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The Best Outdoor Activities in Toronto

Ok, the weather might not always allow for outdoor activities in Toronto, but when it does there are many great outdoor things to do here!

So, put on your best sneakers and let me share with you a detailed list of things to do outdoors in Toronto.

Tip: do you know Decathlon yet? In Europe it has long been my go-to shop for good and inexpensive outdoor gear and I am happy they are in Canada now as well! From running shoes to camping gear, you can find almost anything in their online store.

The Best Outdoor Activities in Toronto, Ontario

1. Go Kayaking or Canoeing Around Centre Island

2 inflatable kayaks to enjoy the outdoors in Toronto
Instead of renting a kayak you can also bring your own inflatable kayak

The best way to enjoy the water without getting wet is to take a ferry to Centre Island and rent a kayak or canoe for the day.

Enjoy the crackling sounds of the lake either with friends or make it a peaceful day by yourself.

The Boat House on Centre Islands rents out kayaks and canoes. Get there early if you want to make sure you get the kayak or canoe of your choice.

Oh and if you plan to go to Centre Island with the kids, there is a fun amusement park for the little ones to enjoy here as well.

2. Spend the Day at Riverdale Park East and Riverdale Farm

enjoying the outdoors in Toronto at Riverdale Park East
Enjoying Toronto’s skyline from Riverdale Park East – photo credit: Wyliepoon

Riverdale Park East is an 18-hectare park that lets you enjoy the outdoors, with a stunning view of Toronto’s skyline.

It’s a popular spot for picnics or to watch the sunset.

But there are also many opportunities for different sports here. The park features two ball diamonds, three multipurpose sports fields, a running track, seven tennis courts, an artificial outdoor ice rink, an outdoor swimming pool, and a children’s playground.

So yes, a perfect place for outdoor activities in Toronto!

Stop at the Riverdale Farm next to the park to get a first-hand taste of farm life. Riverdale Farm features livestock (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens), flower, vegetable and herb gardens, as well as nice wooded areas and ponds.

Riverdale Farm is especially great as an outdoor activity with the kids, and admission is free.

3. Visit Rouge National Urban Park

Rouge National Urban Park at sunset
A beautiful sunset at Rouge National Urban Park – photo credit: Thanujan

Another park worth mentioning to enjoy Toronto’s outdoors is Rouge National Urban Park.

Bring your hiking shoes because this park has some great hiking opportunities!

Meet with one of the guides to learn more about the park or bring a canoe to drift through the marsh.

Take pictures of the sun glowing in the golden fall leaves. Then come back in the winter to listen to your boots crunch on the freshly fallen snow.

Rouge Park also boasts Toronto’s only campground, and it has a nice beach at Lake Ontario.

Human history here dates back over 10,000 years and the park holds some of Canada’s oldest known Indigenous sites.

4. Take a Cruise on a Traditional Tall-Ship

sailing on a a traditional Tall-Ship around Toronto

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a sailor to hop aboard this classic, 3-masted 1930s schooner. But, if you want, you can help the crew raise the sails!

Or just sit back and relax en route from Toronto Harbour to shimmering Lake Ontario. Enjoy panoramic views over Toronto’s islands and skyline.

Listen to ancient sea shanties as your crew coil the ropes, and marvel as they fire the ship’s mighty cannon!

You can book this cruise here.

5. Go Stand-Up Paddleboarding on Lake Ontario

stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Ontario
SUP is popular in Ontario – photo credit: Dennis Jarvis

Stand-up paddleboarding is calm, meditative, and easier on the muscles than canoeing or kayaking.

It makes for a perfect start of your day, or if you’re not a morning person, end your day paddling into the sunset.

With secluded beaches, bird sanctuaries, washrooms, picnic areas, a cottage-country feel, and many waterways to paddle and explore, the Toronto Islands in Lake Ontario are the perfect place for paddleboarding.

You can find several water sports companies on the islands that rent paddleboards and offer lessons. But you can of course also just buy your own paddleboard and go for a paddle whenever the weather allows it.

The Beaches is another popular area for paddleboarding, as pictured above.

And if you are looking for even more places to paddleboard in Toronto, this list is helpful.

6. Try Windsurfing at the Toronto Windsurfing Club

learning to windsurf as an outdoor activity in Toronto
Photo credit: Toronto Windsurfing Club

Do you want your outdoor activities in Toronto to be more challenging? Then go to the Toronto Windsurfing Club to try your hand at windsurfing!

The club offers lessons for adults and children at different lessons.

They also organize races and different events, and if windsurfing has you hooked you can become a member of the club to windsurf as often as you can. 

If you’re new to the city and are looking to meet people, joining this club (and any sports club of course) is also great for that!

7. Try Kitesurfing

kite surfing: one of the coolest outdoor activities in Toronto
Photo credit: Toronto Kite Club

Another great outdoor thing to do in Toronto is kitesurfing.

