With all the parks, running trails and boardwalks situated around the city, it’s tempting to forgo the indoor gym and do your workout under the gorgeous blue skies. Luckily, Toronto offers several green spaces——some known like the Beltline Trail and others kept well hidden——to grab a quick workout, lengthy stair climb or even a circuit in the park. We’ve put on our fitness gear and scoured the city for the best hidden spots to grab a non-traditional outdoor sweat.
Fitness circuit in the park
Now you can workout at your local park with a complete fitness circuit and equipment like rowing machines, ellipticals and leg presses. While the kiddies play, the adults can get moving thanks to the “green gyms” installed in several Toronto-area playgrounds including Woodbine Beach Park, Julius Deutsch Park and Sally Bird Park in the Annex. The cardio equipment is completely free with multiple workout stations, and set up right next to the monkey bars. It’s definitely an adults playground out there.
Outdoor stair climb
There’s no need to hit up the gym for a stair machine when Toronto offers several secret staircases. One of the best is the Baldwin Steps at Spadina Park, located at the foot of Davenport and leading up to Casa Loma. With a backdrop of Toronto’s majestic castle, the multi-level staircase is packed with both runners and walkers grabbing a quick but very challenging climb. Other stair workouts around the city include Sunnyside Park, Riverdale Park West at the Don Valley and Sir Winston Churchill Park.
Steep hill runs
While Toronto is mainly flat, there are a few steep hills around the city great for running and biking. The brutal hill on Bathurst Street, just north of Davenport is a favourite scenic running route for locals. There’s an impressive street mural on the west side of Bathurst, an artistic piece that spans the entire block, commissioned by the city’s Transportation Services for $23,000. Also check out the winding street on Pottery Road, the hill on Avenue to St. Clair, Redway Road near the Sewage Treatment Plant and the ski hill at Earl Bales Park in North York. Want more? Here’s a list of more steep routes.
What are your favourite spots to grab an outdoor sweat?