High Park reopens to the public as cherry blossom bloom period ends

May 11 2020, 8:13 am

High Park reopened on Sunday night, after the cherry blossoms bloom period ended in Toronto.

Mayor John Tory confirmed that the park would reopen to the public after park staff advised that “we are through the cherry blossom bloom.”

“Thank you to everyone who enjoys this park for their patience and understanding — you have helped us fight COVID-19 and avoid large crowds gathering.”

High Park is reopening to the public starting tonight at 8PM. Parks staff advise we are through the cherry blossom bloom. Thank you to everyone who enjoys this park for their patience and understanding – you have helped us fight #COVID19 and avoid large crowds gathering. pic.twitter.com/NtMZ0aiMX3

— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 10, 2020

Tory also said the park will remain closed to vehicular traffic for the rest of the emergency so “people have more space to enjoy the park and keep their distance from others.”

The mayor emphasized that High Park will be subject to physical distancing and other regulations starting Monday, May 11.

The park has been closed since April 30 for the bloom period, which was made accessible to the public virtually through the BloomCam.

In March, to discourage gatherings, the City of Toronto closed amenities at all parks and playgrounds as part of the continuing efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

This includes 1,500 parks in the city as well as, playgrounds, fitness equipment, sports courts, leash-free zones, picnic shelters, sports fields, skateboard parks, and other facilities.

The physical distancing bylaw, Tory introduced on April 2 — allowing a fine of up to $1,000 for two or more people who do not stand two meters apart in parks and public squares — is still in effect.

This does not apply to anyone living in the same household.

The City also stopped issuing tickets for individuals sitting on the park benches.

Last week, Tory said the city is shifting its message from “stay home” to keeping your distance while outside.

While the City has advised residents to stay home, which “kept people safe,” Tory acknowledged that people won’t stay home forever.