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Strap on those neon-hued Nikes and update your iPhone’s playlist – it’s time to discover some of the best running trails the city has to offer. They’ll take you away from the crowded streets and sea of high-rises and lead you down paths that cast Toronto in a whole new light. Whether you’re a seasoned jogger or a first-timer, rest assured these routes will suit you just the same!
1. Waterfront Trail – Toronto
If you live downtown, do what you can to take advantage of the city’s waterfront. Run along Queens Quay to take in views of Lake Ontario, darting past the Harbourfront Centre. Follow the waterfront path until you get to the Toronto Music Garden – a beautifully scenic park ideal for a mid-run break. Not yet ready to head home? Remain en route and head toward Ontario Place, where it will connect you to the Martin Goodman Trail.
2. The Martin Goodman Trail
A continuation of the waterfront route mentioned above, The Martin Goodman Trail runs approximately 56 kilometres along the shoreline, parallel to Lake Shore Boulevard West. Begin on the paved trail near Ontario Place and head west toward Sunnyside Beach. Keep going for as long as your fast-beating heart desires. But whatever the distance, rest assured there are plenty of vantage points to help distract from how far you’ve run.
3. High Park
The city’s majestic High Park spans 161 hectares, making it ideal for just about any outdoor activity. For runners, start at the Bloor Street entrance and jog along the paved road until you spot one of the park’s smaller dirt paths to explore, which are especially scenic come summer. Since High Park is basically a gigantic rectangle, it’s easy to orient yourself no matter which path you choose.
4. The Lower Don River Trails
For a picturesque view of the Don Valley, begin where Pottery Road intersects with the DVP and explore the series of trails that lead north on both sides of the river. Here, you can accomplish a quick and easy 5km run on relatively flat terrain, or depending on your skill level, continue venturing north until you hit significantly steeper paths that wind through the ravine.
5. The Beltline Trail
The Belt Line Railway was constructed in the 1890s to service commuters who were living in neighbourhoods then outside the city limits, such as Rosedale and Forest Hill. But after sitting abandoned for a number of years, the old railway space was finally converted into a 9km recreational path. The ultra-unique trail runs from the Allen Expressway down to Mount Pleasant Avenue and continues south to Evergreen Brick Works.