High Park originated as a piece of land that John George Howard (civil engineer and Toronto’s first professional architect) bought in 1836 to build a sheep farm on. He later donated it to the city of Toronto on several conditions including no serving of alcohol and that the City hold the park “for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the Citizens of Toronto for ever and to be called and designated at all times thereafter High Park”.
Even though I am not officially a citizen of Toronto I will make good use of this kind donation and also try not to get drunk in the park, thanks John!
This place is without a doubt one of my favourite places in Toronto. For me less than a 10-minute walk away (for others close to the High Park subway station) it is the perfect place to go out on a sunny day and just relax and enjoy all the park has to offer. Which is quite something! Nice forests with endless trails to walk or cycle, a mini-zoo with lama’s and yaks and other not very rare but still pretty cool animals, a huge dog-off-leash zone, a free outdoor pool which I suspect becomes an ice rink during winter, an amphitheatre, sports fields, a nice pond and lots of squirrels and photogenic swans and ducks.
You can easily fill half a day with just strolling around and enjoying the view, looking at animals and talking to people, which is what I usually do. Well that or go to the dog-off-leash space, look for a black labrador, pretend it’s my dear Zazou and try to teach it Dutch words. (Apparently chasing random dogs yelling “ZIT, ZIT!” is not a good way to make friends at the park.)
Score: 9/10 – Lovely big park, very pretty, lots to do but toilets are below par
Since I’m trying to up my film skills a bit I spent a day in High Park filming instead of taking pictures. (Well, I did both, not taking pictures when holding a camera is
hard impossible.) Here is the result: