Frequently Asked Questions
- When is the park open?
- Is it free to enter the park?
- How big is High Park?
- How do I get to High Park?
- Can I volunteer with a group in the park?
- Can I bike or cross-country ski in the park?
- Is alcohol permitted in the park?
Facilities and Attractions
- Where are the attractions in the park (Zoo, gardens, cafes, etc.)?
- Is there a restaurant in the park?
- How do I find the trackless train?
- Are there public washrooms in the park?
- Is there a lost and found in the park?
- Is parking available in the park?
- Do I need to book a picnic site before using it?
- Is the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground open?
- When is the pool open? When is the ice rink open?
- How can I access the tennis courts?
Plants and Animals
- Can I bring my dog to the park? Does it need to be on a leash?
- What do I do if I find a lost pet or an injured animal?
- When do the cherry blossoms (sakura trees) bloom?
- Are there coyotes in the park?
- Is there poison ivy in the park?
- Who manages the trees and plants in the park?
- Who do I contact to have a tree planted in memory of someone?
- Who runs birthday parties in the park?
- Can I book a tour of the High Park Zoo?
- Where and when is Shakespeare in the Park held?
Still have a question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
When is the park open?
High Park is not gated, but the park is poorly lit after dusk, so night-time visits are not recommended.
Is it free to enter the park?
Yes! There is no fee to enter High Park.
How big is High Park?
High Park is 399 acres (161 hectares) big. High Park is the largest park entirely in the City of Toronto (Rouge Park is bigger, but it also extends into Markham).
How do I get to High Park?
For a map and directions, see our Location page.
Can I volunteer with a group in the park?
There are many volunteer opportunities available in the park! Please check our Groups in the Park page for more information about the various groups you can volunteer with.
Can I bike or cross-country ski in the park?
You can bike in the park on roads and paved trails, but riding on dirt trails is not permitted; walk your bike instead. The soil on dirt trails is sensitive to compaction, and many of these trails are narrow, not leaving enough room for both cyclists and walkers. During the winter months, cross-country skiing is permitted anywhere in the park, however no trail grooming is provided. Bike and Cross-country ski rentals are not available in the park, so you will need to bring your own.[/wptabcontent]
Is alcohol permitted in the park?
Consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in all City of Toronto parks.
Where are the attractions in the park (Zoo, gardens, cafes, etc.)?
For a map showing all the attractions in the park, see our Attractions page.
Is there a restaurant in the park?
Yes, the Grenadier Restaurant is a dine-in restaurant with a beautiful patio in the centre of the park. The Black Oak Cafe and All Star Cafe are concession stands located off of the main road loop in the park. For a map showing all the attractions in the park, see our Attractions page.
How do I find the trackless train?
For a map showing the trackless train route, see our Attractions page.
This 30-minute scenic ride weaves through the park, picking up other passengers along the way. The train operates on a seasonable basis and tickets can be purchased from the train operator with one stop-over privilege.
Schedule: It runs April, September & October on weekends from 10:30 am to dusk, and runs from May to Labour Day on weekdays and weekends from 10:30 am to dusk (Operation is weather dependent).
Fare: Adults $4.50 per person, Children/Seniors (65+) $3.50 per person.
For more information:
Are there public washrooms in the park?
There are 7 public washrooms operated seasonally, including those available at the Grenadier Restaurant.
Victoria Day to Thanksgiving: 8:00 am to dusk, all locations are open
Year-round: 8:00 am to dusk, only washrooms at The Chess House at the Bloor Street entrance and Parkside Drive & High Park Boulevard entrance are open. Washrooms also available at Grenadier Restaurant.
Is there a lost and found in the park?
There is no formal “Lost and Found” in High Park. If you lost something near the restaurant, you can try stopping by and asking if anything has been found. If you or your child lost something on a trip at the High Park Nature Centre, Colborne Lodge, or the Children’s Garden, you can contact them directly.
Is parking available in the park?
Free parking is available in designated parking areas only. Parking between 1:00am and 6:00 am is prohibited. Of course, cycling and taking the TTC are always better options! For TTC directions see here.
Do I need to book a picnic site before using it?
