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Toronto’s Green Escapes: Family-Friendly Parks to Explore

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When planning a trip to Toronto, the vibrant art scene, rich culture, and bustling shopping districts often come to mind. However, Toronto also boasts an impressive array of green spaces, offering a serene retreat from the urban rush. While the city’s residents may navigate the concrete landscape daily, they find solace in the parks, reconnecting with nature.

Toronto’s parks offer a refreshing escape for families, blending adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty within the city’s dynamic landscape.

High Park

As Toronto’s largest and most renowned park, High Park is an ideal spot for a day-long escape. It features extensive hiking trails that transport you far from the city’s hustle, complemented by a beautiful lakefront area. For those visiting with children, the High Park Zoo and the Jamie Bell Adventure Park offer an enchanting playground resembling a castle, along with a smaller play area for younger kids. Picnic spots are available for reservation for groups, or you can simply find a grassy area to relax. Food options include the Grenadier Cafe or an ice cream shop for a quick treat.

Accessible by public transit, High Park also provides ample parking.

Location: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto Website: highparktoronto.com

Oriole Park (Neshama Playground)

Situated in midtown, Oriole Park is a unique, inclusive playground featuring wheelchair-friendly surfaces, braille panels, sign language instructions, and sensory toys designed for children with autism. It showcases how children of various abilities can play together. The park offers separate jungle gym areas and a wading pool, ensuring safety for toddlers and preschoolers. Additionally, there’s a splash pad and a sandpit, so bringing swimsuits and towels on warmer days is advisable.

The park is easily accessible, a short walk from Davisville Subway station.

Location: 201 Oriole Pkwy, Toronto Website: friendsoforiolepark.com

Trinity Bellwoods

Nestled on Queen St West with a stunning view of the CN Tower, Trinity Bellwoods Park is a favorite among locals. The park includes baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, an outdoor ice rink, and running tracks. It’s a perfect spot for relaxation, with many visitors lounging on trendy blankets throughout the afternoon. The park also has a shaded playground and wading pool. Bordering the park are numerous restaurants, bars, and ice cream shops catering to park-goers, and a vibrant farmer’s market takes place every Tuesday from 3-7pm.

Watch out for the rare white squirrels that inhabit the park!

Location: 790 Queen St. W, Toronto Website: trinitybellwoods.ca

Dufferin Grove Park

Central to the Bloor and Dufferin community, Dufferin Grove Park is a hub of activity. From the farmer’s market to pizza-making in the park’s wood-fired ovens, there’s something for everyone. The park features a baseball field, basketball court, and skateboard park, alongside child-friendly areas like a wooden playground, wading pool, and sandpit equipped with toys and a nearby water hose for muddy play.

With 28 picnic tables and a year-round healthy snack bar at the Cob Courtyard, it’s a welcoming space for all.

Location: 875 Dufferin St, Toronto Website: dufferinpark.ca

Kew Gardens

In the city’s east end, within the Beaches neighborhood, Kew Gardens features a playground reminiscent of High Park’s castle, surrounded by a medieval village and a wading pool. Established in 1897, this shady oasis is close to the beach and accessible by the boardwalk. It also hosts sports grounds and one of the city’s skating rinks.

Location: 2075 Queen St. E, Toronto

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