People in the GTA need to re-connect with nature, now more than ever.
More than 1.5 million people visit High Park each year, and that number is climbing. Toronto’s social and economic conditions are rapidly changing, especially in High Park-Parkdale neighbourhoods, and as more green spaces disappear from the city’s core, caring for our beloved Park has never been more important.
As the park’s lead education provider, our goal at the High Park Nature Centre is to help more people discover our green spaces, programs and stewardship activities happening year-round. To deliver on this vital vision, we’re embarking on $6 million capital campaign to develop a dedicated High Park Visitor and Nature Centre, to open in 2021 within our Forest School building.
Through restorations and renovations to the Forest School heritage site, we’ll be able to open a High Park Visitor and Nature Centre that is accessible and welcoming to everyone in our community. Children, teens, adults and seniors all share one thing in common: the desire to connect with something greater – the desire to belong.
You can feel that sense of community and belonging here every day, as more people come to High Park to re-connect with nature and with each other. This is our story, written with people like you. We want to keep building on that story for years to come.
Together, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the 85-year-old historic Forest School structure into a future-ready front door to High Park’s future.
The time to help High Park is now!
The historic Forest School in High Park is set to be revitalized and renovated with a capital campaign undertaken by High Park Nature Centre in partnership with the City of Toronto.
History and Future Timelines
High Park's Journey:
1873: Howards pen agreement with the City of Toronto, for 165 acres of land to be maintained as a public park.
1876: The City purchases an additional 174 acres adjacent to the Howards’ property, culminating in 399 acres of public parkland.
1915: Toronto School Board and Department of Public Health establish an outdoor school at High Park.
1932: High Park’s Forest School is constructed as an outdoor education centre.
1975: Ontario Foundation for Visually Impaired Children leases the Forest School site to run accessible programs.
1999: High Park Nature Centre is founded as a non-profit charitable organization.
2015: High Park Nature Centre finds a new home in the Forest School building and a new Visitor Centre is envisioned.
2016: A City-funded feasibility study for a new High Park Visitor and Nature Centre is developed.
2018: We start building a bright future for High Park, together with you!
High Park's Future:
2016: A vision to transform the Forest School into a new High Park Visitor and Nature Centre is developed in a study funded by the City of Toronto.
2017: Toronto City Council authorizes a fundraising partnership with High Park Nature Centre to realize this much-needed development.
2018: Our capital campaign launches, and our lead donor TD Bank Group kick-starts our fundraising efforts with a transformational gift of $1M.
2018-19: Active $6M capital campaign, A Home for High Park.
2019: Final renovation designs to be completed.
2020-2021: Construction of the new High Park Visitor and Nature Centre will be completed.
It's in your nature to give...
For more information about how you can support this capital campaign please contact Sara Street, Executive Director at sara.street(at)highpark.org