25 ways to make the most of spring in Toronto

When the holiday snow storm had us all stuck at home, it was hard to imagine this time would ever come — the first week of spring! And though this week of snowy weather might have us fooled, don’t worry — it’s the season of new life! Birds are coming home, flowers will soon be budding, the sun is finally out (almost). That means it’s time for us to come to life too. Here are 25 ways to enjoy spring in Toronto this year.

Take an Insta-worthy shot of the cherry blossoms peaking in High Park

@ladybass/Instagram

High Park is a stunning area all year long, but you really don’t want to miss the brief time at the end of April to early May when the Sakura tree buds are at peak bloom. Showering you in a sky of pink, this spot is a photo opportunity you (and your Instagram followers) don’t want to miss out on.

Go birdwatching

From water fowl to preybirds and shorebirds, springtime means the return of some feathered friends. Head down to Tommy Thompson Park and keep your eyes and ears open for some new songs! Join Toronto Bird Celebration throughout the month of May to celebrate the return of these species and learn more from the Spring Bird Festival on May 25.

Do some spring cleaning

You know that thrifted sweater you love? Someone donated it. Maybe one of your own forgotten sweaters will be someone else’s thrifted find, too. Do some spring cleaning, find one of Toronto’s many second-hand stores that accept donations, and pass along the joy of thrifting, or find a clothing swap in the city for a more sustainable option that avoids contributing to landfills!

Go shopping

@ooak_toronto/Instagram

Spring cleaning means you have more space to buy new clothes… right? So check out the One of a Kind Spring Show to browse and buy jewellry, crafts, toys, clothes and much more from artisans from across Canada. The show runs from March 27-31 at the Exhibition Place.

Go on an Easter egg hunt

On March 29, bring the whole family to The Beaches for an afternoon of fun with games and chocolate. The scavenger hunt will take participants out to explore the neighbourhood’s shops and businesses, while they solve clues and challenges.

Sip an iced coffee

Warm weather means it’s time to replace those daily cups of joe with a daily cup ‘o joe on ice. Though, if you’ve had one of the highly acclaimed iced drinks from Fika, you may never have gone back to a hot one in the first place.

Get inspired to start a garden

Visit the five greenhouses at the Allan Garden Conservatory and view plants native to regions across the world as well as some seasonal flowers that are just beginning to bloom. All this might just inspire you to get an early start on your own garden.

Learn to garden

But before you’re ready to get your hands dirty, you’ll have to learn what you’re doing. Learn from horticulturalists and hobbyists at the Plant This, Not That event at the Toronto Botanical Gardens. This free one-day extravaganza happening on April 17 provides demos and advice useful for all gardeners — whether you’ve got a green thumb or just starting out.

Browse a flower market

Toronto Flower Market

Now that you’ve learned expert advice from the experts themselves, you can begin your garden. Luckily, the Toronto Flower Market has got you covered! This outdoor market runs every month through spring, summer and into fall, with vendors coming from across the province to share everything they’ve got in bloom. Don’t miss the first one of the season on May 11!

Watch the Blue Jays

Let’s play ball! Mark your calendars: April 8 marks the Blue Jays home opener for the 2024 season. Get your tickets so you don’t strike out on missing the unveiling of the second phase of Rogers Centre renovations for the first time!

Picnic in the park

Pick up a basket of snacks (and maybe a bottle of wine) from Cheese Boutique and head out to Queen’s Park with some of the friends you’ve hidden from all winter. Remember, though, it’s not summer, so you’ll need two blankets: one to sit on and one to wrap around you to keep you warm. An umbrella might also be a good idea.

Cold water dip

Cold water swimming is all the rage these days, but if you’re looking to warm your way up to the cold water, maybe spring temperatures are the best place to start, after the ice has thawed. There are plenty of swimming holes not far outside the city, perfect for testing the waters — literally — and trying your hand at cold water swimming. Or visit Othership for a more guided cold plunge experience.

