high park cherry blossoms

This is when High Park's cherry blossoms are expected to bloom this year

The beloved cherry blossom buds in Toronto's High Park are progressing nicely and on track for a typical bloom this year, according to an update from sakura expert Steven Joniak, and this is partially thanks to a fairly wet and mild winter. 

Joniak, also known as Sakura Steve, released the first of his annual cherry blossom updates this week after visiting the various blossom zones in High Park, and he found that the trees are doing well so far.

"Overall, the trees are all looking very healthy, and the buds appear to be well-shaped and developing ideally," he said in the update.

"I didn't come across any obvious signs of damage or degradation beyond what was seen last year. Our winter wasn't too harsh this year and fairly wet which seems to have helped the trees survive with minimal stress. These initial impressions indicate that the progress is on-track for a typical bloom to occur in late April and early May."

High Park's stunning cherry blossoms typically attract hundreds of thousands of spectators every spring, but the city closed the park off to visitors last year to prevent crowds from gathering and spreading COVID-19. 

The city instead set up a virtual viewing of the trees, and current public health restrictions indicate that this year will likely be the same. 

Still, Sakura Steve says the more-than-60-year-old cherry blossom trees, which were gifted by the City of Tokyo in 1959 to commemorate Toronto's support of Japanese-Canadian refugees after World War II, are on track to bloom beautifully later this spring.

"The cherry trees all seem to be doing very well, and I have seen a fair amount of blossom buds developing on the branches throughout the various blossom zones," he said.

"The abundance of buds is a welcome sign. If all things hold up over the next weeks and months then we should see a good showing of blossoms this year." 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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