It takes a couple of weeks to learn, but once you get the hang of it, it’s the ultimate adrenaline rush!

We Love Kiteboarding and the Toronto Kite Club are two places in Toronto where you can take kitesurfing lessons. And if you already know how to kitesurf they are also a great place to help you get the right gear and to meet other kitesurfers.

The water of course can get chilly, so make sure you wear the right clothes for the time of year.

8. Go Horseback Riding at Toronto Equestrian Downtown

one of the horses at Toronto Equestrian Downtown
Photo credit: Toronto Equestrian Downtown

If you’d rather stay on land go horseback riding at Toronto Equestrian Downtown.

Fun fact: did you know that horses can smell confidence, much like dogs?

Learning how to ride takes some time but once you get the hang of it, it can be relaxing or exhilarating, depending on what you want.

Whether you are new to the sport and just want an introduction to see if this is for you or you are an experienced rider, Toronto Equestrian Downtown caters to both.

Riding boots and hats can be found here.

9. Bike Around Toronto

Toronto's bike share system
Toronto’s bike share system

One of the nicest places for a leisurely bike ride in Toronto is on the islands. And, you can take your bike on the ferry, at no extra cost.

The city of Toronto is working on making the streets more bike-friendly, which means biking around the city is becoming more and more popular. Don’t forget to wear a helmet though!

If you don’t have a bike you can find bike rental places throughout the city. And Toronto also has a bike share system offering both short term passes and annual memberships.

Toronto’s city website has a map of all the cycling infrastructure of the city.

If you want to explore a part of Toronto by bike and prefer not to go alone, then check out this downtown Toronto bike tour and this evening bike tour on the islands.

10. Go Rollerblading and Skateboarding

rollerblading

Skateboarding and rollerblading in one of Toronto’s numerous parks or BMX tracks are excellent options for outdoor exercise.

There are various skateparks around the city, with Beach Skatepark at Ashbridges Bay being the largest one.

This link gives more information about the best places for both skateboarding and rollerblading.

And both skateboarding and rollerblading are of course also a great way to get around the city.

11. Walk Around the City

walking around Toronto

We often forget that walking is a great outdoor activity as well. And it’s a great way to get to know different parts of the city.

Start in the pedestrian-only distillery district, then pass the trendy shops on Queens street, sample the aromas in Chinatown, and end up in colorful Kensington market.

And if you want to learn more about Toronto while exploring it on foot, then check out this Distillery District walking tour and this fun haunted night walking tour.

12. Go Hiking 

Cherry blossoms in High Park
Cherry blossoms in High Park – Photo credit: City of Toronto

An easy way to enjoy the outdoors in Toronto is by going on a hike.

High Park, Toronto’s version of New York’s Central Park, is a great option with good hiking trails. But, there are many more trails in and around the city, for all levels.

Check out this handy list for the most beautiful and accessible trails in and around Toronto.

Fewer feelings are more rewarding than reaching the destination of your hike and admiring the beauty and diversity of nature. Followed by a picnic or a well-deserved drink of course.

Be sure to choose your shoes according to the intensity of your hike.

13. Play Volleyball at Ashbridges Bay

playing volleyball as an outdoor activity in Toronto
Photo credit: Loozrboy

If you’re looking to play a fun sport with some friends then just grab your volleyball and go to Ashbridges Bay.

Or if you want to play volleyball regularly and join a club, you can find a list of volleyball clubs in and around Toronto here.

14. Play Soccer With Toronto Soccer Connection

a game of soccer
Photo credit: Toronto Soccer Connection

Soccer is another great team sport to play outdoors when the weather allows it.

And the best parts (in my opinion at least): it’s inexpensive and you don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it.

The Toronto Soccer Connection has various teams, ranging from amateur to experienced. Being part of one is a fun way to stay in shape and meet new people.

15. Enjoy Some Outdoor Yoga

A woman doing yoga outdoors

For those of you who prefer a more mindful outdoor activity, consider joining an outdoor yoga class in Toronto.

When the weather is good there are tons of outdoor yoga classes organized throughout the city.

Just Google your neighborhood + outdoor yoga and you’ll probably find some results nearby. Otherwise, this is a good list of outdoor yoga classes in Toronto.

Or of course just bring a yoga mat to a park or beach and practice some yoga on your own. There are plenty of online yoga classes you could do outside!

Final Thoughts About Outdoor Activities in Toronto

Whether you are visiting Toronto or living in Toronto, I hope this list has given you a good range of ideas for outdoor things to do in Toronto.

If you need any gear for your outdoor activities, check out Decathlon’s webshop.

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the best outdoor activities in Toronto

This blog post about things to do outdoors in Toronto contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no additional cost to you.

Author: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. Owner of marketing company A to Z Marketing.
I spend most of my time living and working abroad and use this website to share "the good, the bad and the ugly" of traveling and living abroad. Visit the About Me page for more info.

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