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Adult Workshops

Adult Workshops

Our workshops are aimed at an adult audience looking to learn more about nature. No previous knowledge is required!

You can click on the name of the workshop below for more details. Registration is required for all workshops.

If you encounter any difficulties registering or have any questions regarding registration you can reach us at or by calling 416-392-1748. Our Office Hours are between 9am – 4pm, Monday – Friday.

Spring 2019 Workshops

To register, click on the button below or click: HERE

Register for Spring Workshops
Spring Birding For Beginners Workshop - May 8 & 11

Spring Birding for Beginners Workshop

Wednesday, May 8 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm & Saturday May 11 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am*



Learn the basics of birding from naturalist and long-time birdwatcher, Allyson Parker. This workshop will teach you how to identify birds by sight and sound, how to use a field guide and binoculars to their maximum potential, and where to look for birds in Toronto's biggest park and beyond. Practice your new skills with a guided birding hike to a few of the birding hotspots in High Park and look for some of the Park's common, rare, and migratory Spring birds. The hike is moderate in difficulty.

*Please note that you should attend both sessions of the workshop. Here is what you can expect at each:

Wednesday, May 8 (6:30 pm - 8:30 pm)

This portion of the workshop will take place inside the Nature Centre. You will participate in an informative, hands-on workshop that will help you orient yourself to some of the birds found in High Park.

Saturday, May 11 (7:00 am - 9:00 am)

This portion of the workshop will take place outdoors. You will leave from the Nature Centre to engage in a group birding hike, learning to put some of the skills and knowledge from the earlier portion of the workshop to use!


Instructor Bio:

I first became interested in looking at birds at the age of 5, starting with learning ducks because: A. they are big, B. they stay out in the open and don't move much and C. the different species actually look different from each other. This makes them a great "gateway group" of birds to work on identification skills and my passion took flight from there. I have been birding as a hobby ever since and incorporated it into my education and work throughout my life. I have worked at Presqu'ile Provincial Park as a park naturalist for 10 years, 6 of those as the head naturalist and a summer program co-ordinator. I have done bird-related walks, talks, presentations, demonstrations and talked the ear off of many people who have shown an interest in birds. In addition to looking at birds and educating people about birds, I also participate in research through trapping, tagging and collecting information on wild birds, a process known as bird banding. What started as a chance for 11 year-old me to get to touch the birds I was seeing through my binoculars turned into another lifetime bird-related passion. I earned my bird banding license before my driver's license, in what I think is a great example of my priorities. I have banded at Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory for over 15 years and have banded thousands of birds of over 100 species. I love birds and sharing my enthusiasm and interest with people and I have been known to stop mid-sentence during a conversation to identify a bird.

Cancellation Policies: Please see below for information on cancellations.


Regular: $60
Seniors: $44 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops.

Spring Wildflower ID Workshop - May 25

Spring Wildflower ID Workshop

Saturday, May 25 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm



Before the big showy blooms of summer arrive, spring offers an opportunity to view the more delicate forest flowers that blossom for only a few short weeks each year. Taking advantage of the period between snow melt and tree leaf-out, this small but mighty group of wildflowers collectively known as the spring ephemerals offer an excellent opportunity to practice plant ID. Kick off the season with ecologist Dan Stuart for a tour through High Park’s forests and oak savannahs to seek out this diverse and fascinating group. This workshop will focus on plant identification techniques and ecosystem dynamics, with an emphasis on native spring wildflower identification. • An understanding of foundational plant identification methods, including familiarity with the use of a dichotomous key.

• Knowledge of plant anatomy, and an introduction to categorizing plants by family.

• The ability to identify many native spring wildflowers located in High Park and beyond.

The workshop will include a brief indoor seminar (approximately 45 minutes) followed by an outdoor field hike (approximately 3 hours). The hike will be easy to moderate in difficulty, and participants should come prepared with comfortable outdoor gear.


Instructor Bio:

Dan Stuart is an ecologist, naturalist, and avid hiker, having worked for the University of Guelph and in the environmental consulting sector since 2009. Dan currently works for Azimuth Environmental Consulting, Inc. in Barrie, Ontario as a terrestrial ecologist with a focus on botanical inventories and restoration ecology, but also undertakes studies to evaluate the habitats of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and Species at Risk. He holds Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry certifications in Ecological Land Classification, the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System, and is a designated Butternut Health Assessor. Dan also sits on the executive committee of Tallgrass Ontario, where he helps to oversee and facilitate grant applications, monthly board meetings, and implementation of numerous tallgrass prairie creation, restoration and maintenance projects throughout Southern Ontario.

Cancellation Policies: Please see below for information on cancellations.


Regular: $60
Seniors: $44 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops.

Teachers in Nature Workshop - June 2

Teachers in Nature Workshop

Sunday, June 2 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm



Geared towards teachers, this workshop will explore interactive methods and activities to help get students out into nature in their local ecology. This workshop hopes to aid teachers in incorporating nature and outdoor time into their classrooms. Led by Jon Hayes and Clarissa Cremin-Endes of the High Park Nature Centre, this workshop will include time for discussion, and will address the advantages, as well as obstacles to getting students out in nature in an urban setting. The workshop will involve time indoors to explore theory on the subject, hands on activities and outdoor time on the trails of High Park to practice new skills in nature.

Instructor Bios:


Jon Hayes joined the HPNC team in 2006. After receiving his Bachelor of Education at OISE/UofT, Jon fell in love with teaching in an outdoor setting and has been doing it ever since. Jon looks for ways to connect people of all ages with their local ecology through immersive, hands-on experiences. Jon has also taught at Toronto Botanical Garden.


