Toronto is a fantastic city. For many people, it’s a city that has it all. But one thing it’s lacking are spaces to reconnect with nature. It can be easy to get captured by the bright lights and the concrete jungle that is Toronto. It can be easy to be overwhelmed with sensory overload and anxiety. Rest assured that there is light at the end of the dark TTC tunnel. A light that doesn’t involve a view of a mall or skyscraper.
My husband and I visited Toronto for a summer vacation with the intention of taking some “nature breaks.” We both grew up in small towns and so it only seems natural (no pun intended) that we have constant cravings for nature in our lives. Here were the places we visited this time around.
Neither one of us had ever visited High Park. It was our first stop once we reached the city and boy was it a breath of fresh air; especially after some frustrating moments of highway and city traffic.
Along the pathways of green, you’ll feel like you’re somewhere else. You won’t hear traffic, you’ll hear birds. There’s a fun little zoo to visit where you’ll find a gaggle of geese and some sweet capybaras, the largest rodents in the world.
One of these guys escaped but I’m glad he found his way back. I would have been a little startled to see one of them roaming around the park. The park is also well known for its barrage of cherry blossoms that come alive in the spring. Since we were here in the summer, we didn’t get a chance to see them this time. Something to put on the list for the next time. There is no fee for admission to visit this lovely park.
It’s hard to believe that you’re still in Toronto after you hop off the ferry to explore these islands. You’ll be glad to be away as you’re enveloped in a lush and vibrant atmosphere.
There is a wide array of activities to enjoy around the islands: kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle board, and bike rentals. Personally, their stand up paddle board tours is on my list for the next time we make a visit there.
The only fees associated with visiting the Toronto Islands are the ones for the ferry and any other activities you choose to take part in. It all depends on what you want to do.
It’s a magical experience to get lost in an aquarium. To lose your mind in a calm and peaceful manner. To learn more about species many of us have never encountered unless they’re on our plates. Even though you’re not really underwater, you’re given the illusion of such an experience. Plus, you get the chance to learn about sustainable practices in the water and why certain types of fish are more expensive than others. To make the most of your visit here, be sure to book yourself for at least 2 hours to see it all. Just a warning, you may want to watch the mesmerizing jellyfish for a long time.
Many people don’t consider Scarborough as part of Toronto, but it is. If you really want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, then it’s worth the trek to visit the Scarborough Bluffs. The sound of the waves and the view of the cliffs are simply spectacular.
If you’re feeling up to it, be sure to go on a hike along the trails and savour the views. City parking fees apply.
Ontario is yours to discover, Toronto included. This list is by no means exhaustive. I hope not at least. I’d like to think that there are many more areas to reconnect with nature in Toronto. That is of course before condos take over them all. What have I missed? Share the love in the comments below!