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High Park cherry blossoms 2011

Posted by Staff / May 8, 2011

High Park Cherry Blossoms 2011The 2011 High Park cherry blossoms were in full bloom this morning, but the real show was the sheer volume of photographers who came out to shoot them. Droves of professionals and amateurs alike descended upon the park sporting every camera type under the sun — from digital to film, DSLR's to point and shoots, from tablets to camera phones, even people with Nintendo ds' couldn't pass up the chance at shooting the cherry blossoms. By 9 a.m. Sunday morning, there were more than 200 people at the park snapping away.

Standing back and watching it all take place, I couldn't help but wonder what the profound fascination with these blossoms was. Were people really so enthralled by a few flowers, or was there something more going on here? Maybe more than the flowers themselves, this event provides the visual confirmation that we so desperately need that the long Toronto winter is really over and that spring is finally here.

Photographers storm the park

High Park Cherry Blossoms 2011

High Park Cherry Blossoms 2011

Cherry Blossoms

Spring High Park

Cherrry Blossom High Park





The requisite photog-free shots







Previous years:

Writing and photography by Tom Ryaboi.



mike / May 8, 2011 at 05:54 pm
This reminds me of an article I read not too long ago about how people are so obsessed with documenting everything to blog about or post on facebook and make sure they record every moment - they end up missing out on the moment itself and not truly enjoying it.
Sean / May 8, 2011 at 06:00 pm
Photographers storm the park? There are almost no people in these photos. You should see the insane crowds during cherry blossom season here in Seoul. You couldn't move and the entire area was packed shoulder to shoulder at 8am.
Jen replying to a comment from mike / May 8, 2011 at 06:22 pm
Photojournalism have their own purpose: to report. I highly doubt many of these people are doing the documenting...
submission article / May 8, 2011 at 06:23 pm
I would be very interested and can?t find any link to subscribe here
submission article / May 8, 2011 at 06:24 pm
I would be very interested and can?t find any link to subscribe here
Nico / May 8, 2011 at 07:15 pm
This afternoon was packed with cameras this afternoon :-)
Derek replying to a comment from Sean / May 8, 2011 at 07:47 pm
These were taken early this morning, and already there were loads of photographers out to the park. By the afternoon, there were thousands of people documenting the blossoms. That might not compete with Seoul, but it's certainly as busy as High Park gets.
MelB replying to a comment from Sean / May 8, 2011 at 07:49 pm
I went later in the morning and yes it was hugely packed with photographers. I only wish my photos were as empty as some of the ones in this article.
Dmitri / May 8, 2011 at 08:11 pm
Very interesting. Although I don't think I would enjoy shooting among so many others, being the guy to wake up at 5AM to shoot sunrise. Not to say that my work is one off, but when I am by myself it seems much more personal.
Gloria / May 8, 2011 at 08:31 pm
Part of it is creating art. People enjoy making photographs ... like painting or sculpting. Is that so incomprehensible?

Plus, it's not like cherry blossoms really have "moments" ... you have plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the afternoon as well.

Elise / May 8, 2011 at 09:24 pm
greater than, less than.
"more than 200 people" (not "greater then 200").
AJ / May 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Attended "CHERRY BLOSSOM MMXI RAGE A THON JUNGLE" at High Park this morning - figured if I got out on my morning run at 9am I'd beat the hype. Man was I mistaken ... I was both saddened and disgusted at the extent to which one of our last remaining nature spaces had been reduced to a theme park - people trampling grass and nature, posing rigidly at every opportunity...
Maybe I don't understand significance of these things - but doesn't it seem insane that we trample and suffocate the earth with our cars cars cars, excessive consumption, then hit the fan and bring out the pearls the minute nature hits a checkpoint on its yearly, never-ending cycle, not at all a significant event for the tree, just part of its yearly life cycle. I do not suggest that we cease to revere at these beautiful things, I just say ... if you still harbor appreciation for the cherry blossom, whether it be for cultural or aesthetic or other reasons - let this reverence translate into a respect for nature EVERYDAY. The high park parking lot and all interior roads today looked like the ACC parking lot before the Stanley cup final- This is WRONG!

Polluting, disrespecting and consuming precious 'resources' only to go trample and gawk when it aesthetically pleases you disgusts me. It's time we translated this sentiment into real respect that would benefit our planet
daniel / May 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm
If you hate the crowds there are plenty of other cherry blossom trees in this city. Maybe not to the quantity of high park but less crowded and more tranquil.
JLankford / May 8, 2011 at 10:51 pm
Care to let us know the sweet spots, daniel?
Mark A / May 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm
I randomly decided to bike there yesterday completely unaware of cherry blossom season. I did plan on going and trying to snap photos of wild-life that friends seem to have had a lot of luck with.

I could not believe the traffic. It was insane, backed up the entire length of the park, with people parked everywhere, including the length of the bike lanes too.

There were people everywhere, everyone with cameras, everyone taking pictures of everything and everyone.

I didn't feel like taking pictures of people taking pictures so I moved on, though I did eventually find much quieter spots around Grenadier Pond. Then I discovered I left my flash card at home. Because I'm smart like that.

I went back this morning before 8, and while the parking lot was already full, it was much saner.

Whee cherry trees
bee / May 9, 2011 at 12:48 am
the blossoms were pretty amazing today!!!!!! if you haven't seen them then I strongly think you should!!! so beautiful!!
Matt King / May 9, 2011 at 12:58 am
Why does it aggravate me so much to see these photographers? It's funny because the actual pictures of the blossoms are so nice.

I rode by some cherry blossom trees by Robarts yesterday and was impressed with their beauty, but annoyed that each tree had its own personal photographer.

I guess it all boils down to the fact that I just don't like people who are having fun.

Perhaps it should be more difficult for people to own cameras. I propose some sort of registry, like they have for firearms.
18-55 / May 9, 2011 at 07:41 am
there are cherry trees in my back yard...think I could charge admission to the kit lens crew?
steve replying to a comment from JLankford / May 9, 2011 at 07:54 am
Don't know them all, but a nice display is on University Ave. You need to block out the noise and pollution from the cars. On he good side so few people go there.
SS / May 9, 2011 at 08:06 am
I dont see what the big deal is if the park is crowded with people for a single day a year

It would make me happier if the 905'ers had to pay to get in though -- why don't you take pictures at the markham fair grounds?
DS replying to a comment from SS / May 9, 2011 at 09:58 am
Really SS, an admission fee to get into a public park for '905ers'? Ignorant, elitist douchebags like you make me sick.
SHUR / May 9, 2011 at 11:14 am
While we're at it, let's build a wall and barricades at the border of 905 and 416, and have armed men patrol the line. ;)
Patricia Anne McGoldrick / May 9, 2011 at 11:50 am
Thanks for sharing!
B / May 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm
How long does the bloom last? Will they be just as magnificent this coming weekend?
Robert / May 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm
Whether it's the cold spring or the wet the blossoms this year are actually pretty lame and colourless. They do vary.
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margot / April 6, 2014 at 02:35 am
Could not believe the number of cars in High Park parked on both sides of all roads in the park. I could only drive by but live in the area so came back to view these beautiful blossoms on a saner day.
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