The best hills for tobogganing

[attach]3361[/attach]The holidays were a perfect time to stay indoors, catch up on sleep and gorge on turkey. Now that it’s January, it’s time to embrace the cold and venture out into the snow for some much-needed exercise. Grab your toboggan (and a helmet) and head for the hills. Here’s a list of the best parks to visit:

Crestview Park

At the top of the city, on Don Mills Road, just south of Finch Avenue, Crestview offers the perfect evening sledding slope, with a great view of downtown Toronto. Located between two schools, the hill is well-lit at night and safe for families. It’s rather tame (not very steep) but is wide and tall and accommodates plenty of visitors.

Christie Pits and Bickford Park

Two different parks straddle Bloor Street West, at Christie Street — Christie Pits and Bickford Park. The area offers three separate hills within a short walking distance and each ride is unique with it’s own size, distance, and trajectory.

Withrow Park

Located just south of Danforth Avenue, between Pape and Chester, Withrow is home to a wide-stretching, short and steep hill. The slope is spread out, wavy, quick and well-used (meaning it’s packed down and slippery). There is a staircase at one end making the small trek to the top easier for little ones.

Riverdale Park

Located on Broadview Avenue, south of the Danforth, Riverdale is the daredevil’s dream.

More suited for teens and young adults, the hill here is tall, straight, narrow and very steep. It also provides a great view of the city and the Don Valley, but visitors should be prepared to focus on steering down the speedy terrain, and getting ready for a difficult march back to the top.

Lithuania Park

Lithuania (Keele Street and Glenlake Avenue) is probably the least used spot on this list.

It is often over-shadowed by the popular High Park to the south. However, this hill offers a tall, lengthy slope that is better than any other in the neighbourhood. To test driver’s skills, it curves through a couple trees near the bottom, but there’s a smaller hill opposite it for nervous training runs.

Centennial Park

Located in Etobicoke (Rathburn Road and Renforth Drive), Centennial is traditionally home to ski slopes. However, a clear open hill to the left of those presents a challenge for tobogganers.

It’s fairly steep and fast, and reserved for those with plenty of experience and control over their sleds.

If tobogganing isn’t your bag…

Ever dream of skating down the twists and turns of the Rideau Canal? Now you can experience the next best thing right here in the GTA. Toronto’s first-ever ice skating trail opened at Colonel Sam Smith Park. Located just south of Kipling Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard, the outdoor figure-eight shaped path consists of a refrigerated surface about 250 metres in length. Visitors can experience the feeling of skating down a frozen river and enjoy the natural setting. All children under age six must wear a helmet while on the ice, for more info call (416) 338-7255.