fall colours peak toronto

Fall colours will peak late in Toronto this year

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you'd expect to see some major signs of fall in the natural landscape around Toronto. Alas, that's not the case at this point in the season thanks to a blistering late September heatwave.

Areas to the north of the city like Muskoka are already reaching peak fall foliage right now, but Toronto's parks and ravines show little colour change. Part of this is because we lack an abundance of Sugar Maples, trees that are well known for early and fantastic autumn displays.

In their place, the city now has an over-supply of Norway Maples, which change colour later and tend to lack the saturated orange and red colours shown by their cousins.

The combination of hot weather and the makeup of Toronto's tree inventory means that peak fall colours are likely at least two weeks way (e.g. the weekend of October 21-22). Less optimistically, this could be a year in which there's not much of a peak at all.

The fall colour report for Darlington Provincial Park, one of the closet to Toronto is only reporting a 20 percent change as of today. To the west, Bronte Creek reports 50 percent, but notes that the predominant colour is yellow.

It's a bit too early to tell just how profound the effect of our early fall weather will be, but it's useful to recall that despite a brutally dry summer last year, the city's ravines still looked unmistakably beautiful come mid October.

The peak show will be at least a week later this year, but hopefully the display will stack up. Our trees were in excellent health in mid September, so fingers crossed that helped them to withstand the unfavourable conditions late last month.

Lead photo by

Ernest So

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