Clarissa Cremin-Endes is a grateful new member of the High Park Nature Centre team, serving as the School Programs Coordinator. She has a passion for incorporating nature to create accessible and culturally relative learning experiences. With a Master of Social Justice Education with a specialization in Environmental Science from OISE/UofT (2018) she is enthusiastic about collaborating to bring attention to the nature all around us in both parks and urban areas.

Cancellation Policies: Please see below for information on cancellations.


Regular: $60
Seniors: $44 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops.

Nature as a Healing Partner: A Hands-on Workshop for Caregivers of Older Adults - June 16

Nature as a Healing Partner: A Hands-on Workshop for Caregivers of Older Adults

Sunday June 16 @ 11 am - 2:30 pm



Are you looking for ways to share your love of nature with the older adults in your life?

We invite caregivers of older adults to spend a rejuvenating half-day at the High Park Nature Centre with horticultural therapist Emma Rooney. We’ll explore simple techniques for helping older adults connect with nature to promote their health and well-being. After learning about some of the barriers older adults face to getting outdoors (e.g., limited mobility, cognitive impairment, dementia, depression), you’ll get practical tips on making nature more accessible to everyone. Best of all, you’ll try out a variety of hands-on activities that will orient you to the seasons and your place in the local environment. Whether you’re a family caregiver or someone who works (or volunteers) with older adults, you’ll leave this workshop with a solid collection of strategies for adding nature to your caregiving routine and daily life. We’ll break together at lunch to enjoy homemade soup and salad made with seasonal ingredients.

This hands-on workshop includes:

• A sensory walk

• Bird watching for all levels

• Nature journaling

• Gardening for wildlife

• Soundscape mapping, and

• Nature-inspired art.


Instructor Bio:

Emma is the founder of Blooming Caravan, a High Park business that offers in-home creative companionship visits for seniors. Her philosophy of care weaves together caring for both the land and people. Emma has worked at several innovative organizations, including the High Park Children’s Garden, Greenest City, and Ecosource. She enjoys using her design skills to engage people of diverse backgrounds in environmental and social justice issues. She is also a passionate educator who loves sharing her knowledge through presentations on a variety of subjects, including gardening for mental health, making local food accessible, community mapping, and intergenerational storytelling. Emma is the horticultural therapist at Peel Manor Long Term Care Centre, a Toronto Master Gardener, and a volunteer at the High Park Nature Centre.

Cancellation Policies: Please see below for information on cancellations.


Regular: $50
Seniors: $35 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops (applied at checkout)

Past Workshops

Winter 2019 Workshops

Teachers in Nature - January 26
Winter Bird Photography - February 2
Winter Tree ID for Beginners - February 3
Nature Journaling: Origins of Citizen Science - March 2

Fall 2018 Workshops

Birds of Prey - September 27 & 29
Making Friends with Places: A Passage de Toronto - October 9 & 11
Fall Wildflowers - October 13
Autumn Tree Drawing - October 21
An Introduction to Mushrooms and Other Fungi - October 27

Summer 2018 Workshops

Poisons, Spines & Blisters: Plants with a Dark Side - July 12
Dragonflies and Damselflies 101: Biology and Identification - July 28
Friend or Foe: The Intriguing World of Weeds - August 9
Butterflies 101: Biology and Identification - August 18

Spring 2018 Workshops

Outdoor Play in the Early Years - April 21
Spring Birding for Beginners - May 3 & 5 (Two-Part Beginner Workshop)
Spring Songbirds - May 24 & 26 (Two-Part Intermediate Workshop)
Intro to Landscape Drawing in the High Park Savannah - June 17

Winter 2018 Workshops

High Park Lichens - Feb. 10
Winter Landscape Photography – Mar. 3
Birds of Prey – Mar. 4
Winter Tree ID for Beginners - Mar. 24



Programs take place at the High Park Nature Centre located at near the High Park Avenue main gates at 375 Colborne Lodge Drive (also known as the Forest School).


Pre-registration is required for all programs. Registration cannot be confirmed until payment has been received.

Programs are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cancellation Policy

Requests for refunds made 14 or more days before the start of the program will receive a 90% refund (10% will be retained as an administration fee). Requests for refunds made less than 14 days before the start of the program will receive no refund. Requests for cancellations or refunds must be made in writing and submitted by email to A doctor’s note may be required for cancellations due to medical reasons. Refunds are not granted for inclement weather.

Please note, the High Park Nature Centre may cancel any event if the minimum number of participants is not achieved 14 days prior to the date of the workshop. We will notify registered participants of cancellation at that time and provide a full refund.


Programs will proceed rain, snow or shine. Please be sure to dress appropriately for the weather as workshops include outdoor time. In the case of severe weather such as heavy rain, thunderstorms, snowstorms or high winds over 35 km per hour, the workshop may take place indoors.

We have set an Inclement Weather Date for some workshops that take place entirely outdoors or when weather would greatly affect the program (ie a birding hike). If there is an Inclement Weather Date set, our policy is as follows: At the discretion of the workshop leader, the outdoor portion of this workshop may need to be rescheduled due to severe weather such as a snowstorm, thunderstorm, extreme cold alert or high winds. In this situation, the Nature Centre will email participants at least one and half hours prior to the program start time.

Lastly, we advise wearing long pants, socks and long sleeved tops to protect against poison ivy. If you have any questions please call our office at 416-392-1748.

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