Outdoor Activities For Dogs In Toronto
If you live in Toronto and you’re wondering if it’s a good idea to get a dog, the answer is absolutely! There are tons of things you can do if you own a dog in Toronto or you’re planning on visiting with your pooch from somewhere else. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the best outdoor activities for dogs in Toronto. Whether you’re looking for a great off-leash park, dog festival or perfect doggy-date location, Toronto has it all!
High park leash free dog park area
If you ask anyone in Toronto with a dog, they will know about High Park and the amazing off leash area for dogs. High Park is the city’s biggest public park and it just so happens to feature an off leash dog area. The whole park includes various hiking trails, immaculate lakefront views, playgrounds, picnic spots, cherry blossom trees (depending on the season), sporting facilities, a zoo, eateries and more (please note that not all of these amenities are dog friendly, we are focusing on the dog park). The off leash dog park is situated between the High Park Zoo and the Grenadier Restaurant. It is approximately 8.5 acres in size and includes trails, an open area and lots of old growth vegetation.
Visiting the park makes you feel like you’ve left the busy city, making it a unique oasis for pets and their owners. Ensure your dog is vaccinated and licensed before visiting the park and only bring your dog if they are well behaved off leash. The park provides running water for dogs so just make sure you pack a portable water dish and doggy bags to clean up after them. You can also check out other parts of the park afterwards, just make sure your dog is leashed! And, if you visit in the early spring you will get to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossom trees. Between late April and early May, the Sakura trees bloom which make for an amazing photo opportunity with you and your pooch. Visit early in the morning to get a glimpse of the trees with way less people.
Paws in the Park festival
Hosted by the Toronto Humane Society, Paws in the Park takes place every year at Toronto’s Woodbine Park. This year, the festival lands on Saturday, August 6th, after a pause on in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the society’s largest event, this festival invites people and pooches to take part in the Pup Walk, stop by the marketplace, watch training demonstrations, enjoy a cold one and chat with Humane Society experts. Funds raised go towards annual operating expenses at the Toronto Humane Society, making it possible for the organization to support more animals in desperate need. Attending the event means you’re helping the lives of animals, dogs included! Participants can register online to create their own fundraising page to share with their loved ones and other dog enthusiasts.
Black Creek Pioneer Village
Want to travel back in time with your pooch to Toronto during the 1860s? Well you’re in luck, all you need to do is go to Black Creek Pioneer Village in the city’s north end! If you’re stopping by in the summer, you can enjoy an outdoor self-guided tour of the village with your leashed dog. It’s important to note that there are large groups of people and farm animals including horses at Black Creek Pioneer Village so be sure your dog is well suited for this environment. Dogs must remain outdoors only at the park so if you want to check out the indoor attractions, you will want to go in a group so your dog is not left unattended. Fully immerse yourself in the 19th Century at Black Creek Pioneer Village.
Tall Ships Kajama and Challenge
This is one of our favourite outdoor dog friendly activities in Toronto! Have you ever wanted to set sail on a traditional Schooner boat with your pooch? Well here’s your chance! The Kajama and Challenge Toronto Boat Cruises set sail from the downtown core and take you and your dog along the beautiful Lake Ontario. You can book a tour on one of two boats, the Kajama or the Challenge – both are dog friendly. This experience is definitely one to remember and you can even take a cute photo of your dog rocking a lifejacket.
Cherry Beach Clarke Beach Park
Does your dog like swimming? Stop by the Cherry Beach Clarke Beach Park in Toronto. Pack your bags and get ready for a beach day with your pooch at this amazing dog friendly destination! There is an off leash area where dogs can jump in, roll around in the sand and do some swimming. Located near the Martin Goodman Trail, this is a popular destination for dog owners. It’s a great spot for your dog to meet other dogs, play and get their daily exercise. Many people suggest this beach because there are limited areas for dogs to swim in the city. You will also get to enjoy the park as well with amazing views of the harbour and boats and oftentimes in the summer you can try out some food from a local food truck.
Toronto Island Park
Did you know that you can visit an island in Toronto? Not many people from other places realize this, but the Toronto Island Park is accessible by ferry from the downtown core. It is only a 13-minute ferry ride and once you arrive, it’s a beautiful experience for you to walk your dog on leash. This destination is a collection of 15 smaller islands that are connected through pathways and bridges. After exiting the ferry, you can explore the beaches, parklands and garden areas with your dog. Walking from one end of the island to the other is approximately five-kilometres long, starting from Ward’s Island all the way over to Hanlan’s Point. Some really beautiful spots to visit include the old lighthouse or trout pond.
There are plenty of outdoor activities for dogs in Toronto and the last outdoor activity we would like to feature is the Woofstock festival. If you haven’t already heard, it’s the biggest dog festival in all of North America and it’s located right here in Toronto! It’s definitely something you have to visit at least once with your pooch. This annual event sees tens of thousands of dogs and animal lovers alike from all over Canada and the United States. Various contests take place showing off all different breeds, educational training demonstrations take place and you can get your hands on anything dog related from toys to treats to fashion. This massive celebration is all things dog and takes place over two days.