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Urban Living

High Park Will Be Open During the Cherry Blossom Bloom After All

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After much speculation, High Park will once again be open for spring’s highly anticipated cherry blossom season after being closed to the public last year — albeit with some heightened new measures in place.

Each year, the blossoms typically last between four to 10 days, depending on the weather, with the peak bloom period usually occurring from late April to early May. Following the warm weather this spring, the blossoms are expected to bloom in mid-to-late April.

This year, as a part of the City’s COVID-19 response, the High Park cherry blossom trees will be enclosed with fencing to prevent in-person viewing during the peak bloom period.

Though, High Park will remain open for local pedestrians and cyclists to get essential exercise. However, the park will be closed to vehicle traffic during the bloom.

READ: Sakura Season Started Around This Time Last Year… Will We See 2021’s Bloom?

According to the City, given the current wave of COVID in Toronto, amplified by variants of concern, access to certain areas of High Park with cherry blossom trees will not be permitted during their pre- and peak-bloom period because maintaining proper physical distancing in these areas will not be possible.

There are three areas in High Park that feature cherry blossom trees – Cherry Hill, near the sports fields, and at the Jamie Bell Playground. The public can expect these areas of the park to be enclosed with fencing to prevent up-close and in-person viewing of the trees.

During the peak bloom, City enforcement officials and the Toronto Police Service will be onsite to prevent vehicle access to the park and ensure people stay away from the fenced off areas of the park.

People are required to maintain a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from people they do not reside with and masks are encouraged outdoors in situations where physical distancing is difficult and are mandatory while using washroom facilities and while waiting in line.

Though, to encourage residents to stay home, the City will provide a 24-hour 4K ‘BloomCam’ of the blossoming trees in High Park, allowing residents to experience the bloom at home.

“While we recognize that experiencing the blossoming of the Sakura trees has become a rite of spring for many Torontonians, it is imperative that we protect the health care system and the broader community. Our public health officials have been clear that now is not the time for large groups of people to gather outside,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement.

“At the same time, the City continues to provide local options for essential exercise and fresh air in its parks and green spaces. Thank you to City staff who have worked on this plan to ensure that High Park can remain open for the community this year during the peak bloom.”

The City says closure dates are weather-dependent and will be announced when the bloom period is determined But according to Sakura in High Park, the cherry blossoms are getting ready to bloom in a week, thanks to the higher-than-average temperatures we’ve experienced recently.

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