Practicing social distancing can be difficult and sometimes even lonely, especially if you are an active person who enjoys outdoor activities with friends. If you live in Toronto, however, there are some things you can still do to make the burden of social distancing a little easier and take in nature at the same time.

Although most public areas are empty and the city is quiet, getting in a walk or a quick run in a low-risk area is a great way to improvise.  Here are some of Toronto’s best parks where you can still visit during these uncertain times.

Etiénne Brûle Park

Just north of One Bloor West sits Etiénne Brûle Park. Rich in history, this park is named after an early French explorer, Etiénne Brûle, the first explorer to venture beyond the St. Lawrence River into what we now know as Ontario.   Today, you can explore the park and its expansive green space along the Humber River.  Make sure to carve some time out for fishing or to read a book by the water.

High Park

Located on the west-end, this park is home to the High Park Zoo, which is unfortunately closed right now.  Don’t let the zoo closure deter you from visiting.  The west-end park boasts a ton of natural serenity with tree-lined walkways, waterfront views and cherry blossoms. Here you can even check out several different hiking trails for some much needed exercise.

Rouge Urban National Park

For the more experienced adventurer, there’s always a trip to Rouge Urban National Park where you can find plenty of hiking trails throughout the park.  Since all visitors services are suspended right now, there is no entry free to the park; however, it is best to take extra safety precautions when enjoying the trails.

Downsview Park

Downsview Park is located in northwest Toronto at Dufferin and the Allen Road.  The urban greenspace is full of cycling routes, walking trails, ponds and wildlife. Look up and you are likely to spot a hawk or other bird of prey soaring above you. Deer, squirrels and rabbits enjoy the fields and forest; while groundhogs can be spotted along Carl Hall Road. The Park also features areas that offer space for individuals to enjoy leisurely activities including the Circuit Path, Lake, and Meadow and Mound to name a few.

Sunnybrook Park

Sunnybrook Park is a great place to spend an afternoon out of isolation. Located north of Leaside and south of The Bridle Path, Sunnybrook has 25 different biking trails and many different walking trails.

If you are missing nature and all that Toronto has to offer, it’s okay to get outdoors and take a walk in one of these parks.  It’ll do some good for your mental state and give you a break from Netflix at the same time.

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