7 Places in Toronto You Can Take Beautiful Spring Photos With Your Dog

7 Places in Toronto You Can Take Beautiful Spring Photos With Your Dog

Are you looking to take some beautiful spring photos with your dog in Toronto? 

Whether you’re looking for manicured spring gardens, cherry blossom tree dog photoshoots, or just some breathtaking scenery, today’s post showcases a curated collection of some of the best dog-friendly spots to visit in the spring.

Bonus: Each location includes the nearest off-leash area or dog park to help you burn off some extra energy before you start snapping those pictures!

P.S. If you notice that most of the listings are Cherry Blossom related – well that’s because that’s what I’m most excited about this coming spring, so naturally there will be few listings made specifically for this pretty spring event. 



Map of All Locations

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a vacation planner on iOS and Android
Cherry blossoms in the foreground with Lake Ontario and some high rise buildings. Image is taken at High Park, Toronto, by Brandon Law from Unsplash.com
Cherry Blossoms in High Park – Image taken by Brandon Law from Unsplash

1. High Park

As Toronto’s largest public park featuring a plethora of hiking trails, diverse vegetation, lakefront views, greenhouses, and of course cherry blossoms.

It’s no wonder that this park consistently makes it to the top of the lists for one of the best places to visit in the spring in Toronto. 

In 2017 and 2018, over 50 Cherry Blossom trees were planted in High Park – with most of them located on the west side of Grenadier Pond

Tip
Visit before 10:00 AM if you want to find space in the nearby parking lots around High Park. Any later and you may find it tough to find a parking spot – even around the streets.

Even without the cherry blossom blooms, High Park still offers plenty of beautiful landscapes and gardens to enjoy with your dog during the rest of the spring – be sure to visit the other recommended locations within the park too!

Address: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3
Parking: To help manage traffic, all parking lots in High Park are closed during the cherry blossom season. Public transit is recommended. However, if you really need to find parking, you can find street parking around the neighborhoods if you arrive early in the day or you can search for parking lots nearby (using apps like Parkopedia, HonkMobile, etc.)
Nearest off-leash dog park: High Park Off-Leash Dog Park (check out my map of Toronto Dog Parks for other nearby dog parks)
Best time to visit: early morning (i.e. before 10:00 AM) in the Late April – early may if you’re trying to catch the cherry blossom trees
Dog Restrictions: 

  • Dogs are to remain on-leash at all times (6ft maximum length) excluding the off-leash area. 
  • Dogs are not permitted (with the exception of service animals) inside buildings including the High Park Greenhouse, The Grenadier Cafe, and the High Park Nature Centre, Wading Pool – basically use your best judgment – in general dogs should be allowed on most outdoor trails and areas that don’t post any sanitary or health concerns

High Park – Recommended Photo Locations

James Garden Bridge and Pond in Toronto
James Garden Bridge and Pond – Wikimedia Commons

2. James Garden

West Toronto folks will appreciate this Etobicoke/Toronto estate-turned-public-park if they’re looking to take spring photos with their dogs in Toronto relatively near their home. 

Located on the west bank of the Humber River, James Gardens is well-known for its flower gardens, terraced stone pathways, terraced pathways, and its gazebo. 

The James Garden also connects to the Humber Recreational Trail overlooking the Lambert Golf Course which provides additional trail walking for dog owners looking to add a long walk to their garden visit.

Note
Prey-driven or bird-loving dogs – please be aware that this is one of the top places in Toronto for bird watching too – spring is an especially busy month so you may want to visit other parks instead if you’re having a hard time keeping your dog focused on you when snapping photos! 

Address: 99 Edenbridge Dr, Etobicoke, ON M9A 3G4
Parking: Free Parking Onsite
Nearest off-leash dog park: See my review of Raymore Dog Park (check out my map of Toronto Dog Parks for other nearby dog parks)
Best time to visit in the spring: Anytime before 12:00 PM to secure a parking spot
Dog Restrictions: 

  • Dogs are to remain on-leash at all times (6ft maximum length)

James Garden – Recommended Photo Locations

3. Trinity Bellwoods Park

Sitting at 36 acres, Trinity Bellwoods Park is the largest park in the downtown core of Toronto. If you’re looking to add some springtime European flair to your photoshoot, look no further than the gates at the southern entrance to the park. 

