Escape the City – Colonel Samuel Smith Park

If you need a break from Toronto’s downtown or your weekly office grind, an escape out to Colonel Samuel Smith Park is a fantastic way to unwind.
Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto

Table of Contents

If you are looking for a break from downtown Toronto or your weekly office grind, an escape out to Colonel Samuel Smith Park is the perfect way to unwind. Located on the western waterfront of the greater GTA in the Etobicoke area, just off Lakeshore and Kipling, Colonel Samuel Smith Park offers plenty of space to enjoy some needed nature time.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
Escape the City

At almost 200 acres, Colonel Samuel Smith Park is a great place to spend a few hours unwinding. There are a few rocky beaches you can relax on with a nice skyline view of downtown Toronto. You can also show off your bird knowledge by wandering around the many walking and biking trails.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
Enjoying some beach time
Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
Not a bad spot to spend the afternoon
Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
This trail is a great one for a run
Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
I don’t know how many hours I spent just watching the water
Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
Wandering around

Alongside wildlife watching, you might catch a few people enjoying the water. The tip of Colonel Samuel Smith Park is a well known place to windsurf and kite-board and the whole waterfront provides plenty of fishing opportunities good for any age angler. Colonel Samuel Smith Park is also home to the Lakeshore Yacht Club so during your wander you will more than likely see sailboats cruising around Lake Ontario.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
The Toronto skyline is mesmerizing
Lakeshore Yacht club Toronto
Just Yachting around
Lakeshore Yacht Club Toronto
Lakeshore Yacht Club

Don’t forget to bring your pup to Colonel Samuel Smith Park! Besides walking trails and playing in the water, the park offers a special off-leash dog area so your buddy can run around and make new friends.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park
Who’s cuter?
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
Playing some fetch

While you are here you should take a walk through the once psychiatric hospital now turned college campus of Humber College. In the late 1800’s, before these old brick buildings became a university, they were part of the Mimico Branch Insane Asylum.

Humber College Lakeshore Toronto
Old asylum buildings now part of Humber College
Humber College Lakeshore Toronto
Old asylum buildings now part of Humber College

If you want to make a full day of the area, and are not too scared after wandering around the old asylum, Lakeshore offers a fantastic sushi restaurant, Simon Sushi, which was my favorite eating spot during my 2 months in Toronto. I don’t know how many times I got the $10 lunch special, 11am-5pm. If need to chill your nerves and cool off from the summer heat you could hop over to Refinery Public House. This local watering hole offers some solidly good food, including vegan and veggie options, and a cheap pint. Bonus if it’s Wednesday night stick around for some action packed trivia before you make your back back to the city.

Simon Sushi Toronto
The best sushi around
Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
That skyline though

Biking Trails

Colonel Samuel Smith Park is apart of Toronto’s cycling network and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. This small cycling trail actually ties into a +3,000km route that crosses over Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and up the river towards Montreal.

Toronto Waterfront Cycling Trail
Check out the Toronto Waterfront Cycling trail

Bird Watching

One of the top bird watching areas in Toronto, Colonel Samuel Smith Park is very bio-diverse with a lush and well cared for natural habitat where you can find a constant variety of wildlife. Over the summer months are free, group bird walking events, for those looking to learn more about bird watching or those wanting to make some new friends.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
Plenty of bird species to discover

Final Thoughts

During my 2 months in Toronto I was out here almost every day either walking the dog, trail running or catching some sun off the rocks. Even on weekends this area is big enough that was never too busy, so hop on the Lakeshore street car, make a day of it and check out the Colonel Samuel Smith Park!

If you want to learn more about my summer activities visit the Destination Canada page or check out my Learning to Climb experience!

Colonel Samuel Smith Park Toronto
Colonel Samuel Smith Park

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4 Responses

  1. I must say looking at your photos made me so happy inside. I was in those very same places back in November 2015 till January 2016. I love your photos. You have no idea how happy I am seeing this. I miss Toronto. It’s been 5 years. I wanna visit this beautiful city and Canada as a whole.

    1. Awe thanks Roisven! Yeah, it’s such a nice area along Lakeshore. I’m so happy for the time I spent up there and definitely miss it as well, I haven’t been there for 2 years now.

      Take Care

  2. Hey there – thanks for this ! hope it’s OK we’ve linked to this from our Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra facebook page because we’re holding a multicultural event in one of those ‘asylum buildings’ on June 10 and want everyone to know about this park. Great photos – much appreciated to have someone like you help us discover our own city !!

    1. Hey Dorothy! Ooo that sounds like a really neat group! Yes please do and thanks for the kind words! I spent a summer close to the park and would visit almost every day. Such a lovely place there. – Sheridan

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Sheridan is a full-time adventure seeker, professional photographer, and creator of Outsidevibes. Having a serious case of wanderlust Sheridan has traveled extensively around the world. He has overcome multiple, serious injuries from traveling but he is determined to continue experiencing life to the fullest.

Hey, I'm Sheridan.

I’m a full-time adventure photographer, coffee creator, van builder, and writer!

Welcome to Outsidevibes, the BEST resource for all things travel, outdoor, hiking, backpacking, and nature-related. As an adventure person, I aim to share honest information, passionate stories and promote positive inspiration for those who love travel and the outdoors.

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