The Cherry Blossoms

highpark_cherryblossoms1 After a long winter, there's nothing more satisfying than watching the city transform and come alive as the trees begin to bloom and flowers poke their heads through. Over the course of the past week, I've kept a close eye as the parks become blanketed in green and the trees come alive with flowering buds of all colours.

Every spring, for no more than one week, Toronto is dotted with delicate and ethereal Sakura cherry blossoms, and the whole city becomes a little bit obsessed with spotting these magical blooms. Though they're dotted around the city - Trinity Bellwoods Park has a few lining the pathway and Toronto Island also has about 30 trees if you're willing to catch the ferry across - it's High Park that attracts the most onlookers, most with a camera in hand as they try to capture the beauty of the tiny pink blossoms.

Though I've lived in Toronto for over eight years, I've somehow never ventured to High Park to take part in this spring ritual with the rest of the city. In the past few years the weeklong blooms have always coincided with buying trips, and though I've admired the trees in Trinity Bellwoods each year, I was determined to experience the full effect in High Park, and this year was the year to make that happen.

I was pretty adamant that I didn't want to fight off crowds at High Park, so we opted to get up bright and early last Friday and arrived shortly after 6 am, which I thought would mean beating the crowds for the most part. I was wrong. The park was already brimming with photographers, brides, engaged couples, running groups and everyone in between, all probably hoping for a clear window to take in the cherry blossoms and capture that perfect shot. Not exactly the experience I was hoping for, but I have to admit I wasn't overly surprised, and now I can say I've seen the High Park cherry blossoms.

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Photos: Jason Matos