It’s hard to get stuck in a running rut in Toronto. Canada’s largest city offers a huge variety of routes to run, and an even bigger variety of places to have a coffee, smoothie or snack afterward – it’s the ultimate combo of a challenging workout, followed up with a post-run treat. Time to get out and see all that Toronto has to offer, whether you’re a local or a visitor who wants to explore in your running shoes.
Espresso at the Distillery run (3K)
Start your 3-kilometre run along the cobblestone streets and industrial brick buildings in Toronto’s historic Distillery District. Head south on Parliament Street towards Queen Street, where you’ll turn east. Make your way down to the Corktown Common before going back to the Distillery District, where a hot espresso awaits your return at Caffe Furbo.
Sunnyside views and cold juice run (5K)
From Palais Royale, this 5-kilometre route leads you west on the Martin Goodman Trail toward the Humber Bay Arch Bridge. Once there, head down to the Sunnyside Boardwalk. The pleasant breeze, evenly paved sidewalk and relatively flat terrain make this path a great place to get some speed work in on a Sunday morning. You’ll return to Palais Royale, and then head up to Roncesvalles Avenue. Stop at Village Juicery for an organic drink to rehydrate – if you’re feeling bold, you can add a wake-up shot of fresh ginger or turmeric root.
MEC to Liberty with a Feelgood meal run (6K)
This 6-kilometre run begins at the MEC Toronto store (King and Spadina). From there, head west toward Liberty Village, one of the city’s quickly growing neighbourhoods. Once you hit Dufferin, go north toward Queen Street West and make your way back to Tecumseth Street. End your run at Feelgoodguru, where you can cool down with a refreshing smoothie or load up on some delicious vegan Mac n “Cheese.”
High Park and coffee run (7K)
Limber up on Parkside and The Queensway before you embark on this 7-kilometre run. You’ll make your way through High Park, alongside Grenadier Pond, before cutting through the park zoo – be sure to greet the animals as you pass by. In spring, High Park’s cherry blossom trees make this run extra scenic. Come back up Spring Road toward Bloor Street and head down Roncesvalles to reach Extra Butter Coffee, your final stop. Treat yourself to something sweet or keep your energy going with a cup of their renowned bulletproof coffee.
Academia and Sunnybrook pie… uh, park – run (10K)
For this 10-kilometre run, you’ll begin on Bayview Avenue, and run north toward Lawrence Avenue. Make your way through York University’s quaint liberal arts campus, Glendon College, before heading down to Sunnybrook Park. Follow the river through Serena Gundy Park and E.T. Seton Park before returning to civilization. After working up an appetite, finish your run at North Shore Pie Co. for a totally tasty freshly baked pie (savoury or sweet) – you’ve earned it.
Parks and pastries in North York run (15K)
If you’re looking for a longer workout with a mix of scenery, then this 15-kilometre run is for you. Start at the RioCan Marketplace and head down to G. Ross Lord Park. Make your way toward Bathurst to cross over to Bishop Avenue and into Bestview Park. Then, hop onto Garnier Court to Newton Drive, and return to Yonge Street. Cap off your run with a visit to Red Rose Patisserie and treat yourself to a tasty Persian pastry and some tea.
Lakes, brick buildings, open parks and good coffee – Toronto has plenty of sights and treats for runners. You’ll never be at a loss for a new route to explore. If you’re looking for a run crew, join local meet-up runs or check out the MEC Race Series. Have fun!
Photo credits: Debra Wiseberg / Getty Images, Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com, Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com