While we had our fingers crossed the past few weeks as we waited to hear news of the High Park cherry blossoms season, it seems the inevitable has happened. Yesterday the City of Toronto released a statement announcing that the bloom will once again be a virtual event. This decision was made based on the current transmission of COVID-19 throughout the city and the province’s current stay-at-home order. This year’s barricading of the sakura trees is different than last year, because it seems not the entire park will be shut down.
While we recognize that experiencing the blossoming of the Sakura trees has become a rite of spring for many Torontonians, it's imperative that we protect public health.— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 14, 2021
🌸I encourage everyone to enjoy the #BloomAtHome again this year. More info here: https://t.co/vNElvoKmNG pic.twitter.com/k8fAT3a0dd
High Park Is Open… But With A Catch
Local pedestrian and cyclist access to High Park will still be available for those looking for some fresh air, but access to the 3 areas of the park with the cherry blossoms trees will be restricted. These include Cherry Hill, near the sports fields and at the Jamie Bell Playground. Fencing will be put up around these areas to prevent congregation and city and park staff will be on-site to monitor the situation. The park will be closed to vehicle traffic to ensure people have enough space for exercise.
While the park will remain open this cherry blossom season, Torontonians are encouraged to stick to their local parks instead of flocking to destination parks such as High Park. Those who do head out to a park should only do so with members of the same household.
“Given the City’s current case counts, the limited capacity of Toronto hospital’s ICUs and the city’s overall positivity rate, I’m glad the City will be offering people the opportunity to take in the cherry blossom bloom from the safety of their homes. While High Park will remain open this year so that local residents can continue to get exercise and fresh air, I ask you to please stay home. The cherry blossom trees will be enclosed to prevent in-person viewing. Their beauty, no matter how magnificent, is not worth a life.” said Councillor Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park) at the news conference Wednesday.
How To View The High Park Cherry Blossoms
As the city tries to prevent the tens of thousands of people that normally come to see the High Park cherry blossoms, a 24-hour 4K ‘BloomCam’ will be installed once again. The cameras will be up and running as soon as the peak-bloom season begins which could be as soon as the last week of April this year. The only way to get a close-up view of the bloom will be through the live stream powered by Rogers. While we’re sad to spend another year unable to witness the magical bloom in person, this precaution seems necessary in limiting the spread of the virus in Toronto.