The post below is the first in our summer travel series – chronicling local day-trips in the Archdiocese of Toronto that will get you out of the house and deepen your faith.
If you're looking to venture off on a day trip in the Archdiocese of Toronto this summer, Marylake is a faith-filled oasis located amidst the serene backdrop of nature 30 minutes north of Toronto. Run by the Augustinians in King City, Ont., it is touted by its founders as being the site of "the world's largest living rosary."
Here are some of the highlights of a visit to Marylake:
The Rosary Path – which officially opened in 2016 – is a 1.5 km walkway winding across an open field that follows the outline of rosary beads that are large enough to kneel inside.
In front of the beads that kick-off each decade, there is a board outlining the mysteries of the rosary – offering a visual as you walk and pray.
Alongside the Rosary Path runs the Stations of the Cross – brought to life through stained glass panels. The artist behind the panels, Toronto-based Stuart Reid, travelled to Germany to make the glassworks. Bonus: You'll likely spot some local wildlife (see goslings below).
As part of the Stations of the Cross, there is an empty tomb – which is a visual representation of the tomb from which Jesus rose from the dead. The Resurrection comes to life through the beautiful stonework.
The grounds are also home to the Marylake Shrine of Our Lady of Grace.
Marylake is a great local mini-pilgrimage spot if you’re looking to slow down and enjoy the tranquility of nature. It was a welcome reprieve from city life and offered the most creative way I've ever prayed the rosary. The grounds – including a vast picnic area – and shrine are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Parking costs $10, which support the ministry of the Augustinians at Marylake, including grounds maintenance. For more information on Marylake, please visit www.marylake.com.