Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Toronto Cherry Blossoms 2019

A beautiful Saturday afternoon brought thousands out to see the High Park Cherry Trees in peak bloom and though not all trees managed to blossom, it was still a sight to behold. It was hard to tell if it was busier without cars allowed into the park during peak bloom this year or those found in previous years. I find the amount of people taking time to smell the flowers equal to the impressive flowers filling the trees.

Saturday, May 11 and peak bloom is happening now. Thousands crowd into the park, filling roads that are closed to vehicles now. Easiest option is to park at one of the beach lots and walk up.

Update: Peak Bloom in High Park started May 10th.

Mother Nature is fighting back on Spring but its coming is inevitable, soon the trees will show their first light shades of green as the buds begin to sprout. At the same time wildflowers and gardens will start to see shoots peaking out of the ground. Then around the end of April, beginning of May the fruit trees will blossom and thousands of people will visit the holy grail of blossoms - High Park during the Cherry Blossom Festival. The blossoms at top are from a previous spring, come back as I add blossom photos as the weather warms up.
Update Saturday, May 4th: cherry blossoms still hiding. Peak bloom still days away. Now expected May 10 to 15.
Update April 20, 2019: Buds have popped out and they are very cute. Late April, Early May is still the anticipated peak bloom. Now predicted early May (7th to the 12th)

High Park near Lake Shore and Parkside Drive sees thousands of people stream into the grounds searching out the Sakura trees given to Toronto by Japan in 1959, with 50 more trees planted in 2017-2018. Just as the crowds of people wind their way through the park, a steady river of cars inches their way into the entrance and into the interior, looking for that elusive parking spot so that they can also see the blooms. In the interest of safety the City of Toronto will ban cars during the 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival (peak bloom) starting May 4, 2019 at 7am so you will have no choice but to walk or take public transit to the edges of the park and walk in. Also the City asks that you do not climb the trees or remove blossoms.

If you want to avoid the crowds you can visit the many other blossom sites located around Toronto, the concentration of trees is smaller, but some of the settings are spectacular including such places as found at Roberts Library at the University of Toronto (70 trees), those around the Princess Margaret Fountain in Exhibition Place, down the centre boulevard of University Avenue, the few in front of Queens Park, inside the grounds of Osgoode Hall and the line of trees looking toward the CN Tower in Trinity Bellwoods Park (70 trees).

See more after the jump.

The City of Toronto's extensive list of locations shows the following additional sites with a fair amount of trees; Birkdale Ravine (45 trees), Broadacres Park (100 trees), Centennial Park (463 trees), Cherry and Villiers Street intersection (45 trees), Toronto Island Park - Centre Island (30 trees), U of T Scarborough Campus (50 trees) and York University in North York (250 trees).

Mayor John Tory joined with Takako Ito, the Consul General of Japan in Toronto, to honour and celebrate the 60th anniversary of Tokyo's donation of 2,000 cherry blossom trees in High Park on April 28, 2019. They planted a Sakura tree to celebrate the anniversary. "In 1959, the Japanese ambassador to Canada presented 2,000 trees to the people of Toronto on behalf of the people of Tokyo. The trees were planted in appreciation of Toronto having accepted many relocated Japanese-Canadians following the Second World War. Many of those trees were planted on the hillside overlooking Grenadier Pond. "

"Experiencing the blossoming of the Sakura trees has become a rite of spring for many residents and visitors. It's important that the experience is safe for everyone at High Park and that we take care of these beloved trees so that they can be enjoyed again in future years and by future generations."
- Mayor John Tory

"Viewing Sakura in spring is an important annual tradition for the Japanese. On behalf of the Government of Japan, I am delighted to donate 17 new Sakura trees to Toronto as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Canada. We felt it would be most appropriate to make this donation this year, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Sakura trees in High Park that were gifted to the citizens of Toronto by the citizens of Tokyo in 1959."
- Takako Ito, Consul General of Japan in Toronto

See more blossoms after the jump.

In Trinity-Bellwoods Park the blossoms that line the walkway pointing to the CN Tower are a little sparse, but still there as of May 16th.

The crab-apple trees in Osgoode Hall have gone into peak bloom starting the week of May 20th and the pink blossoms are spectacular - just like their setting. See the pictures that follow and also on my blog post here.

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