May 10 to 16, 2020
This week I am celebrating the re-opening of High Park in Toronto. City Mayor John Tory closed Toronto’s largest park on April 30 for about 10 days, in support of social distancing. The timing coincided with the annual cherry blossoms which have always attracted many visitors to the park at this time of the year.
Having lived on the west coast of Canada for many years, I had become accustomed to seeing various trees blossom over several weeks each spring. However, in the City of Toronto, this is a big deal. In April, 1959, the Japanese ambassador to Canada donated 2000 Japanese Somei-Yoshino Sakura trees to Toronto on behalf of the citizens of Tokyo, many of which were planted in High Park.
Thousands of residents usually drive to the park or arrive en masse on the TTC subway to view the blossoms, but not so this year. This grove of Sakura trees blossoms at the end of April, and the blossoms last only 1-2 weeks. They are beacons of hope which signify that spring has finally arrived. The City installed a blossom camera in the park this year to provide a virtual experience.
The park is now open to pedestrians and cyclists, but not to cars, so we have had the benefit of experiencing the remaining blossoms in a peaceful setting. Following are a few images of High Park.