Cherry blossoms in Toronto
Of all the beautiful things that grow better with age, the magnificent Somei-Yoshino cherry trees in Toronto’s High Park are some of the best.
The donation of blossoming cherry trees, or sakura, has been a project of the Japanese Consulate in Toronto for years. With the support of private donors, the consulate’s Sakura Project has planted over 3,000 trees across the province in recognition of the business, cultural and academic exchanges between the province of Ontario and Japan.
In addition to maintaining the High Park plantings, the Sakura Project is responsible for new trees at the U of T campuses, the CNE grounds, various schools and seniors centres, McMaster University and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.
The venerable Somei-Yoshinos on the hillside walkway to Grenadier Pond in High Park were a gift to Toronto from the government of Japan in 1959 and have erupted in a blizzard of snow-like bloom for over 50 years. Thousands of people visit the trees over their short bloom period, many coming multiple times to admire and photograph the them in varying stages of bloom and qualities of light. Picnics, sakura viewing parties by moonlight – it’s a real happening.
UPDATE: Usually blooming in late April/early May. Forecast for peak bloom in 2015 is May 7-9. For accurate cherry blossom bloom updates, check the Nature Centre’s blog or Twitter account. To help you plan your visit, here’s a link to Toronto weather forecast.
See you there!