The Wild Side of High Park

wild growth high park toronto


As mentioned in my previous post (here, where I showed the phenomenon that is hundreds of Cherry Blossom trees in bloom in Toronto's High Park), after I'd seen the spectacular trees, I parted from the crowds of people in favour of a visit with some of the critters that call the park home.

A third of this large park remains in its natural state, so in these pictures you can see what would be growing all over this area had the city never been built here.

wild growth in high park toronto


high park toronto natural growth


red winged blackbird in high park toronto


↑ A Red Winged Blackbird - Our winters are too cold for these so they migrate here in the springtime ↑

I walked along the bank of Grenadier Pond. There's a tale about how it got its name : while defending the city from the Americans during the War of 1812, a group of British grenadiers fell through the ice on the pond and drowned. Their bodies were never found, due to the fact that the pond is so deep. Its depth is apparently undetermined to this day because it can't be measured, due an seemingly endless layer of mud. Then again, there is a second theory about how it got its name, which is a lot less morbid : during the war the grenadiers would go fishing there during their down time.

on the bank of grenadier pond in high park


canada goose in high park


↑ A Canada Goose ↑

mute swan high park toronto


↑ A Mute Swan ↑

male wood duck in high park toronto


↑ A Male Wood Duck ↑

pair of mallard ducks in grenadier pond high park toronto


↑ A Pair of Mallard Ducks ↑

turtle in grenadier pond high park toronto


trilliums in high park toronto


↑ Trulliums ↑

path beside grenadier pond high park toronto


in the park



After a couple of hours, I left this calm and beautiful place and descended underground to catch the subway train. This last picture is the view right across from the main entrance to the park and the subway station is right behind the building with the red doors.

across from high park


Some personal Fun Facts about High Park:

1) As I type this I can see an acorn that I've had for over 25 years, that I found in the park. It's still perfect, with its little cap on tight. For some reason I've hung onto that nut all these years. Good thing it doesn't take up much space.

2) Nick and I once went on a picnic in the park with another couple we didn't know very well, but the 'picnic' part wasn't well communicated, and we didn't bring any food. So we just sat on a blanket while they ate their fancy food. They shared a little but we were polite and declined, in spite of being starving because we thought the double-date was to go for dinner in a restaurant after taking a walk in the park.

3) A friend once went for a picnic in the park with her boyfriend. They ran into a woman there that they kind of knew, who sat with them. She asked for their leftover mango skins and rubbed them all over her face, giving herself an impromptu mango facial. I met her once and she did have the most beautiful skin, so she was onto something with that. I've never tried it myself though, however I sometimes rub leftover lemon skins on my elbows and it makes them very smooth.

4) I first became interested in photography in this park. We had a family friend (now sadly departed) who used to take me and my siblings to the park when we were kids. He was really into photography and the main reason he always chose the park for outings was to take pictures. I have a distinct memory of being about 8 and watching him take shots in the exact spot that I took the one of the Mallard Ducks in this post.


Thank you for taking a look. I hope you're having a great week.
xo lou
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3 Responses to The Wild Side of High Park

  1. Julie says:

    You’ve got so many great wildlife shots! I noticed lots of trilliums in High Park when I was there recently as well- so pretty. I love your anecdotes about High Park- rubbing mango skins on one’s face is definitely a new one to me!

  2. Vix says:

    You’re such a great photographer. I’m fascinated by that blackbird, he’s nothing like ours are. A terrapin out in the wild? That would be snaffled and adopted as a pet if he was spotted in the UK. xxx

  3. Shoko says:

    Looking at this today in New York City, I feel transported — looks like the perfect breath of fresh air :)

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