High Park is one of Toronto's largest municipal parks, spreading across from Bloor Street West to The Queensway for over 161 hectares. More than one third of the park is left in it's natural state, so visitors can admire the various species of birds, fish, animals and walk among rare plants and other beautiful flora.
In addition to the nature side of the park, High Park offers various attractions and activities, such as sport areas, plenty of gardens and ponds, a scenic ride with trackless train or a large collection of japanese cherry trees, also known as sakuras. You can also visit the High Park Zoo, swim in the outdoor swimming pool or play tennis and see and do lots of other great stuff.
Oh, and by the way, dogs are welcome - there are many areas where they can have fun off the leash.
Cherry Blossom in High Park
Every spring thousands of visitors come to High Park to participate on the ancient Japanese tradition of sakura hanami - the "cherry blossom flower viewing". And as you can see on the photos below, there is much to observe. The colour of the cherry blossoms when the sunlight shines through them is simply breathtaking!
The first sakura trees in the park were a gift from the Japanese ambassador and were planted in 1959. They usually start to bloom by the end of April or early in May and the whole blooming splendour lasts from 4 to 10 days.
Located in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood, Sorauren Park was opened in 1995, after the local community opposed the plan of the city to use the area for storing vehicles of the public work division. It's named after the Battle of Sorauren that happened in 1813 near the city of Pamplona in Spain. Colonel Walter O'Hara, the man who gave name to the streets in this part of Toronto, fought in that battle against Napoleon.
The site had a long history of serving as an industrial grounds, as various factories and eventually TTC's bus garage were placed here. After the vehicle storage plans were cancelled, the city cleared the site from toxins and the park was built.
There's a lot of great stuff to do here: there are fields for both mini-soccer and baseball, tennis courts or an "off-leash" area for dog. You can also visit the Sorauren Farmers' Market every Monday from 3pm to 7pm. And of course, as in every park, you can just sit down and relax.
Charles G. Williams Park
This small park, most notable for it's great playground for children, can be found just across the Wabash Avenue, south from Sorauren Park. There is also a small strip of green space, a basketball court and a wading pool.
MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER: BEA LABIKOVA
Bea is a Toronto based musician, photographer, teacher and a multidisciplinary visual artist. Growing up surrounded by her fatherâs antique camera collection, Bea was naturally inclined towards photography since an early age. She loves taking portraits of unique faces and always tries to capture the colours of the world around us. Her main areas of interest are documentary, performance and travel photography.