Overlooking one of Toronto’s most renowned and beautiful parks can be a dream come true for many homeowners. Offering both a quick subway ride to the downtown core and the serene nature of the park and surrounding areas, it’s no wonder High Park is such a popular choice for people looking to live in the west end of Toronto and often referred to as an ‘urban oasis’.
In this guide you will find:
- Recently Listed Properties
- Recently Bought Properties
- Happy High Park Clients
- History of the High Park
- Schools and educational facilities
- Food & Entertainment
Chic & Spacious 2 Bedroom Plus Den Across From Beautiful High Park!
421 Glenlake Avenue is a gorgeous renovated 2.5-storey family home in the heart of High Park with extensive high-end finishings and spectacular views from all windows.
Fabulous Investment Property in Prime High Park / Roncesvalles!
227 Grenadier Road is a grand, 4 unit detached 2.5 storey Edwardian style residence on an extra large 30 foot wide south facing lot with garage in a superb location of Roncesvalles/High Park.
100 Quebec Avenue #1101 is a 1250 square feet 3 bedroom condo with stunning views in the heart of High Park!
186 Indian Road offers a warm and welcoming family home at its finest in High Park/Roncesvalles, one of the best locations in Toronto!
Prepare to be awed as you fall in love with this magnificent contemporary and completely renovated detached home located on a quiet cul-de-sac.
Scroll and click on any of the photos to watch the video testimonials ↓
The area contains a diverse mix of housing options to rent and own. Part of the beauty of this area is that condo dwellers can also be pet owners and take in both spectacular skyline views and exercise their pooch, enjoying the park all year long. The cozy winding streets have both tall oak trees and ample access to important amenities and transit with the neighbourhood encompassed roughly by Annette Street to the north, The Queensway to the south, with the western edge bordering on Clendenan Avenue and the eastern along Keele Street.
The Park has two owners sharing in its history: The Howard and Ellis Family. John Howard had purchased a portion of the property today known as High Park in 1836 when it was a sheep farm for just $1,000. It was during this time that Howard both designed and built Colborne Lodge as a cottage to house he and his wife Jemima. Howard was the city’s surveyor and civil engineer. To this date a third of the park is left in its own natural state, boasting a rare oak savannah. In 1854, when a railway was built to the south of the estate, Howard sold a piece of land to the Hamilton and Toronto Railway company for 300 pounds. At that time a sand bar that divided Grenadier park from Lake Ontario was filled to allow for the safe building of the reals.
Several years later, in 1873, Howard would bequeath the property to the City of Toronto as an urban park, but his gift came with several conditions. Howard and his family were to continue to live in their cottage, there was never to be alcoholic beverages served within the park, and that the city keep the park forever more, "for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the Citizens of Toronto for ever and to be called and designated at all times thereafter High Park".
The Ellis family, whose namesake can be seen by way of the name of Ellis Avenue, owned the western section of the park, including the Grenadier Pond. The Ellis family sold the westerly portion of the park to the Chapman family who used Grenadier pond for an ice-making business called the Grenadier Ice Company from the 1880s to the 1920’s. In 1930, their portion of the park, complete with Grenadier Pond was sold to the city for a sum of $150,000.
Indigenous Roots of The Park
Much like the rest of Canada, High Park has roots laying in indigenous culture. Throughout the life of the park, skeletons have been discovered dating back as far as 2,500 BC to 800 AD. The remains found through various excavation and road building in the park have been found coated in a red powdery hematite substance which has been connected to various indigenous people who once lived in Atlantic Canada and New England. Research from the Taiaiko’n Historical Preservation Society reveals there are 57 ancient indigenous burial sites within the park.
The Park Through Time
Over the years the park has been a place for people to meet and come together. The park once housed a schoolhouse (which has since become a Nature Centre and holds within it a small Zoo. In 2012, when the city voted to stop funding the zoo an organization called Friends of High Park Zoo was created. The group has successfully fundraised and obtained sponsors, including the Honey Family Foundation, to keep the zoo running for the public’s enjoyment.
