Support the High Park Zoo during Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Support the High Park Zoo during Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Posted: Sat., Oct 01, 2016

Lisa Rainford, Bloor West Villager

“For life-long High Park area resident Charles Jewell, running has become a lifestyle.

Five years ago, he was suffering severe back pain with herniated discs when he realized he had to make some significant life changes for the sake of his health. And so he took up running. Since then, he goes for a run at least three times a week for most of the year.

He’s putting his stamina to good use by participating in the annual Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 16, as a champion runner for the High Park Zoo. The pledges he collects will specifically support the Friends of High Park Zoo’s ‘Master Plan’ to improve the animal shelters and public spaces.”

Click here for the full story.

Read more

Cheer on Friends of High Park Zoo!

On Sunday October 16, 2016 from 8:45 am to 11:15 am, Friends of High Park Zoo will host a cheering station for the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, where the Zoo’s neighbours and supporters can celebrate and cheer on the runners.

Pledges made in support of High Park Zoo’s champion runners will support High Park Zoo and its Master Plan to improve the Zoo’s animal shelters and public spaces. To make a donation, please visit www.highparkzoo.ca. The Master Plan will ensure Toronto’s community zoo is a free, family-oriented hub for environmental education for generations to come.

For those who can’t make it to the cheering station during the marathon, the llama pen at High Park Zoo will be open from 11am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of October.

Friends of High Park Zoo wishes to thank the sponsors and supporters of the cheering station.

Read more

Honey Match Update

Honey Match Fundraiser

FHPZ is excited to announce that our Honey Match fundraiser reached its goal! $40,000 will go towards improving Honey’s home. Thank you again to both the Honey Family and Griggs Family Foundations for their generous donations of $10,000 each in matching funds. Our final total and the winner of our art draw will be announced in the coming days.

We are grateful for all of your ongoing support, which we will continue to rely on as we look to raise the final $75,000 for Honey’s Home and our broader Master Plan. With your donations we can sustain and enhance our beloved community Zoo for the generations to come.

Read more

Honey Match Fundraiser 2016

Summer is heating up and so is our Honey Match fundraising initiative! All donations made by our July 17th deadline will be matched by the Honey Family and Griggs Family Foundations, up to a total of $20,000. Help us raise the funds we need to improve the Zoo and Honey’s home!

Donations can be made onsite and online through Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. Donations over $10 will receive a tax receipt. Thank you for your generous support of the High Park Zoo!

Read more

Plans in place for a new High Park zoo

Master plans unveiled to volunteers

Metro Morning Interview Matt Galloway and Chair, John Formosa Feb 3 2015

CBC News Posted: Feb 03, 2016 6:30 AM ETLast Updated: Feb 03, 2016 8:00 AM ET

The plan for the High Park Zoo will include places to pet llamas and bunnies.

The plan for the High Park Zoo will include places to pet llamas and bunnies. (Friends of High Park Zoo/supplied)

The Friends of High Park Zoo just unveiled a plan to redesign the 120-year-old attraction. Board chair John Formosa said the redesign will improve the space for people who visit and the animals that live there.

Work is set to begin in 2017 to get the zoo more greenery, better flood protection and improved facilities for the animals.

Formosa said three animals will benefit most: the bison are getting a big upgrade, he said, and there will be a new area to feed and pet the bunnies and llamas.

High park zoo

In addition, Friends of High Park Zoo are planting 100 trees and adding green islands to the paved roadway in the centre of the zoo. They’re adding more educational facilities, too, Formosa said.

But the key to the redesigns is retaining the zoo’s heritage, said Formosa. The group wanted to keep the zoo experience low-key and intimate.

Speaking on Metro Morning Wednesday, Formosa said the local community proved its commitment to the zoo by stepping forward to raise private donations when the city pulled the zoo’s operating funds from its budget in 2011.

“It’s been around for more than 120 years. It’s always been free,” he said.B “The intimacy you see there between children and animals, it’s really quite compelling.”

On Jan. 28, Formosa and the board of directors unveiled the master plan to a small audience of volunteers and residents. The plans were well-received then, but more public input will be sought in a design phase.

The city is doing road improvements soon, so the group is looking to coordinate. The group is hoping to start the renovations in 2017.

Read more

FHPZ Unveils Master Plan for High Park Zoo

It Starts With A Plan, A Master Plan

On Thursday January 28, 2016 at High Park Forest School following months of collaboration with our stakeholders, Friends of High Park Zoo unveiled its High Park Zoo Master Plan. Click here for more details Master Plan Page.





Read more

Friends of High Park Zoo unveil future improvements

Inside Toronto

Mon., Feb 01, 2016 | By Hilary Caton


From facing closure to getting a facelift, High Park Zoo not only continues to bring people closer to nature, it now has improvements in its future.

