Did you know that the Forest City is home to over 350 parks? With summer in full swing, there’s never been a better time to get out and enjoy some of London’s parks and woodlands.
Whether it’s your small neighbourhood park or a sprawling green field filled with playgrounds and pools, there are plenty of gorgeous parks for you to explore. Plus, with the Thames River running through the city, it’s no surprise many of the city’s parks provide you with access to the river.
Though by no means exhaustive, this list features some of London’s hidden, and more well-known, natural gems. So, pack your picnic basket, grab your sunscreen, and get out and enjoy some nature in the city!
Address: 90 MacKay Avenue, London, ON
A hidden oasis, a visit to Euston Park will make you forget you’re in the city. Thanks to a naturalization project undertaken in the mid-2000s, you would never know the park is a former municipal landfill. Thousands of native tree, shrub and wildflower species were planted in the last 15 years. The gorgeous grasslands are a great spot to walk the dog, and the park is a favourite of birdwatchers. Plus, the wooded area in the west end of the park is part of the Coves Environmentally Significant Area.
St. Julien Park
Address: 15 Tommy Hunter Way, London, ON
Located on the Thames Valley Parkway, St. Julien Park is a great spot to enjoy a stroll by the river or go for a bike ride. Grab some friends to play a game of disc golf or take the kids to play on one of the playgrounds. This park also has a baseball diamond, soccer fields, tennis courts, and a basketball court.
Medway Valley Heritage Forest
Address: 29 Doncaster Avenue, London, ON
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a hike through Medway Valley Heritage Forest. An environmentally significant area that stretches over 129 hectares with the Medway Creek winding throughout, it includes floodplain forests, swamps, marshes, and forested valley slopes. Walk carefully as this area is home to unique flora and fauna, including the Eastern Red-backed Salamander, and Midland Painted Turtles.
Address: 331 Thames Street, London, ON
Often overlooked next to the historic Harris Park, Ivey Park is a beautiful gem in downtown London with a gorgeous view of the Forks of the Thames, including the Walter J. Blackburn Memorial Fountain. You can enjoy duck-watching, admire the flower gardens, cool off on the splash pad, or hang out on the playground. Plus, while you’re down there, you can check out the First Hussars Museum, which backs onto the park.
Address: 1475 Brydges Street, London, ON
Kiwanis Park’s sprawling green space has something for everyone. The playgrounds and splash pad are fun for the kids, and paved paths ensure the park is accessible to all. Test your balance at the Kiwanis Park Skateboard Plaza, with features designed for both beginner and intermediate skaters. You can also enjoy the natural elements of the park with the Pottersburg Creek winding through – cross the rustic wooden bridge to find some wooded trails, or just to say hello to the ducks and explore the creek.
Address: 2A Grosvenor Street, London, ON
Located along the Thames River and with the Thames Valley Parkway running through it, Gibbons Park is a favourite among cyclists, runners, and strollers alike. It’s a great spot to watch birds, explore the riverside, or walk your dog. Plus, the park also boasts a pool, splash pad, tennis courts, playgrounds, and pavilion.
White Oaks Park
Address: 1119 Jalna Boulevard, London, ON
This bustling park, located in White Oaks, is full of places to play, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, tennis courts, basketball court, and playgrounds. Surrounded by community services, including The South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Jalna Public Library, South London Community Pool, and nearby White Oaks Mall, White Oaks Park is truly a community hub.
Kilally Valley Park
Address: 200 Bridle Path, London, ON
Kilally Valley Park is a beautiful spot along the Thames River. Full of hiking and walking trails, this lush green space connects to the Thames Valley Parkway. Quiet and peaceful, explore the riverbank, enjoy wildflowers, and observe native species while escaping into the wilderness without actually leaving the city.
Address: 1085 Commissioners Road W, London, ON
The largest park in London, Springbank Park’s 300 acres includes 30 km of trails for you to explore. Or enjoy some of the many activities available including playgrounds and swing sets, soccer fields, wading pool, skateboard park, and pavilion. Plus, the park is also home to Storybook Gardens. Storybook Gardens, a family-friendly nursery rhyme–themed park, has been entertaining children year-round for over 60 years!
Address: 580 Clarence Street, London, ON
Last, but certainly not least is Victoria Park, located in the heart of downtown. This 18-acre park is a great spot to have a picnic, take a lunchtime stroll, or do some people – or squirrel – watching. Since its establishment as a public space in 1874, Victoria Park has become best known as the gathering place for Londoners, the phrase “Let’s meet at the Victoria Park arch” is common. The park is often full thanks to community events, such as Sunfest, New Year’s Eve in the Park, Home County Music & Art Festival, Pride in the Park, and Ribfest. It may also be the only park in London that has a song written about it and it’s own unofficial website.
What’s your favourite London park? Did we miss it? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Feature photo by Laura Thorne.