows. Dufferin Grove is internationally recognized as a revolutionary revitalizing urban public space.
This large natural environment park, situated in an urban-rural setting, is 11,600 acres (4800 hectares) in size. The Rouge Park provides low-impact recreational trails, the City of Toronto's only campground, and various historical sites and buildings. A partnership park, the park protects, restores and enhances lands within the Rouge watershed. An excellent example of the biodiversity of Southern Ontario, the park is home to many rare plants, trees, wild animals and visible geological formations.
The Toronto Sculpture garden is an artistic site in the downtown core featuring temporary, innovative installations by Canadian artists. This small urban park is located on the south west corner of Jarvis Street and King Street East. Admission is free.
Set on 3.5 acres on a former estate, this garden features perennials and roses, rock gardens and a greenhouse. There is also a Garden Information Centre to answer horticultural questions and a research library.
Located in the Toronto district of Etobicoke, this four hectare park is very formal. The ponds here are fed by a spring and are crossed over rustic bridges. The colourful flower gardens add to the visual appeal of the park. You can watch traditional lawn bowling, or hike along wooded trails. In winter cross-country skiing is available.
Martin Goodman Trail
The Martin Goodman Trail Stretches for 22 km along the waterfront (Lake Ontario) and is popular with walkers, cyclists and rollerbladers, to name a few.
Toronto Music Garden
Inspired by Bach's Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, this park is a visual symphony of twirling pathways and energetic gardens. Different sections of the garden correspond to each dance movement within the Suite, and Canadian artists contributed special features to the landscape. The park is a focal point of Toronto's exciting waterfront.
Allan Gardens Conservatory
This conservatory consists of 16,000 square feet in six greenhouses. There are permanent collections and seasonal displays. Particularly notable is the Victorian Christmas Show.
St. James Gardens
A burst of colour in the central city, these formal gardens are conveniently located on the corner of King Street East and Church Street.
This more than 30 acre park is located along Lake Ontario and features beaches, a boardwalk and a nearby standardbred and thoroughbred racetrack.
Queen's Park Toronto
Found in Toronto's downtown, Queen's Park offers a respite in the otherwise busy urban centre. Opened in 1860, it is named after Queen Victoria. The park is home to the Ontario Legislative Building, and many monuments and statues are found surrounding. Look for the Ontario's Veteran Memorial and statues of King Edward V11, William Lyon Mackenzie, Queen Victoria and John A. Macdonald to name but a few.
Rosetta McClain Gardens
Featuring a water fountain centre-piece, these well-designed, leafy gardens are located on the south side of Kingston Road, east of Birchmount Road in Scarborough. There is plenty of shade for picnicking and free parking is available. The park is open every day, all year round.
The Franklin Children’s Garden
Located on the Toronto Islands, this exciting garden offers a world of fun and discovery for children and their families. Stories, games and fascinating learning opportunities sprout from every corner.
This escarpment runs along the shoreline of Lake Ontario from Victoria Park in the West to Highland Creek in the East. Situated on the cliff side is Bluffer's Park, which has a sandy beach, pinic areas, lookouts and more. The park is accessible via Brimley Road.
Kew Gardens is a large, inner-city public garden which hosts a number of festivals, concerts, craft shows and outdoor exhibitions. The Beaches International Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz concert in Canada, featuring more than 400 musicians, takes place in this park. Kew Gardens is located between Queen St. East and the Boardwalk.
Cedar Ridge Gardens
This Scarborough Community garden is attached to the Cedar Ridge Creative Centre and features traditional gardens. It is open every day, all year round. Free parking is available.
Centennial Park Conservatory
This conservatory in Etobicoke is blooming with three glass houses full of interesting plant collections. Free parking is available and the conservatory is wheelchair accessible. It is open 10am to 5pm Mon to Sun.
This large urban park is a focal point for leisure and cultural activities in Toronto. Set on a former estate, the park covers 161 hectares and is the larest park in Toronto. The landscaping and horticultural art here is amazing and includes sunken gardens, greenhouses and perennials, and a garden created out of hanging baskets. All the leisure facilities that one expects from a large urban park are here. There is even an outdoor theatre that holds an annual Shakespeare festival.
Alexander Muir Park
This centrally located park is a pleasant landscape of formal gardens and horticultural displays. The park is located on Yonge Street, just south of Lawrence Avenue and is open every day, all year round.
Located on the waterfront, this interesting garden with an artistic collection of architectural structures offers a peaceful retreat by the lakeside. It is open every day, all year round. Free parking is available.
Humber Bay Promenade Park
This Etobicoke waterfront park offers a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline. The gardens also feature a boardwalk and gazebo. The park is located on Lakeshore Boulevard West, opposite Fleeceline Road and is open to the public every day, all year round.
Spadina Historic House and Gardens
James Austin built this home in 1866. The house is particularly well known for its historic gardens, including a Rose Garden, the Beehive Gateway, and an English-style garden. The Edwardian Kitchen features cooking demonstrations. Inside the home are many original furnishings.
Bay-Adelaide Cloud Forest Conservatory
This indoor garden offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is very centrally located in the heart of downtown, between Richmond and Temperance Streets, just west of Yonge. The Cloud Forest Conservatory is wheelchair accessible and is open 10am to 2.30pm Mon to Fri, except on public holidays.