On the west side of Toronto is a 398 acre park called High Park
. Within this park is a collection of gardens known simply as the Hillside Gardens
, and one of the major gardens is a multi-tiered, pool and waterfall garden that flows down about 100 feet of a ravine. This panorama is near the upper pool of that garden and shows some of its newest plantings close-up with the great old trees overhead. These gardens are all maintained by volunteers and City of Toronto Parks employees.
Originally donated to the city in 1873 by John Howard (who lived on the premises afterwards) High Park was considered too far away from the city center to be a useful park. The city expanded around it, and now it is one of the recreational gems in Toronto's green spaces. Extending from Lake Ontario to Bloor street, it incorporates ravines, creeks, dense woods, prairies, and obviously some tended gardens. Because the park is so large, there are also tennis courts, baseball diamonds, a swimming and waterpark center, a small zoo, chess clubhouse, restaurant and the 60 hectare "Grenadier Pond" which provides a cool breeze in the summer and a place for hockey games in the winter.
The idea of a garden to citybound individuals is less for a source of food and more a restful and beautiful spot to reconnect with nature. In this case, nature has been carefully landscaped in some places (such as above) and in other parts of the park, deer trails are all that break up the oak groves and waist-high grasses. The greatest part of the park for me is that I live across the street from it!