Sometimes we all need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. And if you want to feel like you’re a world away from Toronto without leaving the city’s borders, this is the list for you. There are so many lush gardens in Toronto just waiting to be explored. So pack up a picnic basket because we’re going garden hopping.

Here are 8 of the most beautiful gardens and parks in Toronto.

TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN

This gorgeous garden is the gem of North York. You can pack a picnic and get away to the fields of flowers and beautiful waterfalls. Ahh, sounds like a dream. The botanical garden frequently hosts plant and flower sales, so you can take a piece of its beauty home with you.

Where: 777 Lawrence Ave E

ALEXANDER MUIR MEMORIAL GARDENS

 

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This spot near Yonge St and Lawrence Ave is so picturesque that it’s become a go-to destination for wedding photos. Regardless of if you’re planning a wedding or not, you can still enjoy these beautiful grounds and snap some photos while you’re at it.

The nearby Blythwood Ravine and Sherwood Park make this a great starting point for an afternoon adventure.

Where: 2901 Yonge St

KEW GARDENS

 

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This lovely location is right in the heart of The Beaches. It spans 6.5 hectares and is home to many great amenities, including a sports pad, tennis courts, a bandstand for summer concerts, trails, a baseball diamond, and of course, beautiful flower beds. So next time you’re heading to the water, why not take a quick detour and check out the grounds? You won’t regret it.

Where: 2075 Queen St E

ST JAMES PARK

 

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Sometimes the best greenery is surrounded by concrete, and that’s precisely the case for St. James Park, a Victorian-inspired oasis in the city. It’s right in the heart of downtown, but it definitely doesn’t feel that way, with gorgeous tulip gardens, a rushing water fountain, a grand gazebo, and views of the historic cathedral adding to its charm. So stop by for a little refreshing nature while you’re travelling the downtown core.

Where: 120 King St E

TORONTO MUSIC GARDEN

 

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This park on the waterfront is a popular one among locals and visitors alike, and for good reason. Described by the City’s as one of the “most enchanted locations” in Toronto, the music garden was designed as a visual representation of Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, with each dance movement within the suite corresponding to a different section of the garden.

In the summer, the Toronto Music Garden hosts free live performances of classical music from international artists.

Where: 479 Queens Quay W

ROSETTA MCCLAIN GARDENS

This lovely garden park in Scarborough is for all the flower, bird, and butterfly enthusiasts out there.  Complete with raised planters, rose gardens, and a rock fountain surrounded by a pergola, this is the perfect place to settle in for a peaceful afternoon in nature, a picnic, and a stroll.

Where: 5 Glen Everest Rd

HUMBER BAY PARK & BUTTERFLY HABITAT

Okay, this one is seriously a hidden gem. Within Humber Bay Park, you can find a beautiful butterfly garden. The grounds are an ecological restoration project, designed to be the perfect habitat for native butterfly species to thrive. So when you walk through, you’re sure to come across a fluttery friend. There are two serene ponds and 10 bike trails located at this park too.

Where: 100 Humber Bay Park Rd W

KARIYA PARK

 

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You’ll have to travel a little way outside of the city for this one, but believe us when we say that the journey is worth it. Kariya Park is named after Mississauga’s sister city Kariya, Japan. The atmosphere pays tribute to its namesake and it’s as authentic as could be.

The peaceful green space features Japanese-inspired structures, walkways, and benches facing a duck pond. But, the real draw of Kariya Park is the cherry blossom and magnolia trees. The park is filled with beautiful shades of pink as the trees bloom in April and May.

Where: 3620 Kariya Dr, Mississauga