Five ways to enjoy the outdoors and beat COVID-19 in Toronto this summer
From some of the city’s best-kept natural secrets to archery and frisbee golf in the Don Valley, here are a few ways to let loose and breathe in Toronto’s natural surroundings during the COVID summer
Lose yourself in Glen Stewart Ravine
351 Glen Manor,
This ravine tucked in the undulating terrain between Kingston and Glen Manor in the east end remains one of the city’s best-kept natural secrets. Distinguishing features: rocky stream, boardwalk with killer views of the forest floor and Ivan Forrest gardens.
Take a tour of the Don’s graffiti
Bayview south of Pottery across from the Brick Works
Toronto is home to some of the planet’s most-renowned street art, including tourist fave Graffiti Alley off Queen West. But the works in the Don – from the raw graffiti of anarcho-inspired street urchins, to the offerings from nature hunters and commissioned works (see Faith47’s The Pull Of The Land) – remain some of the city’s most compelling hidden gems. Best spots: start at the Brick Works and make your way south underneath the rail line to the half-mile bridge along Keating Channel to Canoe Landing Park.
Get a taste of the Evergreen Brick Works Saturday farmers market
550 Bayview, evergreen.ca
While most events and activities at the Brick Works remain suspended for now – the Don Valley Brick Works Park north of the site is open – the Saturday farmers market, the city’s largest, officially opened June 13. The hours have been modified (8 am to 1 pm) to abide by COVID-19 restrictions, but fresh food lovers can finally rejoice. For those into planting, the outdoor nursery at Evergreen Garden Market is also open (from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday to Sunday).
Breathe in the beauty at Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence East, torontobotanicalgarden.ca
When Toronto businessman and garden lover Rupert Edwards bought the property at the corner of Lawrence and Bayview in 1944 to fulfill his dream of “a place in the country,” not even he could have imagined what he had seeded. Today, the Toronto Botanical Garden, which is run by a non-profit, features the city’s most awe-inspiring and unique array of botanical wonders, including one of the country’s largest rock gardens. While most of its facilities have been closed due to the pandemic, the garden shop is now open (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 pm) and access to the gardens remains open from dusk to dawn.
Let fly at E.T. Seton Park
73 Thornecliffe Park, toronto.ca/parks
From frisbee golf to an archery range, this East York/North York treasure named after the Scottish wildlife artist and Boy Scouts of America founder Ernest Thompson Seton, provides the perfect forest backdrop to test your disc skills or get your Robin Hood on.
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