6 Best Things to Do Outside in Toronto This Summer

As Torontonians look forward to the upcoming sunny season, it’s time to start thinking about all of the city’s exciting activities. Fill your weekends with loads of entertaining endeavors with the help of this handy guide. Whether you enjoy swimming or tip-toeing through the tulips, there’s a pursuit near Ontario’s capital city that’s perfect for you. Dive headfirst into summer with these six best outdoor activities in Toronto.

Go to the Islands

Image via Flickr by cohilj

Get out of the concrete jungle with a trip to the Toronto Island Park. This legendary oasis comprises a chain of 15 small islands in the middle of Lake Ontario. You’ll take a short ferry ride to the park for a world-class getaway. Lounge on one of 11 beautiful beaches, including the clothing-optional spot at Hanlan’s Point.

Take a dip in the refreshing water or hop on your bike and go for a ride. It’s the best way to get around the islands. If you don’t have your own, join a guided bike tour or rent a cycle from a share station. Wander through William Meany’s hedge maze. Locals planted the 1,200 cedars in a spiraling design in honor of Canada’s centennial year in 1967.

Toronto Island Park offers various family-friendly activities, including an amusement park, a children’s garden, a hobby farm, and a free petting zoo. There are summer camps for the kiddos with nature studies, crafts, tram rides, fishing, and swimming.

Take a Boat Tour

Escape the heat with your sweetheart and take a romantic boat tour that showcases Toronto’s beauty and culture. It’s the perfect way to spend date night in the city. Whether you charter a private sailboat or take a public group tour aboard a schooner, it’s sure to be a memorable experience. Several companies operate from the downtown harbor, including:

  • Gone Sailing Adventures.
  • See Sight Tours.
  • Toronto Harbour Tours.
  • Mariposa Cruises.
  • Tallship Cruises.
  • City Sightseeing Toronto.
  • Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre.
  • Ste Marie 1 Cruise Lines.
  • Yankee Lady Yacht Charters.
  • Great Lakes Schooner Company.

Explore Rouge Park

A jaunt over to Canada’s largest urban park is a great way to keep the kid busy while the movers pack up your belongings. The little ones are often underfoot during this busy time, and a few moments under the sun at Rouge National Urban Park will do everyone some good. There’s even a free downtown shuttle that runs to the park all summer long.

Rogue Park touts a vibrant and diverse collection of ecosystems, including:

  • Marshes.
  • Beaches.
  • Forests.
  • Tallgrass prairies.

There are also seemingly endless ways to enjoy the park, on foot or two-wheels with outdoor attractions, like:

  • Toronto’s only campground.
  • The Greater Toronto Area’s last working farm.
  • Hiking on 15 trails.
  • 10,000-year-old indigenous sites.

Visit Scarborough Bluffs

Spend some time at The Bluffs this summer. This beautiful rocky cliff in the Scarborough district soars high above Lake Ontario and stretches 15 km across. It features 11 parks, starting with East Point Park at the northern edge to Rosetta McClain Gardens at the southern tip.

Admire The Bluffs from the beach at Bluffers Park or climb near the top for picturesque views. Visit the swimming beaches, gardens, sports, and recreation facilities. There are also hiking and biking trails, like the Scarborough Bluffs Trail. This path is beginner-friendly and makes an easy 4.7 km loop.

The Scarborough Bluffs are one of Toronto’s most underrated attractions. This spectacular geological feature is the result of sedimentary deposits left by glaciers over 12,000 years ago. The natural processes of erosion formed the white cliffs. Whether you are a landscape or nature photographer, they make a stunning backdrop for your next shoot.

Discover a Botanical Garden

Frolic in the fresh air of summer at one of Toronto’s lovely gardens. There’s nothing more serene than a stroll surrounded by blooming flowers and a diverse collection of plants. Visitors get the chance to discover new and learn about exotics species of vegetation, such as:

  • Bushes.
  • Shrubs.
  • Bedding plants.
  • Flowers.
  • Vegetables.
  • Herbs.
  • Trees.

Check out the Toronto Botanical Gardens (TBG) in North York on Lawrence Avenue East. It sprawls across nearly four acres and features 17 themed gardens. Sign up for a guided tour or an event, have a bite to eat in the Bloom Cafe, or relax with a good book in the Weston Family Library. Check out the website for happenings like Earth Day celebrations and volunteer weeks. Don’t miss the TBG’s Edwards Summer Music Series featuring eight concerts showcasing contemporary Canadian talent.

Toronto is also home to:

  • Allan Gardens (Gerrard Street East)
  • Humber Arboretum (Humber College Blvd )
  • Toronto Music Garden (Lower Spadina Avenue)
  • Rosetta McClain Gardens (Glen Everest Road)
  • Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens (Lakeshore Road West)

Catch a Food Festival

One of the best things about summer is feasting. While the eats are terrific any time in Toronto, there are many foodie events around the city each year. You’ll have a blast trying to hit them all. There are many reasons to attend a food festival. These often multi-cultural events are a one-stop place to gobble up tasty grub and the ideal occasion to:

  • Taste traditional cuisine from far away places.
  • Sample some fan-favorite menu items from Toronto’s best gourmet restaurants.
  • Catch top chefs demonstrating new kitchen skills you can add to your repertoire.
  • Devour various foods from ribs to pizza.

Bring your appetite to an annual Toronto foodie occasion, such as:

  • International Food Truck Event (June)
  • La Pizza Week (May)
  • The Toronto Food Truck Festival (August)
  • Pickering Food Truck Festival (August)
  • Toronto Ribfest (August)
  • Taste of the Middle East (August)
  • Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (August)
  • Vegandale Food and Drink Festival (October)

There you have it! The good folks at High Level Movers brought you this list of terrific outdoor activities in the area you must do this summer. What do you think of our picks? What are some of your favorite summer pastimes? Let us know so we can add it to our list so the other Six locals can create their ultimate Toronto summer bucket list.