Plans for the zoo’s future improvements were unveiled to a room of eager volunteers and nearby residents, Thursday, Jan. 28, receiving a positive reception.

Friends of High Park Zoo (FHPZ) chair John Formosa, along with landscape architect Brent Raymond of the firm DTAH, unveiled the design of the High Park Zoo Master Plan, to a small audience and everyone seemed pleased.

B bIt is a wonderful improvement. It doesn’t take much to see that the zoo as it stands is in bad shape, said Grace Petrucci, a volunteer at the zoo. bThese enhancements are fabulous and absolutely exciting.b

With the construction of the new Deer Pen Road slated for 2017, which will have more curves and less curbs, the zoo looks to receive a slew of enhancements. Following the meeting, Raymond told The Villager that once the city announced the roads construction, it bunlocked all of its potential,b and called it a breal catalyst for everything.

The zoo enhancements range from the large, such as increasing the size of the bison pen by seven-metres and creating a new administrative building; to the small, such as improving lighting, installing flags and signs so that the zoo is more noticeable, and improving the overall plant quality.

The master plan also looks to improve the zoo experience for the animals as well with new creative furnishings for them to enjoy such as ponds and interactive feeders.

It was a pretty easy project to do, we actually set the vision pretty early on and we knew what the opportunities were and we worked within the constraints,b Raymond said.

Although the master plan isn’t a formal city project, the FHPZ, a community and volunteer driven organization that’s launched this initiative, is working with the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department, to enhance and sustain the zoo.

For the chair of the FHPZ, this master plan shows true growth and the neighbourhood’s love for the zoo.

It’s a huge testament to the community here because this has been a total grassroots initiative,b Formosa said.

It’s a great example of what communities can do.

The zoo will have to tackle some major improvements such as creating a colourful main pathway that is accessible, improve stormwater management and enhance the gateway to the zoo all while maintaining its park feel, Raymond said.

Keeping the zoo’s profile fairly demure is something Andrew Kohan of India Road and Garden Avenue believes the landscape architects did well.

It looks like a great way to make things more attractive without going overboard in spending. It doesn’t mess too much with the low key nature of the zoo. It’s a pretty chill space that people can walk through,b he said.

I love it. I love that it expands space for the animals and makes the space for the people better. It’s a much more humane space in many ways for both visitors and residents of the zoo.

The next step in the master plan process is to take feedback and comments from residents and make any necessary changes. Following that, the group will determine overall costs and determine which projects have the highest priority and when should they happen. The plan will set out improvement projects in phases.

Farmosa said, the FHPZ will also be lobbying all levels of government, foundations and corporations for funding in the near future.

This is one of the jewels of Toronto, Formosa said.

As the awareness (of the zoo) grows, people are showing that it’s a worthwhile investment and a worthwhile asset for Toronto to keep and really improve and bring up to date.

There is no set date for when improvements in the zoo will start.


Read more

High Park Zoo Master Plan Final Presentation

One of North America’s oldest zoos, High Park Zoo, is planning a face lift and we want you to be a part of it.
For over 120 years, the free admission High Park Zoo has been one of the jewels of Toronto. As part of the development of a new Master Plan for High Park Zoo, Friends of High Park Zoo, in collaboration with the City of Toronto, invite members of the public to share their ideas and visions for High Park Zoo.

The Final Public Meeting will focus on presenting the final Master Plan Concept. The Master Plan Concept is the result of input and consultation with the public, government stakeholders and industry experts. It represents a vision for improving the visitor experience, enhancing educational opportunities, increasing accessibility, operations and making the zoo a better place for people and its animal residents.

Date:B Thursday, January 28, 2016 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Location:B High Park Forest School, Colborne Lodge Drive, Toronto, ON

The High Park Forest School is located just inside the main entrance of High Park. The Forest School is fully accessible and bike parking is available.


Public transit:B Take the subway to High Park Station and enter the Park at Colborne Lodge Drive.

Driving: From Bloor Street West: Enter the Park at Colborne Lodge Dr. and follow the one-way loop around West Rd., back to Colborne Lodge Dr. to the Forest School, just past the tennis courts.

From Lake Shore Blvd: Drive north on Parkside Dr. and make a left turn into the park at High Park Blvd. Turn right on Centre Rd., then right on Colborne Lodge Dr. to the Forest School, just past the tennis courts.

From The Queensway: Get onto Lake Shore Blvd. at Ellis Ave. or Colborne Lodge Dr. and follow the directions from Lake Shore Blvd.

There is no access to the Forest School from Colborne Lodge Drive at The Queensway entrance.
Passenger drop-off and limited parking is available within the Park.B Paid on-street parking is available on Bloor Street.

