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Best Parks in Toronto

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Riverdale Park East is a great place to escape to, if you wish for some fresh air to breathe without leaving the city. This park area makes for a great day out with friends or family as there are a gamut of activities for everyone to pick from. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy a game of baseball or football, while kids can run around at the playground. The ice rink is ideal for skating as well as ice hockey, while a swim in the outdoor pool is quite refreshing. All this activity is bound to leave you hungry; lay down for a meal in their picnic spot, and take a small hike along one of their many trails.

Explore a forest without leaving the city! Covering a wooded expanse of 128 acres (52 hectares), the Crothers Woods comprises mainly of maple, beech and oak trees, some of which are over a hundred years old. Deemed as Environmentally Significant Area in 1995, the Crothers Woods is home to more than 26 different species of birds. This beautiful forest is said to be mostly the same as before the Europeans settled in Canada. You can pick the kid-friendly Beginner's Trail or choose a more challenging hike.

Toronto Parks run the Allan Gardens, one of the oldest parks in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This park area consists of a greenhouse, a playground and two fenced areas for unleashed dogs. The sections in the greenhouse are the Tropical House that has a waterwheel, rain tropical plants and exotic flowering plants. The Cool House has a waterfall, pond and citrus trees. The Palm House has bananas, bamboo, Screw Pine and the Cactus House. The garden is open all year round. Shows begin on the first Sunday of December when the garden has wagon rides, carolers, stands selling apple cider and cookies and the shows go on till end December. Spring brings in the blossoming season for several plants in the Cool House during Easter. The Fall show is held in the first weekend of November. Allan Gardens is a favorite spot for events like weddings and other celebrations.

Trinity Bellwoods Park has something for everyone. However, the most important feature of the park is the presence of white squirrels. The White squirrel is an albino squirrel that is found amid the trees of the park. There are the eight outdoor tennis courts, as well as the outdoor skating rink, among other things. For the children, there is a playground, as well as a wading pool to entertain them. The pet-owners will not be left disappointed either, for the park has an area known as the dog bowl, which is a leash-free zone. The park is also the site for many cultural events, including live theater & book fairs.

Shaped by the elements over the course of millenia, the Scarborough Bluffs rise from the shores of Lake Ontario in East Toronto. The sheer face of the escarpment is a defining feature of the waterfront, rising to a height of 90 meters (300 feet) above the shore. Several parks span the 15-kilometer (9.3-mile) stretch of the Scarborough Bluffs as it traces the edge of the lake. While most of these are found perched atop its peaks, a few grant access to the narrow beach that lies at its base. The view from the top is notoriously astounding in beauty, although few can deny the striking quality of a more low-lying perspective with the barren rock face rising high above the tranquil water.

Evergreen Brick Works is a unique and fun-filled way to experience sustainable development. A quarry and buildings have been transformed into parks, attractions, and an educational center. Evergreen Brick Works wants to educate people in an informative and interesting way. There are a lot of sites to explore, including learning how to make pottery at Clay Works, buying local produce at Evergreen Garden Market, hiking through Don Valley Brick Works Park, and the exploring the beautiful Children's Garden in Chimney Court.

The High Park is an ancient beautiful natural preserve that offers a pond, wooded areas, trails, open picnic areas and numerous recreational facilities for the entire family. Baseball, swimming, skating, and tennis are just some of the activities that families or groups of friends can indulge in and bond over. You can also watch a play at the outdoor theatre during the annual Dream in High Park, tour the greenhouse, or visit the park's zoo. Each of the attractions has its own specific phone number and opening hours.

With thousands of animals in seven tropical pavilions spread over 220 hectares (544 acres), an African Savannah exhibit and a commitment to preserve world's wilderness and wildlife, it’s no wonder this zoo is rated among the best in the world. While committed to research and conservation, the Toronto Zoo promises to provide its visitors with a memorable experience along with educating them about wildlife and nature. With that in mind, it offers everything from rare and colorful fish to pygmy hippos. The last admission occurs one hour before closing. Prices vary according to season.

Located in the Beaches area, the Ashbridge's Bay Park is one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces within the city limits. Known for its beaches and boardwalk, this is the place summertime was made for. Walk along the waterfront and enjoy the scenic view. You can sunbathe on the beach or take a dip in the lake. You'll also find in-line skaters, joggers and cyclists along the winding Martin Goodman Trail. Facilities include a fully accessible washroom, drinking fountain, fire-pits and picnic areas. There is a public boat launch and plenty of parking available.

It is hard to imagine a wilderness area near the thriving business district of downtown Toronto, but that is just what one finds at Rouge Park. The large park is home to a variety of rare plant and animal species which can be admired from areas like Glen Eagles Vista. Rouge Park is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, camping, swimming and picnics. Two national historic sites, the Toronto Carrying Place Trail and Bead Hill, are located within the park.

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