HomeNews & LifestyleDancing Beneath The High Park Cherry Blossoms: The Ultimate Guide

Dancing Beneath The High Park Cherry Blossoms: The Ultimate Guide

Sleeping Beauties: The Sakura Of High Park

The beauty and mystical nature of cherry blossoms have captivated nature lovers for centuries. The High Park cherry blossoms are no exception.

These stunning trees with their flowery pink blossoms make High Park such an incredible sight in the spring!

Every year, tens of thousands of people come to see the High Park Cherry Blossoms. The blossoms themselves symbolize renewal, and have an incredible backstory both internationally as well as in Toronto.

The blossoms on a cherry tree have a short season, but the tree itself also has a short lifespan. This is something not very many people know. Typically a cherry tree only lives for about 16-20 years. However, certain species can live up to 250 years, such as the black cherry tree.

High Park cherry blossoms
Image: @Vegatoronto on Instagram

In addition to this, it’s actually a federal crime to break blossoms or a branch off of a cherry tree in some states of the U.S., including Washington D.C.

Cherry trees (including the High Park cherry blossoms) are largely grown for their looks. Fruit production is reserved for specific types of cherry trees, although ornamental cherry trees do produce fruit that’s closely related to edible cherries.

How Did The High Park Cherry Blossoms Get There?

High Park cherry blossoms
Image: @rileydavidsonn on Instagram

This is where it gets super fascinating.

The high park cherry blossoms were a gift to the citizens of Toronto on behalf of the citizens of Tokyo. Back on April 1, 1959, the Japanese ambassador to Canada presented 2000 of these glorious trees to Toronto!

The city planted the trees in appreciation of Toronto accepting re-located Japanese Canadians following the Second World War.

Many of the gifted trees were planted on the the hillside that overlooks Grenadier Pond. They’re placed all around the east shore of the pond.

Then, in 1984, an additional group of Japanese cherry trees were planted along a pathway in High Park, near the Zoo parking lot. The trees were presented as a “joyful symbol of life”. Again, in 2001, 34 additional Japanese Sakura trees were donated to High Park and planted near the Maple Leaf Garden.

In 2016, another 16 trees were planted near the original 1959 planting site. Such a fascinating history, with so much meaning.

When Is Cherry Blossom Season In Toronto?

High park cherry blossoms
Image: @les_law on Instagram

You can explore the blooming Sakura trees all over the city during the months of late April into May. The High Park cherry blossoms tend to last as open blossoms between four and 10 days depending on the weather.

Peak bloom of these breathtaking flowers lasts three to ten days. High Park’s Cherry Blossom Festival, which is prime viewing time, starts on May 4. During this time, so many people come to see the blossoms that you can only walk into the park. No parking is allowed during this time.

How To View The Sakura Blossoming

High park cherry blossoms
Image: @seren.sarin on Instagram

Because of Covid-19, viewing of the cherry blossoms in person has been suspended. Hopefully with the vaccine, the viewing will be back in service for 2022.

If you’re interested in watching the process of these beautiful flowers, check out this site. Super fascinating. They track the bloom of the cherry blossoms and post updates and pictures.

SakuraInHighPark.com posts details that you wouldn’t think to ask about, such as the rate of the flowers to open in the different locations of the park. Even on the road to Grenadier Cafe, they report that the growing conditions can alter the schedule of the blossoms. This is crucial information for the more avid of the nature lovers who come to visit the trees.

High Park Cherry Blossoms and Covid-19

high park cherry blossoms
Image: @viewthevibe on Instagram

Given how contagious the virus is, the city has opted to creat a “BloomCam” which allows Torontonians to catch a glimpse of the delicate pink flowers, virtually.

It’s so important in the high-density viewing times of the High Park cherry blossoms that people remember to stay safe. The city has offered a 24 hour 4K #BloomAtHome option, so nobody has to miss out because of Covid restrictions.

In 2022, make sure you do your research before heading out to view these incredible, rare blossoms. They bless the trees for only a few days, and your time may be better spent watching them virtually rather than going to the park and getting turned away.

However you get to see them, the High Park cherry blossoms must be on your list of things to do in Toronto in the spring!

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