A generous gift from Japan fills a small area of the city with beautiful bright white flowers in the spring. However, you need to act fast, for High Park’s cherry blossoms disappear for another year after only a week.
Toronto doesn’t get nearly as much snow as other parts of the country, so most places in Canada are far colder in winter. However, after a few months of dirty grey melting snow on dull city streets and barren leafless trees, those first warm days in the spring are such a joyful time. You’ll begin to notice the little buds on the trees as some of the first tell-tale signs that the winter is finally gone. And then, almost over night, everything seems to go green.
But there is one place in the city where the trees turn white again. Along a short pathway in the Hillside Gardens area of High Park, you will find overthirty Sakura trees. For a week to a week-and-a-half, this part of High Park is all white again, as the cherry blossom trees become covered in little white flowers.
The trees are in bloom in late April or early May. The best time to see the blooms is on a sunny week day. On a nice weekend, the area becomes a bit too crowded with many people — a good portion of them being other photographers — all trying to take in the spectacle at the same time.
Toronto’s climate is as cold as the trees can handle, so while not common, there have been some years that the trees have not bloomed. Wind and rain while the flowers are in bloom will also affect how long the flowers will stay in the trees. Should you come too late, the Sakura will be green and leafy like the other trees in the park, and the only indication to the display that has passed is a carpet of white petals beneath the now normal-looking boughs.
These cherry blossom trees were donated to the city of Toronto by Japan as a symbol of goodwill and friendship, so we have to thank them for these beautiful sight.