High Park Cherry Blossoms Are a Rite of Spring
Looking forward to spring? So are we! And one longstanding tradition that we always look forward to are the cherry blossoms appearing around the city, particularly in High Park.
High Park Crowds During the Bloom
Every year I walk to the park from my home in the neighbourhood, at least a few times. I choose to go early on weekdays to avoid crowds. But every year the crowds get bigger and they are bursting to the seams in the stands of trees and even on the platforms of High Park station. Hence the closure, which I fully agree with.
The City of Toronto announced yesterday that High Park will be closed as of today, April 30. The entire park will be off limits to the public from the period known as peak bloom, which normally take a week to ten days.
In a statement, Mayor John Tory said the city “made the difficult decision to close the entire park because it is the only way we can keep people from gathering to see the blossoms and risking further spread of COVID-19.”
He explained: “This is about protecting public health and saving lives. I know this will be particularly frustrating for High Park residents who use the park daily for exercise. Thank you for your ongoing understanding that we are following public health advice and we appreciate your sacrifice over the next few days.”
Fines for park violation can be steep as people around the city have found out if charged during the pandemic. Enforcement will only be in effect during the pre-bloom and peak bloom period.
City Blossom Cams
The City of Toronto has worked with Rogers to set up at least two cameras at the main site. Check out the cameras over the next week or so and put the special walk-through video events on your calendars. The city promises two special live video sessions that will be available via social like YouTube and Instagram.
A Photographer’s Point of View
Last year I took a series of photos in the park that captured the beauty of the blossoms in the setting of the park, with trees and people intermingling throughout. It’s a wonderful sight and one that will be missed by many this year but we’ll enjoy it next year even more! Scroll to see my photos!
Mike’s Tip: I find the post peak bloom time is a wonderful time to visit. Crowds thin to almost nothing and yet even with 20-50% coverage the blossoms often still look amazing – and offer some interesting possibilities for macro photography! So consider going to High Park or Trinity Bellwoods park even after the ban is lifted. You may be surprised at the lingering beauty of “post bloom.”
Thanks for reading and hope we can all check out the blooms in person next year!
Images by @mikesimpson.ms