Take a hike

@straythought/Instagram

The first days of spring are some of the freshest days of the year so you don’t want to stay locked up indoors. Toronto has plenty of trails to explore, perfect for watching the trees grow back their pines and watching the buds begin to bloom. From the Don Valley Trail to Humber West Trails, there’s plenty to see and explore!

Shop at a farmers’ market

Farmers’ markets are a great way to get fresh produce while finally getting outside again. Toronto’s outdoor markets are opening very soon! Evergreen Brick Works’s Saturday Market is moving outside again beginning in May, while Leslieville is set to open May 12 and Trinity Bellwoods on May 7.

Chase waterfalls

In order to get flowers to bloom, we need the snow to melt and lots of rain. All of this adds up to higher riverbanks and flowing waterfalls. Only a short drive form Toronto, Hamilton is home to over 100 waterfalls — the most of any city of its size — including the Devil’s Punchbowl, which might just be the best.  When TLC said don’t go chasing waterfalls, they clearly hadn’t seen the Devil’s Punchbowl, because this is one you want to chase.

Sip a mojito

It might not quite be patio season yet, but luckily some of Toronto’s favourites have heaters to keep it cozy all year round. And luckily, Hemingway’s, Toronto’s favourite rooftop patio, serves up a famous mojito—the perfect drink to bring in spring.

Go see a musical theatre classic

Kick off spring by discovering (or rediscovering) some of the most popular shows in the musical theatre world. Jesus Christ Superstar opens in Toronto on May 3; the multi-Tony award-winning Hadestown premieres on May 15, and the iconic Les Misérables is running all spring long until June 1. Once you’ve caught the musicals bug, you may want to return for the June premiere of Wicked.

Attend an Easter Parade

Put your bunny ears on and join what is apparently the largest and longest running Easter Parade in the world on March 29 and 31 at the Beaches. The parade starts at Queen Street East and Neville Park Boulevard and ends at Kew Beach Avenue and Woodbine Avenue

Hop on a roller coaster

Courtesy centreisland.ca

Beat the summer holiday rush and check out Centreville Amusement Park right when it opens in May. Spring is the best time of year to go to avoid crowds. And lines!

Sing your heart out at an outdoor concert

Toronto’s best stage is opening very soon, with a whole cast of musical legends lined up to take the stage. Neil Young kicks it off at Budweiser Stage at the end of May, with 21 Savage, Bryson Tiller, Walk Off The Earth, the Arkells and more all taking stage later in the season.

Go for a bike ride

Sometimes a bike ride in the spring is better than a summer day because there’s no sun to distract you or wear you down. Take this chance to explore the concrete jungle on a bike for some of Toronto’s best trails like the Beltline.

Have an apple fritter from Bloomer’s

Head over to Bloomer’s for a specialty fritter — bake shop is known for their creative flavour combos, including carrot cake and strawberry almond. A perfect combination of sweet and fruit, these fritters are just what you need to wake you up from a sleepy lazy winter and get you ready for ice cream season.

Explore the city’s neighbourhoods

Have the cold winter months made you forget about all the reasons you love Toronto? While it’s nice to get out in nature after a while, sometimes it’s also necessary to just walk the streets again and see people. Take some time to stroll through Distillery District or Yonge Street and just enjoy the scene…before it starts to rain.

Get festive

Courtesy tofoodanddrinkfest.com

It’s festival season! Over the next few months, Toronto is hosting plenty of fun festivals to get you ready for summer. From the T.O. Food and Drink Festival to the Inside Out Film Festival and Canadian Music Week, the festivals offer Toronto’s best in everything from arts to  culture, food and more.

Pick your own asparagus

Everyone thinks of fall as the month for pumpkin and apple picking, but do you know the season for asparagus? Spring! And about an hour’s drive to Oshawa, Pingles Farm Market gives you the chance to pick your own asparagus!

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO