Five Places to Read in Toronto This Summer

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

Spring showers are out but the summer sunshine is in. Why don’t you explore the city with your favourite book? Here are five spots in Toronto where you can read and get some vitamin D.

1. The Scarborough Bluffs:


If you are into the wilderness and passionate about nature, head straight to the Scarborough Bluffs. Flanked by the woods on one side and an active Lake Ontario on the other, it sets a great scene for you and a mystery read. A word of caution: we advise you stay behind the fences considering the fragile edges of the bluffs.

2. Toronto Botanical Garden:

Edwards Gardens at the Toronto Botanical Gardens. Photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo.

Next, head up to North York and you’ll be welcomed by Toronto Botanical Garden. It’s safe to say that the award-winning four-acre site is a master class in gardening and horticulture. We suggest you spend the day reading at the gardens before dropping in at the numerous workshops and guided tours. Who knows? You might pick up some tips for your own terrace garden or a healthy treat at the farmer’s market.

3. University of Toronto:


Take a bus or two south and you’ll find yourself the University of Toronto campus in the heart of City’s downtown core. You’ll find yourself transported to a quiet corner near the formidable Hart House or admire the gothic architecture of St. Basil’s Church that’ll send some Angela Carter chills down your spin. In fact, you can pick up a new title at the University of Toronto Bookstore; the Festival’s official bookseller!

4. Regent Park:

Copyright Queen's Printer for Ontario, photo source: Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Copyright Queen’s Printer for Ontario, photo source: Ontario Growth Secretariat, Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Head east to Regent Park which has experience a lot of change in the last few years. Right across the cultural hub, Daniel Spectrum, you’ll enjoy an vast green lawn which will make for an ideal location for setting up a picnic blanket to lie on and read. An additional treat for your eyes will be Dan Bergeron’s Faces of Regent Park; an installation project that documents the diverse community of the area using vibrant, life-size portraits.

5. The Toronto Waterfront:

Natrel pond at Harbourfront Centre. Courtesy Harbourfront Centre.

Courtesy Harbourfront Centre

Finally, the sprawling lawns of the Harbourfront Centre, right at the city’s waterfront, which promises much-needed solitude with a breathtaking view. Check out the beautiful Lake Ontario the ships on its harbour like the Kojama which gives off a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe. While there, you could also sign-up for one of the many free literary and arts events that take place on site. 

Behind the Westin. Photo credit Arundhati Chatterjee

If you’re feeling really adventurous, walk along the lake to the The Westin Harbour Castle where you can find a cosy and picturesque view near the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. 

Five places to read but there are so many more to explore! Where’s your favourite place to read? Have you read at any of the locations we’ve mentioned?