Toronto: City

Includes the City of Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough. See Also Toronto: GTA for Routes from Oshawa to Burlington

Set on Lake Ontario, Toronto is North America’s fourth largest city. It’s a cosmopolitan, diverse place, with a great arts and culture scene. Many travelers to Toronto will stay downtown, where there are many large office & apartment buildings, and numerous hotels. Toronto is a very spread out city, with large suburbs and bedroom communities. Our guide to running in Toronto is divided into two ‘locations’: the City of Toronto, which extends from the lake north to Highway 407, east to Scarborough and west to Etobicoke; and the other municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), from Oshawa in the east to Burlington in the west. For getting around, the TTC operates an extensive & growing subway, tram, and bus system. Go Trains serve the major GTA cities.

The best places to run in Toronto center on the lakeshore, anchored by the iconic Martin Goodman Trail. There are also good linear parks and trails near downtown, such as the Beltline and Don River trails. We’ve also recommended several attractive residential neighborhoods for running. Another running favorite is The Island — a 15 minute ferry ride from downtown. East of town, there’s terrific running in The Beaches, and under white lakefront cliffs in Scarborough. West of town, there are some good running options in Etobicoke. For points east of Scarborough and west of Etobicoke, see our GTA guide.

Routes By Area

Downtown: Queens Park/downtown tour, Martin Goodman Trail.
Waterfront/South: Martin Goodman Trail and waterfront trails; The Island.
West: Martin Goodman trail west, Humber River, Sunnyside Beach, High Park.
East: The Beaches, Lower Don Valley River trails, Distillery. Also, trails in the suburb of Scarborough. See our GTA guide for Pickering & Ajax, and our separate guide for Oshawa.
Midtown: Beltline Trail, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Forest Hill and Summerhill/Yorkville/Rosedale neighborhoods.
North: Botanical Gardens, linear park around the Science Center, Ravine Trail between Sunnybrook Park & Muir Gardens. See our GTA guide for routes north of the 407 (Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill).
Northwest/Pearson Airport: Separate posts for Etobicoke Mississauga, and with numerous parks, linear paths, and waterfront trails.
West: See our GTA guide for routes in Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, & Burlington.

See Also: Toronto GTA

For Routes from Oshawa to Burlington

See All Routes
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Toronto topography is fairly flat. The weather is continental. Warm, humid summers with long days, high temps 80F in July/August. Winters are cold, with average highs just below freezing. About the same as Chicago and not nearly as cold as Montreal, and not too much snowfall.

Toronto is a very spread out city. The core downtown area is bound by Bloor St. to the north, Bathurst St. to the West, the Don Valley Parkway to the east, and the waterfront to the south. There are many hotels downtown. Try to stay south of College or Queen for good access to the waterfront paths. There are some good hotel options to the west, toward High Park/Sunnyside Beach, but not much to the east of the Don Valley Expressway.

Below are hotels and options near Pearson airport.

Running Stores & Group Runs

Running Room. The leading Toronto running store chain with several locations all around the city and suburbs: North (York Mills), downtown (Yonge & King), Beaches, High Park.  List of stores and group runs. They also have an extensive series of route maps of various lengths from each store. MAP. Thanks here to Ed Mark, who is one of the Running Room’s ‘ambassadors’, for his help.

Black Toe Running (Bathurst & Queen). Group runs nearly every day. Registration required for some. List here.

The Runners Shop. Near University of Toronto and Royal Ontario Museum. Canada’s oldest specialty running store, opened in 1975.

Running Room. Near Univ. of Toronto. Group Runs: Weds. 6pm, Sun 8:30 a.m.


Running Room. Group runs Wed. 6:30 p.m. & Sun. 8:30 a.m.

Good running calendar

Toronto Marathon. May.

Spring Run Off. April. 8k and 5k. Part of Canada Running Series. High Park.

Yonge St. 10k. June. Part of Canada Running Series. Waterfront.

Pure Protein Night Race. September.

Sunset Shuffle. August. On The Island. Can get sold out.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. October.

Longboat Race, Toronto Island. September.