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High Park

Afternoon Delight: Places to Pinic in the City

HEAD OUTSIDE FOR A LANGUID DAY AT THE PARK WITH THESE GRAB-AND-GO OPTIONS.

 

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Grab some shade and enjoy one of Toronto’s parks.

High Park and Sorauren Avenue Park:

Juicy burgers from The Rude Boy provide an alternative to sandwiches. Salads, fries, onion rings and even fish and chips are also on the menu here for an indulgent feast.

Queen’s Park:

Be sure to grab some lunch from Pusateri’s, just two subway stops—or a pleasant 12-minute walk—from this park just south of Museum Station before you stake out the perfect spot among the many historic statues and monuments.

Christie Pits:

Tacos El Asador (689 Bloor St. W., 416-538-9747), has been a Koreatown staple for years. And with good reason: quick, cheap and delicious, the authentic burritos, pupusas and tacos are muy bueno.

Trinity Bellwoods:

H bar (859 Queen St W., 647-352-4227provides a basket fully stocked with the picnic menu options of your choice, a blanket, and a Frisbee. If you’re in need of a sugar fix don’t resist Nadege, which serves not only sweets, but also take-away lunch combos.  —Karen Stevens

 

Where in Toronto: Springin’ Forward

Spend a sunny spring day exploring the Evergreen Brick Works (photo by Craig Moy)

This week, seemingly just as I had become comfortable using it, I left the sheltered PATH system in favour of my original ground-level route between Union Station and Where‘s offices on Queen Street. I traded my Ugg boots for flats, switched my winter coat for a light spring jacket and strutted up Yonge Street. With the sun in my face and the snow gone (or rather, averted), it seemed as though hibernation season had ended. Thermometers have already donned double-digit temperatures, after all—the sort of warmth we don’t typically feel until April; It’s only mid-March, but the timing is perfect to get a head start on spring.

What’s the first thing to do under these conditions?
Get out. Out of the house, the office, wherever. Just
get outside. We don’t get much time to spend outdoors, comfortably at least, so it’s best to take advantage of the few months we do get. And Toronto has a plethora of ways that city dwellers can enjoy
the pleasant weather. (more…)

Staff Picks: Our 10 Favourite Spots for an Autumn Stroll

Toronto isn’t all concrete, cars and skyscrapers. A walk through one of the city’s greenspaces can be a refreshing break from everything urban. Let your feet crunch on some trails and crane you neck toward the trees while enjoying one or more of our ten favourite spots for an autumn stroll.

There are plenty of opportunities to see the fall colours in Toronto (photo by Craig Moy)

East Don River Trail
See the East Don River completely devoid of railways and expressways as you walk this path just west of Leslie Street, between Steeles and Sheppard avenues. Maple and willow trees rise above the undergrowth where foxes and other wildlife make their home.

High Park
Steps away from High Park and Dundas West subway stations, the city’s largest public park is home to forests, Chinese gardens and wildlife galore (not to mention a small zoo). Keep a camera handy to snap shots of one the park’s waterfalls, and stroll alongside Grenadier Pond and see ducks, geese, grebes, and maybe a frog or two.

Humber Arboretum
Natural areas and ornamental gardens are open for your strolling pleasure at the Humber Arboretum, located on the West Humber River at Humber College’s North Campus (205 Humber College Blvd). A relaxing jaunt along the trails and boardwalk will take you through forests, meadows and wetlands. You’ll also get to inspect the work of the school’s horticulture apprenticeship students, who maintain landscape design projects on the grounds.

Kay Gardner Belt Line Trail
What used to be commuter railway line in the 1890s is now a gorgeous, tree-lined path through Forest Hill. Runners, dog-walkers and even some folks on bicycles share this path that runs between the Eglinton West and Davisville TTC stations.

Rosedale Ravine
You’re at the hub of Midtown Toronto. Shoppers and workers pack the sidewalks. If only there was some way out! You duck down Heath Street East, descend a staircase, and find yourself beside a creek in the middle of a forest. The ravine holds diverse wildlife, woods, and wildflowers; perfect for your urban escape.

Rouge River Park
For a more rustic stroll, take on the trails at the Rouge River Park near the Toronto Zoo. Walk through wooded areas, peaceful meadows and lush wetlands. Just be prepared to share the space with foxes, rabbits, squirrels, muskrats and woodchucks.

Scarborough Bluffs
Towering 65 metres over the shore of Lake Ontario, the Scarborough Bluffs offer some stunning natural scenery in the city’s east end. At the foot of Brimley Road, Bluffers Park walking trail wends through parkland and naturalized areas in between the cliffs (formed by erosion of the packed clay firmament) to the north and water to the south.

Sherwood Park
The path in this uptown retreat (east and west of Bayview Avenue, just south of Blythwood Road) will lead you through grassy and wooded areas for a relaxing reconnection with nature. You can follow the trickling stream or stretch your legs on gentle hills if you want to get off the main trail.

Sunnyside Beach
Feel the cool breeze coming off Lake Ontario on your stroll along Sunnyside Beach.  The path here is part of the Waterfront Trail network and leads through parkland alongside sandy and grassy beaches. The offshore breakwaters make perfect perching places for gulls, ducks and migrating geese.

The Toronto Islands
Enjoy a ferry ride and a leisurely amble on a trip to Centre Island, where you can stroll along the boardwalk between Ward’s Island and Hanlan’s Point. You’ll pass sand dunes, ponds, lighthouses, and of course the waves of Lake Ontario are in full view along the way.

Weekend Roundup, April 8th to 10th

Friday: Marvel at the Harlem Globetrotters' amazing basketball skills

Friday, April 8
For more than 84 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have dazzled fans of sports and showmanship around the world, even presidents and popes. This weekend, they’re dusting off their best moves for three shows at the Rogers Centre: tonight at 7:30 p.m., and tomorrow (April 9) at 2 and 7 p.m.

