It’s finally spring! As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, people start to gravitate outdoors. Following are some suggestions for family activities to do outside in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in anticipation of school ending and the summer beginning.
Trails for Walking and Biking
What better way to enjoy the weather and exercise then going for a walk or bike ride with your family. This non-competitive activity Ontario by Bike has created an interactive map of cycling trails in Ontario. We’ve included our top five picks for the Greater Toronto Area:
- Martin Goodman Trail (Downtown)
- Kay Gardner Beltline Trail (Midtown)
- Taylor Creek Trail (East End)
- Marie Curtis Trail (West End)
- Malton Greenway Trial (Mississauga)
We are fortunate to have many parks, conservation areas, and green spaces in the GTA to visit! Plan a day or afternoon to enjoy nature at one of these local destinations:
- High Park, accessible by transit near a subway station by the same name, is a large urban park with trees, grass, gardens, ponds, trails, playgrounds, and even a small zoo. Check out the High Park Nature Centre events and participate with your family! Keep an eye out for the famous cherry blossoms to bloom.
- Toronto Island is a popular family friendly destination with plenty of open green spaces along the waterfront for everyone to enjoy. Book your ferry tickets in advance.
- Rattray Marsh Conservation Area is a unique natural setting within the City of Mississauga. Walk along the trails and enjoy the flora and fauna with your family members of all ages.
Have a Picnic
Sometimes it’s nice to sit down in the shade with a nice view and grab a bite to eat. The GTA is full of beautiful, green parks to enjoy with the whole family (including pets!).
- Christie Pits Park, located downtown and easily accessible by a subway station features a children’s playground, hills, wading pool, basketball hoops, and of course, a prime view of the CN Tower.
- Bluffers Park in Scarborough is like an oasis away from the busy city life. Along with access to the beach, bike trail and picnic site, it also has a change room facility so families can spend the whole day playing and relaxing by the water.
- Jack Darling Memorial Park in Mississauga is a place for the whole family! A large space with a lovely view of the Toronto skyline, a marsh full of wildlife, off-leash dog walking, and picnic sites to enjoy lunch and make new friends.
Gardening is a traditional spring time activity that yields edible and visual rewards! You can join a communal gardening group to plant and grow vegetables to eat at harvest time. You can also plant flower seeds (tip: the Seed Library Branch at the Faculty of Information has free seeds) in pots or in an outdoor plot of land, or a small balcony space. Watch as they grow into a colourful display, or grow fresh herbs to use to flavour your food. Adults and children can connect directly with the earth and tend to their gardening project throughout the spring and beyond.
Soccer, baseball, basketball, biking, jogging, walking… Physical activities are perfect for the cool spring weather time. Working up a sweat doing fun sports, either in a team, in pairs, or solo, is a great way to feel good and become physically fit before the heatwave arrives.
Honouring Earth Day
Outdoor Cleanup: In honour of Earth Day (and any day), why not join an established event or start your own neighbourhood cleanup effort. Check out your local earth day events and get the whole family involved!
Join one the world’s largest community treasure hunt: Geocaching! There are over 3000 geocaches in the Greater Toronto Area. Simply download the app, find a geocache nearby and find local treasures in nature… You may even make a few friends along the way. If this is your first time, check out why other geocachers love exploring and discovering local outdoor spaces.