It’s almost time to pack up those skis and skates, and dust off your tennis racquet, volleyball, and running shoes. For the competitive types out there, this is the time to sign up for leagues or join a club. There is no better way to meet new people and learn to master a sport. If competition is not your thing, there are plenty of courts, trails, and fields to hit up should you get the itch to be active.
A number of us have taken part in sports leagues around the city, and we can’t think of a more fun and productive way to spend our weekday nights. The Toronto Sport and Social Club and Not So Pro Toronto Sports are probably the most popular sports leagues in the city, offering everything from dodgeball to floor hockey to indoor and outdoor ultimate Frisbee. Whether you sign up with a group of friends or as an individual (prices vary depending on sport, venue, etc.), it’s guaranteed, cheap fun. Going for a couple beers with the team after never hurt anyone, either.
Depending on how picky you are when it comes to surface and court conditions, there is a huge range of options for playing tennis in Toronto. If you’re playing a casual game with a friend, there is no shortage of courts at public parks around the city. Sure, your court might be made of cement and the net made of metal, but there will always be space to be found. Trinity Bellwoods (Queen West), Ramsden (Rosedale) and Jimmy Simpson Park (Leslieville) are a few city parks where you can play tennis for free.
If you’re looking for lessons, tournaments, a partner or simply some better quality courts, there are lots of tennis clubs around the city. Sir Winston Churchill Park Tennis Club (Spadina and St. Clair W.) and Kew Gardens Tennis Club (the Beaches) are both very affordable options. Mayfair Racquet and Fitness Club is popular as they have four locations around the city, and Greenwin Tennis Club (Mt. Pleasant and Davisville) is known for its great clinics.
So when we say golf, what we actually mean is the driving range. While we wish we could say we enjoy a good round of 18 holes, our skills and patience are not quite up to, um, par. Instead, we love a good afternoon working on our swing and going through as many baskets of balls as our wallets will allow. Our personal favourite is the two-level driving range at the Polson Pier, a.k.a. the Docks. While there’s nothing fancy about it, it’s easy to get to and has a lovely view of Lake Ontario. Other ranges in and around Toronto include the Beach Fairway Golf Range (Victoria Park Avenue just south of the Danforth) and Launch Golf Centre (Vaughan), which is conveniently open year round courtesy of the personal heaters in each stall. Memberships, lessons and private parties are also available, making this a pretty great golf destination if you’re willing to make the drive.
One of the things we love most about the spring is being able to run outdoors again. Our personal go-to is The Beltline, which is a trail that spans 4.5 km from Mount Pleasant and Merton St. all the way up to the Allen. Ravines, the boardwalk in the beaches, and pretty much anywhere in the city with minimal pedestrian and vehicle traffic are great options as well.
If you’re looking to get more serious, or for company while running, the Running Room offers great clinics. Most groups require a fee to participate, but we’ve found that there are a few sessions per week where you can tag along with running groups (usually groups training for a race) at no cost.