Are you planning a trip to Toronto? It’s a beautiful city to visit in any season, for its architecture and its many parks. While developing our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt and our Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we identified many beautiful Toronto parks worthy of your time.
We’ve limited our list to the downtown core and harbourfront areas, where our scavenger hunts are located.
13 Toronto Parks
- Nathan Phillips Square
- It was named in honor of Nathan Phillips, Mayor of Toronto from 1955 to 1962, was unveiled in 1965. The body of water to your right becomes a skating rink in winter. You can also see here free concerts, a weekly public market, and other events at various times of the year.
- More recently, the giant sign with the word Toronto was added. It is the perfect place for a tourist selfie.
- Yonge-Dundas Square
- This Toronto intersection is often called Toronto’s Times Square because of the many bright posters that can be seen all around the Square.
- You’ll regularly see here exhibitions, concerts, and festivals.
- Cloud Gardens
- Cloud Gardens extends on Richmond south to Temperance Street and is not very big. This park makes use of all surfaces to present trees and plants, as well as a waterfall.
- Here you will also find monuments honoring the construction workers of Toronto.
- Berczy Park.
- There are a few quirky art installations in this small park between Wellington and Front. The main being a large fountain at its center which features wrought iron cats and dogs, of natural size.
- William Berczy was an architect who worked with John Graves Simcoe, the first Governor of Upper Canada, during the founding of York. York became Toronto in the broader sense. Yet remains a municipality within it, you are in it now. East York is east of here, and further east is Scarborough. To the north is North York, and to the west, no it’s not West York, it is Etobicoke.
- Toronto Islands
- The Toronto Islands are comprised of Center Island, Mugg Island, Ward’s Island and 9 smaller islands.
- You can get to Hanlan’s Point, Center Island, and Ward’s Island from a terminal at the base of the Westin Harbor Castle Hotel to your left. Ward’s Island is by far the largest. The spikes you see on the left and right are the ends of Ward’s Island. All the other islands are in front of it.
- The Toronto Islands Airport, or Billy Bishop Airport which is its real name, is located on the west side of Ward’s Island. It is accessible by a dedicated ferry and tunnel on your right.
- On Center Island is the Centerville Amusement Park. There’s a large marina on Mugg’s Island. Hanlan’s Point Beach is on the western section of Ward’s Island, near the Airport. There are other beaches around the islands.
- Canada Square
- Canada Square is a public space where exclusively metasequoia trees are planted. It is located in Toronto’s Harbourfront area.
- Metasequoia is a type of red-conifer that grows rapidly. However, it is a species in danger of disappearing.
- Ontario Square
- Ontario Square is another park, next to Canada Square where you will find 500 aspens around an open space with benches.
- Ann Tindal Park
- Ann Tindal Park, west of Canada Square and Ontario Square, is a large open field sporting fake turf for easy maintenance and a better year-round appeal.
- Roundhouse Park
- Roundhouse Park is a large open space where you will find the Toronto Railway Museum and the Steam Whistle Brewery. It is also across the street from the CN Tower, the Toronto Convention Center and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
- Bobby Rosenfeld Park
- A space in front of the CN Tower, next to Rogers Center, is called Bobbie Rosenfeld Park. Its focal point in a large cascading fountain. It honors the Canadian athlete who won gold in the 400-meter relay at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.
- Bobby was born in Russia in 1904, but her parents immigrated to Canada shortly after she was born.
- Isabella Valancy Crawford Park
- Isabella Crawford (1846-1887), a poet and novelist, is honored by a small park next to the CN Tower on Front Street. She is considered the first great Canadian poet.
- Simcoe Park
- Simcoe Park faces the Metro Toronto Convention Center on Front Street. It is bordered by the Ritz-Carlton Toronto Hotel.
- It commemorates Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe who spent his first winter in a tent near here in the village of York in 1793.
- An aluminum structure is at the back of the park, shaped like a mountain, designed by British Artist Anish Kapoor.
- David Pecaut Square
- David Pecaut Square is north of Simcoe Park, between Roy Thomson Hall (east), the Royal Alexandra Theatre (north) and Metro Hall (west)
We invite you to try our Toronto Civic Center Tourist Scavenger Hunt or Old Toronto Tourist Scavenger Hunt. They are 2-3 hours each, self-guided walking tours that you do with your smartphone (how it works). You’ll come across most of these parks and much more. Moreover, you’ll enjoy solving the various challenges at each step of the way while learning the history of Toronto.
They each cost $35 for a group of up to 6 persons. There is an Explorer version of the Old Toronto scavenger hunt available for $45 – it’s longer and has more challenges.