Summer in the GTA means Mississauga residents will be feeling the sun on their skin and the urge to hop in their vehicle and drive through the great outdoors.
Mississauga’s proximity to both Toronto and Lake Ontario means that car owners don’t have to go far to get a dash of nature in their lives. There are plenty of great parks right in the area where you can go for a walk, jog, or give your dog some space to explore and meet other furry friends. But which park is right for you? Here are the top five best summer parks in Mississauga for you to visit this year.
1. Kariya Park
For people who want something a little different, Kariya Park is a great choice. This park is centrally located, just south of Square One. At the right time of year, it’s one of the most beautiful parks in the province. Kariya Park is part of the "sister city program," and was created in honour of Mississauga's sister city Kariya, Japan.
As a result, Kariya is a Japanese-style park and garden. Depending on the time of year you visit, the park is a stunning nature photo op, with Japanese cherry trees blooming their beautiful, distinctive, pink blossoms. It's an excellent choice for people who want something different—such as a slice of Asia—right here in Mississauga.
2. Jack Darling Memorial Park
If you’re in the mood for some beach scenery, Jack Darling Memorial Park is one of the largest lakeside parks in Mississauga. In addition to the park, you can walk along the shore and do a little beach combing, though, as always, it’s advised to check water conditions ahead of time to see whether or not swimming is safe.
Jack Darling isn't just about beaches, however. You'll find a large BBQ and picnic area for bigger gatherings, a playground, public washrooms, two tennis courts, and plenty of trails. For dogs, there's also a leash-free zone, so you can let your pet get in some active, unrestrained running.
3. Rattray Marsh
It can be a little hard to find if you don't want to use a GPS in your vehicle, but for nature lovers, Rattray Marsh is well worth the effort of tracking it down. The name doesn’t sound very appealing, but this is far from a swamp area! Instead, what you get is one of the most attractive, botanically dense areas right in the heart of the city.
Rattray Marsh is a conservation area for marshland, but it includes lush forests, plenty of boardwalks, benches, and access to the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail. In some spots, you even have great views of downtown Mississauga itself. So, between nature and the nice views, there are plenty of photo ops for selfies.
4. Lakefront Promenade Park
For something right on the shore and closer to civilization, few destinations match up to Lakefront Promenade. If you have children, there’s a water park for them to have fun in. For people who want to enjoy some food, a licensed eatery is also on the park grounds. Finally, for those who want to take to the water, you can launch from two marinas in the harbour and enjoy Lake Ontario.
Lakefront Promenade also has boardwalks and trails laid out across the park for you to take in the views. There are plenty of other activities available as well, like fishing and feeding the ducks, but this is also a popular spot for ice cream trucks if you’re in the mood for something sweet.
5. Erindale Park
We saved the biggest for last. Erindale is the largest parkland area in Mississauga, at nearly 90 hectares of space. It’s also a key destination for locals. If you want a lot of space, there’s plenty of room for jogging, hiking, and cycling. The Credit River runs through the park, and you can follow the river on various trails. For people who enjoy fishing, the Credit River is home to lots of fish and even hosts a salmon run at the right time of the year.
The David J. Culham trail is located in the park, lined with lush vegetation. The majestic views make this park a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers. It’s not uncommon to see Mississauga couples having their wedding photos taken on the grounds.
Head on out to one of these summer parks in Mississauga, and you and the family are bound to have a good time!