Pandemic-Safe Outings in Toronto
We list off some fun outings in the city that are safe for the whole family.
As we head into September, everyone’s trying to make the best of what’s left of summer. The pandemic had us inside for most of the season, but with the GTA in stage 3, you actually have some options to get out the house now.
From outdoor concerts to drive-in movies, there’s a ton of things to do in Toronto that are fun — and most importantly — safe.
Have a patio brunch
While indoor dining is now allowed, nothing beats a delicious meal out in the sun. The city’s CaféTO program is helping Toronto restaurants and bars install more outdoor dining areas to allow for physical distancing. This means some of your favourite eateries may now have a patio for you to enjoy!
For trendy pub options, check out the row of bars along Queen West. In the mood for upscale dining? Head to Yorkville. There, you’ll find a bunch of high-end restaurants that offer outdoor meals in a posh setting.
Visit the Toronto Zoo
Watching animals is a fantastic experience that both kids and parents will love. Wave to the zebras and sneak a peek at the elephants while taking a walk-through of the Toronto Zoo.
Tickets aren’t being sold on-site at this time, so you’ll have to book passes online. To ensure physical distancing, all visits are staggered — which means you must reserve a timeslot as well. A face mask is mandatory at all indoor exhibits, and at some outdoor viewing areas as well.
For families more comfortable touring by car, the Scenic Safari is also available. You’ll be required to BYOC (bring your own car) and keep windows closed at all times. Drivers are given access to staff-only roads, offering you a unique perspective of the animals.
Go to a drive-in
Although outdoor festivals and large gatherings are out of the question until September, that doesn’t mean you still can’t be entertained. Toronto’s DriveInTO initiative offers free movie screenings from the comfort of your car. From Hot Docs to TIFF, you can check out a bunch of films at one of Toronto’s designated drive-in venues.
Go to a (different) drive-in
Some of the biggest names in music are performing at Toronto’s CityView Drive-in. Located at 20 Polson Street, capture world-class talent on a massive 238-foot stage, all from the safety of your vehicle. Deadmau5 and A Tribe Called Red are amongst some big names who’ve held concerts at the CityView this month.
Subscribe & get more from Onlia
You’re free to bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy the show. Otherwise, order on-site and have everything delivered right to your car.
Take a swim
Now that Toronto’s outdoor pools are fully open to the public, cool off in the afternoons with a quick dip. Most city-run pools offer 45-minute sessions with cleaning protocols in between. Even in water, swimmers must practice physical distancing — only a certain number of people are allowed in at a time. And although change rooms are available, many swimmers are opting to dry-off poolside instead.
Camping’s one of those timeless summer activities that can still be done safely. Ontario’s provincial parks are open for overnight stays; traditional campsites, as well as roofed accommodations, are all available for reservation. You’ll have to come up with creative ways to wash up though, because shower facilities remain closed for the season.
Ontario Parks has several initiatives to address overcrowding on its beaches and hiking trails. This includes restricting certain campsites or limiting the amount of day-trippers allowed in, so be sure to book ahead.
If all else fails…
Get outside! ActiveTO is expanding bike lanes across the city, closing down major roads, and more to support social distancing while getting out to enjoy the weather. Take advantage of quiet streets to take a stroll — or bike ride — through your neighbourhood.
As the (probably strangest) summer comes to a close, we’re all finding ways to get out and enjoy the sun while we can. Remember to stay safe when you’re out and about, and of course — don’t forget to have fun!