Ensuring Physical Distancing During Cherry Blossom Season
Cherry blossoms mark the beginning of spring, and every year thousands of people flock to parks across the city to view and take photos of the blossoms. Called sakura in Japan, these beautiful trees bloom at the end of April to early May.
Cherry trees also have a historical significance for Toronto. In 1959, the Japanese ambassador to Canada presented 2,000 trees to the people of Toronto on behalf of the people of Tokyo. The trees were planted in appreciation of Toronto becoming home to relocated Japanese-Canadians following the Second World War.
The most well known location for cherry blossoms in Toronto is High Park, but we also have cherry trees at parks across the city, including at Trinity Bellwoods Park. We know that every year, many people look forward to spending time in parks appreciating the cherry blossoms, but this year we must take special precautions to ensure physical distancing.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, High Park will be closed during the pre-bloom and peak bloom period of the cherry blossom trees, as maintaining proper physical distancing will not be possible. The park closure dates are weather-dependent and will be announced when the bloom period is determined. High Park is already closed to vehicle traffic.
The City will also be implementing physical distancing measures at Trinity Bellwoods Park that will include:
- Closing off the south end of the park where the trees are located
- Additional signage
- Increased bylaw officer patrols to promote physical distancing and inform residents of the closure of the cherry tree area
The City is working on a virtual walk-through of the blossoming trees. Residents will be able to experience this year's cherry blossom season through multiple livestream events and videos.
As we have already had to do with many of our traditions and routines, we encourage everyone to appreciate the cherry blossoms online this year. The more we stick to public health guidelines, the sooner we will be able to enjoy our much loved parks again.