Welcome to Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto’s hidden nature park along the shores of Lake Ontario.
With 11 parks connected atop the breathtaking white cliffs, you feel completely removed from the city, even though it’s only 50 minutes away. Explore nature trails through wetlands, meadows and forests, beach area, scenic views, gardens, sculptures and restaurants. Scarborough Bluffs provides the perfect activity-filled getaway for the entire family!
Located in the City of Scarborough, just 17 kilometres east of downtown Toronto, Scarborough Bluffs is easily accessible by using a combination of the Toronto subway and bus networks. Or, if driving, paid parking is available.
For up-to-date information and details on the Scarborough Bluffs, we recommend you visit their website. For information about other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about Scarborough Bluffs
Scarborough Bluffs, or “the Bluffs,” as the locals call them, is a stunning escarpment of white cliffs lining the shores of Lake Ontario. Formed over 12,000 years from sedimentary rock, they are astounding to look at. And they are something you wouldn’t expect just a short distance from downtown Toronto. It’s an immersive experience in nature with walking trails and beaches to enjoy.
Actually, the Scarborough Bluffs comprises 11 small connecting parks that stretch for 15 kilometres along the shore. Though the cliffs are at the base of Lake Ontario, most parks do not have access to the water’s shoreline. Instead, each park offers its own breathtaking views of the area and lake with ample picnic space for relaxing. When walking along the bluffs, please be sure to adhere to the marked paths and do not get too close to the edge, as the Scarborough Cliffs are still eroding.
One of the most impressive parks is Cathedral Bluffs Park. Here, the tallest cliffs at Scarborough Bluffs are found. Rising over 90 metres (imagine a 25-story building), these spires truly remind you of a cathedral. (Pro tip: it’s a great spot for taking photos.)
At the foothills of Cathedral Bluffs is Bluffer’s Beach, the only beach at the Scarborough Bluffs. The cliffs perfectly surround the sandy beach, giving it a feeling of seclusion even when crowded. This beach has some of the best and safest swimming waters in the greater Toronto area. Even if you don’t want to go in the water, some of the best views of the cliffs are from the beach.
For land lovers, there is the enjoyable 4.7 kilometre Bluff’s Trail connecting Bluffer’s Beach to Bluffer’s Park. This loop trail has very little elevation change, making it something everyone in the entire family can do. It takes you right to the water with beautiful views. Though it’s an easy trail, take your time to pause, as there is always a new scenic spot that catches the eye. And for a pop of color, there’s the fully accessible Rosetta McClain Gardens. Featuring a pergola, water fountain and array of flowers, it’s a tranquil place to rest the feet. Visitors also delight in the many butterflies found in the gardens.
Further east is Sylvan Park, which offers access to Lake Ontario via the Doris McCarthy Trail. It’s a steep walk down, but you can’t beat the views. For a completely different experience, keep heading east to the Guild Park. It’s not the views that attract visitors to this park, but the history found in the park. The sizable park contains relics from old buildings that were torn down in Toronto. Important architectural details have been placed in intriguing and eye-catching formations. The most prominent example is the Greek theatre formed by columns from the old Bank of Toronto Building. Keep your eyes peeled for original art sculptures and an old log cabin.
Don’t forget to bring the camera — Scarborough Bluffs is a spectacularly scenic area, and there is no shortage of mesmerizing views. One of the best views can be found at Scarboro Crescent Park, with endless views over the bluffs and Lake Ontario. It’s also the perfect spot to sit back and lose yourself in the picturesque sunrises and sunsets over the lake. Though it’s a must-see for any visit, Scarboro Crescent Park is accessed only by a very, very steep road.
Connecting the many parks that make up the Scarborough Bluffs are designated green spaces. Many of them have picnic tables, giving visitors one of the best places to enjoy a meal in all of Toronto. You really can’t beat these views. If you don’t pack a meal, there are options: at the Bluffer’s Park Marina, you can enjoy a tasty meal from a handful of wonderful establishments.
If you enjoy bird watching, the Scarborough Bluffs are the ideal place to spend the day. Between late April and May, you can expect to see geese and their goslings in the area. Additionally, you can find loons, swans, swallows, egrets and migrating birds. Other wildlife call the area home too, including foxes, coyotes and deer.