Why High Park (and a bit of my story)…
I’m fascinated by High Park and how we can experience it in different, yet meaningful, ways.
I came to realize this because of my family.
My daughter has some pretty funny ideas about High Park. When we come to the park, it is usually by subway. We exit at High Park station, and enter High Park from Bloor street, heading south down Colborne Lodge Dr. We pass the Black Oak Savanah and Nature centre, and this is usually about the time when she asks me: “mommy, when are we going to be in High Park?”. I try to explain – this is High Park. These trees, this grass, this sidewalk, this is all High Park. But it’s of no use. She doesn’t believe me. For my daughter, “High Park”, is the area just past the lower entrance of the Zoo…Do you know the area I’m talking about? She calls it the castle playground. And this is her experience of High Park.
My husband’s experience of High Park was the inspiration for this painting. Back in the 1980’s, just after his family immigrated to Canada from Hungary, he would come here, with his Grandmother and cousin. It was here that he got to know his grandmother, and build new family traditions that revolved around fun and connection with nature, the most memorable for him being spending time at Grenadier pond.
And as for me, it’s not one single memory that stands out, but more that being in High Park makes my day to day activities more enjoyable, such as connecting with my family, with nature, and finding creative inspiration.
I have come to see that not only does this park have meaning for my family, but that it means something different to each of us. And I’m sure that you have your own special memories of High Park as well.
I believe that memories formed here are important ones, ones that we will look back on fondly through our lives. And that when we share these moments, these bits of our story, we are sharing something truly beautiful.