Tag Archives: High Park

#77 – High Park Nature Centre special event

Throughout the year, Henry and I take an amazing baby/caregiver program at the High Park Nature Centre called Nature Babies.  Through that, we learned about the Decorate a Tree for the Birds program the Centre runs the weekend before Christmas.  It was charming, fun and festive and the three of us just loved it.

There were multiple different stations set up to make animal and bird friendly ornaments, hot beverages and snacks, storytime, and a hike through the park ending in an evergreen grove which we decorated for the birds.


Details: Information about the High Park Nature Centre and other special events can be found here.

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#53 – Ben’s bird sanctuary

Tucked away in High Park is a pretty special place; Ben’s Bird Sanctuary.  Hanging throughout a small clearing are approximately 50 bird feeders, many of them homemade.  A gentleman by the name of Benjamin Holloway created the sanctuary years ago.  He has since passed, but a number of his friends and the community keep it up, keeping the feeders full year round.

It’s a pretty lovely and truly magical place.  We didn’t have the right kind of camera for bird watching, but saw just tons of birds, chipmunks and squirrels (and guys, it’s fat squirrel season, which is just my favourite).


Details: The sanctuary can be tricky to find unless you know where it is.  This blog post gives fairly decent directions (though everything looks totally different in Fall/Winter, but it is easier to find without leaves on the trees).

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#5 – Visit the High Park Zoo

High Park Zoo may not be as glam as other city parks’ zoos (I’m looking at you New York and Chicago), but it’s small and earnest, and the little kids toddling through are still delighted.  We walked through as part of our Joyce Family Winter Classic day.   I do love that the zoo has been kept open largely from donations from the local community after multiple attempts to close it down, though in 2014 the City resumed funding it.



Details: Information about the High Park Zoo can be found here.

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#4 – Joyce Family Winter Classic

This Christmas, my parents forbid us from getting them any presents.  So my brothers, Sam, Adam and I got together and planned a day of family fun instead; dubbed the Joyce Winter Classic.  Below is the itinerary we gifted them on Christmas, and a few photos from the day!

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Details: We started our day at Cafe Novo, a great local cafe just outside High Park.  We went for a stroll through High Park, including the zoo (more photos from that coming soon!), and then after a big meal, we went to the Samuel Smith Skating trail.


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#23 – Take an outdoor yoga class

This past Sunday we hit up the last free yoga class of the year in High Park, sponsored by flow-active.com.  To be totally fair, Adam did a yoga class, and I did a lot of child’s pose; I’m so enormously pregnant at this point that with avoiding all the ‘don’t-do-while-pregnant’ poses, plus trying not to squish the little guy, I couldn’t do a lot.  Other than that though, it was a really nice experience; the terribly hot weather had just broke, it was a cool, sunny morning and the class seemed great.  I will definitely keep it in mind for next summer.


Details: There doesn’t seem to be an official site for this program, but most information can be found here.

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#19 – Have a winter picnic

We trekked out into High Park today for a winter picnic.   We brought out a can of Amy’s No-Chicken Noodle Soup, herb & garlic baguette, old cheddar, and sugar cookies.  Only thing missing was a thermos full of warm cocktails.


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#26 – Climb a tree

We learned something doing this one; I do not like climbing trees.  So I parked myself on one of the lower branches of a beautiful Dawn Redwood in High Park, and Adam went straight to the top, getting a lovely view of Grenadier Pond at sunset.


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#43 – Go 24 Hours Technology free

We checked this one off a couple weeks ago.  We purposefully choose 24 hours that we were in town, and had a lot going on (it felt like cheating if we were out of town or camping). I was surprised how much discussion this one generated in terms of what technology free meant.  Our intention was to go screen free; no computers, TVs, phones, iPads, iPods.  At the last minute we decided our digital camera was also banned, so we were using a couple seriously terrible disposable cameras.  Some people felt using our car shouldn’t have been allowed; others didn’t see a problem with using our camera.

We went from 7pm on Friday until 7pm on Saturday.  Friday night we started our night at a going away party for my sister-in-law, then we walked home from Bathurst to High Park along Bloor, enjoying the crazy clouds rolling over Toronto.  We stopped for pizza, and then sat on our balcony with some cocktails and watched the lighting storm over Lake Ontario.

On Saturday we went for a run in High Park, then walked around Grenadier Pond.  Back at our place, Adam worked at refinishing some dressers and then we headed into Oakville.  Adam went off to play a round of golf while I lay in the grass and read a book with my parents’ dogs.  At the end of our 24 hours my parents and I headed out to meet up with Adam and the rest of the extended family for a dinner at the golf course.

Overall, a fun experiment.  While I missed being connected, I missed my camera the most, especially with the gorgeous clouds and crazy lighting storm. Image
Seriously, how terrible are disposable cameras?

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#31 – Summer picnic

Yesterday we hit up a number of farmer stalls in Niagara-on-the-Lake, so it seemed like the perfect time to go on a summer picnic in High Park with all our delicious treats.

Our picnic menu included;
Cherries and strawberries
Summer peas
Spanish Roasted Potato salad
Quinoa salad

All in all, it was delightful.

Details: The Spanish Roasted Potato Salad recipe (which was amazing) can be found here.
The quinoa salad is my invention based on a recipe I will likely not be able to find.  It’s quinoa, feta, peppers, red onions, cucumbers, olive oil, red wine vinegar and dried oregano.

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