Walking Tours, Talks, Workshops & Nature Hikes

Bob Yukich

A variety of walking tours, hikes, talks and workshops are offered in High Park:

Free Sunday Walking Tours

- High Park Walking Tour Committee

Family Nature Hikes, Talks & Workshops

- High Park Nature Centre

Sunday Education Sessions (winter only)

- High Park Stewards

See also: Savannah Plants Guide




Download the 2017 Sunday Walking Tours brochure

Follow us on @HighParkWalks

When: 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month, including holidays.

Time: 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

Where: Meet at the benches, across the road from the south side of Grenadier Restaurant in the middle of High Park.

Walks may go on wooded trails, so please wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Walks are led by volunteer scientists, historians, and local naturalists who will help you to understand and explore High Park’s many significant features. Walking Tours are volunteer-led with the support of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

Karen Yukich


Sunday, July 2

More Bees Please

There are 364 species of bees in High Park! Urban bee researcher Scott MacIvor shows how nature’s pollinators contribute to the park’s ecosystem.

Sunday, July 16

Exploring Spring Creek Ravine

Arborist Steve Smith investigates the geography of the defining natural feature of High Park’s east side.

Sunday, August 6

Caterpillars, Moths and Butterflies

Popular science teacher and writer Don Scallen shares his knowledge of these beautiful creatures. Very hands-on and interactive. A favourite with children.

Sunday, August 20

Native Plants and Flowers

Local naturalist and photographer Karen Yukich tours natural restoration sites, explaining the work being done to return the park’s plant life to its original beauty.

Sunday, September 3

Insects and Their Habitats

Entomologist Taylor Leedahl uncovers the elusive insect residents of High Park.

Sunday, September 10

Fall Plants and Flowers

Bob Kortright, of the Toronto Field Naturalists shows how plants produce seed in the fall and prepare to regenerate.

Sunday, September 17

Myths and Legends of High Park

Mystery and history of High Park with lively narration by the Colborne Lodge Staff..


High Park Nature Centre

Family walks are great for all ages! No pre-registration necessary. Walks are led by staff of the High Park Nature Centre.

All walks meet at the High Park Nature Centre at 375 Colborne Lodge Drive unless special instructions are given. More information.

All Family Nature Walks are supported by Toronto Field Naturalists.



Recommended donation $2-$5 / person or donate-what-you-can. No registration required unless indicated.

Tuesday, July 11, 1:30–3:00pm - Tree-mendous Trees - Family Nature Walk

Join us for a tour of the tremendous trees in High Park! Get to know majestic Black Oaks, towering White Pines, beautiful Paper Birches and many more. We’ll also talk about how animals, including humans, benefit from trees in a variety of ways, as well as some of the latest research on how trees communicate with each other.

More details

Tuesday, July 18, 1:30-3:00pm - Amazing Animal Adaptations - Family Nature Walk

Do you know how woodpeckers can tap on trees without hurting their brains? Or how salamanders communicate to their family members through smell? Join us to learn amazing physical and behavioural adaptations of some of High Park’s resident animals! We’ll also teach you tracking skills so you can search for animal evidence and hopefully spot some of these amazing creatures.

More details

Wednesday, July 26 8:15-10:00pm - Moth Night. Meet at square of benches just south of Grenadier Restaurant

High Park is lucky enough to be home to many incredible moths! As most moths are nocturnal, this special edition Family Nature Walk will take place in the evening to maximize moth-viewing opportunities. Members of the Toronto Entomological Association will also be on hand to share their knowledge. Join us to find out more about these special creatures and help us find as many varieties as we can!

More details

Friday, July 28, 8:30-9:30pm - Family Bat Walk

Have you ever heard a bat hunting at night? Probably not! Join us as we explore High Park's amazing and mysterious bat populations. Using hand-held bat detectors, we will listen for bats' ultrasonic calls in High Park, explore their habitat, behaviour, and favourite foods as they swoop and loop during their evening, mid-air forage. We may even practice being bats ourselves! There is much to learn about these creatures, but with the help of citizen scientists like you, we can work together to uncover the secrets of their elusive lives.

More details

Tuesday, August 1, 1:30 - 3:00 pm - Wonderful Wildflowers - Family Nature Walk Stop and smell the wild roses! This walk is about the many beautiful wildflowers of High Park, especially the flowers that grow in the endangered Black Oak Savannah. Learn the variety of ways wildflowers attract pollinators and spread their seeds. You will have the opportunity to become park stewards and help us restore the savannah.

More details

Tuesday, August 15, 1:30 - 3:00 pm - All You Need is Bugs - Family Nature Walk Butterflies, grasshoppers and worms, oh my! High Park is a haven for creepy crawlies and fantastic fliers. Explore the amazing world of bugs and learn facts such as what makes an insect different from a bug. Discover reasons why bugs are so incredible, their importance to the ecosystem, and have a chance to see some up close and personal. More details

Tuesday, August 8, 8:15 to 9:15 pm - Family Bat Walk Bat hunting at night? Join us for another opportunity to study High Park's amazing and mysterious bat populations. Use hand-held bat detectors to listen for bats' ultrasonic calls. Explore their habitat, behaviour, and favourite foods as they swoop and loop during their evening, mid-air forage. We may even practice being bats ourselves! With your help, we can uncover the secrets of their elusive lives. More Bat Walk Dates and Times: Friday, August 18, 8:15 to 9:15 pm, Thursday, August 31, 8:00 to 9:00 pm More details

Tuesday, August 22, 1:30 to 3:00 pm - 13,000 Years of High Park - Family Nature Walk Join us to learn 13,000 years of history of High Park! From melting glaciers to modern day hikers, this walk will include some Indigenous history and uses of the land, the history of how High Park became a public park, and the more recent history of restoration, especially of the Black Oak Savannah. Join us to delve deep into the history of the biggest park inside of Toronto. More details


Backyard Biodiversity

Free event, suggested donation $5.

iNaturalist for Beginners with Kate Armstrong, High Park Nature Centre Ranger and Jon Hayes, High Park Nature Centre. Wednesday, July 5, 7.30-8.30pm at the High Park Nature Centre.

