For an urban center, Toronto has got a lot of green space — High Park, Rouge Valley, and the East Don Parkland, to name a few. But even though I like being outdoors, I also find that winter weather makes the thought of hikes and nature walks seem far less appealing. Maybe you feel the same way. In that case, why not head out to Toronto’s parks before the cold really gets here?
One activity to check out is the series of Fall Walks at Rouge Park. Located at the east end of the city (and I do mean the very east end) this nature reserve consists of 4,000 square hectares of green space, along with the namesake Rouge River. The Fall Walks are designed to be educational experiences as well as a way to explore nature, so they’re a great chance to talk to children about the environment, biodiversity in plants and animals, and how to make “green” choices in the city.
If you’re not sure you and your family will be up for the 2 hour walks, the schedule includes information about how “family-friendly” each route is, with details about what each walk involves, and guidelines according to ages. A schedule for October is posted here.
Of course, if you live in the west end and the commute across town is too long to make, then how about heading down to High Park? More “urban” than the Rouge, High Park is nevertheless one of the largest green spaces in Toronto. The trackless train runs on weekends in October, and you can always check out the park zoo and the children’s garden. The Nature Centre also offers Family Nature Walks in the fall, like the High Park History walk on October 20th.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes, dress for the weather, and pack enough water, and then get out there!