I love discovering and spending time in public spaces across the city. Every urban dweller, whether local or visiting, should have the opportunity to sit down, take in the scenery and let time pass in a safe, pleasant setting. While you can never have enough, Toronto is replete with public spaces, and one of my favourite spots in the summertime is Alexandra Park pool, at the Scadding Court Community Centre at Bathurst and Dundas.
By no stretch is it a glamorous, high-gloss destination, so adjust your expectations accordingly. But for the bargain price of $0, you can spread your towel on the deck, take a cooling dip and lazily take in the vibes, with a stellar view of the CN Tower. The lifeguards often have chill tunes playing from the speakers, and on heat advisory days, the pool is kept open late (most outdoor public pools in Toronto are, for that matter). Public service at its best!
Just around the corner is Market 707, a unique street food market that operates out of refurbished shipping containers, and a little further down the way you’ll find Kensington Market, in case you want to grab a snack (be it a banh mi, an empanada, a slice of pie, handmade frozen Greek yogurt, dim sum, jerk chicken from Rasta Pasta…) before settling down at the pool. This is what Toronto is all about.