High Park prepares for crush of visitors to see cherry blossoms
Toronto Police, the Department of Urban Forestry, Toronto city councillors and pretty much everyone who lives within walking distance of High Park are (understandably) a bit nervous about the oncoming crush of sakura tourists.
Please be respectful of the neighbouring residential streets around High Park. Please take transit, walk or cycle. We have @BikeShareTO at both Keele and High Park subway stations and along the Martin Goodman Trail. Lakeshore is closed Saturday from 8:30am to 3pm https://t.co/RIllfnQGMW— Sarah Doucette (@SarahEDoucette) May 4, 2018
Thousands upon thousands of people are expected to visit the massive west end park starting this weekend to witness the legendary bloom of the cherry blossom trees.
The park will be packed with people taking photos on Saturday and Sunday, as will all of the parks in Toronto with sakura groves, and that's not always ideal in terms of safety or the health of our pretty pink trees.
To ensure that everyone "can enjoy their beauty," the City of Toronto's Department of Urban Forestry has published a list of cherry blossom "Do's and Don'ts."
We are expecting the #sakura cherry trees to start blooming this weekend. Many of you will enjoy the blooms in #HighPark & other parks around the city. Follow these do's & don'ts so everyone can enjoy their beauty. For more info: https://t.co/qeaKkv0TQ9 #CherryBlossomTO pic.twitter.com/Z6OJY7LS2j— Toronto Forestry (@TOtrees) May 3, 2018
Toronto Police, for their part, issued a news release to warn motorists that driving near High Park is a bad idea.
"From Friday, May 4, 2018, to Sunday, May 13, 2018, the annual Sakura Festival, better known as the Cherry Blossom Festival, will take place in High Park," reads the release.
"During the weekends, visitors begin arriving at High Park at 7 a.m., with a stream of visitors throughout the day," it continues. "Motorists can expect delays in the area and should consider alternate methods of transportation."
PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE. TAKE TRANSIT. THERE'S NO PARKING ANYWAY. PLEASE, CHERRY FANS, STOP MAKING MY NEIGHBOURHOOD A NIGHTMARE EVERY YEAR! pic.twitter.com/mVlYxlCt3y— Аdam McDowell (@A_McDo) May 3, 2018
People who live in the area are simply gritting their teeth and preparing for the onslaught of flower fans.
"High Park is protected as the Area of Natural and Scientific Interest and Environmentally Significant Area," noted one local nature lover on Twitter.
"Cherry Blossom event is taking place during nesting season and disturbance to wildlife is significant. Please, remember that the park is wildlife home and we are visitors."
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