Now that the weather is getting nice outside, city dwellers want to have outdoor adventures, and the Toronto waterfront offers the greatest view and the freshest air in the shortest possible distance from the downtown core.
Single people are especially keen to find sunshine and make meaningful memories outside in fresh air environments – just add water, and a hint of danger to create the perfect setting for romance.
We are all date designers. Here are some ideas for a Toronto waterfront adventure.
Hiking to the Toronto Waterfront to Paddle Away Downtown
Hiking in Toronto doesn’t have to be an urban exercise. Exit the subway at High Park Station and trek south through this magnificent urban park, with the cherry trees in blossom in May, to end up at Summerside Pavillion on Lakeshore Ave W. There is a small cafe there with a terrific view of the waterfront beach.
On the east side of Toronto, you can always take a stroll along the boardwalk, but it’s much more exciting to hike specific trails around the top and bottom of the Scarborough bluffs. and while traversing along the escapement keep a camera ready to photograph nature and the breathtaking views (and to post a record of your adventures on social media of course!).
Secret Beaches in Toronto – Two at Bluffers Park
The eastern most beach at Bluffer’s Park is a secret jewel with vast stretches of white sand and low surf, and yet strangely it only seems busy on long weekends.
There are two different beaches to choose from when you get to the bottom of the Bluffer’s Park nature trail. You can go right or west (towards Toronto) when you get down the steepest road in T.O., Brimley Road South, and you will find the more natural beach with spectacular sheer face cliffs.
This location has been featured in many films. An Indian village was erected right on the beach for Love Guru, starring Mike Myers. There were lots of strange costumes, sets and even two elephants on the beach.
If we go left, or east from the walking trail we will eventually come to the one of the most spectacular beaches in all of the GTA, maybe even Ontario. The beach is over a kilometer long with white sand that’s perfect for making sandcastles. It’s safe for swimming and has never been shut down due to poor water quality. There’s no seaweed or rocks in the area. This is where we rented two paddle boards from SUP Toronto rental business.
SUP Toronto at the Beach
SUP is short for Stand Up Paddleboarding and it’s great exercise for the core of your body. By turning slightly to give power to every stroke the activity becomes a remarkable full body workout that burns more calories than walking or even jogging. The activity also gives you a fresh perspective on the water because it feels like you’re walking on the surface, and lets you look right down into the lake.
Stand up paddlers often wear a variety of wetsuits and other waterproof clothing depending on the temperature since most of their time is spent standing on the board. Without a suit or life jacket, the fear of falling in the water adds a thrill to the activity, and that hint of danger can strengthen a blossoming relationship between family members and romantic couples.
Top Places in Toronto to Rent Canoes
Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre has a reputation for being a bit expensive, but they are the most downtown rental enterprise. Canoe rentals are $30 by the hour or $60 for the full day. Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) rents general purpose canoes for $30 for the whole day, with each additional day added on at $20 per day, or you can rent for a full week for $140. The Complete Paddler near Islington and Evans Avenue at 919 Oxford Street is a highly specialized shop with a full range of water gear. They offer Kevlar Tripping Canoes to rent for $40 per day. All canoe rentals facilities include PFDs, paddles, and other safety equipment.
Cool Waterfront Restaurants in Toronto
Wind up the day eating dinner on the Toronto lake shore in a first class restaurant. Waterfront Deli at the other end of Queen’s Quay is just a short stroll north of the actual waterfront and offers an impressive selection of Chinese, pasta and fast-food dishes for an inexpensive but quick and filling lunch. This spot is very convenient for adventurers, especially if you’re waiting to board the next Toronto Island ferry.
Rectory Cafe is on the island, in the quiet residential area; this restaurant has a quaint lawn patio, a very homey indoor atmosphere complete with seat cushions and flowers and even an art gallery. The building itself has some historical significance; a former priest’s residence, it’s one of only two buildings on Ward’s not demolished by the city in the 1960s. For those who don’t have time for a sit-down lunch, there’s an outdoor snack bar, Rectory On The Run, open in the summer months.
Paint Nite on Polson Pier for the Perfect Ending
End the adventure with a two-hour painting party experience on Polson Pier by Paint Nite. An experienced artist will walk you step-by-step from a blank canvas to a masterpiece. For $145 each painter, you get canvas, paint, brushes and a smock. There’s a bar on site with drinks available for purchase.
The masterpiece you make that night will live forever in your house or apartment as a reminder of your Toronto waterfront adventure.