Kicking off another spring is the Total Health Convention and Exhibition, taking place this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and featuring more than 200 exhibitors. Attendees can also hear from 60-plus speakers on topics like “The Ancient Healing Art of Ayurvedic” or “Health Effects of Genetically Modified Foods.” Don’t miss the gourmet organic café or the spa oasis!

Learn about and celebrate the traditions of First Nations peoples at Survival of the Indigenous Spirit. The fundraiser will take place at the University of Toronto’s Innis Town Hall offers talks by Anishnabe spiritual leader Dave Courchene and Survivorman Les Stroud. Proceeds support the Vision Quest & Makoose Ka Win project.

Saturday: Kids will enjoy seeing Bugs "conduct" the orchestra

Saturday, April 9
Bring the kids to a classical concert they may actually enjoy, as the Sony Centre and Warner Bros. presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony. Two showings (at 2 and 7 p.m.) feature the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony performing live while Bugs Bunny at the Symphony and other classic cartoons are projected on the big screen.

Massey Hall welcomes a Canadian music legend tonight, as iconic singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn plays songs from his latest studio album, Small Source of Comfort, and, possibly such past hits as “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.”

Starting today, Veggielicious takes place at more than 20 restaurants and bakeries across Toronto. Specials on vegan dishes or prix fixe menus are on offer at establishments such as Bunner’s Bake Shop—where you can get a Veggielicious Snack Pack for $7.50—and Live Organic Food Bar, where for $25 you can experience a three-course 100 per cent vegan meal.

Sunday: Colborne Lodge offers family Fun (photo by Bobolink)

Sunday, April 10
Get a head start on all the family fun at Easter Traditions at Colborne Lodge, taking place from noon to 4 p.m. Kids and families can tour High Park’s historic Colborne Lodge while they learn and participate in 19th-century Easter traditions like dyeing and hunting for eggs.

For old and young alike, stamp collectors will enjoy spending the day at the National Postage Stamp Show at Exhibition Place’s Queen Elizabeth Building. Check out the North Toronto Stamp Club’s annual show, meet with dealers from across Canada, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., and participate in prize draws.

Three exciting Asian-inspired exhibitions beckon visitors to the Textile Museum of Canada: Beauty Born of Use: Natural Rainwear from China and Japan showcases the historical use of natural elements like straw, bark, vines, and seaweed to create waterproof and eco-friendly clothing; artist Kai Chan’s A Spider’s Logic brings together common household items reminiscent of his Chinese upbringing to create nature-inspired elements; and, new to the museum, Silk Oasis on the Silk Road: Bukhara displays a collection of ikats and silks from Central Asia’s textile- and history-rich Silk Road.

Hot Dining: Whole Hog

Adherents of sustainable, snout-to-tail dining have another restaurant at which to indulge a meaty craving in Toronto. In the homey Roncesvalles neighbourhood, Lardon serves up hearty helpings of seasonal fare, including classics like duck confit ($24), lamb shank ($27) and Cornish hen ($23). Those seeking more esoteric offerings can look into such locally sourced dishes as beef cheeks ($19), rabbit ragu ($20) and maple-bacon ice cream ($9). Regardless of your preference, the comfort cuisine and cozy ambience provide welcome respite from the cool weather—best enjoyed after a winter walk through nearby High Park.

Hot Date: Retelling Romeo

The Dream in High Park's outdoor stage (photo by Chris Gallow)

TO SEPTEMBER 5 In the heart of Toronto’s picturesque High Park, Shakespeare’s famous drama, Romeo and Juliet, takes shape in a modern play-within-a-play adaptation created for the Canadian Stage TD Dream in High Park, an annual summer-theatre tradition. This year’s offering sees travelling performers stranded at a Verona train station; to pass the time, the thespians break into a retelling of the Bard’s romantic tragedy, utilizing items such as iPods and suitcases as props on the outdoor stage. High Park Amphitheatre, Tuesday to Sunday, 8 p.m., pay-what-you-can admission (suggested minimum $20), children 14 and under free; call 416-367-1652 or visit here for more information.

Frugal Faves: High Park Walking Tour and Devilicious

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto helps you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket. Check back each week for our thrifty tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more.

Enjoy the autumn colours while strolling in High Park (photo by bensonkua).

Enjoy the autumn colours while strolling in High Park (photo by bensonkua).

An Autumn Stroll in High Park
Spend a leisurely morning on a free walking tour of High Park, Toronto’s impressive, 398-acre public greenspace. The moderately paced hike traverses the park’s wooded trails and explores its extensive ravines and gardens, giving city-dwellers a chance to reconnect with nature. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the impressive fall foliage, and remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Tours run every second and forth Sunday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Meet at the benches just south of the Grenadier Café. For more information call 416-392-1748, ext. 5 or email walkingtours@highpark.org.


Pull up a chair at Fuzion for a scary-good meal deal.

Pull up a chair at Fuzion for a scary-good meal deal.

Trick or Treat Yourself to a Devilishly Good Meal
Hoping for a hell of deal on your next dinner out? Head to the Church Wellesley Village for its Devilicious culinary tour.  As part of the neighbourhood’s annual Halloweek festival, Byzantium, Fuzion and other popular restaurants in the area will be offering wickedly discounted prix fixe menus featuring delectable Halloween-themed dishes. After you’ve finished your meal, wander through the village and check out fabulously frightening decor displays in retailers’ windows.

The Devilicious culinary tour runs October 24 to October 31. For a list of all participating restaurants click here or call 416-393-6363.