Questions and Comments – My High Park

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Do you have a question or comment about High Park nature or this website? Send it to us and we will do our best to respond to you!

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Can I bike in High Park? Are there cycling trails?

You can bike in the park on roads and paved trails, but riding on dirt trails is not permitted; walk your bike instead. The soil on dirt trails is sensitive to compaction, and many of these trails are narrow, not leaving enough room for both cyclists and walkers.


Is it OK to go foraging in High Park?

Foraging (collecting any kind of plant material) is not permitted in High Park. The injury and removal of plants in public parks, forests and ravines is prohibited by the Toronto Parks Bylaw, Chapter 608.


Can I or my group do a clean-up in High Park?

Much of High Park is designated as ANSI (Area of Scientific and Natural Interest) and ESA (Environmentally Sensitive Area). That means there can’t be groups of people walking over the restored areas, which would result in compacted soil and other detrimental results. Staying on the paths except under specific conditions and guidance that protects the soft ground is essential to being able to maintain a very rare habitat.

The High Park Stewards occasionally conduct supervised clean-up activities in natural areas. Check the Volunteer Opportunities schedule for details.


Why does the City use so much salt on park sidewalks and roads during the winter?

The amount of salt applied to any given area is dependant on numerous factors such as current ground conditions, current and forecasted weather, available equipment, how a specific park area is used etc. In the end its up to very experienced city staff to use their judgement in determining the amount of salt used. Staff are reminded often that public safety and our responsibility under the property owners liability act take precedence when clearing our roads and walkways.

Salt is the most effective product on the market. Alternative products such as sand, sawdust, pickled salt, calcium chloride, salt brine etc. are all products that parks / city does consider and uses where appropriate. No salt is used on any of the trails or walkways within the dog off-leash area.

We are always mindful of the natural environment and take that into consideration at all times.

[response provided by Parks Operations staff]


If so many oak flowers fall from the trees, how are acorns formed?

The flowers that fall are the male flowers (catkins). The acorns are formed on tiny female flowers that stay on the tree.


We just moved to the area and I’d like to draw bats to our area to help with insect control as our backyard back onto a park and we have a lot of trees etc.

Is this something that can be done? From what I read, there’s a lot at High Park and we’re not very far away. Any insight anyone could give me would be wonderful.

Great question! We love bats here at High Park Nature and the Nature Centre, and we are always excited when others do too.

The best way to attract bats to your yard is to offer them a home. Bats love to roost in attics, roofs, and crevices in buildings, but this behaviour is not ideal for a home-owner. Another option is to build them a home! Bat boxes are ideal habitat for roosting bats. Here are some sites with information on bat boxes and how to build one:

Or, if you would rather purchase one, the has many great options.

Bats also do not like flying over open areas as they are more visible to predators, so the more plants and trees in your yard the better. Good luck!

See also Bats in High Park.


What's New?

Welcome to Our New Website!

By High Park Nature | September 14, 2020
Since the High Park Nature website was first launched in 2010, it has provided a wealth of information about the natural features of High Park. Now we are pleased to…

New Treatment for Buckthorn

By High Park Nature | July 9, 2020
This summer Urban Forestry is partnering in a demonstration trial with BioForest, a forest pest management company, to manage invasive buckthorn shrubs using the bioherbicide Chontrol Peat Paste. The active…

Toronto Star article, January 13, 2020

By High Park Nature | April 5, 2020
“We love High Park for its natural beauty. Will that love be the death of it?” Read the article or The Star Pressreader version

High Park Christmas Bird Count Results

By High Park Nature | December 27, 2019
The most recent High Park Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 (a very windy day). The High Park route ended up with 43 species, our lowest since…

High Park Stewards Summary 2019

By High Park Nature | December 1, 2019
There were over 280 participants (between 110 individuals coming at least once) who came out to High Park Stewards field restoration events. The average number of Stewards that attended each…

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