Time for flip flop, shorts and tee! Canadian summers are perfect and we take advantage of every possible weekend for some outdoor fun, whether it is camping, road trip, picnic or BBQ.
Get Your Grill On
Since our summer sun sets close to 9PM, there are a ton of BBQ options throughout the day. In a city like Toronto, there are a plethora of places to go to where all you need to do is bring a portable grill like the Weber Go Anywhere, throw some meats and vegetables in the cooler and pair it with your favourite local brewery beers. And if you really want to get fancy, bring some pineapples and cinnamon too! That’s all it takes to feel like a cottage weekend without having to leave the city.
If you’re looking for some fun and creative ways to grill, check out and subscribe to the WeberGrillsCA YouTube channel which has some unexpected BBQ ideas that you can try at home. Watermelon? Yes! Nachos? Of course! Sangria? You bet’cha!
Bring Your Own Grill (BYOG)
If you are looking to BYOG at a nice park in Toronto and grill like a boss, check out some these popular BBQ spots.  Bluffer’s Park, Beach and Marina
Nestled at the foot of Scarborough, Bluffer’s Park is a great place set up a picnic with friends and family if you’re on the East end of town. The park is situated between the dramatic white 20-story cliffs and crystal clear water of the beach and marina.
Address: 1 Brimley Road South
Also located in Scarborough, this is a great family-oriented park in the middle of town that has a large playground for kids and a lake. In this park, you’ll find picnic benches all around to set up your own BBQ/picnic.
Address: 5555 Steeles Avenue East
Features: Bike trails, playgrounds, splash pad
This might be one of my favourite spots to BBQ. You get access to the beach, there’s the perfect set up for beach volleyball, there’s the boardwalk that can take you across the parks AND there’s a ton of green spaces to set up your grill.
Address: 1561 Lake Shore Boulevard East
Features: Beach volleyball, boardwalk, bird watching
 Earl Bales Park
In the winter, Earl Bales Park turns into ski and snowboarding center but in the summer, the area turns into a lush green playground with a ton of open space to set up a gathering of friends and family.
Address: 4169 Bathurst St.
Features: Amphitheatre, bike trails, firepit, splash pad, ski hill, dog park
 Centennial Park
On the west end you’ll find Centennial Park which is full-service park of sorts. As a large regional park, there are a ridiculous number of features of this park to make this one of the most well-rounded parks in the city. It’s rare to find a park that has features like a conservatory, cricket pitches, disc golf course, go-kart track, marshlands and a man-made pond. You can easily spend a full day here with family setting up the BBQ for lunch and then going around the park to play.
Address: 256 Centennial Park Rd.
Features: Multipurpose field, wading pool, playground, ball diamond, fitness club, arena, 3 green houses, go-kart track, cricket pitch, golf course, disc golf
 High Park
High Park is a staple when it comes to Toronto parks. It’s quite literally a haven for picnic-ers, there are open and shaded green spaces all around the park to set yourself up. This will probably be your go-to park if you live in the downtown core.
Address: 1873 Bloor Street West
Features: Zoo, off-leash dog park, Japanese cherry trees, sports facilities
Toronto Island Park is a popular park amongst family with young kids. The Centreville amusement park and the Far Enough Farm is a sure win for children. You can also rent bicycles on the island, for a more cost effective option, you can bring your own bike or rent a city bike downtown to get on the ferry to the island. It’s a nice 15-20mins walk to Gibraltar Point Lighthouse from the main bicycle rental area but you cannot go up the lighthouse. The highlight has to be the view of downtown Toronto, so go early and find yourself a picnic table with a view!
Address: 9 Queen’s Quay West
Features: Centreville amusement park, Far Enough farm, skyline of Toronto
Toronto Islands is a popular BBQ spot, but do note that propane or gas BBQs are not allowed on the Ferry Boats for safety reasons, so only bring charcoal BBQs. A good option for 4-6 people would be Weber’s Go-Anywhere Charcoal.
You’ll also need to know the ferry schedule and fares if you’re planning on making a trip down here.
What You Probably Didn’t Know
Many Torontonians may not be aware, but for any social gathering including picnic and BBQ events with more than 25 people, you are required to request and pay for a permit, call 416-392-8188, and be sure to visit the City of Toronto’s website for more information.
What are you guys waiting for? Pack you grill, bring your lawn chairs, pack your cooler with food and drinks and head over to one of these parks. I’m getting hungry just writing this post and imaging all the burgers, hot dogs, asparagus, zucchinis…. GO GET YOUR GRILL ON!
For a thorough search of all parks in Toronto, the locator map is a useful tool.
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