With over 1,500 parks that cover more than 8,000 hectares of land, it’s important that we are mindful of others and the impact we have on our parks and natural green spaces. Park etiquette and bylaws are intended to ensure the safety of visitors, to protect the park land and ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience.

Drinking and serving alcohol is not permitted in parks or on beaches except for designated areas, authorized by permit and approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

People aged 19 years and older can bring and drink their own alcoholic beverages to 45 City parks.

Drones are popular for many photography and videography enthusiasts and professionals; however, they pose a risk and can disturb wildlife and visitors. All city parks are “no drone zones” for recreational use. Please leave your drone at home.

Fly your drone safely and legally.

Setting off personal fireworks in parks and on beaches is not permitted. This includes ravines, trails and environmentally significant areas. Instead, attend public firework displays put on by certified technicians who are trained to handle them.

Learn about the safe use and disposal of fireworks.

Be considerate of everyone around you and make sure you don’t disturb visitors or make it difficult for them to use or enjoy the park. Don’t throw or place anything that could injure someone or damage property.

We have waste bins in place to make disposing of your trash as easy as possible.

  • Black garbage bins are for items such as hot drink cups and cleaning wipes. Learn more about what goes in a garbage bin.
  • Blue recycling bins are for items such as glass bottles, beverage bottles and aluminum/steel food trays. Learn more about what goes in a blue bin.
  • Green organic bins are for items such as food waste and dog poop. Learn more about what goes in a green bin.

Make sure you dispose of your waste in the appropriate bin. If a bin is full, please find another one close by or take it home with you. Don’t leave anything behind.

Report hazardous debris/garbage to 311 for clean-up.

Those found littering will face fines up to $500.

All multi-use trail users have a responsibility to be considerate and respectful of all park and trail users. The following tips are provided to help ensure that all users have an enjoyable and safe experience:

  • Trails are multi-use and bi-directional unless otherwise posted. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians – slow down, communicate, and be prepared to stop. Give trail users going uphill the right of way.
  • Faster trail users should pass on the left and keep to the right when on the trail.
  • Only pass when it is safe to do so and the trail is wide enough.
  • When riding a bike, let people know you are approaching by ringing your bell or giving a friendly greeting.
  • Dogs should be kept on a leash in parks, except on designated off-leash trails.
  • Pick up after your pet. Don’t allow your dog to disturb wildlife or trample vegetation.
  • To protect the pathways and parks, stay on the trail and don’t litter.
  • According to the Parks Bylaw, trail users including cyclists and skateboarders should not exceed the speed of 20 kilometres per hour when travelling in a park.
  • If the pathway is busy with pedestrians, consider walking instead of cycling, rollerblading or skateboarding. The trail will be signed to notify trail users that they must yield to pedestrians.

Symbols you will see on the trails

A yellow triangle with a black exclamation mark in the centre. Caution

A yellow circle with a black stick figure beside a black garbage can. The stick figure is putting trash in the bin. Carry Out What You Carry In
A yellow square with the words Stay on Trail in black letters. Stay on the Trails

A yellow square with a grey cloud outlined in black, with rain. Respect the Weather and Trail Conditions

A wide yellow rectangle with a black bicycle on the left most side, an arrow pointing to the right in the middle with the words Yield To underneath, and a black stick figure walking with a stick on the right. Share the Trail

A yellow circle with a black dog on a leash and a garbage can. Control Your Pet

Building beautiful naturalized areas takes time and care. It also needs time to regenerate after an extreme weather event or intense human activity.  Ensure our natural landscapes, horticultural beds, trees and turf remains healthy and viable by leaving the flora and fauna in place, minimizing compaction around the trees, and filling in pits found in turf.

Find a conservatory or greenhouse near you.

Loud music and unreasonable noise can disturb the experience of other visitors. Keep noise levels including music from portable speakers to a reasonable volume so everybody can enjoy nature’s own soundtrack.

We want all park users to share and use picnic areas and sports fields fairly. For large-scale gatherings, events or picnics over 25 people, a permit is required. This also includes organized sports and activities.

Some permits have fees and in some cases, permits may require the permit holder to have insurance. The person who has taken out the permit should make sure that the rules are followed and have a copy of the permit available.

Permit groups take precedent over recreational use.

Learn how to make a one-time booking or seasonal/league booking in parks and recreation facilities

Pet owners and their pets are welcome in our parks and on trails. It’s important to keep in mind that other visitors and wildlife may not be comfortable around your pet.

For a tail-wagging-worthy experience:

  • All pets need to be on a leash while in a park or on a trail
  • Pick up and dispose of your pets’ waste in a garbage or green bin
  • Keep your pet under control at all times

To run your dogs off-leash, visit a dogs off-leash area.

We encourage everyone to take photos and videos of our landscapes, gardens and city skylines. Leave all rocks, shells, flowers and other natural objects where you found them.

Learn more about ethical wildlife photography.

There are many parks in the city that make the perfect backdrop for your photo session. To secure a spot, book space for wedding ceremonies and commercial photography.

Our parks have picnic areas, barbeques, fire pits and bake ovens that can be booked throughout the year. Booking one of these spaces ensures that you have this specific area to enjoy with your friends and family.

Book a picnic area, fire pit, barbeque or bake oven.

Fire Pits

  • Bring your own fire wood, and leave the trees and branches where you found them.
  • Keep your fire small and never leave it unattended.
  • Ensure the fire is out by pouring water over the whole fire before leaving.

Picnic Areas

  • Leave the area cleaner than you found it. Throw out all garbage, recycling and organics into the appropriate waste receptacle.
  • Some picnic areas have permanent barbeques. Only charcoal or briquette may be used in them. Disposing of coals at the bases of trees and/or inside garbage bins can cause fires. There are special bins for your coals to be disposed in.
  • Small, portable propane barbeques are permitted at picnic areas, excluding the Toronto Island.
  • Leave park furniture such as picnic tables and chairs where they are.

Bake Ovens

Learn how to safely use a bake oven.

Weekends at popular destination parks can be busy with limited access to parking and park space. Visiting on a weekday will make for a less crowded and more enjoyable visit. Take public transit to avoid the frustration of trying to find a parking space and make them available for those who need them.

All Toronto parks are closed between midnight and 5:30 a.m.

Enjoy a park close to you.

Smoking tobacco, cannabis or using electronic cigarettes are not permitted in certain areas of Toronto parks and within 9 metres of the perimeter, including:

  • Enclosed public spaces; washrooms
  • Playgrounds
  • Sporting areas such as soccer fields, volleyball courts, tennis courts, baseball diamonds
  • Swimming beaches

Tents take up a lot of space on beaches and in parks. Consider bringing an umbrella or taking advantage of the shade of a tree. Our Be Sun Safe program provides free sunscreen at parks across the city.

Camping overnight is not allowed.

Driving safely in our parks means keeping these important driving and cycling tips in mind:

  • Slow down and drive with care – unless posted, all City parks have a speed limit of 20 kilometres per hour.
  • Park in designated areas – vehicles should not be parked outside of the designated areas, on fire routes or in accessible spots without a permit. If the parking lot is full, find the next closet lot and walk to your destination.
  • Be aware of pedestrians, cyclist and motorcyclists – you may be sharing the roadway with others.

Animal diets are different than ours. When encountering wildlife, prioritize their well-being by not feeding them. Whether you meet an animal at one of our animal attractions or discover an animal in an open space, enjoy them from a distance, with binoculars or zoom in and take a photo instead. Approaching wild animals is not only dangerous for you and your pet, but it also puts wildlife at risk.

Learn about wildlife in the city.