Toronto Waterfront Trail
Also known as the Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail, the Toronto Waterfront Trail is a long multi-use route that provides a great recreation space for people in the city to get out and enjoy the outdoors. This trail will take you along the shoreline of Lake Ontario from the Humber Bay to Harbour Square Park, providing access to countless public spaces, businesses, and recreation areas along the water’s edge. With little in the way of elevation gain, well-maintained paths, and beautiful scenery, this route is perfectly suited for a fun family outing in the city.
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- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Toronto Waterfront Trail
No matter how long the Toronto Waterfront Trail may be, it is still a heavily-trafficked urban route that is utilized by a variety of outdoor enthusiasts, commuters, and everyday people looking for a bit of respite from the chaotic nature of city life. That being said, there aren’t many other downsides to this awesome trail along the water’s edge. Be sure to arrive early to secure a parking space, otherwise, simply head a bit further down the trail to make use of a different access point.
With a route stretching from the car park at the edge of the Humber Bay to Harbour Square Park in the downtown core, an afternoon spent on the Toronto Waterfront Trail will expose you to beautiful lakeside scenery, stunning views of the Toronto skyline, and countless recreation spaces that you probably didn’t even know existed. Being a well-maintained multi-use trail that is relatively flat, there are nearly countless ways for you to get out on the trail with family or friends to enjoy the outdoors; so whether you are looking to walk, cycle, rollerblade, or skateboard, you’ll be sure to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Toronto Waterfront Trail.
Setting out from the car park, make your way to the northeast along the road for 20 m and pick up the path on the left. Head left at the junction to cross over the bridge and keep to the right to walk along the shoreline, enjoying the views across the water as you stroll through Humber Bay Shores Park. Shortly after passing the scenic vantage point at Sheldon’s Lookout, you will come to the Humber Bay Arch Bridge that spans the Humber River.
Cross over the bridge and continue along the edge of Lake Ontario for the next 5.1 km, passing through the beautiful recreation spaces of Sir Casimir Gzowski, Sunnyside, Budapest, and Marilyn Bell Park. At this point, you can either keep straight along the trail or head to the right for a scenic journey through the islands that make up Ontario Place, a former theme park that is now open to the public for exploration. Along this route, you will be able to explore the former grounds of the park - now devoid of its many attractions - and take in some beautiful views across the lake.
After passing by Brigantine Cove, turn right to get back on the main trail and make your way through Coronation Park. After exiting the park, continue heading to the east along the path for the next 0.7 km, following the trail as it runs parallel to Queens Quay to bring you to the edge of the Toronto Music Garden. Keep straight for another 1.6 km to make your way along the Harbourfront, which will be packed in the summertime with busy food stands and wandering tourists looking to explore this scenic part of Toronto.
Once you have reached the terminus of the route at Harbour Square Park, you can take some time to explore the waterfront and maybe grab a quick bite to eat for lunch. Having taken in the beauty of the city and the vast blue expanse of Lake Ontario, cross over to the north side of Queens Quay and follow the sidewalk back to the west for 1.62km to once again pass by the Toronto Music Garden.
At this point, you can get back onto the main trail and follow it back along the shoreline. Unless you want to re-explore Ontario Place, keep straight to pass through the various parks that you traversed on the initial leg of your journey, eventually working your way around the Humber Bay to arrive back at the parking lot having completed the Toronto Waterfront Trail.
Insider Hints for Toronto Waterfront Trail
- Be sure to arrive early, as parking can fill up quickly. Alternatively, there are a number of other access points with available parking along the length of the trail.
- As there will be a large volume of other outdoor enthusiasts along the trail, be sure to keep your dogs on a leash and keep an eye on children.
- Although this trail is paved and doesn’t feature any challenging terrain, it is still a long hike, so be sure to wear comfortable footwear.
- A number of washroom facilities and water stations can be found along the length of the trail.
Getting to the Toronto Waterfront Trail Trailhead
To reach the trailhead for the Toronto Waterfront Trail from Exhibition Place, head west on Lake Shore Boulevard W for 5.9 km and keep right at the fork to follow the signs for Lake Shore Boulevard W. After 550.0 km, turn left onto Marine Parade Drive and continue on for 160 m, before turning right onto Humber Bay Park Road. You will find the parking lot on the right in 300 m.
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