We heard on the news that the cherry blossoms were at their height in High Park right now so headed down to take a look on Friday around 5pm. Wow! They were spectacular. We can't believe that we've lived in this neighbourhood for over 25 years and never knew about this display!
We entered via the High Park entrance, rode down the hill and were greeted with the following:
It appears that there are three areas with cherry trees. The area near Grenadier Restaurant has a plaque saying that the cherry trees (Somei-Yoshino) were presented to the city of Toronto in 1959 by the Japanese Embassy. In 2001, more cherry trees were donated to High Park by Toronto's Sakura Project.
Not to be confused with High Park's native cherry trees black cherry (Prunus serotina) and pin cherry (Prunus pennsylvanica), the flowering cherry trees associated with Sakura Hanami (cherry blossom flower viewing) are not native to High Park, or even to Canada. In fact, the most popular variety of flowering cherry blossom, the Yoshino cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) is completely unknown in the wild! [...]
In 1959 2000 of these trees were donated from the Japanese Ambassador to Canada in recognition of Toronto accepting relocated Japanese-Canadians following WWII. Many of these trees are found on the hillside overlooking Grenadier Pond (southwest of Grenadier Café) and on the west shore of the pond. In 2006 16 additional Yoshino sakura trees were planted near the 1959 planting site. [...]
Yoshino 'Akebono' Sakura trees were donated to High Park in 2001 through the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto's "Sakura Project." They were planted on the east shore of Grenadier Pond near the Maple Leaf garden.
- Cherry Blossom Species in High Park, High Park Nature Centre
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