High Park, Toronto
May 9,2015 |
Its that time of the year where most,if not, all of the hobbyist flock to High Park as early as 6AM to witness and capture the centuries old Japanese tradition of Sakura Hanami, roughly translated as “cherry blossom flower viewing.” The flowering of the Sakura trees is spectacular and breathtaking; peak bloom only lasts about a week.
History of Sakura in High Park
In 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 of these trees were planted on the hillside overlooking Grenadier Pond (southwest of the Grenadier Café) and around the east shore of the pond.
In 1984, a grove of Japanese cherry trees were planted along a pathway west of the Children’s Adventure Playground in High Park. The trees were donated by Yoriki and Midori Iwasaki as a special gift to the people of Toronto and “a joyful symbol of life”.
Through the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto’s “Sakura Project”, 34 Yoshino ‘Akebono’ and Kwanzan ‘Fugenzo’ Sakura trees were donated to High Park in 2001 on the east shore of Grenadier Pond near the Maple Leaf garden. In 2006, 16 additional Yoshino Sakura trees were planted near the original 1959 planting site.
Plaques commemorating each of the plantings can be found under the cherry trees in High Park. – Source : http://www.highparknaturecentre.com/