DANIEL FERNANDES AT THE TORONTO MUSIC GARDEN

Where I go to find peace in Toronto

In this bustling town, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenetic pace of life. We found seven cool, interesting and diverse people to share their favourite places to find peace in the GTA.

“The Toronto Music Garden on Queen’s Quay somehow silences the roar of the city despite its downtown home—it must be some kind of magic. It’s also oddly vacant whenever I visit, so finding peace is easy, whether I’m diving into my guilty pleasures (a.k.a. the latest self-help book) under the giant willow tree or strolling the Wonderland-inspired spiralled paths.”  – Daniel Fernandes, 25, TV host & producer.

ASHLEY GRANT AND KAYLIE GINN AT WHITBY'S LIL ORGANIC KITCHEN

“We run an online business out of our homes, so when we need to get away from ‘the office,’ our favourite place to go is Whitby’s Lil Organic Kitchen. We love it for the bulletproof coffee and açai bowls, and for its crowd of like-minded and inspiring people.”  – Ashley Grant, 34, personal training specialist, and Kaylie Ginn, 30, registered holistic nutritionist & personal training specialist at Royally Fit.

KIAH WELSH AT ROM

“The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) just makes me want to create. I love learning and being inspired and as the co-founder of a blog that showcases how women feel empowered in their sneakers, the ROM, a place filled with so much information and art, gets my creative juices flowing.”  – Kiah Welsh, 27, digital producer and co-founder of she.lace.

JILL ANDREW AND AISHA FAIRLOUGH AT THE TORONTO REFERENCE LIBRARY

“Sometimes simply finding a place to sit and think in the city can feel like a daunting task. For us, nowhere beats the Toronto Reference Library —a place where we can be at one with silence while being surrounded by some of the most brilliant, influential and critical thinkers of our generation and those before us.”  – Jill Andrew, 38, and Aisha Fairclough, 36, founders of the Body Confidence Canada Organization.

HAMIN LEE AT WITHROW PARK

Withrow Park, just a block away from my house, brings me peace. I walk its perimeter to blow off steam. In the spring, summer and fall, my kids and I go there to play on the playgrounds and in the winter, we go tobogganing.”  – Hamin Lee, 48, commercial photographer.

“I love the Kitchen Sink Mountain Bike Trail in the Don River Valley Park. It’s close to downtown, but feels the furthest from it. Think mature woodland within the steep walls of the valley, teeming with life. It’s such a gem in the middle of the city and I’m happy to have access to woodland trails.”  – Geoff Johnson, 33, trades manager & surfboard builder.

NICOLE SINGH AT THE OSHAWA TRAIL SYSTEM

“The Oshawa Trail System [https://www.oshawa.ca/things-to-do/ParksTrailsandNaturalAreas.asp] is by far one of my favourite places in the GTA. As a runner, I find the most peace as my feet hit the pavement and love that these trails allow me to do that while connecting with nature (without ever having to leave the city!)”  – Nicole Singh, 33, public servant and contributing author to I’m 30, Now What?!

VINITA SRIVASTAVA AT UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ST. GEORGE CAMPUS

“My dad was a professor for 45 years at the University of Toronto St. George campus, and I was a student and an anti-racist activist here, as well as the coordinator of the University Women’s Centre. So, I feel a sense of ownership of the place. I get sense of peace from the Quad, from the wide open green space, the trees and the sense of curiosity and learning around me.” – Vinita Srivastava, 42, culture, arts and critical race editor for The Conversation Canada, and sustainable clothing and product designer for Upsari.