Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sakura in High Park

This year, finally, we decided to make the effort to go see the Sakura blooming in High Park. And, despite the large number of people and the lack of available parking, we did achieve just that, enjoying the pink-white blossoms, and giving our daughter her first "taste" of Spring blooms (and taste it was, nearly).

In 1959, 2000 Japanese Sakura trees were given to Toronto by Tokyo, in appreciation for relocating Japanese-Canadians following the Second World War. Many of these trees were planted in High Park, specifically near Grenadier Cafe, around Grenadier Pond. More Sakura were planted over the years; in 1984, several trees were planted near the Children's Adventure Playground; 50 or so were planted more recently, again around Grenadier Pond. You can read more about the cherry trees in High Park here.

It was the grove of trees near the Children's Adventure Playground that we finally saw and took pictures of, after inching around Grenadier Cafe after entering the main entrance on Bloor Street, and unsuccessfully finding a parking place close by there, we did finally manage to snag a parking place near their small Zoo, which we got to by driving down Parkside Drive and going into the side park entrance. If you have small children, or, like us, babies in strollers/travel systems, the Adventure Playground area is a better option, as some of the hills around Grenadier Cafe/Pond are quite steep; conversely, the area around Adventure Playground is only a little hilly.

Getting to High Park is relatively easy. By TCC, the High Park or Keele station on the subway gets you close to the entrance, or take the 506 Streetcar via Howard Park or the 501 Streetcar via the Queensway. By car, go to the Bloor Street entrance (main entrance) just west of Keele, or take Parkside Drive south (on the east side of High Park) from Bloor, or north from Lakeshore Blvd., to go to the East entrance.

Going to see the Sakura blossoms are well worth it, an interesting and beautiful aspect of Toronto, though next time we will go during the week, so we can go to the other, larger, grove of trees, and easily find a parking place.

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