TORONTO, April 28, 2019 /CNW/ - Mayor John Tory was joined today by Takako Ito, the Consul General of Japan in Toronto, to honour and celebrate the 60th anniversary of Tokyo's donation of 2,000 cherry blossom (Sakura) trees to plant in High Park for Torontonians to enjoy.
The anniversary was marked with a ceremonial plaque and celebrated with the planting of a young Sakura tree, as well as performances in the park by artists Ten Ten and Sakura Mai.
Tens of thousands of people visit High Park every year to view the blossoming Sakura trees. The blossoms typically last between four and 10 days, depending on weather conditions.
The public can find out more about when this year's blossoms will occur at High Park by viewing the blossom tracker at https://highparknaturecentre.com/2/cherryblossom. According to the latest report, the bloom is anticipated to happen within the next 10 days.
The popularity of the High Park bloom has resulted in vehicle and parking congestion in and around the park, which has impeded access for emergency vehicles.
Due to safety concerns, vehicle access to High Park will be prohibited during the peak bloom period. The City will announce the beginning and end of the park's car-free dates when they are confirmed. Wheel-Trans vehicles will be allowed to enter the park and will be escorted to a parking location.
Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or take the TTC to High Park. In addition, visitors are asked to help keep the park clean by putting waste in its place and to refrain from climbing the cherry trees or removing their blossoms.
In 1959, the Japanese ambassador to Canada presented 2,000 trees to the people of Toronto on behalf of the people of Tokyo. The trees were planted in appreciation of Toronto having accepted many relocated Japanese-Canadians following the Second World War. Many of those trees were planted on the hillside overlooking Grenadier Pond.
In addition to the High Park Sakura trees, there are more than 1,150 cherry blossom trees at 14 locations across the city. More information about the various locations is available at http://www.toronto.ca/cherryblossoms.
"Experiencing the blossoming of the Sakura trees has become a rite of spring for many residents and visitors. It's important that the experience is safe for everyone at High Park and that we take care of these beloved trees so that they can be enjoyed again in future years and by future generations."
- Mayor John Tory
"Viewing Sakura in spring is an important annual tradition for the Japanese. On behalf of the Government of Japan, I am delighted to donate 17 new Sakura trees to Toronto as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Canada. We felt it would be most appropriate to make this donation this year, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Sakura trees in High Park that were gifted to the citizens of Toronto by the citizens of Tokyo in 1959."
- Takako Ito, Consul General of Japan in Toronto
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SOURCE City of Toronto
For further information: Media contact: Shane Gerard, Strategic Communications, 416-397-5711, Shane.Gerard@toronto.ca