A huge and sprawling park (164 hectares/398.5 acres) containing three life zones (Carolinian forest, Tall-Grass Savannah and Boreal Mixed), High Park is a beautiful place to walk, wildlife spot or bike ride. It is also home in summer to the Canadian Stage Company's Dream in High Park. Although the reviews for the plays have been less exhuberent in recent years, the Canadian Stage earned a reputation for its early renditions of Shakespeare in the open air.
Funny enough, land of the park, and the historical state home, Colborne Lodge, which are now considered to be part of Downtown West, was originally purchased in the mid 1800's by John George Howard, a Toronto Architect, who intended to build a suburb-type village away from Toronto in a time when suburbs weren't fashionable. Now, over 150 years later, rather than being a small village outcrop in the middle of wilderness, it's a refreshing respite of wilderness in the middle of a sprawling city. Colborne lodge, Howard's own home is preserved as a historical site and museum, and tours are offered on a regular basis. Also, the Lodge offers free walking tours of High Park, every other Sunday afternoon at 1:15p.m. (call 416-392-6916 for info).
The parks other attractions include a High Park Train, a Children's Adventure Park, an Animal Zoo, a greenhouse, an extensive netwok of bike trails, Grenadier Pond, as well as a community centre with a large pool, tennis and squash courts.