Even though we live in a major growing city, we are very fortunate to have many parks where we can go relax, read, exercise or walk our dogs. Here is a list of the GTA’s top 10 parks as compiled by Toronto Life Magazine.

1. Corktown Common

East of Bayview Avenue, South of King Street E

The Corktown Common is the neighbourhoods most eye-catching development. The 18-acre park is extremely practical because the topography of the park is designed to protect downtown from flooding. It offers meandering trails, bike paths, a boardwalk and off-leash dog area.


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2. Chinguacousy Park

Bramalea Road and Queen Street E, Brampton

Established in the early 70s, the newly renovated 100-acre site offers a plethora of amenities including tennis courts, a man-made ski hill and ponds for paddle boating. Some new features of the park include a skate park, BMX track and contemporary ski chalet.

 

3. Neshama Playground

Off Chaplin Crescent, west of Yonge Street

Opened in 2012, the playground is the first of its kind – offering equipment specially designed for children with disabilities. The park includes playhouses, swings, teeter-totters, a rope tower, a gigantic xylophone, and splash pad.

 

4. Fort York

Garrison Road, west of Bathurst Street

The 220-year-old battlement was used for military training during WWI and WWII. The site has been underappreciated, mostly due to its location. However, there are great plans for the site in the coming years with expansions set to sprawl out under the expressway.

 

5. Lower Don Trail

Pottery Road to Cherry Beach

Offering a scenic bike and walking trail that winds alongside the highway. The city is also working on a 10 year revitalization plan to link Toronto’s trails and ravines.

 

6. Rouge National Urban Park

Spans Markham, Pickering and Toronto

More than 47 square kilometers of land is being preserved in the east end. This vast expansion offers a campground, more than 700 plant species, 225 types of birds and 55 kinds of fish and is easily accessible by public transit.

Rouge National Urban Park by Hudson HaydenPhotograph: Hudson Hayden

 

7. June Callwood Park

Bastion Street. South of Fort York

With plans to open in 2014, the bubblegum pink coloured playground will encourage urban engagement. The park also includes fuscia benches, crabapple and peony trees as well as a sound art installation that works off cloud movement to create an innovative environment.

 

8. Jean Sibelius Square Park

Kendal Ave and Bernard Ave

Situated in a lively neighbourhood square; the park offers open green space with new paths, big shady trees for a summertime picnic and playground with climbing structure.

Jean Sibelius Square Park by Hudson HaydenPhotograph: Hudson Hayden

 

9. Mist Garden

Yorkville Ave West of Yonge

The rose garden sans roses, this parkette situated next to the Four Seasons Hotel features granite pathways and hedges in the shape of a stylized petal pattern. The park was designed by Claude Cormier, the same architect as Sugar Beach and the Brick Works. Along the eastern edges is a mechanism that sprays a thick mist into the garden every 10 minutes creating a fog-swept atmosphere.

 

10. Valley Park Cricket Field

Don Mills Rd and Overlea Blvd

This brand new park includes a publicly accessible cricket field, running track, limestone amphitheatre, and urban forest just off the green. An environmentally conscious designed park where the field drains into a wetland planted with a multitude of trees also doubles as a place where children can learn about conservation.