Parks are our city's big backyards
City parks provide people with recreation, shade and respite in nature. Parks give dogs a place to run, insects a place to pollinate, birds a place to live, and trees a place to grow.
Toronto has many public parks which are open 5:30 am to midnight (except for special permitted events). Since residents, visitors, animals, insects and plant life all share this valuable green space, it makes sense to have some ground rules.
It's up to us to use common sense, practice good park etiquette, and know the rules so that Toronto parks stay enjoyable for everyone.
When visiting parks, please:
Help keep our parks clean and green
- Enjoy and respect nature in the city. Please don't pick flowers, disturb or eat vegetation or damage trees.
- Leave picnic sites and other areas as clean (or cleaner) than you found them.
- Completely extinguish coals from BBQs before leaving (don't dump them, it's a fire and safety hazard).
- Don't use unpaved trails during or after heavy rains. Natural areas can be damaged by your heels and wheels.
Contribute to an enjoyable and respectful park environment for all
- Make use of park permitting opportunities available to you for events and activities.
- Be mindful of space and how you use it (think about it, playing Frisbee in a crowded park is risky).
- Bring your dog, but keep your furry friend on a leash unless in a designated off-leash area.
- Keep noise at a reasonable level (it may be fun to blast music, but others may not share your enthusiasm).
- Follow the rules posted on signs (the rules protect you and the park).
- On trails, stay to the right, pass on the left and remember that pedestrians always have the right-of-way.
- Be considerate when parking on nearby streets, leave community centre parking lots for centre users, and please don't park on the grass.
Keep these safety tips in mind
- Please stay on maintained grounds, paths and trails and respect signs that signal Hazardous Vegetation such as Poison Ivy. The City's 311 database has information about plants poisonous to the touch and other poisonous plants.
- Do not take or eat plants, berries or mushrooms from parks. This is not allowed under Toronto's Parks Bylaws. Some may look harmless but can make people and animals sick.
- To report concerns of possible Hazardous Vegetation, call 311 or email email@example.com.
- Appreciate wildlife from a distance, and call 311 to report injured or aggressive animals.
- Weather and park conditions can change quickly, so be sure to observe the environment around you and use common sense and caution.
- Heavy rains or snow melt can cause water levels to rise quickly, so it's important to keep a safe distance from bodies of water like ponds, lakes, or rivers.
Did you know?
- Alcohol can only be served, consumed or sold in parks with a permit and Liquor Licence (PDF).
- Smoking is prohibited within nine metres of many park facilities such as playgrounds, sports fields, outdoor pools and swimming beaches.
- Parks, Forestry and Recreation has Codes of Conduct for park users and permit holders, for natural surface trail users and for users of dogs off leash areas.
- City of Toronto park bylaws (Municipal Code, Chapter 608 PDF) regulate, protect, and govern public parks. Other federal and provincial laws and regulations also apply.
- Fines and charges can be laid when people choose not to abide by the laws, regulations and bylaws.
- Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff, Bylaw Enforcement Officers and Toronto Police Service Officers have the authority to ask people who do not follow park rules to leave.
- To report a problem in a park, call 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.