One of Toronto’s most cherished spring traditions is getting the virtual treatment this year.
On April 22, the City announced it will close High Park starting April 30th. While most parks will remain open, High Park was singled out for the rush of visitors it receives during cherry blossom season.
Instead, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms from the comfort of wherever you are. To keep spirits in bloom, the City of Toronto has created a BloomCam which offers a 24-hour livestream of the action.
In addition to streaming the cherry tree grove, the initiative includes events and virtual walk-throughs.
“We made the difficult decision to close the entire park because it is the only way we can keep people from gathering to see the blossoms and risking further spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement.
“This virtual event and the proactive closure is meant to ensure the traditional overcrowding that happens at High Park during the annual cherry blossom bloom does not occur this year.”
Further action is being taken at other cherry tree hotspots around the city. Trinity Bellwoods, for example, will see its cherry blossoms enclosed by fences. Enforcement officials will also be present at parks to ensure residents aren’t abusing the rules to get their flowery fix.
While the news is disappointing for cherry blossom fans and Instagrammers, it is especially difficult for those who rely on the park as an outdoor escape for exercise and fresh air.
High Park will re-open at the conclusion of the blossom season.