Areas in Morningside Park are part of the #TDCommonGround Project
After nearly thirty years of living in downtown Toronto, I currently live the furthest north in the city that I’ve ever lived and it’s one tiny street above Queen Street (but still south of Dundas). Yup, I am a true downtown kid and I’ve always been pretty open about the fact that I am 100% that annoying Torontonian who lives in a boxed-in surface area that does not often include anything north of Bloor Street, east of Carlaw, west of Dufferin or south of King.
While I of course know of neighbourhoods and areas outside of these defining major streets (and sometimes I even visit them too!), I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that there is a truly huge amount of my hometown of Toronto that I don’t know at all.
Case in point: Morningside Park. I had honestly never even heard of Morningside Park until earlier this summer, and demanded to know why my Scarberian boyfriend had never told me about, or taken me to, Toronto’s biggest (and arguably most beautiful) park that’s located in Scarborough.
Within a couple of months I’ve now been to visit twice, and I can honestly say it’s one of my new favourite things about living in this amazing city. If you have yet to visit Morningside Park, here are a few key reasons why you should:
It’s Toronto’s Biggest Park
Like many people in Toronto, I’ve always thought that High Park in the west side of the city was the biggest park in the six. Surprisingly, it’s actually Morningside Park in Scarborough that is Toronto largest park by area, covering nearly 600 acres of land.
It’s Quiet (and Underused)
One of the reasons I often avoid going to High Park is that it can feel like being in the mall on the weekend (aka total mayhem). When I’m not working and socializing, I love to be alone and need lots of space around me, especially when it comes to hanging out in beautiful, natural settings. If you can relate, then Morningside Park is a place for you too. Despite being Toronto’s largest park, it also happens to be the city’s most underused park — almost like a secret park that no one knows about, yet. Kinda sad for the park, but amazing for anyone who doesn’t want to be around other people.
The Area is Part of The #TDCommonGround Project
The only reason I was introduced to Morningside Park was because of my friends at TD. I’m serious. The reason I found out through TD is because of their amazing #TDCommonGround Project that’s supporting 150 grassroots initiatives across the country to celebrate Canada 150. In Toronto, their focus is on helping to bring development to the park that will help increase traffic, support education and help mother nature do her thing. To give you an example, Toronto and Region Conservation have announced their plans to create a unique area for community celebration and pollinator education at Morningside Park.
It’s Home to the Highland Creek
During my first visit to the park, one of my immediate reactions was “Holy sh*t, there’s a freaking RIVER here!?” It’s not just any river either, it’s the Highland Creek that’s not only beautiful, but home to several species of fish including trout, carp, bass and salmon!
It’s Freaking Stunning
While many parks in Toronto can be described simply as a giant patch of grass, Morningside Park offers huge trees, hiking, the river (of course!) and even some rock climbing (depending on where you’re walking). If you, like me, often crave escaping the city to spend time in nature (without the noise, and the traffic), this park is one of the quickest ways I’ve found to feel as through you’re far away from it all, even though it’s just a 20 minute drive from the downtown core.
It’s a Drive, But There’s Free Parking
Unfortunately for those of us downtowners who live a car-less life (I don’t even know how to drive, yet), there really isn’t any way to get to this beautiful park other than driving. If you can rent a car or find a friend to drive you, a perk is that you can at least enjoy lots of free parking lots while you’re there.
It’s Near Some of Scarborough’s Best Food
Most of my travel destinations always revolve around food tours, and travelling to a park in the middle of Scarborough is no exception. Some of the city’s best ethnic foods can be found in Scarborough, so be sure to look up a few key spots to visit for snacks you can enjoy before or after.