VISIT THE HIGH PARK ZOO!!!
REGIONAL EMERGENCY!!! (Uhmm…. was that dramatic???)
Here’s a brief overview of one of the treasures the city of Toronto still has, the High Park Zoo. The zoo itself is located inside of High Park (1873 Bloor St West, on the south-west corner basically of Bloor St West & Parkside Drive [which is what Keele Street becomes]), which at appx 400 acres is the largest park in the City of Toronto. It’s been around 100 years longer than I have (I feel young again!), which specifically is since 1876. The park itself is about 35% in a Natural State, and has the rare Oak Savannah ecology. The zoo is located on Deer Park Rd, but for those of you like myself who say “err?” regarding familiarity with the streets in places like High Park, the zoo can be found slightly South-East of the Grenadier Café – which will be found by simply following High Park Blvd south off of Bloor West and…well, just keep looking west/to your right!
The practice of keeping animals at the park started with deer in 1893. The park is now home to reindeer, American Bison, (some very fun) Emu, Fallow Deer, Wallaby, Highland Cattle, and some Yak amongst others – whose scent reminded me of my love of the zoo from my childhood-days!
The zoo is currently open all-year ‘round, from 7am until dusk. It is cared for by Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division staff. BUT….and here’s the reason I’ve been donating my time and efforts, and recruiting a small group of other professionals and non-professionals from the Fashion & Photography Industries who were happy to quickly join my efforts (such as model Jodi Rolland & others)….the High Park Zoo was slated for closure in June 2012 due to a lack of funding! However, city council has voted (June 2012) to accept donations for the zoo, which had been slated to close as part of the 2012 budget cuts. Friends of High Park Zoo, a non-profit group created to generate support, have been raising funds through colouring book sales, admission donations and donations collected by High Park’s Grenadier Café. High Park & Mountainview Alternative Schools have also created committees to help with fundraising efforts.
~Daniel A Betts