One of the tell-tale signs of spring in Toronto are the crowds descending on High Park to view the cherry blossoms. As die-hard West End locals, we’ve seen these beautiful blossoms countless times, and it’s always stunning. Through the years, though, we’ve gotten the hang of the best ways to beat the crowds and enjoy these quick-but-beautiful blooms all to ourselves.
Commonly referred to as the sakura tree, cherry blossoms enjoy peak bloom in late April to Early May. The trees that you’ll find in High Park were initially a gift, way back in 1959, from Japan’s ambassador to Canada. Since then, Torontonians have gone crazy for these blooms – there’s even a “Cherry Blossom Hotline” for questions and predictions. Go ahead, give it a shot by calling 647-946-2547 right now!
Instead of just trying your luck and hoping for the best, trust us. We’re local’s with kids and have many years of “cherry blossom viewing experience.” Here are our favourite ways to enjoy these blooms without worry:
Take A Bright-And-Early Walk (Or Jog)
We’ve saved the best for first, because planning an early-morning walk or jog has to be our all-time favourite way of taking in the cherry blossoms. High Park is already so stunning first thing in the morning, so grab those runners and hit the park at around 6:30 in the morning. You’ll be wowed by the surreal beauty of the near-empty greenery enmeshed with the pops of pink. It’s also a great way to enjoy them as a family, stroller and all, while starting the day with a bit of exercise.
Ditch the Car (It’s the Rules)!
This year the city is introducing a strict ban on cars in High Park during peak bloom. We love this idea, not only because it helps clear up some of the serious congestion, but because the best way to enjoy the blooms is to hop out and see them on foot. You can also check them out on your bike, and then complete the day by enjoying some of the amazing trails that High Park offers – perfect for a full day of exploring the wonders of nature.
Enjoy a “Worm’s Eye View”
Sometimes, no matter how well you plan, you’ll run into crowds anyways! For something of a longer stay, we highly encourage packing a picnic and planning for the long haul. With so many visitors on hand, the Grenadier Café gets super swamped and the lineups stretch as far as the eye can see. If you pack your own snacks, water, and more, you can feel like you’re enjoying the park all to yourself – even if it’s selfie season all around you.
Don’t Forget: Be Patient
Unless you opt for the early-morning option – you’ll simply have to be prepared to face the crowds. Experiencing the cherry blossoms is absolutely worth the trek, but be prepared to share the experience with hundreds of other spectators – and that’s okay. There is obviously a reason why so many flock to see the blooms: the beautiful history and the rare experience is a killer combo. Enjoy the moment, take your time exploring, and bring your best mood or you’ll feel more flustered than fascinated.
Are you ready to get nested?
We’re West End experts for a reason – this is where we live, play, and where we work. If you’ve been on the hunt for people who can help you with your home search or home sale, we can give you an insider’s perspective on the market, the area, and your choices moving forward. Send us a message and set up a time to have a chat about your needs! Until then, enjoy the blossoms.