Whether you’re the kind of person who thinks fall is the greatest season of the year or the kind who shuts yourself inside the minute the temperature drops below 20 degrees, it’s undeniable – fall in Canada, with the red and gold colours that take over the landscape, is pretty beautiful. While there might not be quite as many forests in Toronto as there are in Banff or Tofino, this city still has a lot to offer.
And this year, apparently the weather is the perfect formula for extra-beautiful fall colours. Experts say that the right weather during autumn can produce “more intense” colours – namely, a combination of sunny days and cold (but not too cold) nights. Leaves produce sugar during the sunny days, and the cooler nights trap the sugar in the leaves. The abundance of sugar produces vivid anthocyanins (those stunning red and crimson colours).
This fall has delivered that perfect combination, meaning we get to enjoy colours that are a little brighter (and a little more Instagram-friendly) this year. But they won’t last forever – the leaves will likely fall within the next week or so.
Take a walk to (and through!) one of these picturesque locations across Toronto for the best of the fall colours.
There are two kinds of people in this world – the kind that love High Park the best in the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom, and the kind that love High Park in the fall, when the leaves turn colours. If you think you’re the former, you probably haven’t tried the latter! The 300 acres of parkland are covered in massive trees, and it’s around this time of year that the reds, oranges and yellows start to show.
The Old Mill Walking Trail, accessible from the Old Mill station, starts at the historic Old Mill and picture-perfect bridge and continues through the Humber River Valley. Beautiful trees line the marshes and bodies of water you’ll find here, and in the fall, they make for the kind of view that could have been a featured backdrop in the Anne of Green Gables films. Take a quick subway ride to peruse this trail and be prepared for all kinds of wildlife along the way!
Brickworks Hiking Trails
This location is among the larger network of the Don Valley, and while some of the other areas, including Crothers Woods and the East Don Parkland, are pretty beautiful, Brickworks might take the cake. With historic buildings, easy to follow trails, ponds and skyline views that are hard to beat, it really is the whole package! Take in the fall colours and then grab a snack or a trinket at one of the many markets hosted at this location.
Trinity Bellwoods is good for more than just after-work picnics with overpriced donuts! This sprawling park takes on a whole new autumnal look around this time of year; the fully-grown trees that line the walking path lend themselves well to creating the kind of red leaf carpet that crunches under your feet.
Just east of Ontario Place you’ll find this underrated gem along the waterfront. Arrive early to avoid crowds and you’ll be greeted by the kind of greenery-turned-gold that could grace the front of a nature magazine or feature in the background of engagement photos (and more realistically, a photoshoot with your pet). With a view of the city skyline right in front of you, this park has the best of both worlds!
The Humber Arboretum is a little out of the way – in the best kind of way. Located near the Humber College campus and home to almost 250 acres of public gardens and other locations perfect for nature lovers, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into your own oasis here. And with so much ground to cover, whether you’re planning an intimate first date walk or looking for some alone time, it’s likely you won’t run into too many others out there!
Yes, Edwards Gardens is beautiful in the spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom – but it’s kind of unbelievably spectacular in the fall, too. With picturesque bridges arching over still bodies of water that are lined with rocks and shrubbery, it’s the kind of landscape that is meant for the fall. Take a stroll along the paths within the next few weeks to catch the last of the flowers just as the leaves start to really show their true colours!