3 Waterfront Parks and Trails to Explore in Humber Bay Shores
Wednesday May 12th, 2021
It’s likely you’re familiar with the big white arch bridge off Lake Shore Boulevard, just west of the CNE. The community directly west of the bridge – Humber Bay Shores – offers dramatic lake views, a rugged shoreline, multiple lookout points, and a web of trails – making it an outstanding area to visit on a nice day.
Whether you’re planning a picnic, stroll or something more stimulating, check out these three waterfront spaces for a pure hit of nature.
Humber Bay Shores Park
Defined by two separate peninsulas, Humber Bay Shores is comprised of a collection of spaces, each with its own distinct character and space.
To the west of the Humber Bridge, you’ll find yourself in Humber Bay Shores Park. The many lookout points featuring vistas of the city skyline are stunning, and you can stop to refuel at any of the eateries along Marine Parade Drive (Lake Shore Blvd. W. and Park Lawn Rd.).
Recently revitalized, the park features paved pathways along the shoreline from the bridge continuing along Marine Parade Drive. Pedestrian walking paths are designated separately from those for cyclists and bladers so that there is a safe space for everyone to enjoy.
From Humber Bay Shores Park, you can access Humber Bay East and West Parks, which both provide a network of trails and spectacular views of the lake toward downtown Toronto.
Combined, Humber Bay Park East and West provide a total of 347 acres of green space, filled with wildflowers, lots of pretty greenery, and a butterfly sanctuary. There’s plenty of room to kick back and enjoy a well-deserved break.
Split up by Mimico Creek, Humber Bay Park East and West are connected by a smaller arch bridge that closely resembles the large white Humber River Bridge seen from Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway.
Humber Bay Park East Trail
The Humber Bay Park East Trail is a 2.6-kilometre lightly-trafficked loop good for all skill levels and welcomes cyclists and rollerbladers with a dedicated paved lane. Choose to walk along the paved pathway or take the more picturesque route along the boardwalk that crosses over Lake Ontario.
The park offers activity options such as a pond for fly casting and a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier. Furry friends are welcome but must be kept on their leash.
A main attraction of HBPE is its butterfly habitat, providing a critical home for a variety of native butterfly species in the warmer months.
Humber Bay Park West Trail
The 300-acre Humber Bay Park West is home to a sailing school, several yacht clubs and a historic lighthouse. For your furry companion who also needs to let loose, you’ll find a large off-leash dog park at the westernmost point of the park.
The HBPW trail stretches 1.9 kilometres, offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round.
From Spring to Fall, the local farmer’s market open on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm is a favourite among residents. Local farmers feature fresh produce, meat, herbs, cheeses, preserves and much more. The market is set up in the parking lot located off Humber Bay Park Road West.
If you’re looking for more adventure …
Head back over the bridge and continue east about 2.5 kilometres to Sunnyside Park. This park is well known for its large public swimming pool, playground, picnic areas, a sandy beach home to beach volleyball competitions and rowing teams, as well as one of the few waterfront cafés in the city, Sunnyside Pavilion.
And, if that’s not enough, the trails continue west to Mimico Waterfront Park. It’s a solid 10km jaunt one way from Queen’s Quay to Mimico Park, with options to go one way and return by public transportation. Here’s a look at the extended Martin Goodman Trail.
Whichever areas you decide to explore, it’s sure to be a rare waterfront experience in Toronto!