During Spring, Trinity Bellwoods Park is likely the second best known Toronto park to visit for Cherry Blossom Tree viewing. However, for the past two years, the 70 cherry blossom tree pathways have been fenced off to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Hopefully this year, they will be open for public viewing and enjoyment again!

Outside of the cherry blossom trees, Trinity Bellwoods Park, there are still plenty of beautiful flowers and trees to enjoy at this park. 

Note
I’d recommend staying away from the off-leash dog bowl area for several days after rainfall and stick to the pathways during your visit to avoid any mud!

Address: 790 Queen St. W, Toronto, ON M6J 1G3
Parking: Public transit is recommended. However, if you really need to find parking, you can find street parking around the neighborhoods if you arrive early in the day or you can search for parking lots nearby (using apps like Parkopedia, HonkMobile, etc.)
Nearest off-leash dog park: Trinity Bellwoods Park Dog Bowl (check out my map of Toronto Dog Parks for other nearby dog parks)
Best time to visit in the spring: early morning (i.e. before 10:00 AM) if you’re looking to secure a picnic spot or avoid crowds
Dog Restrictions: 

  • Dogs are to remain on-leash at all times (6ft maximum length) excluding the off-leash area

Trinity Bellwood Park – Recommended Photo Locations

Scarborough Bluffs Cliff and Bluffers Beach with turquoise waters. Image is for featured image for the blog post: Are Dogs Allowed At Scarborough Bluffs?

4. Scarborough Bluffs

From the towering cliffside of The Bluffs, to beachside fun, to manicured gardens set beside architectural facades, Scarborough Bluffs has plenty of potential photoshoot opportunities for you and your dog to enjoy in the spring. 

While most of Scarborough Bluffs is dog-friendly – there are certain areas that are not – be sure to check out this post to find out which parks are dog-friendly in Scarborough Bluffs!

If you’re planning on visiting multiple spots to take spring photos with your dog in Scarborough Bluffs, you should definitely consider starting at Sylvan Park – which is centrally located to:

  1. Bluffers Park and Beach – Bluffers Beach is dog-friendly from November 1 to March 31st and is a great location for a quiet dog-friendly beach stroll in the early spring
  2. Guild Park and Gardens – for its mix of manicured gardens and architectural facades

If you’re looking for a family picnic spot with picturesque views of the sandstone cliffs – then be sure to check out East Point Park instead – it is one of the largest parklands in the city and a popular location for bird watching too. 

Address:

Parking: Parking lot available at all listed addresses
Nearest off-leash dog park: Scarborough Heights Dog Park (check out my map of Toronto Dog Parks for other nearby dog parks)
Best time to visit in the spring: early morning (i.e. before 10:00 AM) if you’re looking to secure parking spot on the weekends
Dog Restrictions:

  • Dogs are to remain on-leash at all times (6ft maximum length) excluding the off-leash area
  • If visiting Guild Park, dogs should keep away from heavily trafficked areas of the Guild Inn Garden Area (i.e. where wedding photos, events, and public art)

Scarborough Bluffs – Recommended Photo Locations

Map created using Wanderlog, a road trip planner on iOS and Android
A lovely photoshoot done by my partner, Angelo Manalac at Toronto Centre Island

5. Toronto Centre Island

An always fun day trip – Toronto Centre Island is only a short ferry ride away from the Harbourfront in downtown Toronto.

I personally have very fond spring memories celebrating the annual Dragon Boat festival racing down the Alan A. Lamport Regatta Course during my high school and university years. 

