A Gift to Toronto
The Howards, who emigrated from England in 1832, deeded their 165 acres of property in 1873 to the city of Toronto for use as a public park to be called “High Park,” as it was located along the Humber Bay shoreline at the highest point. Their country residence offered beautiful lake views and extensive land for gardening. The city eventually bought more land to the east and west of grounds given by the Howards, expanding the park to 399 acres. A stone monument in High Park which overlooks Grenadier Pond marks the final resting place of the Howards. The Howard Tomb is protected by a piece of fencing from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
High Park, Toronto’s largest park, attracts over one million visitors each year. Centrally located, it stretches south from Bloor Street West to The Queensway, west of the downtown core. The grounds feature gardens, playgrounds, sporting facilities and nature trails. One third of the park remains in its natural state, with a wide variety of plant and wildlife species and rare oak savannahs. The park also features a zoo and the picturesque Grenadier Pond, and each summer hosts the popular open-air theatrical event Dream in High Park.