Toronto's Best Kept Secret: Scarborough Bluffs
Less than an hour north-east of downtown Toronto, Ontario is one of the lesser-known day trip destinations that is still is situated in the city - but you'd never know it! I found the location on instagram and during a recent visit grabbed a couple of friends and tracked it down.
As a first-time visitor, Scarborough Bluffs appeared to be 90 meter walls of sand rising along the shores of Lake Ontario. When we made our way up to the top at a second park, we encountered a beautiful viewpoint to see the lake and, if the tie of day had been different, the sunrise or a sunset. The Scarborough Bluffs are as picturesque as it gets!
We arrived at "Bluffers Park" along the edge of the lake mid-day to find a sandy beach full of families, walking trails, large green spaces and picnic tables. We left the car in a paid parking lot and wandered the area for about two hours. Although the beach access was not well marked (possibly on purpose?) we asked a few people and quickly located the trail-head.
With a quick search on Google Maps, we also located the route to the park at the top of the Bluffs, newly renamed as, "Scarboro Crescent Park". The parking here was more confusing (we had to talk our way out of a ticket for leaving our vehicle in the wrong area ... others were not so lucky) but the route to the views more obvious.
Also, it is important to know that the city of Toronto has placed fences at the edge of the cliffs due to the erosion and risk of landslides. It was obvious that most people had no issue with hopping over the barriers to take in the full view, but a potential fine of up to $10,000 should be cause to consider your choice carefully.
How the Bluffs We're Formed:
The Bluffs stretch along a 15 km length along the shores of Lake Ontario and are a significant geological feature in the area. They are the result of an accumulation of sedimentary deposits that were made over 10,000 years ago and then eroded by the wind and water from the Lake.
Scarborough Bluffs is made up of a chain of eleven parks and a simple guide to the parking, locations and features can be found on the City of Toronto website.