The island is such a great place for spring photos with your dog in Toronto. It offers so many little nooks and crannies with great photoshoot options. From shrub mazes to manicured gardens, to quiet scenic boardwalks,  you’re sure to find plenty of great photoshoot opportunities on this island. 

There’s even a small grove of 30 Cherry Blossom Trees and a lighthouse on the island too!

My favorite location when visiting the islands is the quiet neighborhood on the Eastern Channel. Here, you can navigate through some of the parkettes and boardwalks mostly enjoyed by the permanent residents of the island. 

The Eastern Channel is a long walk from the central area – but well worth it for the skyline views, and cozy gardens. 

Address: Toronto, Ontario
Parking

You’ll need to find parking near the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

Some parking lots nearby include:

Nearest off-leash dog park: David Crombie Dog Park (check out my map of Toronto Dog Parks for other nearby dog parks) – note: there are no off-leash areas on the island itself.
Best time to visit in the spring: late April – early May for Cherry Blossoms, mid-June for the Dragon Boat Festival
Dog Restrictions:

  • Dogs are to remain on-leash at all times (6ft maximum length) 

Toronto Centre Island – Recommended Photo Locations:

Toronto Centre Island - Spring Photoshot

6. Toronto Music Garden

Enjoy an enchanting garden in the heart of Toronto. The Toronto Music Garden was designed by landscape architects and renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. The garden’s design was inspired by Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello and features classical music performed in the summer months too.. 

While the Toronto Music Garden is most famous for its open air classical music in the summer months, the garden’s landscape is well worth a visit in the quieter spring months too. 

During the spring, you can look forward to walking through a wildflower meadow, views of the harbor from the giant grass steps and enjoy the various forest groves designed throughout the park. The City of Toronto offers a highly descriptive explanation of the garden’s design that is worth reading before visiting the garden too. 

Address: 475 Queen’s Quay West
Parking

You’ll need to find parking near the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

Some parking lots nearby include:

Nearest off-leash dog park: David Crombie Dog Park (check out my map of Toronto Dog Parks for other nearby dog parks) – note: there are no off-leash areas on the island itself. 
Best time to visit in the spring: early May – mid-June so wildflowers have time to bloom

Dog Restrictions:

  • Dogs are to remain on-leash at all times (6ft maximum length) 

Recommended Photo Locations:

7. Birkdale Ravine

With over 45 trees donated by Sagamihara – Toronto’s sister city in Japan- and planted in 2015, and 2016, Scarborough dog owners looking to take cherry blossom photos with their dogs can breathe a sigh of relief from the downtown Toronto crowds. 

This short 1.4 KM footpath is a lovely option if you’re looking for a quick, relatively painless, photoshoot of your dog with the sakura trees in Toronto. 

In the spring you can also look forward to seeing Forget-Me-Not’s and Dame’s Rockets blooming along the ravine.

Extra bonus: Birkdale Ravine conveniently connects to the Thomson Memorial Park, which has an off-leash area to enjoy too! 

Address: 1100 Brimley Rd, Scarborough, ON M1P 3X9
Parking

Nearest off-leash dog park: Thomson Memorial Dog Off-Leash Area (check out my map of Toronto Dog Parks for other nearby dog parks) – note: there are no off-leash areas on the island itself.
Best time to visit in the spring: early May – mid-June so wildflowers have time to bloom

Dog Restrictions:

  • Dogs are to remain on-leash at all times (6ft maximum length) excluding the off-leash area at Thomson Memorial Park

Summary

If you’re looking for places to take beautiful photos of your dog in Toronto in Spring, then then be sure to check out one of the 6 locations listed in today’s post:

  1. High Park
  2. James Garden
  3. Trinity Bellwoods Park
  4. Scarborough Bluffs
  5. Toronto Centre Island
  6. Toronto Music Garden
  7. Birkdale Ravine

Looking for a dog-friendly hike to see Spring Wildflowers outside of Toronto? Be sure to check these locations out too:

Did you visit any of these locations in the spring? Let me know in the comments below!

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