Winter Park-ing


With the holidays past us and the gifts all unwrapped, sometimes January can feel a little bleak. To chase away some of the post-December blahs, we wanted to remind you of that really big gift you got a few years back, but haven’t used in a while.
We’re talking about High Park, that vast space out by Bloor West Village. Often referred to as the jewel in the crown of the Toronto park system, High Park was actually ‘gifted’ to Toronto by John George Howard “for the free use, enjoyment and benefit of the citizens of Toronto”. And who are we to turn a good present down? While it’s a wonder in the summer, High Park is also pretty special in the winter. So, if you are looking for somewhere fun to go on a wintery weekend, here’s your savvy guide to the park.

Getting There
The park is located between Bloor Street West and The Queensway and is bordered by Parkside Drive on the east. The main entrance is off of Bloor Street, but we prefer the Parkside entrance (see below). The south entrance from The Queensway doesn’t get you too far into the park. You can drive up to Colborne Lodge but then the road loops around and leads you back out of the park.

Getting In
The park is huge and made for walking, but in the winter with little kids we really do recommend driving in by car. It can be a bit of a maze of one-way streets, but here’s a route that worked really well for us and a map to keep you from getting lost. When you get to Bloor, take Parkside Drive south and enter at High Park Boulevard. Follow High Park Boulevard south until you arrive at Deer Pen Road. There is ample parking here.

What to Do
Once you’ve parked the car, there are lots of choices about what to do. We adore the castle-themed Jamie Bell Adventure Playground, which is unlike any other in the city. It’s a short walk east of the Deer Pen Road parking lot. However, the playground may not be the best place to play if it is very icy. On a really slippery day, it might be worth just turning west instead and walking straight to the zoo.


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