Hockey on Grenadier Pond

Walking on a frozen lake in High Park

A trip to High Park was recommended to me by one of my former colleagues, who just so happens to be from Toronto. Ideally we wanted to visit on a nice sunny day so we could take some good pictures. The weather of course had other ideas but we decided to go anyway, after all, it’s not like we can’t go again.

High Park
We headed off down the West Ravine Trail

High Park is a large park in the middle of the city and is a bit like the similar named Hyde Park in London. It’s very easy to get to via the TTC and once inside we were greeted by a winter wonderland. It didn’t take long before we forgot we were in Canada’s largest city at all.

Ducks and Canada Geese at High Park
These guys clearly didn’t get the memo about flying south for winter

This was also the first time we got to walk on a frozen Canadian lake; you don’t get to do that in England! There’s video evidence of me skating on frozen lakes when I was small so I can’t say that this was a truly new experience, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.

Hockey on Grenadier Pond
Once cleared of snow the frozen lake makes the perfect winter playground. In the UK, people play football at the park and use jumpers for goalposts. In Canada, they play ice hockey and use their normal footwear as goalposts!

There are signs everywhere telling you not to go out onto it because it’s not safe and there has been quite a bit of discussion about this in the press, so I assume the notices are a relatively new thing. Of course the City of Toronto would rather you used their free official ice rinks which are dotted around the city, than have you sue them because you fell in. But with lots of people already on the lake, skating and playing hockey we felt pretty confident that we’d be ok. We’re pleased to report that we successfully walked from one end to the other without it cracking!

Grenadier Pond in the winter
Breaking the rules by walking on Grenadier Pond

Right at the end of our time in High Park we discovered on the map that it has its own very small zoo, complete with a bunny petting area – a reason in itself to go back and explore further!

High Park
It was a bit too cold to sit around but we will be back!

After High Park we took a short walk down to the shores of Lake Ontario to check out the deserted beaches and watch the ice clattering around due to the current.

Lake Ontario
We decided against walking on Lake Ontario
Frozen Lake Ontario
No one on the beach today!
Lifeguard Lake Ontario
Definitely no need for a lifeguard today!

Emma

PS: don’t sue us if you walk on the ice and fall through!  Conditions may have changed since we were there, and so we do not advise that you walk on it.

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