High Park

Top choice Park

in West End

Toronto's favorite green space is a wonderful spot to unfurl a picnic blanket, swim, play tennis, bike around, skate on 14-hectare Grenadier Pond or – in spring – meander through the groves of cherry blossoms donated by the Japanese ambassador in 1959. Several nature walks, workshops and talks are organized by the Nature Centre and led by rangers.

Shakespeare in High Park

Shakespeare in High Park is one of Canada's longest-running outdoor theater events, having started in 1982. Guests sit on grassy levels by the amphitheater or – if they pay a little extra and in advance – on a cushion in a premium area near the stage. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner to enjoy the show like a local. Performances are staged Tuesday to Sunday at 8pm, between July and September. Payment is on a donation basis, with $20 suggested for adults.

Activities for kids

If you have small kids, check out the children's zoo (free admission) or take a train ride through the park (adult/child $5/4, 30 minutes, April to October). And be sure to peek into Colborne Lodge, built in 1836 by the Howard family, who donated much of High Park to the city in 1873.

How do I get there?

On weekends and holidays from mid-June to early September, bus 30B picks up at High Park subway station and then loops through the park. Otherwise it's a 200m walk from the subway station to the north gates. The 506 High Park streetcar drops off on the eastern side of the park. If you exit the park by Colborne Lodge at the south gates, walk down to Lake Shore Blvd W and catch any eastbound streetcar to downtown. The park is closed to vehicle traffic on weekends.