Do you constantly find yourself walking on a cramped sidewalk surrounded by people with construction going on all around? Ahh, downtown Toronto. It can be a lot to take, especially around Union Station and areas heavily condensed with shoppers and people travelling to work. It's a bit of a love-hate relationship with the craziness going on in the downtown core: Sure, you feel like you're a real Torontonian and the city lights can be beautiful, but it may not be the best spot to get away and clear your head from all the hustle and bustle.\nWith this list I've composed of places to explore, I pray you find some temporary tranquility and relaxation time.\nPhoto cred - jvleung\n1. Waterfront Trail at Harbourfront\n235 Queens Quay W\nOne of my favorite spots to get away from the busy city is actually right in the downtown core. Taking a stroll, bike ride, or roller blading along the boardwalk on the waterfront trail around the harbour as the day settles into the evening is one of the more serene spots to go. Bring a blanket to picnic with the view of Lake Ontario to really put you at peace.\nCheck out other events Harbourfront Centre has going on here.\n2. Crothers' Woods\nCrothers Woods Trail\nThere's nothing quite more peaceful than getting lost in a quiet forest to take your mind off everyday stresses. Located in East York, Crothers' Woods is a standout gem in Toronto year-round, and especially in the autumn when the leaves are changing.\nThe City of Toronto's Trails and Nature page tells more on the beautiful woodland.\nPhoto cred - Lizabeth Bennett\n3. Scarborough Bluffs\nScarborough Bluffs Park\nOne of the most gorgeous spots to go outside of the downtown core is the Bluffs. The scenic cliffs and the water alone will take your breath away. Whether you like hiking, walking trails, or just parking in one spot to take glorious photographs - this is a Toronto must-see.\nCheck out some Yelp reviews of the Bluffs if you don't believe me. But believe me.\nPhoto cred - yoursgeographically\n4. Riverdale Park\n550 Broadview Ave\nOne of Toronto's great parks, Riverdale is a sweet spot to getaway for the day. With many sports fields, ball diamonds, a track, and an outdoor hockey rink spread around the large park, you'll be a set for a full day of activity. A major plus to Riverdale? Gorgeous view of the skyline to watch the sunrise or sunset for the day.\nMore info on Riverdale here.\nPhoto cred - Luqara\n4. High Park\n1873 Bloor St W\nYou can't be a native Torontonian and not know about High Park. It's just not possible. There is always so much happening at High Park - from cherry blossom season in the fall to the hiking trails around the waterfront to the park's zoo. High Park is also home to an off-leash dog park and yoga mindfulness classes to help you with those zen vibes for awhile. Shakespeare in the Park is coming to High Park this summer starting July 2nd through to September 6 for some evening fun in the 6.\nTo see more of what High Park has to offer, check their site out.\nPhoto cred - Victor Chadarov\n5. Polson Pier\n11 Polson St\nYou can drink your sorrows away at the Cabana Pool Bar. You can dance your heart out at the Sound Academy location. But if you're about that peace and quiet, I recommend just taking a stroll along the dock at the pier. The Toronto skyline is larger than life with the view, no photograph can completely capture the beauty of the experience at Polson Pier. Please, do yourself a favor and head to the islands. It'll take your breath and stress away for awhile.\nMore about Polson Pier's happenings here.\nPhoto cred - Wallace Gardens\n6. Toronto Music Garden at Harbourfront Centre\n479 Queens Quay W\nKeep it classy and head away over to the Music Garden - another stress-free spot around the downtown core. This luscious waterfront garden is Bach-inspired, and was even co-designed by famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Whether it be for the floral beauty around or to see the boats on the horizon, the Garden is a must-visit in the summer when it hosts summer concerts for Torontonians to hold true to its name.\nMore on the Music Garden.\nPhoto cred - Gail Aguiar\n7. Edwards Gardens\n755 Lawrence Ave E\nAn underrated botanical garden in Toronto. Flowers, trees, a beautiful pavillion, even a beautiful mini waterfall - what else do you need? It is a known spot for wedding photographs, so you know it's a spot to melt away any nagging worries you got goin' on.\nCheck out more on the Edwards Gardens here.\nPhoto cred - Dave Bottoms\n8. R.C Harris Water Treatment Plant\n2701 Queen St E\nTo anyone who hasn't been here before, this might be a kind of random thing to include on the list. However, this building is the apple to an architect's eye, Candyland to a historian, and simply beautiful to any visitor. This building that is often referred to as "the sparkling jewel by the lake" takes Lake Ontario's raw water to provide us with clean drinking water... so you owe it a visit. Farther from the business of downtown, this waterfront spot will grant you some serene scenery for a little while.\nFor more info on the Water Plant and its Canadian history, check out the site.\n9. Sherbourne Common\n61 Dockside Dr\nOne of Toronto's newer parks, Sherbourne Common is a absolute must-see. The park's splash pad becomes a large outdoor rink in the winter months that overlooks the Toronto skyline. Something to admire while getting in that physical activity - a stress reliever in itself! The park also doubles as a water storm management system that truly gives the park a unique look to stand out - win, win.\nYou can read more about Sherbourne Common and its growth here.\nPhoto cred - Stuart Duncan\n10. Humber Bay Arch Bridge\nSouth of Lakeshore Blvd W\nLocated between "Old Toronto" and Etobicoke, the Humber Bay Arch Bridge is one of Toronto's treasures. As a pedestrian and bicycle arc bridge, the breathtaking sight of the waves below and the changing colors in the sky is one that will put you in a tranquil trance.\nThe bridge's Facebook page, anyone?\nPhoto cred - Ian Muttoo\n11. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto\n61 Claireville Dr\nProbably the most gorgeous temple I've ever seen, quite possibly on the same level as the Taj Mahal. Yep I know the Taj is a world wonder, but I'm not even exaggerating. Every crevice of this hidden Toronto building is an architectural dream, and is 3000% worth hunting down and exploring with a booked tour visit.\nFor more info and pictures of this Hindu palace of worship, check out their site here.\nPhoto cred - Donna Leitch\n12. Chester Hill Lookout\n10 Chester Hill Rd\nGet away from the busy downtown core by going up and away - seriously. The Chester Hill Lookout is a peaceful spot to bring a special one or to enjoy some alone time. Downtown Toronto isn't typically the best place to stargaze, but the Chester Hill Lookout has your back on that one. It's a photographer's favorite spot, and witnessing the sunset at this angle of the skyline? Yeah, it's a wrap.\nWitness some of the view in a video here.\nThere's guaranteed to be tons more spots to get away, but here are a few places to start your adventures. Happy destressing, friends.