by Stephanie Malek
I grew up in the east end of the city, but my grandparents lived on Sunnyside Avenue (Roncesvalles area). We would visit quite a bit but my favourite would be going to High Park. My Aunt and I would read plays on the picnic benches, my high school friends and I filmed a weird version of Alice in Wonderland on some of the more secluded paths, I would fool around with boyfriends tucked away from view among the trees, or throw impromptu Warriors-themed birthday parties on the stage in the middle of the park.
High Park's beauty isn't just in its nature-hidden-in-the-city, but also in it's variety. Some of the amazing gems hidden among the paths:
- A small zoo - my dad likes to tell me the story about when the Buffalo escaped and ran down the streets of the neighbourhood looking for their freedom!
- A historic museum, Colborne Lodge, depicting Victorian life as well as hosting numerous events and workshops (I did a wreath-making workshop once with some friends and it was delightful!)
- An allotment garden where Toronto residents can rent a plot and plant to their heart's content.
- The best dang off-leash dog area in the city - if you ever need a cheer-up, just go to Doggy Hill!
- PWYC Shakespeare productions during Shakespeare in High Park put on by Canadian Stage
- The coolest community-built adventure playground (after arson destroyed not one but two other playgrounds in the same spot, Mike Holmes lent a hand and funds to help create the current version of the Jamie Bell Playground)
- A beautiful Japanese water garden in the heart of the park.
- The stunning cherry blossoms (this will warrant it's own post at some point in the future, including the cool story of falling in love with my partner!)
Those are just SOME of the things in this park. I am so enamoured with the park that I moved literally two doors down from one of the gates to the park so I could enjoy it as much as possible.
If you've been, you've probably got numerous of your own stories and areas of the park that you love. If not, each season has its own magic in the park so make sure you check it out.
What do you love about High Park? Any fun stories? What other places in Toronto do you love?