Hello Spring! Celebrate Spring at the Cherry Blossom Festival in High Park in Toronto

by | Apr 27, 2017 | Canada, Toronto | 2 comments

Toronto LOVES the cherry blossom festival!

The first blossom on a cherry tree in Toronto signals the end of another long, cold, dark winter.

Cherry blossoms are revered as the symbolic flower of spring, a time of renewal and new beginnings.

At the end of April, people in Toronto come out of hibernation and set out in search of sun and cherry blossoms. The most popular destination is High Park in the middle of the city … and  thousands of people are flocking to High Park this week to celebrate this annual fête to spring. I was one of them. I spent a magical sunny afternoon in a cloud of white and pink blossoms.

I went to High Park to see the cherry blossoms. They are BEAUTIFUL! However, what I enjoyed most about my day was the overwhelming atmosphere of relaxed fun. Couples, friends and families had picnics, played music, strolled along the water and took selfies, thousands and thousands of selfies.


I think I was the only person in the park who did not take a selfie. I should have!


Travel Tip: Do not drive to High Park. Parking is a nightmare! Take the subway. The High Park stop on Bloor Street is directly across the street from the main entrance to High Park. If you have time, a stroll through Bloor West Village, filled with shops and restaurants, is a great way to make a complete day out of a visit to the cherry blossom festival

Am I in Japan or Toronto?

The century old Japanese tradition of Sakura Hanami, or “cherry blossom flower viewing” is celebrated in High Park, thanks to the gift of 2000 Sakura cherry trees from the citizens of Tokyo. This was their way of thanking Toronto for welcoming Japanese-Canadian refugees after World War II.

More trees were planted in High Park and other neighbourhoods in Toronto under the Sakura Project that celebrates the continued friendship between Toronto and the people of Japan.

I was lucky to stumble upon this photo shoot as soon as I entered High Park. A lone cherry tree was the backdrop for this beautiful young woman in a traditional Japanese dress.

This is a professional photo shoot with lights and big cameras

The photographers had lights, reflectors and impressive-looking cameras. I was happy to tailgate on their setup.

The cherry blossom festival is big news in Toronto

There are daily reports on the best days to visit High Park. Both High Park and the City of Toronto provide updates on the best days to plan your visit.

The news team was happy when I asked them for a photo.

This man has a Very Large Camera!

I spent a lot of time researching the best travel camera. I settled on something much smaller!

Kids of all ages enjoy the Cherry Blossom Train

This couple celebrated new beginnings with their engagement photos under the cherry blossoms

I tucked in behind the couple’s professional photographer and snapped a pic

This couple is in their own new world. I don’t know if they were aware of how many people took their photo.

I showed them this one and they were happy to see it. They had champagne in a picnic basket and were setting off to find a quiet place in the park to celebrate their new life together.

This couple did not have a professional photographer. They look really happy with their selfie.

This teen was with a friend. They took turns taking pics.

Everyone took closeups of the cherry blossoms. Here is mine.

These guitar players had a great day in High Park

Lots of people stopped to sing along with them.

This guitar player was singing Knockin on Heaven’s Door

I could not imagine a better setting to be knockin on heaven’s door when my day comes!

This cello player closed her eyes and played.

This was a stunning private performance in a public venue.

Can you walk a tightrope?

This family found a quiet spot between two trees and set up a tightrope. The father is teaching his daughter how to walk a tightrope.

Can you remember the last time you climbed a tree?

Being in a park on a beautiful spring day brings out the kid in everyone.


You don’t need to climb a tree or walk a tightrope to have fun in a park

These kids are too young to climb a tree

These moms tried to create a photo shoot by stuffing their kids in a tree. The kids did not look too happy. Sooooo … the moms took the kids out of the tree and climbed it themselves.

Do not climb the blooming trees!

There were many signs that said “do not to climb the blooming trees” but these moms could not resist the urge to be a kid again.

Blooming cherry trees are for the birds!

This swan does not like the cherry blossom festival!

The only unhappy face I saw all day was on this swan. He is not happy with the invasion of his turf. He came right up to my camera and I backed away … quickly!

Forsythia is the uber-peacocking flower

In the urban dictionary, ‘peacocking’ means ostentatious dress designed to impress.

For a few weeks in spring, the forsythia screams ‘look at me.’ The competition for the forsythia is the cherry blossom.

There is a magnificent stand of forsythia bushes just at the edge of the cherry trees. They are dressed-to-impress this week. They were stunning!

What is your favourite: the ethereal cherry blossom or the peacocking forsythia?

This teen looks beautiful with a backdrop of forsythia. I took her pic on her phone in exchange for a pic on my camera.

This young woman was shy about asking if I would take her pic

She looks stunning with a backdrop of forsythia

Selfie with my sister

My sister was visiting a few years ago and we went to the cherry blossom festival. I took lots of pics but this is the only one of us together. Luckily, someone offered to take our pic and this is my best memory of the cherry blossom festival in Toronto.

Sunset over the Cherry Blossom Festival in Toronto

The Cherry Blossom Festival lasts a week in Toronto … if we are lucky with the weather. I took this photo on Monday as I left High Park. The view of the setting sun through the cherry blossoms was spectacular.

Today was a beautiful day in Toronto, sunny and a high of 24 (Celsius). A perfect day for seeing the cherry blossoms … but the forecast called for severe thunderstorms … and they hit just now … hard, heavy rain.


When a beautiful, ephemeral cherry blossom is in bloom, get out and see it!


Next Week:

I am going to the Cabbagetown Forsythia Festival in my own ‘hood.

The dress code is yellow!

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Rose Ann MacGillivray

Rose Ann MacGillivray

World Heritage Traveller at BoomerVoice.ca
I love visiting World Heritage Sites, celebrating the world’s most fascinating places and cultures, and most of all, having fun on a trip. Join me on the road to fun and fascinating places. Thanks for reading – and remember to add your e-mail below for updates!
Rose Ann MacGillivray

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