high park cherry blossoms 2022

Video shows disrespectful crowds damaging cherry blossoms at Toronto's High Park

Cherry Blossom season is winding down in Toronto for another year after more than a week of peak bloom madness — and that's probably a good thing for our city's Sakura trees, not to mention anyone who lives near them.

While cherry trees can be found in several groves around the city, there's no hotter spot for taking in the delicate pink blossoms than High Park.

Thousands upon thousands of people flock to the west end every year during peak bloom to celebrate the beauty of Toronto's cherry trees, forming huge crowds that can become problematic; think traffic jams, overloaded facilities and flat out disrespectful behaviour.

There have been no reports in 2022 (so far) of any cherry blossom-related tramplings or police investigations, but evidence does exist online to show that some people went to obnoxious, even harmful lengths for their Sakura selfies.

Some Canadian YouTubers who go by the handle FKOTW recently took to the park for a "prank" that involved a few young men dressing up as cherry blossom "officials" and effectively just doing the city a nice free service.

"Hey everybody, it's the groundskeeper right here. I just want to give a big round of applause for Japan for giving us all these trees in 1959," says one of the YouTubers at the top of the video, educating everyone around him about the historic grove's origins.

Not long after, the fake security guard ("C.H. Blossom" lol) can be seen asking people to get out of the cherry blossom trees and to stop pulling on their branches, inadvertently highlighting some seriously messed up behaviour.

"This is unbelievable," he says as he approaches a woman sitting in a tree, posing for pictures. "Guys we can't have anyone on the trees. Right here this is a felony. We gotta get off."

For the record, it is not a felony. It's just a dick move.

"Whoa whoa whoa, sir sir sir, sir sir sir we can't be pulling," he says to another peak bloom reveller as someone can be seen pulling a branch down into frame for a photo. As the person releases the branch, delicate blooms are dislodged from the tree and fall to the ground.

"Look at what's happening. They're dying. We can't have this... I would give you a ticket but this time it's going to be okay. Just no more, alright guys?"

The YouTubers have some fun walking around in character and speaking to people, but the stunt feels more like a funny public service announcement than an actual prank — and I'm saying that in a positive way. These guys not only helped educate parkgoers about Toronto's Sakura trees, they saved many delicate blooms from harm.

Despite all of the people you might see pulling on branches, climbing trees and doing equally destructive things in the name of getting the same damn photo they've already taken a thousand times, human hands are meant to be kept off the cherry blossoms.

"Climbing the cherry trees, pulling on the branches and plucking off the blooms can damage the trees," reads the city's website. "Stay on existing trails to protect ecologically sensitive areas."

As a huge sign installed by the city at High Park for cherry blossom season reads: "Please keep off the bloomin' trees. Take only memories and photos."

And if you are going to take photos, it's best to have a cute dog in the foreground. Just for the personal enjoyment of everyone who follows you on Instagram.

Lead photo by

FKOTW


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