12 best picnic spots
Fall is officially here! But this weekend is going to be an incredible "summer" weekend. Summer goes by way too quickly. Let’s take advantage of these beautiful days and get out and enjoy them.
An easy way is to have a picnic. Here are some great spots in Mississauga – both waterfront and not – to disconnect and enjoy a relaxing, old-fashioned picnic meal.
Note: Due to record high water levels, some parks have limited access in certain public areas.
Memorial Park: It’s an obvious first choice as a go-to spot for many of Port Credit’s activities. Not too large, yet big enough, this family park along the Credit River offers plenty of space to find your prime spot, along with barbecues, hydro and washrooms.
There’s a well-equipped and accessible playground, skateboard park and basketball court for the kids, greenspace, gardens, a great walking trail, and lots of trees for shade.
Make your meal a dinner and gather by the gazebo to take in the Mississauga Summer Concert Series, which continues Sundays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. until Labour Day weekend. (The exceptions are July 30 and Aug. 20, when the Mac and Cheese and then the Busker festivals take over.) Performances range from jazz to country, pop, Latin and big band.
Address: 20 Lakeshore Rd. E.
JC Saddington Park: Smaller than Memorial Park and jutting into Lake Ontario where the Credit River empties into the lake is this gem of a spot. For a smaller park, it offers a lot, including picnic facilities, barbecues, a comfort station, fishing, walking trails for joggers and cyclists, a children's play area and a pond.
Address: 53 Lake St.
JJ Plaus Park: Just across the river from JC Saddington and tucked beside the Port Credit Harbour Marina is the petite JJ Plaus Park. The parking lot for the Snug Harbour Restaurant next door is almost as big as the park, but that’s OK. Follow the shore wall to the edge of the marina breakwater for a feeling of being out on the water, or hide among the trees for some quiet relaxation.
Address: 50 Stavebank Road S.
St. Lawrence Park: Stretching along the Lake Ontario shoreline, this park makes for a great spot to sit and read by the water. Both sunny and shady areas are available along this narrow strip that hugs the Waterfront Trail. Along the way, manicured spaces, a gazebo lookout, and boulders along the shore offer inviting spots to escape from the city. Right next door, Tall Oaks Park – named for its tall oaks, one would think – is more of a parkette, but feels like it’s part of its neighbour. It offers lots of shady spots for a meal.
Address: 75 St. Lawrence Dr.
Hiawatha Park: Further east along the Lake Ontario shore is Hiawatha Park. This one is also more of a parkette but still manages to fit in a playground, plenty of greenspace and shady picnicking areas on a prime slice of waterfront property.
Address: 76 Cumberland Dr.
Richard’s Memorial Park: West of JC Saddington and next to Lorne Park Estates, there’s another gem of place along the lake. A playground for the kids, both sun and shade, a sandy beach, barbecues (but they can get claimed early) and a rock garden are just part of its charms.
Address: 804 Lakeshore West Rd.
Jack Darling Memorial Park: On the other side of Lorne Park Estates is Jack Darling. A much larger and busier spot, it also has more features, such as running water, an off-leash park, two playgrounds, washrooms and a sandy beach.
Address: 1180 Lakeshore W Rd.
Lakefront Promenade Park: There aren’t many trees here, but there is a covered patio with tables. There’s also plenty of parking, lots of room for the kids to run around, splash pad water features, a playground and walking paths along the water.
Address: 800 Lakefront Promenade (but the entrance is further down)
Erindale Park: This one is a biggie, the largest in the city, and is part of a greenbelt stretching along the Credit River from Dundas Street to Hwy. 403, although the main park area is concentrated around Dundas. It has five picnic areas and barbecues, six comfort stations, a playground, a lookout on the old dam that used to be on the site, walking trails, fishing, canoeing and spectacular views of the river and tall ravines. If peace and quiet are what you’re looking for, there’s plenty of space to find it here.
Address: 1695 Dundas St. W.
Riverwood Conservancy: Just north of Erindale, and part of the greenbelt, is the Riverwood Conservancy, which can be described as a breath of fresh air. While the emphasis is on keeping things natural, there are also manicured and garden areas, walking paths and more.
Address: 4300 Riverwood Park Lane
Mississauga Valley Park: While the soccer pitches and baseball diamonds may not be an enticing picnic spot, there is lovely lounging greenspace as well, with trees for shade and plenty of space to run around and play.
Address: 1275 Mississauga Valley Blvd.
Kariya Park: Not far from Square One, this Japanese-themed garden can still delight even when the cherry blossoms are spent. It’s not large, but offers plenty of room for a stroll around the pond, plenty of wildlife and mature trees. Very Zen.
Address: 3620 Kariya Dr.
Of course, if you don’t want to go far, there’s always your neighbourhood park. Maybe you’ll even see some of your neighbours there.