cherry blossoms high park 2021

Toronto is keeping High Park open during cherry blossoms but there's a catch

Toronto mayor John Tory just announced that the cherry blossoms in High Park in 2021 will, unlike 2020, remain open to the public throughout the blooming season  — but there's a catch. 

Speaking during the city's press briefing Wednesday afternoon, Tory explained that the park will be open to all those looking to get outside and get some exercise throughout the peak bloom period, but residents are still discouraged from congregating around the cherry blossom trees.

"I know last year many people who enjoyed High Park on a daily basis were upset to see the park closed during the cherry blossom blooming period," he said. 

"This year, we have worked with public health, with our parks staff, with Toronto Police and with the bylaw officers to try to find a way to keep the park open safely so that people can use it while still avoiding having the large crowd scenes that the cherry blossoms would attract in a normal year."

In an effort to do just that, staff will be installing fencing around the three largest collections of cherry trees in High Park to discourage congregation during the peak bloom period, and park and city staff will be on site to monitor the situation.

Anyone hoping to get an up-close and unimpeded glimpse of the beautiful cherry blossoms will instead have to do so via the city's BloomCam livestream powered by Rogers, which attracted roughly 200,000 viewers last spring.

The 24-hour camera will be up and running once peak bloom period begins, which could happen as early as the last week of April this year.

And while High Park will remain open for local pedestrians and cyclists to get essential exercise, it will be closed to vehicle traffic during the bloom.  

"We are encouraging people not to flock to the park to see the cherry blossoms," Tory said. "We want people to enjoy the blossoms virtually and safely, and we still want people to enjoy the park."

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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