High Park in general has been part of my life since I was a kid. My most cherished spot there by far is the zoo but it’s not huge by any means. Growing up in Toronto, I lived right close and it’s definitely an engrossing place for a 6-year old. Nowadays I usually stop by while I’m biking through on my way somewhere else or even occasionally to do a few quick sketches of the animals. For any age though, the zoo is a nice little highlight to the park in general. It’s open from dawn till dusk all year round. The animal selection is quite quaint so don’t expect anything too show-stopping. Although bison, emus, and mountain goats are nothing to scoff at.
One of the funniest memories I have of the zoo is from about 15-20 years ago. Somebody went in and cut the bison cage open. They escaped during the night and made it all the way up to the subway station at Bloor/High Park. I didn’t see the runaways myself but when I was told about it and watched it on the news I thought it was the funniest thing ever and couldn’t stop laughing for days. Even now, thinking about it puts a smile on my face. Whenever it happens though, the whole city comes together and avidly follows news about the escapes of it various critters. (Yes, this somehow happens often enough.)