This month, I thought I would walk and run around my favourite parks and gardens in Toronto. Believe me when I tell you, we have many to choose from. I visited the toronto.ca website and found it to be a great resource for looking up locations. You can find them all in alphabetical order. They also have PDF maps and brochures for their Discovery Walks, trails and gardens.
I went to the Port Union Village Common Park for a 5K run. This Park is great for so many reasons. The paved areas, hills, view of the lake and free parking. I can always bank on having a great run here. Keep in mind that as the weather gets colder, some of the trails are not cleaned. You just have to be aware and wear the proper gear for the weather conditions.
If you have hiking boots, or any type of shoes that will keep your toes nice and dry; then you’ll love Evergreen Brickworks. I recently took a friend of mine for a nice walk on a rainy day. The trail is lovely, with lots of little hills, areas that are not paved, tons of tall grass, gorgeous tree lines and shelter near by. If you get hungry after your walk, you can always duck in to the coffee shop. There’s paid parking just outside the main buildings too.
In my experience, if you’re looking to do a long run, 10K or more; then you’ll be happy to visit the Toronto Islands. They have paved areas, little traffic in colder weather and an amazing view. If you don’t want to hop on the ferry, just stay put and start your run/walk near the Harbourfront Centre. You can follow the path for quite a distance. I usually do a 10K in this area. Another favourite of mine for exercising is Christie Pits Park. Now, it may not look like much at first, but use those hills wisely. They’ll have you crawling on all fours by the third time you attempt to climb one. I like doing smaller runs with a bit of bootcamp style exercises here, like using the benches for dips, sit ups and push ups. But when I want to take a nice romantic walk with the hubster, I turn to High Park and Edwards Gardens. They both are amazing places to visit. High Park has great walking trails, a small restaurant, a zoo, a children’s garden, free parking, beautiful trees and so much more. Edwards Gardens is a picturesque place when all the flowers are blooming in spring. They have free parking, beautiful walking trails and the Toronto Botanical Gardens (TBG) is situated there. TBG offers programs, tours and field trips.
Even though the weather is getting colder and colder, it doesn’t mean we should stay cooped up inside. Get out there and find your favourite park, trail or garden. If you’re the type of person that likes to walk on grass or maybe you only run on paved areas, you’ll find the right place. Just remember, wear the right gear for what Mother Nature offers up that day and enjoy Toronto's outdoors.
Millie Castaneda (new last name: Soriano)