Friday, November 23, 2012

Fun walk in High Park

This week, I was at High Park and was so pleased to see that there were still plenty of yellow leaves on the trees, especially on the majestic willow trees brushing the blue waters of Grenadier Pond. It offered the perfect background for the contrasting dark branches.

Now, that's my kind of family outing: beautiful sights to admire while the kids have plenty to explore!

Did you know about the labyrinth?
Park behind the Grenadier Restaurant (quite affordable, by the way) and start the adventure with a peek at the labyrinth! (Yes there's a labyrinth! Based on the 11-circuit in Chartres Cathedral in France.). It is located over the hill behind the restaurant's big parking lot. 

Then, walk straight down the hill facing the restaurant to access the gardens. Quite lovely in the summer with a stream, it remains a fun place to run through, with little bridges and sinuous paths, and it leads you to Grenadier Pond. (Check the giant maple leaf on the way.)

Don't mess with me!
Chances are you'll see ducks and white swans by the banks. When visiting, I saw a foolish dog run into the water towards a couple of them and heard them hiss aggressively back at him. You don't mess with a swan!

A walk with a goal
If you want encourage your kids to walk, promise them a go at the newly renovated playground on the east part of High Park (a 20-minute walk). Keep walking along the pond towards the lake, the trail will take you along The Queensway then back into the park, past Colborne Lodge Drive.

Past a little bridge, you'll see a smaller pond. Walk along the fence to access the east side of that pond then keep going until you see Jamie Bell Adventure Playground to your right. (Following an act of vandalism which burned a part of the castle, Mike Holmes, the construction guy with a TV program, took on him to rebuilt it and did an amazing job. More about Jamie Bell Playground in my blog Mike Holmes was here!)

(This article continues below the photos.)

Once the kids are done playing, take Deer Pen Road. It will get you back to the restaurant's parking lot in 15 minutes and, as a bonus, you'll see High Park Zoo's animals along the way. (It's still there but needs our support to remain operational. See this link for more information and donations.)

Another option: the marsh
If you walk north along the pond instead of towards the lake, you'll reach a more secluded part of High Park, with a marsh. Fewer people explore this part of the park. (Bloor West is less than 20 minutes away.)

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