Further Information:
If you are interested in participating but cannot attend in person, please visit our website highparkzoo.ca to view presentation materials. Any comments, ideas or for more information contact the Friends of High Park Zoo at board@highparkzoo.ca

All information will be collected in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. All comments will become part of the public record, except for personal information.


Read more

From Henley to the High Park peacock, Torontobs animal tales from 2015

Torontobs dwellers love an animal story. Herebs a look at the yearbs top headlines.

A peacock from High Park Zoo was spotted in the Parkdale area, flying from house to house.

Vince Talotta / Toronto Star Order this photo

A peacock from High Park Zoo was spotted in the Parkdale area, flying from house to house.

This year, Toronto has done it again. Here is a recap of some of the top animal stories that began trending in Toronto:

Remember when the city mourned a dead raccoon?

Cole Burston/Toronto Star

In case you didnbt already know, Toronto is probably the raccoon capital of the world, which makes it no surprise that itbs also the home city and final resting place of Conrad, the critter at the heart of #DeadRaccoonTO. In July, Torontonians found his carcass downtown and soon tributes flooded in b and not just on social media. A makeshift memorial of flowers, cards and candles soon formed around Conrad as the citizens waited for Animal Services to collect the body. Rest in peace, #DeadRaccoonTO.

High Park peacock on the lam

Vince Talotta/Toronto Star

This Toronto peacock spent five days running through The Six evading authorities. Roncesvalles neighbours witnessed him hopping rooftops, galloping down streets and narrowly missing capture by animal services. Why was he running? He may have been looking for love, or maybe he wanted a taste of freedom or perhaps he just wanted to watch Drakebs concert (that was Norm Kellybs guess).

Baboon battle erupts for the throne


It was like the real-life version of bPlanet of the Apes.b Since the matriarch olive baboon died last year, the females have been fighting for the throne. Zoo officials were forced to close the exhibit for several days due to the injuries which included deep lacerations, hair ripped out and tail injuries.

Reporting for duty, Officer Groundhog!

Hebs probably the cutest police recruit of the year. Toronto police showed off their new member during the Pan Am Games. Officers said training began immediately after he befriended offices at the Exhibition Place in July.

Move over Sonic, meet rising star Henley the Hedgehog

Teacher Sharon Douris brings her pet hedgehog Henley to Kew Beach park where Henley visits his home away from home at the base of a Maple tree and visits with the local children.

Local hedgehog Henley stars in a childrenbs book series and has his own lovable jingle that youbll never forget. Watch the video above to hear the song and learn about how elementary teacher Sharon Douris came up with Henleybs magical tree house in Kew Gardens.

Panda cubs born at the Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo

Er Shun gave birth to two panda cubs, a first in Canadian history, in October. Due to the difficulties around breeding pandas, the mom, a giant panda on loan from China, was artificially inseminated in May. Reports from October say the cubs were healthy and starting to develop black markings, fur and pseudo thumb pads. Awww!

Purrrfect cafC) finally opens its doors

Bernard Weil/Toronto Star

The long-awaited cat cafC) opened its doors to the public in November. All the cats at the cafC) are available for adoption through the Toronto Humane Society.

More raccoon news, because Toronto seemingly has an obsession with the masked bandits

The high flier


Who do you think was more surprised: The crane operator who found the raccoon that climbed 213 metres up a crane or the furry rascal who figured out he couldnbt fly?

The green-bin bandits

Toronto released security video of raccoons attempting to tamper with newly designed green bins. The video shows just how tricky these midnight bandits are. Cute from afar, we say.

The typical city slickers

Crowds of film fanatics and tourists line the streets of Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival and the raccoons could not care less. Unless youbre in their way.

Read more

FHPZ Launches I Love High Park Zoo Video

Friends of High Park Zoo has launched I Love High Park Zoo, a video that captures the unique spirit of the zoo. Directed by Simone Stock, Vice Chair of Friends of High Park Zoo, the video stars some of the animals and the families who love frequenting the oldest free zoo in North America. Check it out at http://www.deondesigns.com/highparkzoo2/videos/

High Park Zoo has witnessed remarkable growth in popularity since it was literally saved from closure in 2012. High Park Zoo has seen record attendance growth up 38% from last year to 673,000* visitors in 2015. B This is in large part due to awareness generated by Friends of High Park Zoo and its many volunteers and partners.

Friends of High Park Zoo, in partnership with the City of Toronto, has also embarked on a Master Plan process which aims to plan capital and experience enhancements over the next several years while respecting the heritage of High Park Zoo. The draft Master Plan is scheduled to be presented at a public meeting held at the Forest School in High Park on Wednesday December 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. All are welcome.

* Figures are year-to-date to October 27th 2015 versus the same period in 2014.

Read more