Looking to spice up your walking routes with your four-legged friend? Toronto is abundant with dog-friendly parks across the city. Heading to the park is also a great form of exercise and provides you an opportunity to hit your daily step count.
With roughly 230,000 dogs in Toronto, the city provides a number of dog-friendly trails and nature paths for you to explore. As weather improves, more of us will be outside enjoying the fruits of good weather. It’s a perfect opportunity to explore more of the city on foot, and to log your steps by walking.
The classification of dog parks and dog-friendly trails differs based on whether you need to keep your dog on leash. Dog parks are fenced in and set up to allow for off-leash access. Dog-friendly trails are multi-use trails for walkers, cyclists, runners, and other users, meaning your dog must remain on-leash. This is for not only the safety of you and your pet, but for other people.
The city of Toronto has a full list of dogs off-leash areas on their own website. Below is our list of favourite dog walking trails and parks in Toronto.
High Park Dog Off Leash Area
The High Park off-leash dog area is 8.5 acres of open area (Dog Hill) and designated trails. It is clearly marked with signs and fencing and is intended for all park users, not just dog owners. Unlike other off-leash areas, the High Park off-leash area has both natural and paved trails under the canopy of mature trees.
The best part about this off-leash dog area is that there is a mix of fenced-in runs (ie: walking trails), and open space for dogs to run around in a less confined space. There are also picnic tables and ample parking in and around the park.
Don Valley Brick Works Park
Once a quarry, Don Valley Brick Works Park is now a City of Toronto flagship natural environment park. In addition to a small off-leash dog area near the entrance to the park, there are also extensive trails that loop through the area, and additional trails connecting the Summerhill area, Mount Pleasant Cemetary, and Rosedale. You’ll also find some spectacular views of the city.
The boardwalk section of Sherwood Park is an off-leash dog area, meaning you can walk with peace of mind knowing that the area is fenced. This forested area is great because it allows you to walk for a few kilometers rather than being confined to a square dog park with limited walking opportunity.
Cedarvale Park Dogs Off-Leash Area
Cedarvale has a lengthy trail system in and around this off-leash area. Although there is a specific off-leash area, there are several kilometers of crushed gravel trail to the southeast via a ravine. Cedarvale Park can be found north of Vaughan Road and west of Bathurst Street.
Toronto’s Beltline is a roughly 11-13km east-west trail across the northeast part of the city. Formerly a rail bed, this flat and mostly linear path connects a number of neighbourhoods including Rosedale, Moore Park, Forest Hill, Chaplin Estates, and Fairbank. The surface is crushed gravel, and although there are a number of major roads crossings along the route, they are pedestrian-friendly and marked. As its a multi-use trail, this is an on-leash area.
Scarborough Heights Park
Scarborough Heights Park is located along the area of the Scarborough Bluffs. This area offers picturesque views of the lake and is easily accessible from the east-end of Toronto. The Bluffs are a must-visit for a lengthy walk. Scarborough Heights Park has an off-leash dog area as well for a short play break.
Sunnybrook Park is one of Toronto’s largest and most famous outdoor destinations. The park is home to many bike trails, dog parks, and Sunnybrook Stables. Once a 150-175-hectare estate, the greenspace is now a public space for everyone to enjoy. It is located north of Leaside and south of the Bridle Path areas of the city.
Situated close to Evergreen Brick Works, Crothers Woods features 10km of natural trails, a diverse bird population and a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline. These trails include some steep sections and are rated as intermediate level trails.
Cherry Beach Dog Park
Offering, great views of the lake, harbour, boats and the occasional windsurfer and swimmer, the Cherry Beach Dog Park is a city escape just steps from Lake Ontario. If you and Fido want to enjoy time near the water, this option on the Port Lands is for you. It’s also a great spot the watch the sunset.
G. Ross Lord Park
With more than 4km of trails, two cricket pitches, a fenced Dogs Off-Leash Area, three soccer fields, picnic sites and a fire pit, G. Ross Lord has it all. Trails are fully accessible and groomed in the winter for cross-country skiing, weather permitting.
Humber Bay Shores Park
Humber Bay Shores Park is located west of the Humber Bay Bridge and the Humber River. With an off-leash dog park area and easy access to the water, this park offers stunning views of the Toronto skyline to the east and unobstructed views of Lake Ontario. If your dog is a swimmer, this will be a favourite.
King’s Mill Park
Kings Mill Park, located south of Bloor Street West and the Old Mill Subway Station Eastbound Platform, is one of a chain of parks along the Humber River leading to Lake Ontario. It’s an excellent park for hiking, biking and bird watching. Reward your dog after a good long hike with a chance to play with friends in the off-leash dog area.
King Mill’s Park is also just a 15-minute walk from Feet First Clinic, your one-stop shop for your footcare needs in Toronto. With convenient hours throughout the week, stop by for a foot assessment, footwear, and all your other footcare needs.
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