"Running thru the 6ix with my woes"
Now that it is summer time in Canada there are more and more people going for a runs around the city. Whether you are an avid runner or just getting started, finding a great place to run in a concrete jungle can be difficult (especially with all the crazy city drivers and traffic). Here is a list of the top places to run in city.
1. The Key Gardiner Belt Line Trail
A 7KM-14KM shaded dirt/gravel packed trail that runs alongside Eglinton Ave and Chaplin Rd in Midtown, Toronto. The Belt-Line is generally flat route with a low gradient with only a couple traffic light stops at Bathurst and Avenue Rd. From this trail you can also connect to Evergreen Brickworks, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Don Valley Trail, and Prospect Cemetery. I would strongly recommend the Belt-Line for any run and specifically your long run!
2. Cedarvale Park
A well-shaded ravine/park that runs between St-Clair and Eglinton Ave. About a 2km single gravel/concrete track that runs north-south running by dog parks, baseball diamonds, cricket fields and hockey rinks. Cedarvale Park has a bunch of trail loops that you can add in for extra distance or elevation gain. Although Cedarvale has its pros, it also has its cons as there is a lot of dogs running around off leash and it can get hilly in some areas. You can access Cedarvale Park from Bathurst, St Clair, Eglinton or Vaughan Rd
3. Sunnybrook Park
Sunnybrook Park is more than a just a great running spot. This beautiful park ground also has tons of space for picnics, dog parks and it even has a horse stable??? Ultimately, you'll never be bored running through this stretch of greenery. This main trail runs just under 5 km long and takes you from Sunnybrook Hospital, through Sunnybrook Park, through Edward Gardens and out through the scenic Bridle Path. The main loop has a bunch of off trail options like Cedarvale Park where you can go for longer loops for mileage.
4. High Park & The Waterfront Trail
These two routes might be the most popular and populated (see * below) running destinations in the city, but they definitely live up to the hype. The Waterfront Trail is as it sounds, running alongside Lake Ontario and Lakeshore Blvd for many miles all the way from the Toronto Beaches to Etobicoke. High Park can be accessed from Bloor St W. or Colborn Lodge Dr, from there you can run to Ontario Place or continue along Lake Shore Blvd Trail. High Park is the biggest Park in the city of Toronto with a 8KM loop that runs around it. Like Sunnybrook, High Park also has many smaller loops inside. It is a beautiful spot to run on a nice spring or summer day as long as you avoid the tourists!
*** If you are looking to run either of these routes I would strongly suggest going either early in the morning or later at night to avoid high traffic, hot weather and tourists.
5. Toronto Island and Tommy Thompson Park
Running on Toronto Island is probably the most beautiful route where you can really take in Toronto and everything the city has to offer. Warning, this route is VERY seasonal (as it can only be accessed in the summer when the Islands are not flooded). You can access Toronto Island by taking the ferry over to Centre Island, then heading along main avenue of the Island to Lakeshore Ave, and then run all the way to the end of the island and loop back along Cibola Ave. If you complete the full loop it should total out to about 7km! Tommy Thompson Park is a bit more accessible for longer runs as it can be accessed from Leslie St or Cherry Beach, and runs from about 5KM along the one and only Lake Ontario. These are two routes I would strongly recommend Toronto runners or runners visiting Toronto to try!
Ultimately, Toronto is a beautiful city to run in when the weather is warm. So go out there and enjoy the sun and the running spots the city has to offer!