Summer is reaching the end of its tail, which means it's crunch time for a last minute vacation. But if you don't have the time or the money to jet off to Europe or LA or Jamaica, pull a staycation. Sometimes all you need is a pinch of perspective and a dash of imagination to fall back in love with your city. Whether you stay in the 6ix or travel a few hours out, you don't really have to leave to have a good time – you just need a duffle bag and Google Maps.
There's no doubt that Toronto is one of the greatest places in the world, and many would be blessed to live here…so why leave? Tdot has European taste, American flair and its own personality and here are some places that prove it:
Photo creds- @hannahgracereid
Eigensinn Farm // 449357 10th Concession
This is not your average farm. Michael Stadtlander and his wife, Nobuyo, run their own farm as a farm-to-table, multicourse dining experience. Stadtlander was ahead of his time by adopting a local, conscious cuisine before it was cool. Buddies with renown Canadian chef, Jamie Kennedy, the two opened the Toronto favorite, Scaramouche. Eigensinn Farm epitomizes organic in every sense of the word; ingredients are grown on his 100-acre land, including an in-house, aka in-farm, apiary. Statlander brings European farm life to Ontario with a journey of flavors in each course and farm animals roaming the grounds. Not to mention, it has been listed as one of the 10 best restaurants in 2002. This is the perfect spot to escape the city, enjoy good food and be surrounded by nature.
Photo creds- @larrbett
Scarborough Bluffs // 61 Under Cliff Dr.
If you just need a few hours of away time for a mental escape or a chilled beach day, the Bluffs is the place. Grab a towel, sit back and relax. A scaled down version is the closest thing to the Irish coastline Toronto will get and it ain't too shabby. Visiting this geologically blessed beach will make you forget that the CN Tower is only half an hour away. They say clear skies and clean waters result in a clear state of mind, so pack a picnic and head to the coast.
Photo creds- @nesbitt.sarah
Riverdale Farm // 201 Winchester St
This Cabbagetown farm features 3 hectares of land to visit animals, get some fresh air and chill out. Free admission allows you to see sheep, chickens, horses etc. be tended to across the land. Spend a lazy afternoon grazing in farmland, surrounded by the city.
Photo creds- @bhanuprassad
Don River Valley Trail // Lower Don River Trail
Sometimes all you need to do is walk it out. The Don River has multiple trails to escape the noisy city without really having to leave. Whether you prefer hiking or biking, you'll lose track of time relaxing by the trees. The DRV Trail's fragmented location makes it an underrated site; yet, it's full of diverse ecosystems, has vast park space and is conveniently close to Toronto. Spend your day-cation hiking from the Oak Ridges Moraine to Lake Ontario... don’t forget some trail mix, sunscreen and bandaids!
Photo creds- @queenjayde
Edwards Gardens // 755 Lawrence Ave E
One of Toronto's favorite botanical gardens, Edwards Gardens gets more beautiful with each passing season. Spending the weekend wondering between the water, shrubbery and flowers is escaping to an urban oasis. Edwards Gardens is easily accessible by public transit and a great place to picnic with friends. It's also a great place to take pictures, professional and for Instagram, obviously. If you're into botany, you'll have a field day (literally) surrounded by the diverse ecology of the plants and elements.
Photo creds- @aliyas_3
Metcalfe Rock // Metcalfe Rock, The Blue Mountains
You could imagine how beautiful Metcalfe Rock by its location in The Blue Mountains. All you need is a full tank of gas to go rock climbing, hiking, geocaching etc. In only a few hours, you'll be submerged in all of nature's glory. With multiple trails to choose from, you can mentally and physically retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Grab a few friends and go on an adventure or travel solo to unwind.
Photo creds- @g_liebe_koi
St. Lawrence Market // 92-95 Front St E
Though it's located deep in Toronto, St. Lawrence Market has European farmer's market vibes. Grabbing a peameal sandwich before work is an ideal way to kick start the day, or end it off by purchasing fresh, local flowers on your way home. The Market's history is abundantly rich in communal memories and industrious stories. You can find artisanal goods, delicious food and authentic people.
Photo creds- @joanngaiii
Sugar Beach // 11 Dockside Dr
If you haven't already been to Sugar Beach, you've definitely seen the pink umbrellas and bright sand pop up on your feed. Go from spending the day under the sun to partying at night this Dockside waterfront. When you look in front of you, you see water and when you look behind you, you see the urban jungle; Sugar Beach is bringing Miami to Toronto by infusing beach life with club life since you can go from one place to the other within a subway ride.
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