With the end of summer in sight, we've put together a list of things you should probably do before sweater weather makes its grisly appearance.
The CNE has begun its annual butter-sculpture-and-foods-on-sticks extravaganza. Smell that? It’s ragweed in full bloom. That’s right, Toronto: summer’s officially on its way out.
Official, that is, in the calendrical sense. While we’re clocking in at less than a month until the season’s official annual turnover (and are running short on days in which we’re theoretically allowed to wear white) we still have several weeks’ worth of warm afternoons ahead of us. And, while it’s certainly not too late to compile an end-of-summer FOMO list of your very own, we’ve drummed up a few very Torontoist suggestions for how to rediscover the city’s outdoor possibilities.
Burn Rubber on a Waterside Trail
Between the Don River Valley Trails and Humber Valley Trails, there are over 80 kilometres of multi-use recreational paths stretching eastward and westward at your disposal. While some people see these as an open invitation to test the speed potential of their e-bikes (bad!), these trails are especially useful for long bike rides. Whether you geek out hard on nature or need to nurture your inner jock, your suntan (and calves) will thank you for giving these trails a spin.
Watch a Free Film Outdoors
The Christie Pits Film Festival, Free Flicks at Harbourfront Centre, TIFF in Your Park , and a plethora of one-offs give locals the opportunity to catch free flicks al fresco all summer long. While these screenings typically trickle off with early September’s ceremonial end of summer, don’t dismay if you haven’t had a chance to catch one: TIFF in Your Park, for instance, spans until late-September in parks across the GTA.
Paddle to the Islands
Have you ever thought, while waiting in the crowded line for the Centre Island ferry, “I’d be better off paddling there myself?” Wonder no more: through Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre, you can rent a watercraft of your very own. A day-long rental will set you back $60–$100 depending on the device, but the glory of getting there with your own muscle-power is, assuredly, priceless. Keep in mind that if you wait until the lake temperature hits 13 degrees Celsius or lower (usually around October; you can check this site to keep tabs), you’ll be required to bring your own wetsuit.
Visit the Leslie Street Spit
Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit is an internationally recognized beacon of urban conservation gone right. Built on the discarded rubble of Toronto’s mid-20th-century building boom, the restored wetland habitat is home to some 316 species of birds in addition to turtles, mink, and fish that you can catch and even, we swear, actually eat. Plus, you can easily access the spit from the Martin Goodman and Waterfront trails.
Catch Shakespeare in the Park
Canadian Stage’s annual productions of Shakespeare in High Park have become a summertime staple, inviting spectators from across the city to pick at picnic suppers as they catch a bit of fresh air with their high culture. This year marks the festival’s 33rd season and features The Comedy of Errors and Julius Caesar. It runs until September 6.