A photo of a bridge on Toronto island over a pond

Finding Nature in the Concrete Jungle (aka Toronto)


Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” Katrina Mayer

This is one of many quotes that I love. Fresh air, birds singing, and the sound of water, how can you go wrong? Today, I’d like to tell you about three parks and nature trails that are ideal for reconnecting with nature amongst the busy downtown core.

Allan Gardens

A photo of the Allan Gardens greenhouse
photo from gothereguide.com

This is the closest park to the Ryerson campus, located at Sherbourne and Gerrard Street, 19 Horticultural Ave. Allan Gardens in open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It is known to be one of the oldest parks in Toronto. Allan Gardens has a playground, fenced in dog park, and a garden conservatory. My favourite part about going to Allan Gardens is definitely the conservatory. It’s free – who doesn’t like free admission to things? The conservatory is like a mini greenhouse. It has a variety of different plants and flowers, from cacti to orchids. Plus, for all you reptile lovers, there is a pond filled with turtles – even baby ones! This is a great place the next time you have some spare time in between classes or just want to go for a walk close to campus.

Toronto Islands

A photo of the sand and boardwalk leading to Lake Ontario
Photo by City of Toronto

Even though it’s a little more effort to get to the islands – it is totally worth it. To get there head to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at 9 Queens Quay W, at Bay and Queens Quay, and hop on a 15-minute ferry rideThe Toronto Islands are home to three different areas. Hanlan’s Point is home to one of only two clothing optional beaches in Canada. But don’t worry if you’re not into that – it is not the only beach on the island. The main attraction is Center Island. This is where the children’s amusement park is located with a free petting zoo for all ages, ponds, and parks and places to have picnics and BBQ’s. There are also options to rent with two and four-seater bicycles. And, of course there is a sandy beach for all of you sun lovers. The last part of the island is called Ward’s Island. This is residential area and less of a tourist site. Despite the lack of tourists it is home to the Island Café, soccer field, a small playground and a boardwalk with a great view of Lake Ontario.

High Park

High Park is located right at High Park Station south of Bloor Street. It is a little far away from Ryerson Campus but I promise you it is worth the trip. High Park is expansive and allows you to escape from the busy downtown streets. High Park is Toronto’s largest public park that provides hiking trails, tennis courts, pools, a beautiful lakefront, an off leash dog park, a zoo, playgrounds and much more.

A photo of the manicured gardens and fountain in High Park
High Park – Toronto – Tourism Media


My favourite part has to be the zoo because 1) it’s FREE 2) there are interesting animals like emus, reindeer, and capybaras (yes, the same ones that escaped earlier this spring!).

Being in an urban environment can sometimes get overwhelming, but taking the time to find green space can be beneficial for your mind, body, and soul.

These are just a few places i enjoy going to, where is your favourite green space in Toronto?