The Toronto Marathon (taking place this year on May 6) marks the official start of running season (pending any more random ice storms that Mother Nature may throw our way), and Toronto locals and visitors alike are taking to city streets and trails in full force.
Whether you’re the type of traveler who packs a pair of sneakers everywhere you go or you’re looking to start the practice, here are some of the best trails to explore in Canada’s most multicultural city.
Hit the Martin Goodman Trail
This popular bike/run path takes you west along Toronto’s waterfront, starting downtown from Exhibition Place to the Humber Bay Arch Bridge. The one-way route is just under four miles of beautiful shoreline along Lake Ontario. Although you can turn back at any point, you won’t want to cut your run short — the best view of the city’s iconic skyline is at the end.
Join the Nike + Run Club
The NRC is an extremely active pillar in Toronto’s running community. The club provides free open group runs and access to events throughout the city. Experienced and highly knowledgeable coaches and pacers help runners along their training journey to achieve their goals — from reaching a new personal best on a 5K to completing their first marathon and everything in between. And if you can’t make the meet-up, don’t sweat it — the Nike + Run Club app keeps you on track during your solo session.
Explore with The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
See the city sights without sacrificing your wellness goals with the help of the fitness experts at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star stay. Well situated in the heart of downtown, this luxe hotel has cleverly devised an array of excursions to help you tour Toronto while staying in shape.
Self-guided walking routes, like the Toronto Islands tour (6,900 to 20,000 steps) or the fashion-focused Queen Street West tour (9,500 to 15,000 steps), include an expected step count, a walking map and a list of must-see landmarks for you to explore along the trail.
Similarly, the recommended 5K running route takes you up University Avenue, past the Financial District, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Osgoode Hall, “Hospital Row” and ends at Queen’s Park and the University of Toronto for a unique view of the urban landscape.
Check Out Cherry Blossoms and Challenging Paths in High Park
Toronto’s answer to New York City’s Central Park, this 398-acre green space offers forest trails, paved paths and challenging hills. Enjoy the cherry blossoms through May or say hello to the animals at the High Park Zoo.
Run Through The Don River Valley Park
In the midst of the city’s ever-growing urban sprawl, this riverside park is one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets. The trails are set in a lower valley below the highways and roads, creating a network of mostly car-free, paved paths that take you from the city’s core to midtown. The walking, running and cycling trails can be accessed at many points, making this park one of the easiest places to get lost in for an afternoon.
For quick and easy entry to these routes, check into Four Seasons Hotel Toronto in Yorkville and enjoy complimentary workout apparel and shoes, available through the Five-Star hotel’s fitness center during your stay. From the luxurious skyscraper, you’re just a couple blocks from the forested Bayview Avenue extension path that will take you to straight to The Don River Valley trails.