Boosting your health with some vitamin D has never been so convenient!

When summer finally arrives, many people look forward to spending more time outdoors and getting that perfect summer tan. We all love boosting our melanin levels and getting those rosy summer cheeks, but there are other benefits of spending time in the sun as well.

Vitamin D is hard to find in food, though some fatty fish naturally contain it. Humans primarily get their vitamin D from our hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium, the sun. However, during the fall and winter months, there’s less sunlight available and people tend to stay indoors more, leading to a tendency for vitamin D deficiency.

If you find yourself lacking the sunshine vitamin, summer is the perfect time to start a comeback. A typical adult needs around 600 international units of vitamin D per day, which translates to about 15 to 30 minutes of direct sunlight. If you want to get a tan, sure, wear a bathing suit, but it’s not necessary if you’re just going outside for some sun. Even with just your face and hands exposed, you’ll get enough sunlight.

Sunbathing and high levels of vitamin D offer many health benefits, such as reduced depression since sunlight prompts the brain to release the hormone serotonin, which boosts mood and promotes calm feelings. It also strengthens bones since vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a key component of bones, and boosts the immune system, helping your body fight diseases. Just remember, any sun exposure longer than 30 minutes requires sunscreen, as too much time in the sun can lead to sunburns and melanoma later in life.

We know that summer school can be challenging as you try to balance classes and work. So, we’ve curated a list of spots around the campuses where you can enjoy sunbathing between your classes or shifts. Convenience will help you rock those vitamin D levels!

Marie Curtis Park

This gem near the Humber College Lakeshore campus is one of the few beaches in North America named after a female community leader. Marie Curtis Park, named after the former reeve of Long Branch, was established in the late 1950s to control flooding after Hurricane Hazel flooded three Long Branch streets completely, killing seven people. Back in 1954, reeve Marie Curtis said the catastrophe could have been worse.

“If it hadn’t been for the trees, which held the houses back, half of them would have been swept out into the lake,” Curtis said to the Globe and Mail on October 18, 1954.

I personally go to Marie Curtis Park very often in the summer. The park features a playground, a wading pool, picnic spots, trails and a public swimming beach. By the way, the current water quality meets the standards for swimming!

The area is also popular for bird watching since there are many migrating birds in the fall. It’s also a perfect spot for capturing stunning Instagram pictures of the sunrise.

Here’s a trip planner if you’re commuting from the Lakeshore campus to Marie Curtis Park to get those vitamin D levels up.

Sunset point – Humber Arboretum

Picture of the sunset point at the Humber Arboretum.
Picture by Fernando Bossoes.

Gorgeous, astonishing, stunning – I don’t have enough words to describe how amazing this spot is.

The Humber Arboretum features 250 acres of public gardens and natural areas connected to the North campus. I recently visited the area, and one thing I noticed was that despite experiencing different ecosystems, seeing diverse wildlife and being left speechless by all the flowers, the Arboretum is also a great spot to enjoy the sunshine.

There’s a sunset point located on top of a hill that receives sunlight throughout the entire day. So, apart from learning more about sustainability and exploring the ecosystems, be sure to stop at the Humber Arboretum sunset point for your daily dose of vitamin D.

The hill’s located right beside the Centre for Urban Ecology, a five-minute walk from the Learning Resource Commons building.

Riverdale Park

Picture of a group of people sitting on top of a lush green field at Riverdale Park.
Picture by Varun Goregaonkar via Unsplash.

If you attend the Humber International Graduate School campus, you might think that being in the heart of downtown means there’s not much greenery around you. Well, my friend, you have one of the BEST parks in the city just three subway stations away!

Riverdale Park is divided into two, East and West, but the East side is much more popular with its expansive hill offering one of the most famous views of the city. In the summer, you can often spot people playing sports there. The park features diamonds, a running track and tennis courts. Interestingly, the park was the original site for a project that eventually became the SkyDome.

So, pack a blanket or a beach mat in your backpack and enjoy a relaxing sunbathing session at Riverdale Park East while taking in the clear view of the Toronto skyline. Just hop on an eastbound subway at Bloor-Yonge station and you’ll soon reach the park.

Humber Bay Park

Another gorgeous spot near the Humber Lakeshore campus is Humber Bay Park. Divided into East and West, by the Humber Bay Arch Bridge, this is a go-to stop for some vitamin D.

The East side features the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat. This ecological restoration project supports a variety of native butterfly species throughout their life cycles. This area is also home to a memorial for the victims of the bombing of the Air India Flight 182, a tragic event that occurred on a passenger flight operating on the Montreal-London-Delhi-Bombay route.

As you walk along wooden boardwalks and ponds, you’ll arrive at the West side of the park. The view here is unmatching. The lookout point provides some of the best views of Toronto’s skyline. The West park also features an off-leash dog area, so bring your puppy along while boosting your vitamin D levels.

Just take the 507 streetcar from the Lakeshore campus and you’ll soon arrive at this wonderful spot!

Picture of the Toronto Skyline.
Picture by Dave Xu via Unsplash.

Now that you have a list of spots close to your campus, why not enjoy some sunbathing sessions? If you’re looking for other ways to take care of yourself, check out what’s covered under your IGNITE Health and Dental Insurance plan.

Do you have any other favourite spots near the campuses to soak up some vitamin D? Share with us on our socials @shareignite.

June is over, but Pride is an everyday celebration, isn’t it? Learn more about the history of The Village!

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for all things student life.