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Take It Outside
3 night/ 4 day itinerary
Amongst the towering buildings, multicultural neighbourhoods and big city bustle of Toronto are a multitude of green spaces and parks. Over 1,500 in fact. Get outdoors and get active with these nature-filled adventures.
Lace up your walking shoes and grab your backpack as you head to the west end for one of the city’s largest and lushest greenspaces, High Park.
First, hit the Grenadier Cafe for a tasty breakfast and to map out your park adventure. Be sure to visit the High Park Labyrinth for a meditative walk, Hawk Hill, where abundant wildflowers attract the birds and the bees and High Park Zoo for the locally legendary capybaras plus rare creatures like peacocks, llamas and bison.
Don’t forget to say “hi” to the ducks in Grenadier Pond.
From the south end of High Park take a short walk to Sunnyside Beach. With its historic pavilion and cafe, it’s an ideal spot for lunch with a lake view. After, rent a bike from for a scenic ride back downtown along the Waterfront Bike Trail.
Drop off your bike at Harbourfront and wander the boardwalk and boat slips. CULTURE BONUS: take advantage of free admission at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.
Designed entirely out of shipping containers, Stacktmarket, is an industrial-chic mix of shops, a microbrewery, top chefs and killer city views. Sip your specialty drinks by the firepits if it’s chilly or head to the GoldInn rooftop patio to feast your eyes on the CN Tower while you fill your belly with an innovative five-course, prix fixe meal.
Make your first stop today the iconic St. Lawrence Market. Breakfast on Toronto’s signature sandwich--peameal bacon on a bun, from Carousel bakery--while you wander the stalls of more than 120 merchants and farmers.
Toronto is becoming one of the world’s great bike cities and you have the choice of joining guided Toronto Bicycle Tours or heading out on your own by renting a bike and exploring one of the multitude of trails and ravines that connect the downtown core to neighborhoods throughout the city.
If hiking is your passion, take a picnic lunch to Rouge National Urban Park for 75 square kilometres of lush cliff-edge woodland, historic landmarks and some of Canada's oldest-known Indigenous sites.
What better way to end a spectacular day outdoors than with a cool cocktail and tasty bite at one of Toronto’s great hotel rooftop bars? Or sample local craft brews at these lively pubs before calling it a night.
A short Uber ride away from most hotels is an outdoor oasis nestled in the Don Valley. Spend a couple of hours exploring the trails, wetlands, exhibits and eco store in the Evergreen Brick Works. Pick up a snack from Cafe Belong for the next leg of your adventure.
A mere 10-minute ferry ride across the harbour you’ll find another oasis a world away from the city bustle. The Toronto Island Park is a car-free chain of islands with walking/biking paths running the length of the park, plus sandy beaches, a pint-sized amusement area and a couple of casual eateries. Rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards on-site, or play in the park’s PDGA-certified disc golf course.
Ferry back to the mainland then step back in time at the Distillery Historic District. Cobblestone streets and restored Victorian industrial architecture are the charming setting for more than 75 local artisans, retailers and restaurants such as El Catrin.
Get an early start and head around the lake to where one of the great Wonders of the World awaits just 90 minutes from Toronto. The Niagara region is about much more than the Falls though, so prepare for a full day.
Enroute, enjoy hiking trails along the Niagara Parkway with a stop at Queenston Heights where Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath--the Bruce Trail--terminates.
Stop for lunch at the quaint village of Niagara-on-the-Lake and browse local craft shops and boutiques before you continue on to the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls.
Or take your pick from the many local attractions offered by the Niagara Parks Commission.
A trip to Niagara isn’t complete without a visit to at least one of the wineries the region is famous for. Cap off your day with a tasting tour or sumptuous dinner. Pellar Estates is just one of many wineries you can explore in the region.