Meghan's Outdoor Reading Spots

Ashbridge’s Bay Beach

Summer is finally here and warm weather really makes me want to get outside. I have taken to reading a lot outdoors in the sunshine and decided to go on a photo mission to keep record of all the places (outside!) that I’ve enjoyed a book. Below is a list of suggested places to read in Toronto (by no means the only places!) as well as a suggested reading list from The Savvy Reader. Enjoy!

1. 1. Trinity Bellwoods
155 Crawford St, Toronto, ON

This large, west downtown park spans from Dundas West all the way down to Queen Street. There is a recreation centre, multiple tennis courts, and an off-leash dog bowl. It’s a popular artsy park that gets busy in the summer. There are many trees to lounge under, and many benches to sit on. Bring a blanket and read on! Book Choice: The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales will fit right in at fashionable Trinity Bellwoods.

Taken by David Zeno “South Trinity Bellwoods”

2. U of T
In and around Queen’s Park

Want to be surrounded by learning and knowledge while you indulge in some literature? Try the University of Toronto! U of T has beautiful old buildings and guess what—most of them are vine-covered! What a beautiful back drop to some classics—or in my case—The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley. (Currently this month’s SRBC pick!) Pick a wrought-iron bench or park it on the grass in Queen’s Park where there is lots of shade on a sunny day.

Taken by Meghan Gribben “Hart House”

3. High Park
1873 Bloor St W

The largest park contained within the city, from Bloor St. West all the way down to the Queensway, High Park is a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. In the early Spring months you can enjoy the cherry blossoms; when it gets warmer there is a pool, a zoo, and countless other activities within this urban, natural park. There is many a place for shade and direct sunlight and this park spans nearly 400 acres so you won’t have any trouble finding some peace and quiet. Besides maybe reading some Shakespeare (they also do outdoor Shakespeare plays here in the summer!) try: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; bring your bike and enjoy this quirky love story! You’ll probably finish it in one sitting, so get comfortable!

Taken by David Zeno and Meghan Gribben “High Park.”

Humber River –Oak Street and Lawrence Ave.
From north Toronto down to Lake Ontario

The specific spot in the photos below is a stretch between Oak Street and Lawrence Ave, on Weston Rd. This area is a great spot for those living in Toronto’s North Western end. There are tons of weeping willows to sit under and the sound of the Humber River rushing by is relaxing. I come here often to read—it’s a great spot. Book Choice: The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler—shortlisted for the 2012 Giller Prize, this novel is a great literary read—you’ll turn the pages fast with this one!

Taken by David Zeno and Meghan Gribben “Humber River”

Ashbridges Bay Beach -1675 Lakeshore Blvd East

Enough with the parks, you say? Ashbridges Bay Beach is one of Toronto’s many city beaches, and one of the most accessible ones. You don’t need to take a ferry to get to this one, and it’s very easy to get to by transit or car. Even easier by bike! There are washrooms here, a food stand, and plenty of swimmable water. Bring a beach towel, lay back, and enjoy the lake breeze. Book Choice: The Search Angel by Tish Cohen—Canadian author tells the story of a woman who tries to find her birth mother to help give understanding to what it means to be a mother. Light, but not too light. This is a beach read for the literary lady.

Taken by David Zeno “Asbridge’s Bay Beach”

Tommy Thompson Park –base of Leslie Street at Unwin Ave, South of Lakeshore Blvd. East.

If you’re an adventurous kind of person, visit Tommy Thompson Park: a natural wildlife ecosystem in a man-made peninsula called the Leslie Street Spit. There are no cars allowed, so bring your bike to ride this 5 km stretch into Lake Ontario. Lots of bird and wildlife watching here, a short bike ride from Ashbridges Bay. Great views, and very quiet. Bike to the lighthouse at the end and crack open the dreamy, imaginative, and magical The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It will feel like you’re reading at the edge of the world.

Taken by David Zeno and Meghan Gribben “Tommy Thompson Park”

Where is your favourite place to read outside? Tell us and you could win your choice the above books–all you have to do is add a photo of your favourite outdoor reading spot to our Flickr pool! Contest open to Canadians only. If you don’t have access to Flickr, you can tweet it to us @SavvyReader or add it to Instagram with the hashtag #ShareReading. We want to see creativity and great reads!

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3 thoughts on “Meghan's Outdoor Reading Spots

  1. Seriously? Humber River?! Wow! I grew up in Weston and spent many summers hanging by the River! We used to swim in the River and then laze out on the picnic tables to dry off so that our parents wouldn’t find out! Such great memories there! So happy to hear that it’s still a beautiful park. Haven’t had a walk down by the Humber River in many years.

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