Well, Torontonians, it's been a long three months, but things are finally starting to return to (kind of? sort of?) normal.
As of Friday, June 12, parts of the province are entering into Stage 2 of reopening the economy, and while this doesn't include Toronto just yet, things are definitely starting to look up. And the timing couldn't be better, as warm weather has finally descended on the city, giving us even more reasons to head outside.
Luckily for residents, Toronto has dedicated over 50 km of 'Quiet Streets' across the city that are closed to vehicles, giving people more room to stretch their legs and enjoy the outdoors.
But in case you're looking for areas where you won't have to worry about dodging pedestrians or cyclists, there are plenty of other areas in the city where you can find great scenic routes, which are ideal for runners looking to switch up their usual running route.
Read on to learn about the neighbourhoods that should definitely make your running shortlist.
There's so much to see in the Queen West neighbourhood of Toronto that you'll probably forget you're even running at all. Rather than confining your run solely to this super trendy area, make it your starting point, then head through Liberty Village, King West Village, and the Entertainment District. From there, you can loop back to Queen West and enjoy any number of treats available at all the unique eateries and cafes following run.
Out of all the runner's trails in the great city of Toronto, perhaps the Martin Goodman Trail in Ashbridges Bay is the most popular, and for good reason. But it's no easy feat if you plan to cover every inch of the trail, as it's a good 56 km and covers the entire lakefront from one end of Toronto to the other.
If you're up for it, start at Exhibition Place and go all the way until you hit the Humber River. Otherwise, you can always do the best part of the trail by Ashbridges Bay for a decent 6 kms while enjoying glorious views of the water and some beach vibes.
With more than 400 acres of lush greenery and beautiful gardens in High Park, this is a great place to spend the day running. You'll certainly never run out of ground to cover!
High Park extends from Bloor Street West to The Queensway and offers fabulous trails for all levels of runners. Keep things easy on flat grounds and stick to the roadways, or ramp up your heart rate and take to the steep hills for a more advanced run. Or else, make High Park your starting point along the Lakeshore for even better views.
You could literally start and end your run anywhere along Yonge Street, all the way from Eglinton to the north down to the Queen's Quay to the south. Otherwise, pick and choose any spot along this stretch for a great run. No matter where you end up stopping, there will likely be some fabulous spot to grab a beverage and healthy snack to rejuvenate your body after all that activity.
Leaside is one of those neighbourhoods that has a vast trail network, offering something for everyone when it comes to getting out and being active. You can take to the trails starting either at Sunnybrook Park, Serena Gundy Park, or Wilket Creek Park, then meander through the trails and check out the glorious greenery and animal life along the way.
For more views of the lake while getting in your run, head over to the popular Sunnyside area of Toronto, where you'll no doubt be met with other active individuals taking advantage of the path along Lake Ontario. Start your run at Humber Bay Bridge and do a 4 km run until you hit the Martin Goodman Trail.
If you're looking for a longs stretch of open road, the Beltine Trail in Moor Park is a great option. The 9 km trail consists of three sections, the York Beltline Trail west of Allen Road, the Kay Gardner Beltline Park from the Allen to Mount Pleasant Road, and the Ravine Beltline Trail south of Mount Pleasant Cemetery through the Moore Park Ravine, giving you plenty of route options.
With files from Lisa Rennie.