Seven Ways to Explore Toronto’s Backyard: TEA Staff Tips

At TEA, we really love the Greenbelt. We love what it does for Toronto and we love to enjoy the amazing spaces protected by the Greenbelt. 

We just launched “Eat. Drink. Play in Toronto’s Backyard: a Guide to the Greenbelt” to help other Torontonians to connect to this great space through food, drink and recreation. While there are many great places to explore in and around the city, our staff at TEA wanted to share a few of their favorite spots with you.


“In late September we had a wonderful weekend connecting to the Greenbelt during a stay in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We sampled tasty VQA wine and ate excellent local food. We also experienced a spectacular sunset on the south shore of Lake Ontario. As the sky turned from orange to red, the towers of Toronto glistened to the north and we felt a strong connection between our city and our Greenbelt.” - Franz Hartmann, Executive Director


“It's my first time picking raspberries since I came to Toronto. It was an awesome experience! Not only I could taste the juicily sweet raspberries but also my body and mind both felt refreshed in the arms of mother nature. It's a nice getaway from the city hustle and bustle and to spend quality time with my family.” - Stephanie Wan, Development Coordinator


 “With neither of us having a driver’s licence but both being avid hikers, we were so excited to find out about small local businesses like Parkbus and Toronto Adventures that are connecting Torontonians to nearby Provincial Parks and conservation areas by bus. On the first weekend of October, we packed into a small bus with a driver, a guide, two golden retrievers and eight other hikers and headed towards Halton for a beautiful day of fall hiking. The trees were just starting to change colour and the view from Rattlesnake Point was astounding. We also had the chance to taste the Greenbelt in a very new way: the trail was littered with apple trees! We came back to Toronto with a new life goal: to hike the Bruce Trail from Niagara to Tobermory.” Jolene Cushman, Campaign Engagement Coordinator and Olivia O’Connor, Canvass Manager


"In September, I went to Christie Lake Conservation Area in Dundas for what is probably Canada's largest antique market. After looking at records, furniture and other cool antiques, I had an amazing local lunch from The Flying Chestnut (from Eugenia Falls - also in the Greenbelt!), and we walked around Christie Lake and through a pine forest. It combined my favourite things - flea markets, local food, a nature walk near Toronto, and spending time with my partner and my dad! " - Emily Alfred, Senior Campaigner


“On a balmy weekend in late September, we headed out to the most Eastern part of the Greenbelt - the Northumberland countryside. After walking along the cliffs, high above a glimmering Lake Ontario, we went to a small pick-your-own apple orchard, and boy did we ever pick. We brought home 60 lbs of apples for under $50. Now, we just have to figure out what to do with them.” - Holly Thomson, Digital Communications Intern


"This summer, I made the scenic drive up to Port Perry for the day. The town is filled with quaint shops, cafes and restaurants that make for a lovely stroll. There's a boat rental shop right at the waterfront, so we spent the day canoeing and enjoying the beautiful weather. Fun fact: Lake Scugog in Port Perry is one of Ontario's largest man-made lakes." - Dusha Sritharan, Campaigner


“Between the mouth of the Don River and the Rouge River, there are some incredible spots along Toronto's east end waterfront. This summer I learned how to explore our eastern beaches and bluffs on a stand up paddleboard with WSUP Toronto! With rental locations at Woodbine Beach & Scarborough Bluffs, SUPing is an amazing way to stay fit and develop a greater appreciation for the rivers that flow from our protected Greenbelt, through Toronto's ravines and into the vast waters of Lake Ontario.” - Heather Marshall, Campaigns Director 

We want to hear from you! Tag us on Twitter and Facebook OR email us at [email protected] with your stories and photos from the Greenbelt, and you could be featured in an upcoming blog post.