As the capital of Ontario, Toronto can become a bit hectic and crowded, with a whopping 27.5 million people visiting each year. With so much to do, it’s no surprise that this city draws in so many tourists. From the magnificent CN Tower to fascinating museums, performing arts theaters, iconic architecture, and lively nightlife, you’ll never run out of things to do. But one thing that many people don’t realize is that there are so many amazing outdoor activities in Toronto.
In this sprawling city, there is a plethora of fun adventures to go on, including kayaking, tree top trekking, waterfall gazing, and more. If you want an escape from the bustle of downtown, these popular and unique outdoor activities in Toronto are the perfect way to spend a day. The best part is that they’re suitable for everyone and don’t demand much effort or expertise!
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5 Awesome Outdoor Activities in Toronto
1. Take a full-day trip to the Toronto Islands
Distance from Toronto: 37 min (3.9 km)
If you want to enjoy the phenomenal views of the city while strolling in a lush green and car-free area, head to the famous Toronto Islands. Once you purchase your ticket, you’ll take the Yorkie (a water taxi) and enter the inner Toronto harbor, where you’ll be treated to views of the city, lake Ontario, and the Toronto Islands in the distance.
Once you reach the islands, you can explore the area on foot or rent a bike if you want to get around more quickly. Be sure to check out the public marina and sandy beach here, or head to the Centreville Amusement Park for some excitement. We recommend spending all day exploring the islands and taking a ferry back at night so you can witness Toronto sparkling in the dark. It is truly a breathtaking sight!
2. Kayak in the Grand River
Distance from Toronto: 1 hr 10 min (96.3 km)
For water lovers, paddling down the Grand River is one of the most peaceful options for outdoor activities in Toronto. You can launch your kayak or paddle board from Paris, Ontario, and end your trip at Brant Park. This river is ideal for beginners and non-experienced paddlers who want to gently drift down the river. You can even stop paddling if you get tired and allow the strong currents to carry you along. There are also numerous other outdoor activities that you can do besides paddling, including the vast network of hiking trails and awesome fishing spots along the banks.
3. Go treetop trekking at Brampton:
Distance from Toronto: 44 min (47.4 km)
A full-day forest adventure awaits you just outside the city in the Heart Lake Conservation area in Brampton. The park offers various adventures, such as a zipline & aerial game trek, a blue heron zipline tour, and forest bathing.
Get ready to bring out your inner adventurer as you climb tree to tree, enjoying obstacles like cable traverses, Tarzan swings, swinging logs, and suspended bridges. While it might seem complex, these activities are appropriate for a wide range of abilities and require no prior experience. You’ll be putting your strength, balance, and courage to the test, but in a secure environment. And make sure you don’t miss the twin zip line across Heart Lake, where you’ll be treated to some absolutely stunning views.
4. Stroll under the cherry blossom trees at High Park:
Distance from Toronto: 23 min (6.6 km)
Located on the western side of Toronto city, you’ll find the popular High Park, known for its beautiful gardens, natural areas, and walking trails. It’s Toronto’s largest public park and is a habitat for various birds, diverse plant species, fish, and other animals. You’ll never run out of things to do here, thanks to the various hiking spots, playgrounds, swimming pools, historical zoo, and more. There is also a leash-free dog area, so you’re welcome to bring your furry friend!
Our favorite part about High Park is that it’s the best place in the city to see cherry blossoms. Be sure to come in early spring if you want to witness a truly magical sight as the trees bloom in all their pink glory. These trees were gifted to Canada from Tokyo, and they really add the cherry on top (pun intended) to the beauty of this park.
5. Explore the magnificent Niagara Falls
Distance from Toronto: 1 hr 59 min (131.3 km)
No trip to Toronto would be complete without seeing one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. As the ‘unofficial 8th wonder of the world,’ Niagara Falls is truly a sight to behold. While just seeing this magnificent cascade is an experience in itself, there are also tons of outdoor activities you can do here so you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained.
WildPlay zipline to the Falls:
If you want to experience pure adrenaline, then going on the 67-meter zipline across the falls is a must. The zipline starts on the edge of the Niagara River gorge, where you’ll cruise at 40+ mph until you reach the Falls observation landing. Trust us, seeing the stunning Horseshoe Falls while hanging in the air will be an unforgettable experience.
Journey behind the Falls:
While people typically view Niagara Falls from the popular observation spots at the front and sides of the falls, we suggest an up-close look from behind. To experience this, visitors are taken through a short tunnel via an elevator that leads to two observation points behind the falls. Seeing the thundering water up close as it crashes into the mighty basin is truly a magical experience. The best time to do this is during the summer season, when the water flow is at its greatest.
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