One of the best things to do during the summer in Toronto is to pack a picnic lunch and spend the day with your favorite people in the great outdoors. However, finding a suitable spot for a picnic can sometimes be an overwhelming task in such a large metropolitan city.
Below is our own list of the eight best picnic spots in Toronto to help narrow your search!
1. High Park
Just off the Queensway at Bloor Street, High Park boasts 18 scenic picnic spots for a quiet break away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
For parties of over 25 people, a reservation is needed through City Hall to book your picnic spot. You cannot make a booking online.
High Park is a much-loved picnic spot for families looking for a nice outdoor area to spend the day together. With several picnic tables, benches, and breathtaking views, High Park is an excellent picnic spot.
Bring your own food or stop at one of the many Bloor Street take-out cafes and grab lunch or a cold drink. Barbeques are not allowed at the park, and dogs must remain leashed in the picnic area.
2. Queen’s Park
Conveniently situated downtown, Queen’s Park is a famous Toronto landmark dating back to 1860. It’s a favorite picnic spot among many visitors looking for a quiet place in the city for lunch with friends and family.
Earning its name from Queen Victoria, Queen’s Park is full of culture and history, and borders the University of Toronto in the city’s heart. It provides a quick break away from the city where you can enjoy the outdoors and breathe in the fresh air.
When finished with lunch, take a stroll around the walking paths to observe historical statues and monuments, large pine trees, and beautiful flower gardens.
Close to downtown, Humber Bay’s East Park features breathtaking landscapes that give off a vibe of serenity and ambiance for the perfect picnic experience in the city’s center.
Go for a stroll around the park, discover butterflies, walking trails, sandy beaches, and fish ponds. Or, take in all the beauty of the Toronto skyline to the east of the park.
Bring your camera along as it’s an excellent spot for taking panoramic shots.
Located near the Christie transit station, Christie Pits Park boasts 9 hectares of lush scenery within the city of Toronto.
Featuring a swimming pool, three baseball diamonds, a large sports field, a colorful community garden, and a children’s splash pad and playground area, Christie Park is the perfect spot in the city to plan a picnic while enjoying the other features of the park.
Pack your lunch and spend the day exploring this beautiful park within city limits. Christie Pits Park offers plenty of picnic tables, benches, picnic shelters, fire pits, and public washrooms to ensure the perfect midday getaway.
Around a fifteen-minute drive from downtown, Toronto Islands are set in the middle of Lake Ontario. Ferries to the Island depart from Bay Street’s Jack Layton Station.
The Toronto Islands offer several scenic grassy areas that are perfect for a picnic or barbeque. There are several barbeques available for visitors – however, note that you must provide your own charcoal.
Our favorite picnic sites on the Islands include Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island, and Olympic Island offering spacious picnic areas, tables, and benches for the perfect picnic. These spots feature incredible views of the waterways and cityscape.
Picnics are welcomed anywhere on the Island. However, if you have over 25 picnic guests, a permit is required from City Hall.
Nestled along the east side of Toronto Islands, Ward Island is a residential community of around 250 homeowners and much fewer tourists than the rest of the island.
Ward Island offers a more relaxed setting for your break-away from the busy tourist areas and is the ideal location for a summer picnic.
Enjoy a less-crowded ferry ride to Ward Island compared to other ferries to the islands. Once at Ward Island, discover several chairs along the shorelines offering panoramic views of the city skyline and the Lake Ontario waterways.
The island boasts of a family-run cafe offering snacks to-go or a cold drink before heading to the beach or grassy picnic area to enjoy your lunch. Alternatively, you can bring a picnic lunch and spend the day relaxing in the sunshine and quiet atmosphere on Ward’s Island.
Situated on over 5 hectares of scenic land, the Dufferin Grove Park is an ideal picnic spot surrounded by a canopy of trees for plenty of shade.
Dufferin Grove Park offers several picnic tables, benches, and grassy areas to enjoy your picnic lunch in comfort. The park is free to use without a reservation for parties under 25 guests.
If you plan to invite a large group to join you on your picnic, you must make a reservation through City Hall.
Enjoy a stroll through the park to take in views of birds, chipmunks, and squirrels. There are also two fire pits that can be reserved for campfires in the park in the evening.
Bordering the inner harbor, the Toronto Music Garden is one of the city’s favorite picnic spots offering free musical performances all summer long.
On the way to the garden, make a pit stop at Fusaro’s Kitchen for a fabulous selection of take-out food or an ice-cold drink, or pack a lunch to bring along.
There are plenty of grassy areas and benches in the park to enjoy a relaxing picnic at the Toronto Music Garden.
The venue also offers an intimate picnic setting with colorful displays of flowers throughout the park as you take in much-needed quiet time away from the city rush.
Despite being a busy metropolitan city, there are several beautiful picnic spots scattered throughout the Toronto to help you quickly escape the hustle and bustle of the city and breathe in the fresh outdoors.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the top 8 picnic spots in Toronto. Let us know if we missed any great picnic spots in the comments section below.
By the way, check out the following articles of other things to do while in Toronto: