Monday, February 16, 2015

Ontario Trails News - 10 places to xc-ski in Toronto and find your favorite XC-trails!

Find your favorite Ontario XC-trails!

7 places to enjoy cross-country skiing in Toronto

Beach Mirror
If downhill skiing isn’t your thing, stay in the city and check out the following Toronto parks for a great afternoon of cross-country skiing.
1. HIGH PARK, 1873 Bloor St. W., just west of Parkside Drive
This 399-acre park, which in 1873 was gifted to the City of Toronto by John and Jemima Howard with the understanding it would be maintained as public parkland, is an ideal location for cross-country skiing as it’s home to several open green spaces and hiking trails. High Park also has ample parking available and is easily accessible by public transit. Don’t forget to stop by the Grenadier CafĂ© after your skiing fun for a hot chocolate.
2. EARL BALES PARK, 4169 Bathurst St., south of Sheppard Avenue West
Names after Robert Earl Bales, a former Reeve (Mayor) of the Township of North York, Earl Bales Park is located on land once owned and farmed by his great-grandfather John Bales. Prior to becoming a 27.5-acre park, the property was home to the York Downs Golf and Country Club. Earl Bales Park is also home to one of Toronto’s two Ski and Snowboard Centres. The park’s ski chalet has recently been upgraded and a new quad chairlift has been installed.
3. CENTENNIAL PARK, 256 Centennial Park Rd., near Eglinton Avenue West and Renforth Drive
Once part of Hirons family dairy farm, Centennial Park opened in 1967 for Canada’s 100th birthday. Toronto’s second largest park at 525 acres, Centennial Park is also one of the city’s busiest parks and a great space for cross-country skiing. Centennial Park is home to the other Ski and Snowboard centres. The ski hill now sits atop what was once a municipal dump. It was closed and covered over to provide users with an intermediate ski slope, a beginner slope and a snowboard slope.
4. COLONEL SAMUEL SMITH PARK, 3145 Lake Shore Blvd. W. at Kipling Avenue
Measuring 194.6 acres, Colonel Samuel Smith Park is a great location for winter fun. Named in honour of Lt. Colonel Samuel Smith, the park – which opened in 1996 – was once part of his property in the 1800s. Aside from being a large space for cross-country skiing, the park also offers stunning panoramic view of the city as well as a skating trail.
5. MORNINGSIDE PARK, 390 Morningside Ave., south of Ellesmere Road
Occupying the majority of the deep valley of Highland Creek and bordering the neighbourhoods of West Hill and Highland Creek, Morningside Park is a well-used 416.7-acre green space that is great for cross-country skiing.
6. ROUGE PARK, located along Meadowvale Avenue, south of Steeles Avenue
Set to become Canada’s first national urban park, Rouge Park is a massive, diverse green space located in the Rouge River watershed along the Toronto-Pickering border. Rouge Park, known as Canada’s premier urban wilderness park, is more than 10,000 acres in size and an ideal location of winter sports of all kinds including cross-country skiing.
7. EGLINTON FLATS, 3601 Eglinton Ave W. at Jane Street
Built on the Humber River Floodplain, the land that is now home to Eglinton Flats was owned and farmed by the Scarlett family in the mid 1800’s. It later became a market garden but was flooded out by Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The land then became part of a new floodplain plan and became a park. Home to several sports fields, Eglinton Flats – Mount Dennis’s biggest park at 129 acres – has many wide open spaces perfect for cross-country skiing.