The high Park of Toronto

 Parks provide sustainable recreation because they enable non-motorized forms of outdoor leisure and recreation, and because they promote interaction with nature. The City of Toronto operates over 1500 parks, which cover approximately 8,000 hectares (12.7 % of the city’s land base). High Park is one of the largest and oldest of these, and is iconic as a recreation facility. Description High Park is in the middle part of Toronto, just north of the Gardiner Expressway along the lakeshore. Its 161 hectares combine extensive natural areas with parkland, recreation facilities and even a small zoo. One third of the park remains in its natural state of rare Oak Savannah. 

Two deep ravines traverse the park and a marshland hosts a rich variety of fauna. What to see and do here Visit in the spring to view the Japanese cherry trees in bloom, or come any time to hike some of the city’s longest trails. Fish in Grenadier Pond. High Park is also a top spot to see birds and butterflies. You can spend the day at the Colborne Lodge Historical Museum, the Hillside Gardens, the Grenadier Café, and the Amphitheatre. For the sports minded, come to enjoy one of the park’s 6 tennis courts, 3 baseball diamonds, 2 soccer fields, skating rinks, swimming pool or picnic areas. Children can visit several playgrounds, or the zoo, and ride on a ‘trackless train’. Year round there are outdoor nature education and park stewardship programs. History/Culture The land was bequeathed to Toronto by John and Jemima Howard and the Park was opened to the public in 1876. 

Archeological evidence indicates that long before John Howard called it “High Park”, this land had been travelled and inhabited by thousands of Indigenous people since the last Ice Age when glaciers receded 11000 years ago. Indigenous feet and paddles created the trails, and water routes that would eventually become the networks of European fur traders.

Nearby community features Keele Community Centre, High Park Nature Centre, High Park Public Library, Howard Park Tennis Club, Sir Casimir Gzowski Park. Cycling: For map and route, see page 24. Cycling is permitted on paved roadways only. Bus: Keele or High Park TTC Subway station High Park Loop, Stop ID: 1252. TTC Streetcar 506 The Queensway at Colborne Lodge Drive West Side, Stop ID: 14393. TTC Streetcar 501 Parking: 2 free parking lots, one at Grenadier Restaurant in the middle of the park and one on Spring Road at the South East corner of the park. Website: Location: 1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3 Coordinates: 43°38'48.4"N 79°27'49.4"W

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