We know them as cherry blossoms but they are also known as sakura. The first Japanese Somei-Yoshino Cherry Tree was planted in High Park, Toronto, in 1959. Then Japanese ambassador to Canada, Toru Hagiwara, presented the trees on behalf of citizens of Tokyo, Japan. They were a gift to the citizens of Toronto; a thank-you for their support of Japanese-Canadian refugees after the Second World War. The original grove was planted along the High Park Trail near Grenadier Pond.
In October 1984 a grove of 20 trees was planted across from the Children’s Adventure Playground. They were given to the people of Toronto from Yoriki and Midori Iwasaki as a special gift in the spirit of community and friendship.
In April 2001 a grove of 34 cherry trees were planted along Hillside Gardens and Grenadier Pond. These were presented to the City of Toronto by the Sakura Committee as a symbol of friendship and good will between Japan and Canada.
The sakura are a symbol of the joy of life as they bloom and then perish quickly. They are the national flower of Japan.
The sakura season is very short, with the blooming flowers arriving quickly and suddenly falling away, in a span as short as a week. For this reason, the neighborhood around High Park is congested with traffic and pedestrians, this time of year, as tourists, photographers, and enthusiasts congregate under the beautiful weather to see these flowers.
I am not a fan of congestion, traffic, and crowding, but I am a fan of beauty, friendship, and spirit of community, so I braced myself and headed with my sister to High Park this week where I took these pictures. Click on them to see a larger view.
- History of the Sakura in High Park (www.sakurainhighpark.com)
- High Park cherry trees in full bloom (cbc.ca)
- Cherry Blosoms (barbaraannsolomon.wordpress.com)
- The Most Beautiful Cherry Blossoms Around the World (boredpanda.com)
- Sakura Dogs and Sakura Bunnies (japangasm.wordpress.com)
- Sakura III: The Beauty of Hanami in Tokyo (japangasm.wordpress.com)
- Sakura IV: A Night Walk in the Graveyard (japangasm.wordpress.com)
- Best cherry blossom in London at Kew Gardens (sequinsandcherryblossom.com)