Food is the best. Food in nature is even better.
In today’s post, I’m going to give you some tips to having the best picnic ever in one of Toronto’s urban parks – because we all know that some of you big city folks aren’t really that committed to getting into nature, so I’ll meet you halfway.
The Perfect Spot
The first step to planning your perfect picnic is to find the perfect park to picnic in. On the outside, Toronto might look like a big city full of high rises and street cars, but nestled within those giant buildings are some of the most stunning urban parks in the country. Logan and I recently had our own little picnic in the newest city park, Trillium Park. This park only just opened up in June and is located in Ontario Place where there was previously just a torn up parking lot. Some other popular parks in the city that are perfect for a picnic include High Park, where you can dine under the Cherry Blossoms, Trinity Bellwoods Park, where you’ll be in the company of hundreds of young Torontonians playing Frisbee or jamming out to some music, and Evergreen Brickworks, if you want to be a little further away from downtown.
The next step to planning the perfect picnic is the food. This is the biggest obstacle I face when trying to plan a picnic. Packing food the night before is always a risk, because what if I’m not craving that food the next day? Sometimes I’m also just too lazy to make an entire picnics worth of food by myself and don’t even get me started on soggy sandwiches, ugh.
However, I recently discovered the solution to my picnic food problems; ordering food and picking it up near the park. This allowed me to make an on the spot decision about what food I wanted and pick it up within 20-30 minutes of ordering so I could get right to my picnic.
I used the app called Foodora to search up restaurants within proximity and browse their menus until I set in on something that sounded perfectly delicious. The Foodora app features over 300 Toronto restaurants, so I had more than enough options to choose from! The app was easy to use and gave accurate descriptions of all food items.
The best part? After you place your order you’ll receive a text when it’s ready for pickup! I was surprised by how quickly we were able to order food and pick it up using Foodora and it definitely made our picnic experience a lot easier.
P.S. If you’re not quite ready to jump into nature you can have a picnic in your living room and still use Foodora to place an order for delivery! Long gone are the days of being confined to pizza or Chinese food when you’re too lazy to leave your house. With Foodora you still have the option to get your meal delivered from hundreds of different restaurants in the city.
The Extras to Pack
Now that you’ve got the perfect place picked out and the food is taken care of, let’s talk about a few extra things you should pack along to give yourself an authentic and enjoyable picnic experience in the city!
- A blanket to sit on – this way you won’t get grass stains on your clothes and you’ll be safe in case the ground is wet from a previous day’s rainfall
- Biodegradable or reusable plates and utensils – stay away from the plastic cutlery and instead bring some of your own from your kitchen drawers, or find biodegradable options in your local grocery store like THIS, just in case something happens to get blown away into the park
- Mason jars – because they’re reusable and there is nothing cuter than sipping your drink out of a mason jar
- Trash bag – most public parks do have trash bins around so you can throw out your garbage after your picnic is done, but just in case they don’t, bring your own trash bag so you can clean up after yourself
- Heavy items to weigh down your blanket – this will prevent any unexpected gusts of wind from flipping your blanket over into your food, I brought my reusable water bottle with me and used that to help hold my blanket down during my picnic
Arguably the most important part of your picnic is cleaning up afterward. It’s important to keep in mind that these urban parks are public spaces that are shared with all city residents and guests, and should be respected as shared public spaces.
Make sure that you keep an eye on anything light that can blow away, like napkins, and if anything does get away from you try to catch it if you can. I know it’s easier just to let your garbage fly off and act as though you couldn’t have saved it, but this garbage ends up making a mess of the park, and can even end up in the Great Lakes where they pose a threat to the city’s water quality and the ecosystem of the lake.
Also be sure if you’re throwing out any leftover food that it’s not left open so animals can get at it. Again, this can make a huge mess of the park, but it can also be dangerous to animals that cannot properly digest human food.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any more tips for having a picnic in the city? Where are your favourite Toronto parks to picnic in?
This post was in partnership with Foodora. All opinions are my own.