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Seven Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer in the GTA

Happy Summer!  We are fortunate in Ontario to have a few beautiful months of summer weather but sometimes it can be difficult to think of new and fun activities to beat the heat and to stay active.  If you’ve used up all your good ideas for summer activities – than read on for seven great ways to make the most of summer!

Picnic in High Park – This long lost form of relaxation can be revived with minimal planning and effort, leaving you more time to breathe in the fresh air and decompress when the city becomes too much. Access the park from Keele Station (Bloor Subway line) and find the perfect spot to stretch out and take in the beauty of the park. If driving, the entrance from Parkside Drive (east side of park) offers visitors ample parking, a playground and washrooms. Packing essentials include: a blanket, snacks, sandwiches, beverages (my favorite is iced tea) and a Frisbee or board game. Sun protection is also a must!

Brunch on a patio – For a few short months a year we get to share in the simplicity of an unhurried meal where savoring the food is as important as the satiated feeling afterwards. Patio dining is often a barrier-free way to experience a restaurant that may not yet be renovated yet for those with physical limitations. Go online to find restaurants in your area or ask a friend for suggestions.

Meditate by the Humber River – Self-Reflection has always gone hand-in-hand with water. Whether it is the power and cacophony of the ocean, the tranquility and peace found on a lake or the fresh and excitable movements of a river, humans have always gravitated toward the waters for introspection. Visit the Humber River or any body of water and soak up whatever message that watery whisper has for you. For more information on the history and geography behind the Humber River as well as methods to access it, visit the Humber River website. For an iOS/Android app to guide you through deep breathing exercises try Pranyama

Visit a Farmer’s Market –  Support local farmers, hear about the benefits and challenges of being an Ontario farmer and taste some of the freshest produce available. All this and more can be found at your local Farmer’s Market. Take along a caddy to wheel it all home as you will be leaving with some amazing (and amazingly good for you) food. For a list of Farmers Markets in your area, visit Farmers Markets Ontario.

Take in a Movie (or two or three) at the Drive-In Theatre – Go back a few decades to when gasoline was cheap and undeveloped land was plentiful and the summer schedule always included a few nights at the Drive-In. Bring a blanket, a few collapsible chairs and all the snacks you like, but get there early! There’s little worse than being blocked out in the back of the lot by a pick-up truck that looks like NASA just brought it back from a Mars mission! Here are links to three of the many drive-ins in Ontario.

Barrie:  Sunset Barrie

Toronto: Polson Pier

Oakville: 5 Drive In

Groove to a free Outdoor Concert – Outdoor concerts offer access to everyone who enjoys music and entertainment as well as a relaxing opportunity to take in a beautiful summer’s night. Bring along some food and a blanket to make a comfortable area for you and your group. Blow bubbles or inflate a beach ball (depending on the type of music of course) to infuse that open feeling of space into the area. Toronto Harbourfront Centre is host to a variety of free concerts this summer. Visit their website for more information.

Participate in the Brain Injury Society of Toronto Run – The BIST “Run, Walk and Roll” is a fundraiser celebrating the great work BIST is doing to support survivors of brain injury. People of all fitness levels are welcome to participate! This year the race will be held on Saturday, September 21st  at Sunnybrook Park. Galit Liffshiz and Associates is a sponsor of the event and many of our staff will be there – either running or cheering! I hope to see you along the route! For more information please visit

By: Sean McGhie, Rehabilitation Therapist, GLA