Tommy Thompson Park

Top choice in The Beaches

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 15: Tommy Thompson Park. For Ben Spurr about a local author who has written a book about the city's ravine system which he calls Toronto's greatest civic asset.        (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto Star via Getty Images

A 5km-long artificial peninsula between the Harbourfront and the Beaches, Tommy Thompson Park reaches further into Lake Ontario than the Toronto Islands. This 'accidental wilderness' – constructed from Outer Harbour dredgings – has become a phenomenal wildlife success. It's one of the world's largest nesting places for ring-billed gulls, and is a haven for terns, black-crowned night herons, turtles, owls, foxes and even coyotes.

It's open to the public on weekends and after 4pm on weekdays; vehicles and pets are prohibited. Summer schedules offer interpretive programs and guided walks, usually with an ecological theme. At the end of the park there's a lighthouse and great city views. To get here, take any streetcar along Queen St E to Leslie St, then walk 800m south to the gates, or follow the Martin Goodman Trail.