In the spring of 1959, the citizens of Tokyo, Japan made a gift of two thousand Sakura cherry trees to the people of Toronto as thanks for Canadian support of Japanese refugees after WWII. The little trees found a new home in High Park, thus beginning a springtime tradition in our city: cherry blossom time.
I'm a couple or few years older than those cherry trees, born and raised in Toronto, but until this week I've never had the chance to see the trees in bloom. What a magical sight it is!
My friend and I set our alarms for oh-gosh-thirty on Monday morning and made our way through rush-hour traffic to arrive at High Park a few minutes past eight. The parking lots were already busy, the grassy slopes full of people with cameras, people walking, people gazing up at the masses of pale pink petals in mute admiration. (There was even a bride with her photographer – lovely dress but no competition for the absolute perfection overhead.)
|Cherry blossoms on the hill, High Park, Toronto|
|Click on any photo to see larger version. (Images will open in new window.)|
The vista over Grenadier Pond seemed stark as we emerged from the tunnel of blossoms but we soon discovered more signs of spring along the pathways... a gorgeous pair of Merganser ducks on the pond, daffodils blooming in pretty clumps, early flowers in sheltered suntraps, and – my favourite – riots of brilliant yellow forsythia.
Our rambles eventually lead us to the famous High Park Zoo, a Toronto institution since 1893. The zoo made news world-wide last year when the resident Capybaras escaped and went walkabout for most of the summer. Bonnie and Clyde are safely home now with three sweet babies as a reminder of their "summer of love". ;-) I've got lots of zoo pictures (including some of the Capybabies) to share next time, so be sure to check back. Meanwhile, happy spring!
Labels: cherry blossoms, daffodils, ducks, flowers, forsythia, Grenadier Pond, High Park, Merganser, Sakura, spring, Toronto