The park has become a meeting place for sports leagues, outdoor theatre care of Shakespeare in the Park each summer, nature camps, Instagram worthy enjoyment of the annual cherry blossom bloom, as well as a place for runners, bikers, hikers, and families to enjoy the parkland oasis within city limits.
Tourist Mick reminds those visiting the area,
Don't only go for the cherry blossoms in spring. The hillside overlooking Grenadier pond is a special spot all year round.
It’s very common to run into locals experiencing the park through running groups, outdoor fitness bootcamps, and guided tours through groups like Jane’s Walk, who routinely visit the High Park area.
High Park's winding tree-lined streets are lined with impressive Victorian, Edwardian, and Tudor-style homes. These captivating houses were built largely during the late 1800's and early 1900's, and some have been divided into multiple-family dwellings.
High Park's distinctive brick homes feature a variety of architectural details that vary from house to house, such as leaded and stained glass windows, lush wood trims, French doors, hardwood floors and fireplaces. A selection of condo buildings along Quebec Avenue, north of Bloor Street, include balconies, some of which feature south views that overlook High Park and Lake Ontario.
Residents of High Park have access to dozens of public, private, and specialty schools, programs and daycares supporting the needs of their families including: High Park Gardens Montessori, High Park Alternative Junior School, High Park Day School, Humberside Collegiate Institute, Howard Park Junior School, Keele Street Public School, The Student School, Western Technical-Commercial School, and Ursula Franklin Academy.
In addition to access to numerous educational institutions there are also three public libraries in the immediate area including: Toronto Public Library High Park Branch, Toronto Public Library Runnymede Branch, and Toronto Public Library Swansea Memorial Branch.
There is nothing like a good cup of coffee or tea and a pastry after a brisk walk around High Park. Luckily for people in the area there are big brand cafés like Starbucks, The Second Cup, and David’s Tea, as well as smaller unique shops to enjoy your tea and croissant.
The Grenadier Café is within the park itself and is a fantastic place to put your feet up after some time in the park or enjoy one of their many breakfast specials. Amanda says,
You can't get any cheaper than $3.99 for a full breakfast (2 eggs, 3 sausages, home fries and 2 slices of toast). Coffee is about $2 (no refills unfortunately but is quite tasty.). You order at the counter, take a number, and a server brings it out to you. It has a huge patio which is great for a post workout brunch, meeting up with friends or just coming back yourself for a quick bite.
High Park offers great shopping mostly because it’s so close to many walkable, or short drive away, destinations. High Park Villages Farmers’ Market is located at 66 Oakmount Road and runs every Sunday from late spring to the end of September. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along Bloor Street West towards Bloor West Village to gain access to fruit markets, grocery stores, bigger box stores like Soft Moc, Shopper’s Drug Mart or New Balance. Those looking for some unique shopping should head to Caleche Boutique, Trixie, and Merrygoround to get the latest in women’s fashion. If you’re looking for a more shopping-mall experience, you can head north to the Stockyards which is just 3KM to the north of High Park Subway Station.
Night Life & Restaurants
While the night life in High Park isn’t as bustling as other areas of the city there are a few gems, to enjoy some pub fare and laughs with friends.
For a true community experience Melody recommends Mackenzie’s High Park Pub saying,
We were looking for a nearby place to watch one of the Raptors' games. This is a little pub located directly across from High Park, tucked in between a few other shops. When you walk in, you immediately get that welcoming 'neighborhood' vibe. The owner/manager came and greeted us. Everyone in the bar seemed to know everyone else. The decor is sports themed and includes two dart boards. There are several TVs and a decent sound system in the bar, which makes it easy to watch the game from any spot; no awkward head turns or sore necks. There is a patio covered with a canopy. The menu is pretty extensive for the size of this pub.
Other bars to visit on the border of the park include Mugshot Tavern, and The Wicket. If you’re looking for something a little different check out Cabin Fever for pinball, craft beer and cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere.
Thanks to its close proximity to the subway and The Junction, which was just voted by The Huffington Post UK as one of the 50 Coolest neighbourhoods in the world, provides easy access to night life when you want it, and a quiet place to enjoy time with your family the rest of the time.