High Park offers 18 designated picnic areas for pre-booking. If you wish to have a picnic for 25 or more people, you are required to purchase a picnic permit. They can be booked on a first come, first served basis from 8:30am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday, by calling the Toronto Permit Office at 416-392-8188. Charcoal barbecues are not permitted.
Is the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground open?
The Jamie Bell Adventure Playground was originally built as a community-led initiative in 1998. On March 17, 2012, a tragic fire destroyed a large feature of the playground. The community banded together, and through thousands of dollars donated by corporations and community members, along with countless volunteer hours, the destroyed portion playground was rebuilt. The playground is now open to all.
When is the pool open? When is the ice rink open?
The outdoor swimming pool is open during summer months, mid-June to Labour Day. The outdoor artificial ice rink is open during the winter months. It provides opportunity for pleasure skating, shinny hockey and permit groups. For more information, click here.
How can I access the tennis courts?
There are 3 public courts located on the east-side of Colborne Lodge Drive. The Howard Park Tennis Club on Parkside Drive offers private memberships and limited public hours. For more information please call 416-769-5600 or visit www.howardparktennis.com.
Can I bring my dog to the park? Does it need to be on a leash?
Dogs are welcome in High Park. Dogs must always be on a leash, except in designated off-leash areas. Many areas of the park are very sensitive ecosystems. Please respect the signs indicating when you are leaving the off-leash area; dogs off leash can cause tremendous damage to recovering ecosystems, and park staff and groups in the park are working hard to rehabilitate many of these sensitive sites. Let’s all help ensure the lush nature of the park is here for future generations as well!
What do I do if I find a lost pet or an injured animal?
If you have found a lost pet, you should contact Toronto Animal Services. If you have found an injured animal, please read through the Toronto Wildlife Centre page on sick and injured animals; adult and baby animals require different care, and the care required for a sick or injured animal depends on the species.
When do the cherry blossoms (sakura trees) bloom?
Blossoms usually reach peak bloom in late April or early May. The High Park Nature Centre runs a High Park Cherry Blossom Watch, updated frequently during the blooming season.
Are there coyotes in the park?
There have been a number of coyote sightings during winter 2015 in the High Park, Humber River and Baby Point areas. Sightings of these coyotes increase during the winter when trees are bare and there are less places to hide. Coyotes are curious animals who are non-confrontational by nature, except during breeding season, which runs from late January to March, when they protect their territory. For the safety of your dogs at any time, please keep them leashed and close to you. If you are approached by a coyote make yourself appear larger and make noise by shouting or clapping your hands. If you would like more information on how the City handles coyotes, or to report a sighting please click here.
Is there poison ivy in the park?
Poison ivy is growing in many areas of the park. Poison ivy is a plant that contains the poisonous resin urushiol on its leaves, stem, roots and berries. This resin can cause an allergic reaction for some people, so it is important to know how to identify the plant.
If you have come in contact with poison ivy, immediately wash your skin with soap and water; the reaction generally takes 24 hours to develop, and if caught early the oils may not have permeated your skin. Wash all clothes (and pets!) who may have contacted poison ivy, as the oils can also be spread indirectly to those who are very sensitive to poison ivy.
For more information on poison ivy, check out the Government of Canada’s Poison Ivy page.
Who do I contact to have a tree planted in memory of someone?
The City of Toronto runs a Commemorative Tree and Bench Program which allows the public to pay tribute to a person(s) or occasion by purchasing a park bench or tree for installation in a public park. For more information, click here.
Who manages the trees and plants in the park?
To preserve its beauty and natural environment Toronto Parks and Recreation has proposed a series of restoration strategies. Partnering with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources significant steps have been taken to preserve oak woodlands, shoreline rehabilitation around Grenadier Pond, small scale prescribed burns and native plant production. Toronto Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry section plays a key role in the restoration of High Park. Additional information can be found at www.toronto.ca/trees/ravines.htm
Who runs birthday parties in the park?
Can I book a tour of the High Park Zoo?
The Llama Pen is open weekends and statutory holidays allowing visitors to feed and pet the llamas (and interact with other animals such as chickens, rabbits and wallabies) from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm beginning in March until the end of October. If you are a school group you can book a Zoo Tour program with the High Park Nature Centre in the fall and spring months.
Where and when is Shakespeare in the Park held?