With a fresh dusting of white powder blanketing Toronto – and more snow on the way – those who love winter sports and outdoor recreation are excitedly headed to our many parks and green spaces for sledding, a romantic winter wonderland walk, a game of pick-up ice hockey, or a good old fashioned snowball fight! One of our favourite natural sanctuaries for outdoor fun is Toronto’s High Park.
High Park is the second-largest public park in Toronto and features hiking trails, sports facilities, a dog park, a zoo, playgrounds, community spaces, greenhouses, picnic areas, a beautiful waterfront – and is easily accessible by public transit! This park is truly a gem of the west end of Toronto, but its origins are humble.
In 1836, John Howard purchased the land from the County of York for a sheep farm. Back then the wholesale cost was about $1,000. Decades later, in 1873, Howard and his wife agreed to give the land to the city on the condition that it must never be sold and the land to be preserved as a park. The City of Toronto agreed and added some land of its own to create the boundaries of current-day High Park.
There are many unique areas of High Park you’ll want to visit again and again. My personal fave is playing frisbee on the Central Plain, or, in Winter, snowshoeing!
The Cherry Trees
Along the roadway near Grenadier Pond are several Japanese Cherry Trees. In 1959 over 2000 cherry trees were donated to Toronto, by a Japanese ambassador. During the blooming period, thousands of people come to visit the trees and take some fun photos.
Located on the north-south ravine, that’s where the eastern half of the park is. It has a forested part and a spring-fed pond that turns into a small creek. The Eastern Ravine has more picnic areas to the south, a playground and the High Park Zoo.
Central Plain and Savannah
On the northern boundary, is the central section, which slowly narrows to a point that overlooks Lake Ontario. Most of the Central Plain is developed for picnicking, including the high park gardens and sports fields. Many of the trees in this part are over 150 years old, and the area is under the special care of the City and conservationists.
This large body of water is 35 acres in size, this pond is located on the west side of the park. They’re two interesting rumours around the pond: First, that British Grenadiers fell through the thin ice when crossing to defend the city in the War of 1812. Second, that the pond is bottomless, due to all the mud. What do you think?
The High Park Zoo
In the Eastern Ravine, the High Park Zoo has a small collection of animals. This free-to-visit zoo has Bison, Sheep, Emus, Highland Cattle, Reindeer, Yaks and… the Capybaras. More on them to come. The zoo is cared for by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation division plus volunteers. The zoo is partially paid for through donations at the zoo, online and charity foundations.
May 2016, that’s when a pair of Capybaras made headlines by escaping the zoo. No one knows how, no one knows why. But this sneaky pairs where gone, for a while. With reports of sightings all over the city, the pair named Bonnie and Clyde were found on June 12th and June 26th. The two are now parents to three baby Capybaras, Geddy, Alec and Neil, named after members of the rock group Rush.
Shakespeare In High Park Park
Before COVID-19 reared its ugly head, every year the Canadian Stage Company would perform Shakespearean plays in High Park. The unique amphitheatre – situated at the bottom of a hill to ensure excellent sightline – offers an opportunity for some fairly elaborate sets (for outdoor theatre). It’s the perfect date for a summer evening; get your tickets early, as it usually sells out!
There’s so much for you to do at High Park; to truly experience it all, you’d need to come back many times!
So get out and enjoy!
[*Title photo courtesy of Gail At Large, with thanks. All right are theirs.]
How would you like to live just a short stroll from this kind of natural amenity, not to mention Lake Ontario, Rennie Park, and The Humber River? There’s always plenty of activities to choose from, no matter the season!
Here’s our awesome new listing at 48 Deforest Road in sweet Swansea that we think everyone should see. This 3bed, 2bath, renovated semi-detached residence (with a finished lower level and semi-detached one-car garage) boasts countless modern upgrades and represents a tremendous opportunity. NOW SOLD!
A Splendid Semi-Detached Residence In Family-Friendly Swansea
Want to live near HIGH PARK? Let us assist you!
We SOLD this 3bed 4bath townhome we called A Stylish Family-Friendly Townhouse In Desirable Swansea. It offered 2100+ square feet of functionally designed space, a secure private garage, plus a patio garden off the family room and a terrace off the entertainment level – all of which overlook an idyllic woodland ravine! For those seeking a quiet respite from the ravages of everyday living, this west-facing residence offers a bucolic setting unusual for a central city address! NOW SOLD!
And this fab listing is NOW SOLD just west of High Park we called A Sun-Soaked Swell Dwell In Swansea.
As well as this Vintage Bungalow Perched On The Slopes Of Morningside Avenue SOLD for $651,000 over the asking price.
And on Glendonwynne Avenue we SOLD this gorgeous restored and renovated Stately Edwardian Duplex With Lower Level Suite, Steps To High Park!
How many of these other 34 amazing Toronto parks located near properties we’ve promoted for sale or rent have you visited?
Getting Back To Nature On The Don River
Our Favourite Off-Leash Dog Parks In Toronto
Creativity & Ingenuity Intersect At Underpass Park In Corktown
Walking The Wonderful Williamson Park Ravine In The Upper Beach
Carefree At Cassels Park In The Upper Beach
Rennie Park: A Vital Lockdown Playground!
We Adore Kew Gardens In The Beaches
East Lynn Park: The Heart Of A Community
We Love Sorauren Park In Roncesvalles Village
Explore Expansive Sherwood Park In Midtown Toronto
Let’s Play At Riverdale Park East In Toronto
A Lotta Love For Toronto’s High Park
Splashing It Up At Berczy Park’s Dog Fountain
Toronto’s Terrific Trinity Bellwoods Park
Carefree At Christie Pits Park
Bickford Park: An Oasis Of Green
Let’s Catch Up At Earlscourt Park!
A Gold Star For Toronto’s Green Line Linear Park
Stephenson Park Near Main And Danforth
A Pocket Full Of Sunshine: Phin Avenue Parkette
Symphony Of The Senses At Harbourfront’s Toronto Music Garden
We Adore Kew Gardens In The Beaches
Thanks For Coleman Park At Main And Danforth
Barking Good Time At Baird Park
Strolling Massey Harris Park & Stanley Park On King West In Toronto
Ski The Slopes At Earl Bales Park Near Bathurst & Lawrence
May we be of assistance to you, or someone you love?
Now more than ever, it is essential to plan a well-researched, data-driven, tactical strategy if you are in the market for a new home. Especially in changing times, when the pandemic has prompted many to shift their focus and objectives. Have yours changed? Please know The Urbaneer team is here to help!
The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
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