kariya park mississauga

This serene Japanese park near Toronto is cherry blossom heaven

Going for a serene walk through Kariya Park, you'll find it incredibly hard to believe that you're in the middle of bustling Mississauga, and only a minute away from Square One Shopping Centre.

This stunning Japanese garden has a way of quickly fading away the outside world, and this time of year it's one of the best spots in the GTA to check out cherry blossoms.

Kariya Park officially opened in 1992, celebrating the 11 year anniversary of the twin-city relationship between Mississauga and Kariya, Japan.

The park design was a joint effort between city planners with the aesthetic aimed to be authentically Japanese in character and style.

Upon entrance into the park, you will notice a plaque that commemorates the friendship between the two cities.

When observed up close, a photo collage of the citizens from Mississauga and Kariya are clearly visible, but from far away, the collage forms a single image depicting the Mando Matsuri – a festival in Kariya.

The city of Mississauga has described Kariya Park as "a Japanese garden that is sensitive to aesthetic, rhythm and balance. It delights the senses and challenges the soul – a majestic enigma."

One highlight of the park is the Japanese style Pavilion, which is broken into two sections representing Mississauga and Kariya, with a Friendship Bell located in the middle.

On the flip side, the Mississauga Park located in central Kariya, pays homage to a number of iconic Canadian elements, including an enormous maple leaf art piece, eight rocks with Native petroglyphs, a replica of the Mississauga Civic Centre and a sculpture of a bear in a canoe.

The park is home to a number of plant species including rhododendrons, pines, gingko and sweetgum trees, and most notable are the abundant cherry trees that are expected to remain in bloom over the next week.

Kariya Park is open to the public seven days a week, 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., through the entrance on Kariya Drive.

Lead photo by

bexitasky. With files from Katherine Palumbo


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