When you walk through the tree-lined streets of Toronto’s High Park neighbourhood, you can easily find out that this can be one of the best neighborhoods for families to live in Toronto. The High Park neighborhood with high ranked schools and many kid-friendly playgrounds would be a wonderful place for families. Its vicinity to the 400-acre High Park means you are going to have lots of outdoor activities year-round.
The High Park neighborhood is surrounded by Sorauren Avenue to the east, Humber River to the west, Dundas Street West to the north and Lake Ontario to the south. Let’s explore this green neighbourhood together more.
History of High Park
Based on the archaeological evidence, native peoples inhabited the High Park area in 7,000 BC and they used Humber River as a trade route between Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay.
If you review the rich history of the High Park property located in the High Park neighborhood, you can see that it was purchased in 1836 by John Howard who was Toronto’s first surveyor with intentions to run a sheep farm. Howard named his property as “High Park” because of the height of the hill overlooking Humber Bay and Lake Ontario.
The 400-acre property has been deeded to the City of Toronto to be used as a “Public Park for the free use benefit and enjoyment of the citizens of the City of Toronto forever.” The Colborne Lodge, the Regency-style picturesque cottage of John Howard, is now a public museum.
Demography of High Park
The High Park neighborhood now has a population of 23,925 residents, including 10,875 households. The median age in the High Park area is 39 years and the average gross household income is $122,603. 42% of the population is families with children.
Architecture of High Park
The incredible High Park area is one of Toronto’s most historic, green, and vibrant neighborhoods. The beautiful streets of High Park are filled with impressive Victorian, Edwardian, and Tudor-style homes, most of them dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The distinctive brick homes of High Park have different styles and architectural details, including stained glass windows, lush wood trims, hardwood floors and fireplaces.
You can also find a new selection of condo apartments at Quebec Avenue, north of Bloor Street with private balconies and stunning views of High Park and Lake Ontario. So, there are many house options available for you and your lovely family to choose and enjoy living in this green area filled with enormous oak trees and public parks. For those families who have children and are planning to live in High Park neighborhood, there are some high-ranked schools in the area, including:
- Indian Road Crescent Junior Public School
- Annette Street Junior and Senior Public School
- High Park Alternative Junior School
- Keele Street Public School
- Western Technical-Commercial School
- Humberside Collegiate Institute
Recreations in High Park neighborhood
The fun activities and beautiful places you can find in this area are not just limited to High Park’s spring cherry blossoms. While you are in the High Park neighborhood don’t forget to check the Junction’s live music and hip bars. There are healthy eateries in Roncesvalles neighborhood, the Ukrainian restaurants in Bloor West Village and you can try stand-up paddleboards in Sunnyside. Let’s explore all the activities you can find in High Park.
The High Park
This lovely landmark is the largest park in Toronto and the second-largest municipal park in Toronto. High Park is located to the west of downtown Toronto, north of Humber Bay providing many different recreational opportunities for the locals and Torontonians. The visitors can enjoy the numerous attractions at High Park. One-third of the park is covered with beautiful vegetation, including the Sakura cherry trees, gifts from Tokyo, creating an aromatic pink canopy in the spring.
Grenadier Pond is one kilometer long and half a kilometer wide known as an ideal spot for resting or fishing. It is also habitat to a wide collection of water birds, fish, turtles and other wildlife. Grenadier Pond is the largest of several ponds in High Park. It was connected directly to Lake Ontario. But their connection was cut off in 1853 to accommodate the Grand Trunk Railway.
There are also numerous kid-friendly playgrounds and a small zoo which make the High Park a favorite place for children. The other amenities in High Park include a dog park, numerous ravine-based hiking trails, tennis courts, swimming pools, baseball fields, an ice skating rink and restaurant.
Certainly, the distinctive feature of High Park is its natural diversity and beauty. But when you walk around this huge park, you see it is more than just a natural escape. It’s full of amenities, tours and events that draw all sorts of visitors. If you like going to picnic under the stars, you can try the pay-what-you-can outdoor Shakespeare run by the esteemed Canadian Stage Company. In summer, you can watch movies and go to concerts at High Park’s giant outdoor amphitheater. It seems like this stunning natural spot plays an important role in the health and happiness of the city.
They also have other recreational programs, including daily neighborhood walk/run, lawn bowling and pizza Sunday, Willow-tree Prayer Walk, yoga at park and other leisure opportunities.
Read More : Yonge and St. Clair Neighborhood of Toronto
Where to eat in High Park
The residents of the High Park neighborhood mostly have everything available to engage and support family life. The best shopping amenities, restaurants and cafes of Bloor Street West are in a short walk and the Bloor-Danforth subway line can get wherever you want. Let’s explore the best eateries in the area.
The Mugshot Tavern with a friendly, welcoming bar environment and fresh food creates an interesting experience of having fun for you. They have a long list of beer and cider (13 craft beer taps, 2 rotating guest taps, and an alternating cask tap), wines, cocktails and other beverages. They serve brunch, lunch and dinner and also have a kid’s menu. This is where everyone—singles or couples, old or young—would feel welcome. It is a new spot located at Bloor Street West, so close to the park, with a cozy rooftop patio space to enjoy your drink more in a perfect vibe.
Hanna’s café and bakery has a little more modern and classy design with open naturally lit decor. It is also located at Bloor Street across from the park. They serve one of the best sandwiches, pastries and coffee in the area, in a bright and relaxing setting with outdoor tables and park views. With your amazing coffee at Hannah’s café, you can try one of the most popular freshly baked pastries, like the hot breakfast biscuit, blueberry lemon scone and ginger molasses cookie.
One of the best spots for Mexican food lovers with a patio to enjoy enchiladas and craft beer after a long working day could be Aztec’s Mine restaurant. It is also located at Bloor Street. In this cozy and friendly ambience, you better be prepared for the heat of Mexican cuisine (here you can choose the spice level). You will get addicted to their fresh and perfect Margaritas and Guacamole.
The kitchen is open and in the middle of the room so you can see and smell what’s going on in the Aztec’s Mine. What will be better than trying a fresh delicious taco and a cold beverage after your long walk from High Park in a cozy patio place?! Visit this Mexican place with family or friends, enjoy a perfect cocktail and fresh Quesadilla feeling the heat of Mexican sauce.
If you need more information about homes and amenities in the High Park neighborhood, you can use the help of a top Toronto realtor who knows the neighbourhood in and out.