Explore how connections with the world around us using the power of technology and observation. Learn to use iNaturalist, a citizen science tool, to bring local nature to your fingertips, record your observations, crowdsource identifications, and help to create useful data for scientists and nature lovers to be preserved for years to come.

This talk will be followed by a guided Urban Bat Walk!

Restoring Toronto's Wild Spaces with Nousheen Ahmed, City of Toronto Forestry. Wednesday, July 12, 7.30-8.30pm at the High Park Nature Centre.

Have you ever wondered about how wild spaces are managed in Toronto? This talk focus on how the City of Toronto's Natural Resource Management program got started, how it evolved and what we do to protect and restore our wild spaces today. There will be a High Park centered focus, though we will touch upon restoration efforts across Toronto.

Urban Raccoons in the GTA: Are we building a smarter raccoon? with Suzanne MacDonald, York University. Wednesday, July 19, 7.30-8.30pm at the High Park Nature Centre.

Join us to learn about the masked bandits we share our backyards with, those wily urban raccoons! Suzanne will be sharing her discoveries from over ten years of raccoon research, from where these creatures live in the city, our own feeling about them, how smart (or not) they really are… and whether they can figure out those new green bins! This talk will be followed by a guided Urban Bat Walk!

Drivers of Urban Bee Diversity in Toronto Dr. Scott MacIvor, University of Toronto Scarborough. Wednesday, July 26, 7.30-8.30pm at the High Park Nature Centre.

Many environmental, historic, socioeconomic, and policy factors impact wild bees and pollination services in cities. In this talk we will unpack these components and discuss how individual Torontonians can help urban bee populations.

Your Pane is Their Pain - Preventing Bird & Window Collisions Wednesday, August 2, 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the High Park Nature Centre. Speaker Paloma Plant, Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) will discuss the problem of birds colliding with windows, and solutions to this conservation issue. FLAP's pioneering work inspires many to advocate for bird-friendly guidelines, programs and policies that protect birds. Learn how you can do your part. This talk will be followed by an Urban Bat Walk! More details

Citizen Science: Using eBird in the Urban Environment Wednesday, August 9, 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the High Park Nature Centre. Emily Rondel from Bird Studies Canada will speak about eBird, a online personal birding checklist. Toronto supports millions of birds. About 200 bird species breed in Toronto, and two major migratory routes converge here. As a citizen scientist, you can help researchers collect data to help with understanding bird populations, movements and trends. The features of eBird provide an easy and free platform for tracking bird lists. More details

Restoring Urban Biodiversity Beginning in Our Backyards Wednesday, August 16, 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the High Park Nature Centre. Speaker Colleen Cirillo from Toronto Botanical Gardens will address building biodiversity at home. Bring the birds, bees and butterflies home! Learn how to create a beautiful, biodiverse garden through careful plant choice, design and maintenance. This talk includes a walk through the savannah gardens in OURSpace, the Nature Centre's outdoor classroom. More details

Bat Superpowers: Mammals that fly; and that's just the beginning! Wednesday, August 23, 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the High Park Nature Centre. Daily Planet co-host Dan Riskin has spent more than 20 years exploring the biomechanics of bats. Dan will describe the biomechanic abilities of bats who are able to fly, flip, fall, avoid obstacles and more. Using images, video, sounds and stories from research, Dan will show us what makes bats seem like supernatural athletes. This talk will be followed by a guided Urban Bat Walk! More details


Fee: $50

The Secret Sex Lives of Plants with Richard Aaron. Thursday, July 13, 6-9pm at the High Park Nature Centre.

More details & register

Insects & Arachnids for Beginners with Dr. Emily MacLeod. Saturday, July 22, 1-5pm. Meet at the High Park Nature Centre.

More details & register

Wildflower Names & Their Meanings with Richard Aaron. Thursday, July 27, 6-9pm at the High Park Nature Centre.

More details & register

Friend or Foe: The Intriguing World of Weeds with Richard Aaron. Thursday, August 10, 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the High Park Nature Centre.

More details & register

Poison, Spines and Blisters: Plants with a Dark Side with Richard Aaron. Thursday, August 24, 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the High Park Nature Centre. Join Richard for a workshop to learn about harmful plants found in the park and elsewhere in the G.T.A. Discuss various helpful folk and modern remedies. More details and register

Drawing Trees with Botanical Artist Nellie Sue Potter Saturday, September 16, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Learn techniques for drawing trees and tree parts. We will be outdoors, drawing trees, weather permitting. If it rains, we will be inside, drawing tree specimens such as leaves, tree fruit, bark and other tree treasures found in High Park in mid-September. This course is suitable for all levels. More details and register

For more events within and outside High Park, see Other Groups & Events


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Content last modified on August 14, 2017, at 05:17 PM EST