When the snow finally starts to melt and the temperatures allow you to be outside without your face hurting, Toronto becomes quite the exciting city to explore! From the gorgeous paths along the lake, to the lovely cherry blossoms and livening parks, to the outdoor festivals and the patios opening up – Toronto definitely has a lot to do during Spring!
I love being outside as much as possible during the Spring. It is so refreshing to be exposed to warmer weather and sunlight. I feel an instant mood shift as soon as the weather breaks 10 degrees celsius! The people of Toronto definitely feel the same, as number of bikes and joggers out increase exponentially.
There are many exciting things to do in Toronto in Spring, but here are my top 9!
1. Visit the Cherry Blossoms in High Park
High Park feels like an escape from the city, although it borders downtown! I love walking through the park and the towering trees all Spring and Summer long, but the Spring brings a surprise you must visit to see.
The roads through High Park are lined with gorgeous Cherry Blossom Trees, which grow incredible flowers during the Spring Time. The blossoms are just budding currently, and are expected to be in peak bloom late-April to early May.
The park can get extremely busy during peak bloom season, so I suggest heading over on a weekday, during typical work hours if you can! Find trees away from the core area near the parking lot as people tend to crowd around the first trees they find. Water down near the water where it is a bit quieter, but still many blossoms to admire!
2. Take a Stroll Along the Waterfront
The waterfront is definitely one of my favourite places in Toronto. There are many art installations, mini-festivals, and walking paths along the entire waterfront. If you’re interested in biking, there’s dedicated bike paths as well!
You can sit and watch the boats, hang out at one of the little beaches, hit up Amsterdam Brewhouse, or just go for a walk on a beautiful day! You will have endless views of Lake Ontario, a view of Toronto Islands, and watch planes take off from the Island Airport!
3. Indulge in Drinks on Rooftop Patios
One of my recent obsessions in Toronto is grabbing drinks on rooftop patios. Toronto is home to so many rooftop bars, with many boasting incredible views of the city. If you are feeling fancy and a great day drinking day, I would checkout rooftop pool bars at Thompson Toronto or Lavelle.
I typically opt to more casual rooftop bars, including the great sports game pre-drinking bar – The Porch. The Porch boasts views of the CN tower, and has fairly good deals on drinks, especially for downtown.
My favourites lately are the Broadview Hotel Rooftop, and Kost – the restaurant on the 44th floor of a new boutique hotel, Bisha. I can’t wait until the outdoor patios are open, and I can enjoy great food and sparkling wine on these rooftops!
4. Catch a Blue Jays Game
While baseball games aren’t for everyone, watching the Jays play is definitely an experience! If it is sunny out, the roof of the stadium will be open, allowing you to catch a tan while watching the game!
You can get tickets for fairly cheap on the GameTime app or on StubHub. Drinks in the stadium may be expensive, but the stadium recently started allowing you to bring in your own food, as long as it is wrapped and fits under your seat.
5. Visit the Conservatory
Toronto has a few nature conservatories, but the most notable one is Allan Gardens, located downtown.
Ah, Allan Gardens Conservatory is an indoor oasis, teleporting you out of the city! It is an indoor botanical garden, with two tropical houses, a cool temperate house, a palm house, tropical landscape house, and an unusual cacti house! It is definitely a must visit if you want to explore different plant species, and learn a bit about the history of the area.
6. Visit Outdoor Festivals and Markets
Toronto, being a large, multi-cultural city, constantly has so many different festivals and markets to offer all year round! Come Spring, many more outdoor events pop up, allowing you to enjoy the nice weather while exploring different events and festivals!
Some interesting upcoming events are:
- Spring Bird Festival – May 11
- Wee Festival 2019 – May 13
- Festival of Trees – May 14
- Rib & Craft Beer Fest – May 19
- Woofstock Festival – May 25
There are always so many events going on, and a quick internet search will show you all the cool events going on when you visit Toronto!!
7. Visit the Zoo
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Spring into spring with a walk around the Toronto Zoo. Plan an outing skipping to all of your favourite animals, or spend a day with the family enjoying the full zoo! Although my favourite animal is the Canadian Beaver, I absolutely love going to the zoo to check out how they support endangered animals that we don’t traditionally see in Toronto like polar bears, hippos, and giraffes. Make sure to sneak away from the city and explore the many animal exhibits on a sunny day this spring!
8. Hike Through Tommy Thompson Park
Hidden away in the East End is a gorgeous park that is surrounded by water and has beautiful trails. Tommy Thompson Park is a man-made headland, extending 5km into Lake Ontario. It boasts incredible walking and biking trails. It is considered one of the best places for bird-watching, and feels like a complete escape from the city, although it is practically downtown.
Although you can’t swim in the park, it is definitely worth checking out to go on a walk or a bike ride on a nice day! You will find various wildlife while viewing a mix of nature and great views of the city. If you can make it to the end of the park, you’ll find a lighthouse and endless views of Lake Ontario.
9. Take a Ferry to Toronto Islands
As the weather gets warmer, I absolutely love to head to Toronto Island! The ferry is available for $7.50 – or you can catch a more direct ride on a water taxi for $10.00. I personally prefer the water taxi option because it allows me to get to the part of the island I want to be at quickly. The return ferry is always free – so you’ll only need to budget for the trip there and any activities you have planned.
Once you make it to the island, there is a lot of different things to explore. If you’re the theme park type, make sure to check out Centreville Theme Park for all sorts of family fun including a wooden roller coaster. If you’re hanging with an adult crowd, checkout Hanlan’s Point Beach – but beware, clothing is optional at Hanlan’s. My favourite spot on the island is Ward’s Island. Most weekends you’ll find pickup soccer on the fields and pickup volleyball on the beach! There’s always a drink or two and some music in reach if pickup sports aren’t your thing, but Ward’s is the absolute best for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city for a day.
What are your favourite things to do in Toronto around Spring? Let me know in the comments!