The motto of our City’s Parks, Forestry, and Recreation division is “a City within a park” – a sentiment that has been more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spending time outdoors is not only one of the few activities we can continue to do safely, but is also essential to our health and wellbeing. Research has shown that spending time outdoors can improve mental health, enhance memory and cognitive function, reduce stress, as well as improve creative thinking and problem-solving.
Toronto’s parks and green spaces have served as a cornerstone of our City’s ongoing pandemic response.
Throughout the winter months, the City has remained committed to providing residents with safe opportunities for outdoor recreation through the Welcome T.O. Winter Parks Plan, which provides enhanced access and maintenance at parks and public recreation facilities across Toronto.
Specific opportunities in Don Valley West include:
• The Archery Range at E.T. Seaton Park.
• Natural Ice Rinks at Bennington Heights Park, Brookfield Parkette, Cheltenham Park, Leaside Park, Trace Manes Park, and Wanless Park.
• Outdoor Skating at Hodgson Public School from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can make a reservation at https://www.toronto.ca/skating-winter-sports.
• Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing at City-owned golf courses, along the Don Valley ravine trails, and the Beltline trail.
• Enhanced Winter Maintenance on select pathways to allow for longer walks, including Sunnybrook Park, Wilket Creek Park, and E.T. Seton Park. Parking lots are also open in each park, and public washrooms are available in Sunnybrook Park and Wilket Creek Park.
Additionally, more than 800 playgrounds across the City will remain open throughout the winter, including the recently-completed Georgia Walsh Memorial Playground at Trace Manes Park. The new Georgia Walsh Memorial Playground features a contemporary play structure, splash pad, shade structure, water bottle-filling station, improved pathways and landscaping, and a donor recognition wall to be installed in the spring. This new community asset would not have been possible without Jillian Walsh’s incredible leadership, as well as the generous donors who funded the project.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our City, please remember to adhere to the most current Public Health advice. You can learn more about the City’s response to COVID-19 by visiting www.toronto.ca/covid-19.