There's some kind of magical force that brings people outside in the summer (ahem, patio szn). But when the sun is shining sometimes that primal instinct kicks in and you need more than just the sight of concrete. You want trees, you want parks, you want the beautiful (and admittedly murky) Lake Ontario to unleash your inner nature lover (or at least get a pic of you doing something other than going down to King St. for your insta).
We're so lucky in Toronto to be surrounded by so many amazing things, and I'm not just talking about your fire tinder game around the Financial District come power hour. We got landmarks! We got views! We got lakes, parks, trees and all the stuff that make people realize there was once a world before condos. So grab your BFF this summer and see all the 6ix really has to offer.
1. Take a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) Yoga class at TISUP (Toronto Island Stand Up Paddle Boarding)
Take in the views of Lake Ontario and the jaws of your haters dropping as you gracefully whip out your warrior 2 on your paddle board. TISUP also offers rentals and lessons so if you don't feel like getting your zen on just yet, you can still switch up the typical scene of your weekly catch up with your BFF. Ummmm, can you say oooomm?
2. Checks out the sweet and savoury at a local farmers market
Grab your bestie, your shades, and get ready to spend hours browsing some of the amazing produce and sweets Ontario has to offer. Toronto Farmer's markets prove that it's not all vegetables, from drool worthy sweets to savoury breads - you'll never want to leave! Food brings people together after all, so head on down to one of these amazing farmers markets and let the tasting begin.
3. Go outdoor Go Karting at Go Karts At Polson Pier
Finally, a place to drive in Toronto where you won't be cursing at cyclists or giving a passive aggressive wave to other drivers. Best part? The outdoor track at Polson Pier is (duh) right by the water, giving you the perfect views of the city. Not that you'll need that though, you'll be too focused on lapping your BFF (well, trying too).
4. Have a picnic at any one of these beautiful spots!
Hands down one of the most underrated summer activities. We live on brunches in this city, but that also comes with a high price tag. Why not save some money and take in the beautiful summer sun at gorgeous locations around the city. You won't have to wait to snag the perfect table, there's a variety of settings for all diners, from people watching or finding a quiet spot. Packing your own food has never been so ~hip~.
5. Take a skyline boat cruise on Lake Ontario
I'M ON A BOAT (and yes we, along with Lonely Island, would love some credit for that insta caption). Lake Ontario isn't a tease like your last bae, it's there for us to love and experience! Mariposa Cruises offers a variety of options for any BFF pairing, from sight seeing to wine and dine tours, it's the perfect summer night!
7. Listen to beautiful live music at the Toronto Music Gardens!
The Harbourfront Centre is a mecca of entertainment, culture, and art; and it's only proving that with the return of the Summer Music In The Garden series! From showcasing unreal exhibitions, to throwing dances (and fire parties), look no further than their FREE summer music nights for the best fusion of live music and the great vibes of the outdoors that'll have you and your BFF feeling classy AF.
8. Play Volleyball at Ashbridges Bay
Let us paint you a little picture. Summer 6ixteen, you and your BFF head down to the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario and see a hottie playing some beach volleyball. You head to the neighbouring court, and their ball accidentally flies into your court. I know what you're thinking, and no this isn't the start of a romantic comedy. Head down to the beach to have some fun, meet some friends and practice that serve. 11 nets are publically avaliable all year round, every day. There's also the OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association) that has leagues and permits to many courts, rent one here. If you need to buy a net or volleyball (net only if you're renting a court that doesn't have one!), check out Beach Toyz!
9. Check out the variety of shows Arts In The Parks offers around the city
This summer the Toronto Arts Foundation is giving you a chance to unleash your inner artist, nay, artiste. They're bringing artists from around different communities to local parks to showcase anything and everything to do with art. From theatre performances, movies, dancing, art instillations and so much more experience something new this summer that'll make you feel tres artistic.
10. Go to an outdoor movie screening
There's nothing better than you and you're best friend chilling in the park. OH WAIT, add in a movie and it just got better. With free movies all over the city this summer, all you have to do is decide which genre it's going to be this week. Here's a list of places to check out! Pssst, make sure to hit the Sail-In Cinema for an epic flick on a floating screen.
11. Rave at Veld
It's rachet in the best way possible, it's bumping, and it's filled with crop tops, neon and most importantly an UNREAL list of DJ's; it's Veld. Returning to Toronto this year is one of the cities favourite EDM festivals, this year featuring Martin Garrix, Kygo, The Chainsmokers and SO much more. Buy single or two day tickets here!
12. Go Sport Fishing at Scarborough Bluffs
The Scarborough Bluffs is Toronto's version of Narnia minus the closet. Drive about 30 minutes from the core and you've found yourself in what seems like a new world (minus mythical creatures, unless you count the spandex clad running groups as those). Who knows, maybe you'll catch one of those creatures. Either way, it'd be a pretty hilarious to switch your typical Netflix routine and be able to give a wild card answer to, "so what did you get up too this weekend?". Epic Sportfishing will help you answer that question pretty well. Pro tip, celebrate your winning reel in's with a beer at Bluffer's Restaurant!
13. Go hiking at any one of these trails
Even if you're not a leaf's fan, you're sure to be a fan of the real leafs through any Toronto hiking trail (see what I did there?!). Grab you're shoes, your BFF, and set out on a beautiful trail for an amazing summer adventure.
14. Go kayaking or canoeing
So you may not have Noah from The Notebook to paddle you around, but a day spent on the lake with your BFF sounds like an amazing option to us. An ideal way to see our beautiful skyline on your own terms, and an even better way to make some memories with your bestie. Head down to the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre to rent your gear!
15. Go for a scenic bike ride one of these beautiful routes
Go in your spandex and professional grade racing bike or go in your flip flops and cruising bike; either style you choose is sure not to disappoint. When was the last time you didn't have to deal with TTC or angry commuters anyway? You and your BFF will have a blast letting the wind fly through your (helmet covered) hair and taking in the scenery. Here are a variety of places around the city to rent bikes!
16. Play a free round of disc golf
It's the low key version of golf that we love, but of course your and your BFF can add the sass. Instead of aiming at small holes in the ground you attempt to through your frisbee into baskets in as little throws as possible. Harder than you would think, but try it out for yourself and let us know! Here's the map to find your first tee.
17. Grab a drink and enjoy patio season at one of these vibing places!
Hey, it's called an outdoor patio for a reason.
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