For Torontonians, it’s not just holidays that mark the passing of seasons. Certain locations throughout the city take on special significance at various times of the year. Nathan Phillips Square for the Cavaclade of Lights, the Distillery District Christmas Market, Harbour-front Summer Festivals, Exhibition Place in August for the CNE, and the annual Spring Pilgrimage to see the Cherry Blossoms in High Park. We flock, like tourists in our own city, cameras in hand to witness these events year in and year out.
Why do we brave the traffic and the crowds?
We’re proud of our city. We’re proud to be Torontonians. We appreciate the community coming together to create joyous memories. We excitedly bring our out of town friends, our visiting relatives, to see all of the amazing things this city has to offer. No matter what the season, there’s always something to look forward to in Toronto.
This year we had to wait a little bit longer for the cherry blossoms in High Park. The crazy weather kept them from blooming earlier.
In Toronto, we’re serious about not missing this spectacular event.
Not only can you track the status of the blooms online, with an updated picture each day, but there’s also a cherry blossom hotline you can call for additional information!
The interesting thing is for many of us the pilgrimage to see the cherry blossoms isn’t complete until we get the perfect shot with the blooms. A shot in which the masses aren’t visible in the background. Just us posing with the precious blooms.
How do we achieve this deceptive shot?
There are various tricks. Some opt to pull branches down lower to their faces for a portrait, others climb up onto the trees though this is prohibited, and adventurers like myself trek off the path in search of more isolated trees.
Don’t get me wrong, for most of us it’s not a “do it for the gram” activity. We make a day out of it, visiting other favourite spots in the park: the petting zoo, the playground, the off-lead dog park, the cafe. Some of us prefer to settle in amongst the cherry blossoms and people watch.
It’s not just the beautiful cherry blossoms that make the visit so significant, it’s the city coming together to appreciate and celebrate nature’s beauty.
Spring is the season of renewal. The blooming trees come with the promise of warmer weather, of outdoor festivals and farmer’s markets.
It’s worth driving in traffic, it’s worth the struggle to find a parking spot, it’s worth the time spent getting the perfect photo. It doesn’t really feel like Spring has arrived in Toronto until you bask in the glory of the High Park Cherry blossoms.