When Toronto entered Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan late last month, gyms were among the many businesses finally allowed to reopen their doors, but with mandated capacity limits and physical distancing, plus some places opting to enforce the use of masks, not everyone is rushing to jump back on the treadmill, especially when there’s the option to stay outside.
Studies show that exercising al fresco lowers blood pressure, improves your mood, helps with depression, and reduces stress. Plus it’s absolutely free! So while the sun is shining and Mother Nature is cooperating, why not swap your gym time for a little stress-busting outdoors. Here are five perfect spots near 300 Bloor Street West to do just that.
Sprints on Philosopher’s Walk
This scenic footpath runs north-south, from Bloor Street to Hoskin Avenue, carving a path along a ravine landscape that was one a natural waterway, buried during the Industrial Age. Though just 400 metres long, the Walk is a fantastic spot for sprint training or a marathon leg day of never-ending frog leaps, step-ups, and walking lunges. With the architecture of the ROM, the Royal Conservatory of Music, Trinity College, the U of T Faculty of Music, and the U of T Faculty of Law to distract you, you’ll hardly notice the time fly by.
Cross-Training in Huron-Washington Parkette
Two minutes from home you’ll find the Huron-Washington Parkette. Don’t let the primary colours fool you – this is the perfect spot for expert calisthenic (read: bodyweight) training. Work your way from head to toe through a series of pushups, pullups, lunges, plank holds, air squats, burpees, and tricep dips. Use the benches, the playground, the grass. Get creative. Who says kids get to have all the fun?
A Walk Through Queen’s Park
If you want to do good for your mind, body, and soul then call up some friends and head out for an hour of socializing in the sunshine with a walk through neighbouring Queen’s Park. Named in honour of Queen Victoria, the urban park offers myriad ways to crisscross its oval layout. The north end is dominated by a canopy of large trees that provide welcome shade when temperatures rise. The south end is home to the Queen Elizabeth II Rose Gardens. Footpaths radiate in every direction – see how many new paths you can chart without repeating.
Outdoor Running Along the Beltline Trail
Mid- to long-distance runners take note, 300 Bloor Street West is a great home base for your outdoor runs. A 5-kilometre route that cuts across the leafy ravine of the Park Drive Reservation Lands and the forested trails of the Evergreen Brick Works will deliver you to the start of the Beltline Trail and back again in 10k. Another 1.4 kilometres and you’ll be in the heart of Mount Pleasant Cemetery where you have the option to continue along the Kay Gardner Beltline trail to complete 18k before arriving back home.
Bike the Humber Valley Trail
A straight shot across Bloor Street West will take you to Old Mill station where you can descend to the Humber Valley Trail. Head south along a paved route from the Old Mill through parklands and marshy areas until you arrive at the shores of Lake Ontario. Or head north where advanced riders can clock 56 km in total if you cycle the entire route from the Old Mill to Etobicoke and back again.
300 Bloor Street West is the perfect home base to break a sweat in nature, on two wheels or on two feet. Register today and find your new home.