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Casa Loma in Toronto, Bild: Jon Bilous / shutterstock

Celebrate summer in Canada’s green metropolises

Tips for urban breaks in paradisiacal parks and at outdoor festivals

Bochum, May 19, 2022

Canada’s vibrant metropolises entice with a variety of city adventures – and not only in the urban street canyons. Imaginatively designed parks, music festivals, open-air theatre as well as art and culinary delights in public places offer retreats from the hustle and bustle of the city, making a stay in Canada’s metropolises a relaxed and creative experience.

Toronto, Ontario

There are over 1,500 parks of all types and sizes in the Greater Toronto area. These include Colonel Samuel Smith Park, one of the city’s largest parks, with extensive green spaces and bike paths along Lake Ontario. One of the newest parks is the beautiful Trillium Park, which graces the shores of Lake Ontario in place of a former park area. Always worth a visit is the tranquil island of Centre Island in front of Toronto’s futuristic skyline, which is part of the Toronto Islands and is only a 15-minute ferry ride from the city centre. The Toronto Music Garden is one of the most enchanting parks in Toronto. Located directly on the city’s Inner Harbour, its design was inspired by Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello. Each part of the garden corresponds to a sentence from the suite. In summer, walkers can enjoy classical music performances there free of charge.

Be sure to visit this summer: The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair from July 8 to 17, 2022 will feature thousands of works in Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto. The popular event has boosted the careers of 20,000 Canadian artists in its 61 years.

Montréal, Quebec

Montreal, Canada
Aerial view of Montreal with the Biosphere Museum and the Saint Lawrence River, Image: R.M. Nunes / shutterstock

The metropolis on the St. Lawrence River offers 17 large parks with a total area of almost 2,000 hectares. Forests and marshes, beaches, artificial lakes: each park has its own unique character. One of the most beautiful facilities is the Parc du Mont-Royal. Montréal’s version of New York’s Central Park was once designed by the same landscape architect and enchants with fantastic views of the city, beautiful walking paths and Les Tam Tams du Mont Royal, where hundreds of drummers gather for a jam session on Sunday afternoons. Located on two islands in the St. Lawrence River, Parc Jean-Drapeau is home to the Six Flags La Ronde amusement park, a casino and a Formula 1 race track, and is the annual venue for the Osheaga Festival, Canada’s largest art and music festival. There’s also a two-hour self-guided walking tour of the park’s public art, accompanied by the music of Quebec composers.

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Must-visit this summer: In Montréal’s largest park, the Parc nature de Cap Saint-Jacques, Montréal’s Repercussion Theatre is hosting a Shakespeare-in-the-Park tour from July 14 to August 6, 2022. The outdoor event is free and welcomes over 13,000 fans every year.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, Stanley Park
View of Stanley Park in Vancouver, Image: Russ Hein / shutterstock

With over 230 parks and green spaces, Vancouver is a paradise for park lovers, strollers and garden enthusiasts. The parks of the Pacific metropolis include, of course, the iconic Stanley Park. At 400 acres, it’s even larger than New York’s Central Park and offers relaxing miles of walking trails, beautiful lagoons and beaches, and the world-famous Vancouver Aquarium. Queen Elizabeth Park, 152 metres above the city, offers fantastic views, as well as manicured lawns, colourful flower beds and the tropical paradise of the Bloedel Conservatory. And the Pacific Spirit Regional Park covers over 809 hectares of original forest with a good 80 kilometers of trails.

Public Art, known as public art, can be seen all over the city. Well-known and lesser-known creatives take the opportunity to exhibit their works and connect with locals and visitors. In addition, thanks to the Vancouver Biennale, art lovers can explore the city’s masterpieces on self-guided tours on foot or by bike.

Must-visit this summer: The Theatre Under the Stars mixes a colourful mix of different impressions like in a kaleidoscope and thus creates an interplay of inspiring experiences for all the senses. Performances will take place from July 2 to August 27, 2022 at the Malkin Bowl, an amphitheater in Stanley Park.

Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Canada
View of the Calgary skyline, Image: TRphotos / shutterstock

Over 8,000 acres of parkland guarantee plenty of elbow room! Locals and visitors alike have countless ways to keep fit, bird watch or just relax in Calgary. Fish Creek Provincial Park is the second largest urban provincial park in Canada (the largest is Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto). In addition to more than 100 kilometers of hiking and biking trails, Fish Creek offers excellent birdwatching opportunities thanks to over 200 species of birds nesting here. There is also a golf course and an artificial lake with a long sandy beach. Confederation Park is considered exemplary in terms of landscaping with its natural wetlands and aquatic plants. Downtown’s Prince’s Island Park, on the other hand, hosts festivals and events throughout the year, including the Canada Day celebrations (July 1) and the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

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Since 2017, the Beltline Urban Murals Project (BUMP) has transformed Calgary’s city center into a veritable open-air art gallery. As part of this initiative, the latest wall and graffiti artworks by local and international artists are selected by a jury every year for presentation on the streets.

Be sure to visit this summer: Foodies in the Park is a pop-up event that offers culinary delights in particularly quirky, see-through dome tents and attracts numerous foodies every year. Each edition takes place at a different landmark in Calgary, making dining a journey of discovery for all the senses. If you love folk music, the Calgary Folk Music Festival is the right place for you. From 21 to 24 July, more than 50 artists will attract visitors to Prince’s Island Park.


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