Just because school is starting, doesn’t mean the summer has to end!
As the last few weeks of summer come to a close and the school year approaches, I am struck by a nasty feeling in the bottom of my stomach. School is here and I wasted my summer! I cannot be the only one thinking so. It feels like I spent all of my time working and putting off spending time outdoors. Next thing you know, the leaves are starting to change, and you’re waiting in line at the bookstore to purchase your books wondering what happened to all that time you thought was left of summer?
However, the best part about Toronto is there is still a ton of time left to get out and enjoy the days, even after the school year starts. Here are some of my favourite ways to grab some rays:
1. Explore the Scarborough Bluffs
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Nothing reminds me more of summer than going to the beach or taking a long hike. Why not do both?
The Scarborough Bluffs is a 15km escarpment overlooking Lake Ontario. There are nine parks in total along the Bluffs with a variety of things to do and views to take in. Want to take some stunning Insta-worthy photos? Try the Cathedral Bluffs trail, which will take you to the very top of the escarpment. Want to get in a few end-of-summer tanning sessions? Don’t forget to check out Bluffers Park, which is the only park on the bluffs with lake access and a stunning beach. Many of the parks are also doggo friendly, so no need to worry about leaving your favourite furry friend at home.
2. IGNITE Paint Party
Meet some new friends, dance the night away and make some memories to start the school year off right at the IGNITE Frosh Paint Party!
The Paint Party will take place at Woodbine Racetrack, on Saturday, Sept. 21. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the event finishing off at 11 p.m. There is free parking on the premises as well as a shuttle bus service that will depart from Lakeshore and North campus. Tickets for the event are $20 for Humber and UofGH students and $30 for guests.
For more info on the event and to purchase tickets, be sure to check out the IGNITE Paint Party event page!
3. Make waves at Splash ON
Feeling like a last-minute road trip before the semester starts? Located approximately an hour and a half outside of Toronto, Splash ON offers a one of a kind floating outdoor waterpark located right on Lake Simcoe!
The waterpark offers multiple ways to enjoy with 2 locations, one in Barrie and one in Orillia.
This family-friendly fun comes at the low cost of $25 per person for a full day pass, or $15 per person for an evening pass.
4. Find your go-to patio drink spot
Another great way to close out the summer is sitting on a patio and sipping on some cocktails (or mocktails) in the sun! There are a ton of well-kept secret watering holes in Toronto where you can find the best drinks! If cocktails are your thing, be sure to check out the Cocktail Bar, which serves creative drinks with super fun names like “Steamboat Rickey”, “The Killing Jar” and “Hey Jealousy.” If you’re more of a wine connoisseur, Paradise Grapevine, has one of Toronto’s best year-round patios. For the beer aficionado, this list would not be complete without Bellwoods Brewery. This microbrewery focuses on the creation of small batches of craft beer that defy expectations.
5. Have a picnic
When thinking about great ways to spend time outside I always love going for walks, so why not go out and enjoy one of Toronto’s many beautiful outdoor spaces. Dust off that old picnic basket, grab a few friends and take it in the beautiful sights at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Or perhaps, grab some tea to-go and enjoy the scenery at High Park. Maybe sitting around and chatting isn’t your thing. For stunning views of the city hiking trails and activities, look no further than Toronto Island park.
Still undecided? BlogTO created a list of parks broken down by neighbourhood so you can find the best park nearest you!
6. Check out the CNE
The Canadian National Exhibition is a time-honoured tradition for Toronto. Going to the CNE means eclectic food, fun games and those rides that look like fun until you actually get on them.
Beyond just the food, and festivities, there are a number of different shows you can catch on the CNE grounds. Labour day weekend will feature the annual airshow. For the animal lovers, there is also a dog and cat show along with an interactive farm animal exhibit.
For more ‘grown-up’ entertainment there is the Innovation Expo, which showcases some of the most exciting innovations in the tech industry. There is also the opportunity for independent inventors to compete for $250,000 in prize money.
Summer break may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean the fun’s over yet. So. what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy the sun while you still can.
For more cool ideas of ways to make the most out of the end of the summer, check out The student’s guide to affordable things to do this summer.