High Park Cherry Blossoms
Don’t Miss the Spectacular Blooming Sakura Trees. One of Many Reasons to Visit High Park in Toronto this Spring!
With the last of the snow finally behind us, Torontonians are looking forward to ushering in the warmer weather. Nothing symbolizes spring more than the highly anticipated High Park Cherry Blossoms! Every year, thousands come to the park to view the spectacular blooming Sakura (Cherry Blossom) trees.
Don’t Miss the Spectacle!
The High Park Nature Centre has it down to a science with their Cherry Blossom Bloom Tracking so you won’t miss a thing. They update the tracker every few days from now until full bloom. Keep updated on the progress by following them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And, they even have a Cherry Blossom Hotline! You can call 647-946-2547 for additional information and bloom predictions.
When is Peak Bloom?
Blossoms usually reach peak bloom between late April and early May. The date varies year by year as it entirely temperature dependant. The blooming period begins when 20% of the cherry blossoms are open and ends when the petals fall. “Peak Bloom” starts when at least 70% of the blossoms are open. And, once open, flowers last from 4-10 days, depending on the weather conditions. This year, the cherry blossoms could bloom as early as mid-April. According to the website, the cherry trees seem to be taking the temperature changes well and large clusters of blossom buds have been spotted.
And, new in 2019, you can expect a car-free blooming experience! Since there are thousands of visitors to High Park during peak bloom, the park will be closed to vehicles in order to maintain a safe experience for everyone.
How did Cherry Blossoms ended up in High Park?
On April 1, 1959, the Japanese ambassador to Canada presented 2,000 Japanese Sakura trees to the citizens of Toronto on behalf of the citizens of Tokyo. The trees were planted in appreciation of Toronto accepting re-located Japanese-Canadians following the Second World War. Many of these trees were planted on the hillside overlooking Granadier Pond and around the east shore of the pond.
In 1984, an additional grove of trees were donated by Yorili and Midori Iwasaki as a special gift to the people of Toronto and a “joyful symbol of life”, and were planted along a pathway west of the Children’s Adventure Playground, near the Zoo parking lot.
In 2001, 34 more trees were donated through the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto’s “Sakura Project”. These were planted on the east shore of the Grenadier Pond near the Maple Leaf garden. Again in 2006, 16 additional trees were planted near the original 1959 planting site.
Plaques commemorating each of the plantings can be found under the cherry trees.
Meaning & Symbolism of the Sakura Tree
In addition to their beautiful appearance, there is a legend that surrounds the Sakura trees in Japan. Each spring a fairy maiden hovers low in the warm sky, wakening the sleeping cherry trees to life with her delicate breath. Due to their very short bloom time, Sakura blossoms are seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful, yet fleeting and ephemeral.
Written By: Deanna Allegranza.
Stay tuned for my next Blog on High Park Living!