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Adult Workshops

Adult Workshops

Our workshops are aimed at an adult audience looking to learn more about nature!

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.

Winter 2020 Workshops


More workshops coming soon!

New Year Nature: An Outdoor Winter Retreat - January 4

New Year Nature: An Outdoor Winter Retreat

Date: Saturday, January 4th
Time: 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: 375 Colborne Lodge Drive
Instructor: Emma Rooney

Regular Price: $45
Seniors Price: $35

This workshop makes a great holiday gift!

If you would like to gift this workshop to a friend or loved one, please phone our office at
416-392-1748 or send us an email at



Join us as we celebrate the beginning of a new year by setting our intentions for connecting with the Earth all year long. We’ll share why nature matters to us while savouring delicious homemade soup. Next, we’ll take a sensory stroll through the black oak savanna to the High Park labyrinth. Walking the ancient path of the labyrinth, we’ll be guided to ask questions of our surroundings and seek clarity on how we can rejuvenate through nature and contribute to the health of our planet. Later in the afternoon, under the High Park canopy, we’ll experiment with winter forest bathing and look at the proven health benefits of deep connection with nature. After we create a beautiful set of nature intuition cards to help guide a personal practice at home, we’ll conclude with a sharing circle around the warmth of a campfire.

Through this winter workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Discover light at a dark time of year
  • Return home with a concrete calendar of ideas for bringing nature into your home and work life
  • Build community by meeting fellow nature lovers


Instructor Bio:

Emma is the founder of Blooming Caravan, a High Park business that offers in-home creative companionship visits for older adults. 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.

High Park Lichens: Discover the "Corals" of the Forest - February 22nd

High Park Lichens: Discover the "Corals" of the Forest

Date: Saturday, February 22nd
Time: 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: 375 Colborne Lodge Drive
Instructor: Troy McMullin

Regular Price: $67
Seniors Price: $49



Lichens are composite organisms comprised of a fungus and photosynthesizing partner, which is usually an alga, but it can also be a cyanobacterium, or both! Like ocean coral, this unique relationship results in a wide variety of rich colours, diverse forms, and they are sensitive to pollution. Their intolerance to air pollution means you will not see them in many areas of Toronto, but you will in High Park, which acts as a refuge for these sensitive species. Join us to learn about the ecological function of lichens and their uses in science, medicine, food, and space! There will be a presentation, field time, and lab time in the Nature Centre learning how to identify species in the park. Please bring a hand lens and a dissecting/stereo microscope if you have one. Hand lenses will also be provided. A key to the lichens in the region will also be provided and regional field guides will be available for purchase. The hike will be moderate in length and difficulty.


Instructor Bio:

Dr. Troy McMullin is a research scientist in lichenology at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. He is one of the few authorities on North American lichens. His research has taken him from the Arctic to the Everglades and California to Newfoundland. Troy has also done considerable research in southern ON and in the Toronto area. He has published extensively in academic journals and public media. His latest co-authored book was recently released by the New York Botanical Garden Press, Common Lichens of Northeastern North America: A Field Guide.

Workshop Levels

Our adult workshops are organized into three levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Please click the drop-down menu below to read a description of each.


You are just beginning to learn about this topic and/or practice these skills. You may have engaged occasionally with this topic/activity, or not at all, and you are looking to expand your knowledge and skill set.


You have spent time learning about this topic or practicing these skills over a period of time. You have regularly engaged with this topic/activity, and likely have about one year of experience. You are looking to challenge yourself with an added layer of knowledge and technique.


You have spent considerable time learning about this topic or practicing these skills. You have regularly engaged with this topic/activity, and likely have years of experience. Workshops at this level will be aimed at experienced naturalists to learn from an expert in the field.

Past Workshops

Fall 2019 Workshops

Fall Birding for Beginners - September 18 & 21
Savannah Sketchbook - September 28
Fantastic Fungal Friends: Mushrooms and Other Fungi of High Park - October 6

Summer 2019 Workshops

Summer Wildflower ID - July 22
Summer Tree ID - August 12
From Houndstongue to Shepherd's Purse: Wildflower Names and Their Meanings - August 19

Spring 2019 Workshops

Spring Birding for Beginners - May 8 & 11
Spring Wildflower ID - May 26

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 7 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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