By Mina Todosijevic

After a terrible winter, the sun is finally out, the birds are chirping and peace has been restored to the kingdom. The coinciding of spring with the end of the school term means most people want to leave the house voluntarily for the first time in months. So, without further ado, here is a list of possible destinations for spring getaways:

(List has been ordered in terms of accessibility by public transit.)

High Park

Cherry trees in full bloom

Photo by Tanaka Juuyoh

For those of you who don’t want to (or don’t have the time!) to leave the city, there is High Park! Other than being an all-around wonderful place in Toronto, High Park is also home to Sakura cherry trees. These trees only bloom for a week or so, usually sometime in late April/early May. Since they’re a huge attraction for the park, try to take transit (on the Bloor line, High Park station), as parking can be a nightmare!

Toronto Islands

The Toronto skyline as seen from the Toronto Islands

Photo by Dennis Jarvis

The Toronto Islands are a fantastic place to visit during the spring. They are also home to Sakura cherry trees, for those of you who want to avoid the crowd at High Park but still want to witness the spectacle. The islands are perfectly removed from the city, and very peaceful during the spring. Bring a sweater for the ferry though, as it tends to get chilly!

Port Credit

Port Credit at sunset

Photo by Gene Wilburn

Strangely enough, it’s hardest for me to describe Port Credit because I grew up right next door in Clarkson. Just a quick trip away on the GO train, Port Credit is full of little cafes and restaurants. There’s an abundance of parks that go right along the lakeshore, with a fantastic view of Toronto and the CN tower. For those of you who are athletically inclined, you can bike to Port Credit on the waterfront trail. If you care to try it out, it’s around a one-and-a-half-hour trip one way from New College.

Parkbus

Various Ontario provincial parks

Photo by Rick Harris

If anyone is interested in camping at a provincial parks, Parkbus is a service you should check out. Since most provincial parks are difficult to reach without a car, Parkbus specializes in shuttling people from Toronto to the major provincial parks. Service starts on May 16, and they recommend booking in advance for the peak months.

Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point

Photo by ecks ecks

If you do have access to a car, you (ironically) don’t need to go as far as a provincial park to explore the outdoors. Despite the fact that Milton is one of the fastest growing cities in Ontario, it’s still full of amazing conservation areas. Rattlesnake Point is somewhere I’ve been going since I was a kid, and it never fails to impress me. Pack a picnic and some good shoes and enjoy a day of hiking.

Rockwood Conservation Area

Rockwood Conservation Area also gets a special mention. It is next to a lake, and features a little beach, which makes it a favourite for the summer months. Also, in case your inner-middle-school self wants to freak out, they filmed parts of Camp Rock 2 there. Rockwood opens May 1 and stays open into October.

Kleinburg

Kleinburg is a movie version of a small-town. Although ice-cream shops and bakeries line its main street, its main attraction is the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. It hosts a truly impressive collection of Canadian and Indigenous art, most famously featuring the work of the Group of Seven.

While exams still occupy the majority of our thoughts, so many other things are going on around the city. It’s great to take a break and think of all the events and places opening up soon.

What are your favourite retreats? Let us know on Facebook!