TORONTO, ON., Sept. 29, 2020 — The leaves in the GTA are already starting to turn. Red, orange and golden canopies can be spotted right across the city from High Park to Rouge Valley. There are so many beautiful places around Toronto to get outside and enjoy nature in a socially distant manner.
That rustle of brilliant coloured leaves both on the ground and in the trees summon nature’s curtain call before the city is buried beneath a blanket of snow. Okay, perhaps it’s only pristine in Toronto’s beautiful parks, as we all know the rest of the city usually becomes covered with plowed piles of dirty snow, slippery sidewalks and salted roadways.
But for now, Torontonians can take pleasure in exploring the Toronto’s incredible display of colourful foliage.
Where in Toronto can you get the best view of everything fall has to offer?
Usually when people think of High Park, they think cherry blossoms. But, this Toronto foliage destination is also the perfect place to take a stroll and enjoy the fall colours. Swing by the zoo while you’re there as well.
Enter off Bloor Street.
Don Valley/Evergreen Brickworks
One of Toronto’s most famous historical landmarks is also a great place to check out the fall colours. Take a walk or bike ride along one of the many trails running along the Don River, then stop at the Evergreen Brickworks for a hot chocolate or something a little stronger, as it is licensed. The Evergreen Brickworks also plays host to a number of great events including the Farmers and Artisan Markets.
Cost: Free to visit (some activities require registration or payment)
Rouge National Urban Park
Just north of Toronto, not too far from the Toronto Zoo is one of Parks Canada’s most stunning fall escapes. Rouge National Urban Park is home to more than a dozen walking trails of all levels of difficulty. Perfect for the novice or expert hiker. The park is also home to Canada’s oldest known indigenous site dating back more than 10,000 years. If that’s a little too far out, walking along the Waterfront Trail near the Rouge River mouth is also a great spot for leaf peeping.
Etobicoke Creek Trail
Just west of the city, Mississauga is abundant with fantastic trails to explore, including the 14.5 kilometre Etobicoke Creek Trail. Not only can visitors see a beautiful blend of native trees filled with colour, this trail also offers many historical sites to visit along the way including the Peel Heritage Centre.
Glen Stewart Ravine
One of Toronto’s most intriguing trails can be found along the Glen Start Ravine. A mix of wooden boardwalks and gravel paths sit below a natural canopy red oak and maple trees. A stream runs along much of the trail providing a glimpse of unique aquatic life and birds.
Just a 13-minute boat ride from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is Toronto Island. Known for its stunning views of the Toronto skyline, the Island is also home to some of the areas most beautiful foliage. Don’t forget to check out one of the many restaurants and coffee shops or bring a picnic.
Cost: Free to tour island (Ferry fees are less than $9 per person).
Trinity Bellwoods Park
Drinks in the park and flea markets are what most people think of when they think Trinity Bellwoods, but this urban oasis is also home to some of the prettiest fall colours in The Six. Make sure you visit the Trinity Bellwoods website where you can learn how to adopt-a-tree as local conservationists work to preserve this jewel in the heart of Toronto.
Humber River Trail
Running alongside Lake Ontario is the Humber River Trail. One of Toronto’s most popular walking destinations, visitors can expect not only beautiful fall colours, but an easy paved walkway. See many unique and historic sites along the way too such as the Lambton House, Oculus Pavillion and Humber River Bridge.
Only 10 minutes north of Toronto you can find the Humber Arboretum. A Carolinian life zone, the Arboretum is home to several tree varieties including maple, black walnut, shagbark hickory, pawpaw, ironwood, and Kentucky-coffee tree. The perfect family escape, the Arboretum offers education programs, nature camps and virtual tours.
Kortright Centre for Conservation
Filled with maple trees, the Kortright Centre for Conservation is a vibrant mix of colour as fall arrives. Not only can you enjoy the beauty of the fall, you can enjoy a taste of spring at the Centre general store where you can buy maple syrup, honey and other nature themed gifts.
Cost: Free with Park Membership
Don’t forget you can get the latest status on the fall colours right across Ontario at https://www.ontarioparks.com/fallcolour
by Sarah McGoldrick