Just beyond the border of the city lie the spectacular Bluffs. Scarborough Bluffs Park, perched high above the water, is the perfect place to watch the sunset but Bluffer’s Park offers visitors the only pubic access to Lake Ontario.
The park features a sandy blue flag beach that’s ideal for a swim and sand-castling, access to the 3.1km Bluffer's Park Trail, plus there’s a Marina with quaint houseboats and a restaurant. Open everyday from 11am until 9:30pm, the restaurant is a fairly upscale option with a lovely view of the harbour but might not be ideal for sandy-bottomed toddlers. The park is surrounded by residential land so bring your own picnic as you’ll be hard pressed to stock up nearby.
A few cautionary notes… if you are heading to Bluffer’s Beach on a weekend, go early!! Once that parking lot is full, you are looking at 30 frustrating minutes circling the street parking drain around Kingston Road and then a 2km walk downhill (that’s uphill on the way home) to the lake. Your one slim chance when faced with a car full of frustrated kids and a full lot (there will be cops aplenty so don't even think about bending parking rules)_ is to call Bluffer’s Marina and see if their $7 parking has any space left.
If all else fails, head west to Balmy Beach, Cherry Beach or dum, de dum… Secret Beach (Hint: RC Harris)
While you’re there, make a stop at tranquil Rosetta McCain Gardens or the newly-refurbished, but still eclectic Guild Park and Gardens filled with sculptures and architectural remnants from Toronto’s heritage buildings – if you have a tiara-worshipper in your household, they’ll have a good chance of catching a glimpse of one of many brides who have their photos taken at the Guild. There's a ton going on at the Guild this summer including: Guild Park Walking Tours on June 25th, July 9th & 15th and August 27th, an Arts & Craft Festival— Guild Alive with Culture on the last weekend in July, Driftwood Theatre's Othello at 6pm on August 1st, and an Outdoor Movie Night at 8pm on August 25th.
For more summer fun, check out all our favourite Pools & Beaches, Parks of Note, Places to Go and hundreds of Summer Events in the complete 2017 Summer Fun Guide!