With plenty of great parks and Toronto is prime real-estate for that tried-and-true tradition: The picnic.
Nothing mixes fun, friends and food as enjoyably — or as cheaply — as a well-planned picnic, yet setting up the perfect outdoor get-together can be no small feat.
Here’s a guide to get you on your way to picnic perfection:
Prep goodies but don’t mash them together
Bring prepared, separate ingredients rather than fully-made sandwiches or a meal.
It’s more fun to put together your own meal in a picnic setting and the food won’t go mushy beforehand.
Plan ahead if you play with fire
If you plan to barbecue food or do some marshmallow roasting, check to make sure your local parks have facilities for doing so and find out if you’ll need fire permits or reservations.
Permits tend to be relatively cheap (about $25) and you may need them in advance.
Visit toronto.ca/parks to find out more about a specific park you’re considering.
Pack light and use the right equipment
Avoid carrying too much stuff. Lawn chairs and huge coolers are great if your spot is near parking but not so much fun if you have to carry them hundreds of metres to your perfect location.
Coolers with wheels are a godsend because water containers and beverages can be heavy. Plastic cutlery and Tupperware are also a good idea.
Respect the nature around you and clean up after yourself.
Remember, alcohol is not permitted in Toronto parks, though you’ve probably heard of or seen the occasional person filling a plastic cup with liquids suspiciously reminiscent of beer and wine.
Proceed with some good sense and you should be fine.
Although not a park, Toronto’s iconic The Beach neighbourhood is bustling with tons of people, lots of benches and plenty of grassy spots for a quick midday sit-down in the shade. You can also catch a nice breeze coming off Lake Ontario.