Sunday, May 13, 2018

Cherry Blossom, Spring 2018 in Toronto

As winter sunsets and heralds the dawn of spring (and then summer), the weather can change drastically in Toronto. You would remember we had an ice storm in mid-April and the landscape was tundra-like. That is all gone now, and one of the first true signs of spring (and the oncoming summer) are the cherry blossoms.

A cherry blossom is the flower of a cherry tree (usually in Canada it's the Japanese Sakura tree). The flowering of the Sakura trees is spectacular, but peak bloom (typically in late April to early May, depending on the weather) only lasts about a week.

This weekend (May 11-13) was peak viewing time. Typically almost everyone in Toronto descends on to High Park, where parking, traffic etc. can become a nightmare if you don't plan your trip strategically. But there are a few other spots in Toronto that also have lots and lots of trees.

The beauty of the cherry blossom is of course the huge number of trees blooming at the same time, which makes the white and red background striking and extremely majestic. Moreover, as the flower blooms, its petals slowly wither and drop to the ground. In the wind, with hundreds of trees and thousands and thousands of flower, it can make a magical sight.

But if the crowds in High Park there are just too much for you, check out the other top places in the GTA to take in the spring sight and snag that perfect Sakura selfie:

Trinity Bellwoods: There’s a cluster of young trees on the southeastern part of Trinity Circle. Plus visitors have the advantage of looking at the CN Tower through the beautiful flowers.

Centennial Park: This Etobicoke garden is believed to be the second largest place for the cherry blossoms in Toronto behind High Park, with over 200 cherry trees.

Toronto Islands: There are about 30 Japanese cherry trees on Centre Island near the fountain at the south end of the bridge, a great alternative for those seeking to avoid crowds in mainland city parks.

Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre: The first ever cherry tree to be planted in Toronto was a present from the citizens of Tokyo, so it’s fitting that the garden at the Japanese cultural centre in North York (near Eglinton just off DVP) would boast some of these blossoms.

Robarts Library at the University of Toronto: Dozens of cherry trees are planted on the Harbord-Huron stretch, forming a beautiful canopy for the university crowd and passersby when in peak bloom.

Kariya Park: The Japanese-style park near downtown Mississauga has its own cherry blossoms. The garden is named after the small city southwest of Tokyo, which has a strong relationship with the city of Mississauga.

Royal Botanical Gardens: Cherry blossoms at this Burlington park are scattered at various locations, but the main collection is near the Rock Garden.

As the cherry blossom ends, another flower slowly marks its appearance. Yes, it's now time for the annual tulip festivals across the country. The Abbotsford Bloom Tulip Festival in BC has just ended, but the Canadian Tulip Festival (in Ottawa) has just begun. Below is the picture of a tulip I snapped near one of the cherry trees in Toronto.

Did you attend any of the cherry blossom viewings in and around town? Let me know what you thought of it.

1 comment:

Shreya Chaudhari said...

this is stunning! I need to go someday