High Park has become a place of interest for us. My father, born in 1898, Bristol, England, emigrated to Toronto with his parents and two sisters as a young lad. He lived in two different houses in the Roncesvalles area before serving as a saper in World War I for one year. Years later I took my two-day hiker leader certification course at St. Joseph's Health Centre and spent part of that training in High Park. Now, our archaeologist son and partner live two blocks from High Park. On our visits we tend to end up at the park with their dog. We live in Kitchener and do not enjoy driving into Toronto much. We thought leading a hike in Toronto for some folks from Waterloo Region would be a great activity. How would we get there?
GO Train to Bloor Station
Most Mondays to Fridays there is GO train service in the early morning hours from Kitchener into Toronto. If you are a senior, the cost is a real bargain! And, when you arrive in Toronto (about 9:00 a.m.) you have no car to park and no parking fee! We get off the train at the Bloor Street GO Station (second last stop before Union Station), walk about 1 km west along Bloor Street to High Park.
On the way along Bloor you can drop in for a coffee at the Outpost Coffee Roasters (43.656010, -79.454013) if time allows. Arriving at the north end of High Park you can spend at least a couple of hours exploring the park. In the afternoon (or sooner), plan to be at the south end of the park. You cross over/under to the waterfront and head east on a variety of trails and through other small parks. (see map below) Don't forget to explore Trillium Park (a small provincial park adjacent to Ontario Place). You end up at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and walk about 1 km up to Union Station.
GO Train Back to Kitchener
At Union Station you use the day pass you bought back in Kitchener, in the morning, to board one of four GO Trains leaving (usually between 4:50 p.m. & 6:50 p.m.) for Kitchener. Schedules change so do not depend on the times and costs I have posted here. Note that the GO train for Kitchener at Union Station will be full and likely standing room only until after until Brampton or Mt Pleasant.
The Approximate Route
Sample Information and Check List (outdated)
01) GO Train Cost - Currently the seniors rate
(65+) for single ride is $8.85 & a day pass is $17.70.
Buying a day pass in Kitchener saves time buying a ticket at
Union Station later that day. Fee for non-senior adults is
02) Kitchener to Toronto GO Train - We will take the 6:47 a.m. GO train at the Kitchener GO Station. Be well ahead of the departure time to allow for the purchase of a ticket(s).
03) It is imperative that we all board the same GO Train in Kitchener (6:47 a.m.) and preferably the same train car.
04) We get off the train at the GO Bloor Station1 (not Union Station). The GO Bloor Station is one stop before Union Station.
05) From the Bloor Station we walk to the north entrance of High Park, about 1 km west along Bloor Street. Along the way Jan and I enjoyed a snack at the Outpost Coffee Roasters (43.656010, -79.454013) so this may be a brief stop if time permits & the shop isn’t too busy.
06) Participants are encouraged to form pairs or triplets. Doing so will help especially when accessing the GO train back to Kitchener at Union Station at the end of the day.
07) We suggest you have a friend or family member drop you off at the Kitchener GO station, so no cars need to be parked at or near the station for the day. Also, arrange to have someone pick you up that evening.
08) There may be opportunities to purchase a few food/drink items as we proceed but it is best to bring most of what you need for the day. We cannot guarantee that you will be able to buy food along the way.
09) Depending on the weather forecast come well prepared. Be sure to have your day pack, water (lots), several snacks (e.g. apples), food for lunch & supper, sunscreen, hat, medication, change of socks and so on.
10) You will need a credit card to buy a ticket(s) for the GO Train.
11) Bring a charged cell phone, camera, cash, credit cards, photo ID, & your Ontario health card.
12) The GO Train from Union Station is very crowded & standing room only is often the case until after Brampton or Mt Pleasant.
13) The GO train schedule for returning to Kitchener appears below. When we arrive at Union Station will determine which train you take back to Kitchener.
14) Rain Date: If the weather forecast for 2018MAY24 is not conducive for an all-day outing like this one, we will postpone the trip & go 2018MAY31.
1 Bloor GO Station is a railway station on GO Transit's Kitchener
line and Union Pearson Express rail services, located in
Toronto, on Bloor St. east of Dundas St. West. Located at approximately
The GO Train Schedule [Kitchener Line] shown here, for returning to Kitchener from Union Station, Toronto is based on published data dated 2018APR05 < NOTE OUTDATED. For up-to-date GO Transit schedules check the GO Transit website for departure times (Kitchener GO to Bloor GO) and return times (Union Station GO to Kitchener GO). Since you may be doing this as a group of people, make sure the GO train stops at the Bloor Station on the way into Toronto.
DOWNLOAD / PRINT > "Outdated Check List" as PDF [Sample only; information needs updating; e.g. GO train times/cost]
GPS Tracks for Download
HELP: If clicking on the links does not provide a download option, try RIGHT clicking the link (especially the .gpx file) and then choose "Save Links As" (or equivalent) from the drop-down menu. Pick a download location (e.g. desktop) for the file.