There are few neighbourhoods in Toronto that offer as much as High Park. A quiet residential area with beautiful houses, amazing parks, and easy access to the downtown core, this neighbourhood truly has it all.
Where is High Park?
High Park, also known as High Park North, is just west of downtown Toronto, located between Runnymede Road and Dundas Street West; Annette Street serves as its northern boundary and Bloor Street West is its southern boundary. High Park North is conveniently located next to several subway stations and is just a 5-minute drive away from the Gardiner Expressway. With these transportation options nearby, High Park maintains a connection with the downtown core, while also being distinctly separated from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.
Proximity to one of the largest parks in Toronto
The neighbourhood of High Park sits just north of the park of the same name. High Park is the second largest municipal park in all of Toronto. One of the main benefits of living in High Park North is being so close to this unique piece of park land. High Park has a plethora of features including nature trails, tennis courts, a wadding pool, two baseball diamonds, and an amphitheatre that puts on performances of Shakespeare in the summer months.
The natural wonder of High Park
A special natural feature of High Park is its Oak Savannah, a wide-open grassland area populated by dark oak trees that are particularly rare in this area of Ontario. However, the thing that draws the most attention to High Park is the cherry blossom trees that are only in bloom for a short period of time in late April. There are thousands of people that flock to the park each year to see these beautiful blossoms before they are gone.
High Park has a zoo that is open year-round and is the perfect place to spend a day with the family. There is also a large off-leash dog park where you can bring along your pets on excursions. In the southern section of the park, right next to Grenadier Pond, is Colborne Lodge, the first permanent residence to be built in the area.
History of High Park
In 1836, engineer John George Howard bought 160 acres of land to start a sheep farm in the area that is now High Park. On that land he built Colborne Lodge, a residence for himself and his wife Jemima Frances Meikle. After retiring in 1873, Howard agreed to convey the land over to the city of Toronto, on the condition that the park would remain free to use for any resident of the city.
Another condition that Howard had was that alcohol be prohibited within the park. The Grenadier Café, located in the center of High Park, is a popular restaurant that sits almost 300 people but is not allowed to serve alcohol because of the park’s zero-alcohol policy.
The types of houses in High Park
In the late 1800s and early 1900s the area just north of High Park saw a lot of development. The houses built during that pre-war period were mainly Tudor, Edwardian, and Victorian style semi-detached or fully detached brick houses that were best known for their stained glass windows, elaborate moulding, and large fireplaces. Many of these pre-war houses still stand in High Park North to this day. In recent years there has also been an infusion of newer homes in the High Park area.
After the construction of the Bloor-Danforth Subway line in the 1960s there was also development of high-rise apartment buildings, mainly along Bloor between Quebec Avenue and Keele Street. These are more appealing options for singles, young couples, or people who are looking to downsize from a house to an apartment or condo.
There is a large Eastern European population in High Park. The most common languages spoken at home in High Park other than English and French are Russian, Polish, Spanish, and Serbian.
Moving to High Park
The market for houses in the High Park area is extremely competitive. If you own a house in High Park and are looking to downsize or move out of the city, the value that you’ll be able to receive for your home is quite high. If you are looking to sell your home and downsize, staging your home can help tremendously. Home staging is proven to help your home sell quicker and for a higher price.
Whether you are moving into a new home, staging your home for sale, or just looking to free up space and get rid of clutter, self-storage can be a great solution. High Park is located just a fifteen-minute drive away from Storwell Self Storage at Kipling Avenue and the Gardiner Expressway in central Etobicoke. If you live in Toronto, you know storage is at a premium, and right now there is a promotion for Fox Team clients that can get an exclusive offer of 8 weeks of free storage for home staging. You can talk to a representative or visit them at:
Storwell Self Storage
300 Evans Ave., Etobicoke, ON M8Z 6C8
High Park Schools
High Park is a neighborhood that is tailored for families, the schools in the area are some of the best in the city. The Toronto District School Board and the Toronto District Catholic School Board both operate several schools in the High Park area. The TDSB has several secondary schools in the area including Humberside Collegiate Institute, that scored incredibly high grades in the Fraser Institute annual report card for 2020 and was ranked in the top 100 secondary schools in all of Ontario out of over 700 different schools. For TDCSB secondary schools, Bishop Marrocco /Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School, located on Bloor and Dundas is a highly rated school and another great option for your children.
In terms of elementary schools, there is a great selection to choose from in High Park including Annette Street Public School, High Park Alternative Junior School, and Keele Street Public School. A special mention should be made of Indian Road Crescent Junior School, it is located just east of Baird Park, and was ranked in the top 300 elementary schools in all of Ontario by the Fraser Institute out of over 3000 other schools.
The best restaurants in High Park
There is an eclectic mix of food options in the High Park area. If you are in the mood for Nashville hot fried chicken you can go to Keele and Dundas and visit Chica’s Chicken, for authentic Mexican food stop by Aztec’s Mine near Clendenan Avenue, and for great pizza go to Bello Pizza on Kennedy Avenue. If you still have some room left over for dessert you can head over to The Butternut Baking Co. for some elaborately designed pastries. Whatever you are in the mood for, you will find it somewhere in High Park.