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Our Fall Favourites Along the Waterfront

Nov 9, 2016

Two people taking a stroll on the bridge over the marsh at Corktown Common in fall.Corktown Common has more than 700 trees that are bursting with colour right now. (Image by Nicola Betts)

By: Meghan Hogan

As the prime fall foliage season is inching closer to its end in Toronto, there is no better way to make the most of the beautiful red and golden hues than to explore the waterfront. There are lots of sights and activities this time of year along the lake, so to make it easy we’ve come up with a list of our favourites! Here is our list of the best things to see and do along the waterfront this fall.

Enjoy the sights

The water's edge promenade in East Bayfront.
The water’s edge promenade is the perfect place to enjoy a lakeside stroll. (Image by Jimmy Woo on Flicker)

One of my personal favourites is the water’s edge promenade in East Bayfront.  This tree-lined promenade features 200 mature trees that form a colourful canopy to walk beneath. Take a seat on one of the promenade’s signature benches and look out onto uninterrupted views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands as the crisp air rolls off the water. This one-kilometer stretch of promenade connects you to two of Toronto’s iconic parks – Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common – which provide equally beautiful views this time of year. 

Further east, Corktown Common has quickly become one of Toronto’s favourite parks thanks to its extensive trail system and lush marshland – which shouldn’t be missed as they transform throughout the fall. Looking for a bit more action? Head to the playground next to the pavilion or make use of the park’s open lawns for informal sports games. 

A view of Tommy Thompson Park in Autumn.
Tommy Thompson Park offers more than 500 hectares of parkland to explore. (Image by marcandre_bergeron on Instagram)

Perhaps Toronto’s most secluded oasis, Tommy Thompson Park is one of the best places to enjoy nature watching. Located in the Port Lands at the Leslie Spit, it is one of the largest wildlife habitats on the waterfront with meadows, marshes, cobble beaches and sand dunes. If you haven’t spent an afternoon exploring this urban wilderness by bike or by foot, now is the time to do so. 

Towards the west end, we suggest you stop by Coronation Park. This park has a lot to enjoy, from baseball fields and war memorials to marina views and an off-leash dog area where you’re canine friends can play. It’s also one of the best places to enjoy the fall colours thanks to its impressive collection of mature trees.  

Get active

If you’re looking for a bit more action, grab your bike and explore the waterfront by cycling the Martin Goodman Trail, which happens to connect to the broader waterfront trail system. 

Skateboarders enjoying the open space at Underpass Park.
Underpass Park offers a series of different spaces that can accommodate a variety of activities, including skateboarding. (Image by Nicola Betts)

At Underpass Park, try your hand at skateboarding or bring a few friends to shoot some hoops beneath the Eastern Avenue, Richmond and Adelaide overpasses. Kids will also have a blast climbing the creative play equipment or enjoying a game of hopscotch. And don’t forget to look upwards and enjoy Mirage – an art installation by Paul Raff that consists of 57 mirrors applied to the underside of the overpasses that captures the autumn light beautifully. 

A view of a public art installation on Front Street in the West Don Lands.
Untitled (Toronto Lamp Posts) by Tadashi Kawamata is one of several public art installations located on Front Street West in the West Don Lands. (Image by bijouxbizou on Instagram)

There are also an additional 6 public art installations located throughout the West Don Lands for you to see. Autumn is the perfect time of year to explore the collection, many of which incorporate an interesting lighting element that can be enjoyed once the sun sets.


Later this month, outdoor skating rinks will begin opening for the winter season. Grab your skates and stop by the Paul Quarrington Ice Rink at Shernourne Common for an incredible view of the city skyline and lake, or head to the Natrel Ice Rink at Harbourfront Centre for a leisurely skate with the family.  

A view of the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District.
The Toronto Christmas Market is one of the largest holiday festivals in North America. (Image via Toronto Christmas Market) 

Starting November 18th, the Toronto Christmas Market will return once again to the Historic Distillery District. For five weeks, you’re invited to rediscover the magic of traditional European Christmas markets and enjoy family-friendly entertainment, warming food and drinks, and a 50-foot Christmas tree decorated with more than 18,000 lights. 

post contributor

  • Meghan Hogan

    Meghan Hogan was previously a communications and public engagement manager at Waterfront Toronto.