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Lungs of the City
High Park forms the lungs of Toronto, extending from Bloor Street in the north all the way to the lake shore (or the Gardiner Expressway). On either side of the park are upmarket suburbs, full of grand homes.
The park is easy to reach by public transport:
Subway: High Park station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line is a two minute walk from the station the park's north entrance
Streetcar: Take the 508 Lakeshore streetcar and get off at the Parkside or Colborne Lodge stops or take the 506 Carlton streetcar all the way to the High Park loop by Parkside Drive.
Bus: Take the 80 Queensway bus route which runs between Keele subway station and Sherway Gardens. Get off at the Howard Park Avenue stop on Parkside Road.
A road runs through the park, roughly from north to south, so private cars are accommodated as well. There are restaurants and eateries, a zoo, and the ubiquitous leash free dog park so beloved of Torontonians. I am reliably informed that there are also squirrels (and I'd guess racoons enjoying the forage found in the rubbish bins of the well to do in surrounding suburbs)
Inside the park are surprisingly wild and untamed looking woodlands, ravines, lakes and gullies, interspersed with more manicured garden areas. There are many cherry blossoms in the springtime, which are appreciated by crowds enjoying a Canadian hanami.
We stopped briefly at Colborne Lodge, built in 1836 by Toronto's first City Surveyor, John George Howard. It is modest little timber cottage, with south facing veranda and distinctive triple chimney pots.
- Hiking and Walking
High Park features sunken gardens, hanging basket gardens, nature trails, natural ponds and streams among other things. There is self-guided walking tour, animal paddocks, swimming and wading pools, playgrounds, picnic area, and scenic train tour. Visitors can ice skate on Grenadier Pond and cross-country ski in the winter months.
Located not far from Casa Loma, I found High Park to be a lovely oasis in busy Toronto. It is the largest park in Toronto covering almost 400 acres, which stretches south from Bloor St West to the Gardiner Expressway.
There are many paved walking paths meandering over rolling hills, along the banks of Grenadier Pond, and crossing over a lovely little waterfall, pictured here.
I was happy to find free parking here and a nice self serve restaurant with a good selection of reasonably priced lunch items. There is also a small zoo and large children's play area and several sports fields at High Park.
I think High Park is a great place for lunch and a walk, bring along some nuts for the very friendly squirrels or some bread to feed the ducks and swans. I have more views of High Park in a travelogue.
- Hiking and Walking
High Park and Shakespear in the Park
High Park is the largest park in the city and one of the largest city parks in the world. Much like Manhattan's Central Park, it has walking/hiking routes, playgrounds, playing fields, flower gardens and greenhouses, restaurants, a pond, a zoo, and well just lots to see and do.
If you are visiting in the summer months (July-August) Shakespeare in the Park is a great activity to make your trip to High Park complete.
Every summer on Tues-Sat night at 8 pm you can see a selected Shakesperian play at the ampitheater under the starlight sky. If the weather is good this is a great thing to do to get fresh air and see some reasonably cheap theathre. Suggested price is $15 (pay what you can). 2004 play is "As you like it"
- Theater Travel
- Family Travel
High Park was a gift to the city. The original owner's house is run as a historic home showing life in Victorian times. There's a small zoo, beautiful gardens, wilderness trails, a truly joyful children's playground (think castles!), a restaurant, a pond, and, in August, Shakespeare in the Park in a natural outdoor amphitheatre (no reservations -- come very early!).
- Hiking and Walking
Toronto Island, High Park and...
Toronto Island, High Park and Allen Gardens - parks and horticulture
The 'Beach' area east of the Don River along the lake shore
Long bike trails along the Don and Humber Rivers
Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame
The Toronto Parks are very well maintained
The Beach area is an upscale area with trendy shops, leafy residential streets and a bordwalk.
Toronto has two rivers with scenic valleys, excellent for biking or hiking.
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Toronto Travel Guide
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