Cherry blossom fever has taken over Toronto
Cherry blossom season is in full swing for the city of Toronto, my friends, and you know what that means: High Park is a zoo (like, beyond the part that is literally a zoo.)
As predicted last week by the city's leading authority on this subject, Toronto's largest collection of sakuras — gifted to the city by Japan in 1959 as a gesture of goodwill for accepting refugees after World War II — started blooming on May 4.
Thousands of people flocked to the massive west-end park and other smaller groves over the weekend to take in the sights and smells of these pretty pink trees.
The rest of us got to scroll through endless streams of cherry blossom photos on Instagram.
Peak bloom, the point where cherry blossoms are fullest throughout any park, is still a few days away.
Sakura in High Park still expects the blooms to reach their full glory between May 9 and May 12, at which point they will begin to fall — though many are hoping that they last until Mother's Day, because what better way to celebrate our moms?
"Of course weather will be the deciding factor as always," notes Sakura in High Park. "Rain & wind could knock off petals [and] cut viewing times short."
High Park is said to have been rather busy this weekend, and this is not expected to change as more and more buds bloom into delicate flowers.
Fortunately, there's more than one way (and one place) to enjoy Toronto's cherry blossoms.
Trinity Bellwoods Park, another hot spot for sakura stalkers, was slammed this weekend with people enjoying the blooms and balmy weather.
While smaller than High Park's, the cherry blossom grove at the base of Bellwoods is still spectacular.
It also lends itself nicely to perfect shots of the CN tower surrounded by blossoms.
The University of Toronto's cherry tree grove, found outside Robarts Library, is even smaller at just 70 trees or so.
What it lacks in size, however, it makes up for in stunning blooms.
Over in the gardens at Centennial Park, more than 200 Sakura trees are already well in bloom.
If you've got your heart set on High Park, go for it — just be prepared to wait a while for a clear shot of anything.
On the plus side, there's a dedicated Cherry Blossom Hotline you can call at the High Park Nature Centre with any questions or concerns.
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