On Common Ground Festival

Cherry Blossoms

A crowd of people enjoying the High Park cherry blossom trees

Nothing symbolizes spring like the beauty of a blooming cherry tree. Each year thousands of people visit High Park to take part in the century old Japanese tradition of Sakura Hanami, or “cherry blossom flower viewing.” Most of the cherry blossoms are located in an area called Hillside, along the west area of the park beside Grenadier Pond.

For more information visit the High Park Nature Centre www.highparknaturecentre.com

History

1959  The Japanese ambassador to Canada, Toru-Hagiwara, presented 2000 Japanese Somei-Yoshino Sakura trees to the citizens of Toronto on behalf of the citizens of Tokyo. The trees were planted in appreciation of Toronto accepting re-located Japanese-Canadians following the Second World War. Many were planted on the hillside overlooking Grenadier Pond.

1984  A grove of Japanese cherry trees were planted along a pathway west of the Children’s Adventure Playground. The trees were donated by Yoriki and Midori Iwasaki as a special gift to the people of Toronto and “a joyful symbol of life”.

2001  Through the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto’s “Sakura Project”, 34 Yoshino ‘Akebono’ and Kwanzan ‘Fugenzo’ Sakura trees were donated and planted on the east shore of Grenadier Pond near the Maple Leaf garden.

2006  Sixteen additional Yoshino Sakura trees were planted near the original 1959 planting site.

Did You Know?

  • Cherry blossom viewing is a rite of spring in many cities, where Sakura Matsuri (matsuri means “festival”) are held to celebrate the beauty of the Sakura trees.
  • Thanks to the “Sakura Project”, many other sites in Toronto are graced by these beautiful trees, including the CNE and the University of Toronto's main and Scarborough campuses.
  • Outside of Toronto, blossoms can be viewed at McMaster University and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington.

FAQs

Q: When will the cherry blossoms bloom?
A: Blossoms usually reach peak bloom in late April or early May.

Q: How long do the cherry blossoms last?
A: Flowers last 4-10 days, depending on the weather conditions.

Q: Where are the cherry trees located?
A: Please see the map for cherry blossom tree locations.

Q: Are there any tours (led or self-guided) to see the cherry blossom trees?
A: Yes; please contact the High Park Nature Centre for annual dates & times.

Q: Where can I learn more about the cherry blossoms?
A: For more information, please visit the High Park Nature Centre website