Man seen climbing cherry blossom tree in High Park livestream

May 4 2020, 7:30 pm

The Toronto Police Service are looking for a man who was caught on camera climbing a cherry blossom tree on Toronto’s High Park livestream, early Monday morning.

“The actions by the man in the video are inappropriate at any time and could lead to charges such as Trespass to Property and/or Mischief,” Toronto police said in a statement provided to Daily Hive.

High Park is currently closed to discourage large gatherings from congregating to watch the trees blossom.

“Members of the Toronto Police Service will be at High Park for the duration of the closure, supporting City bylaw officers,” the police service said.

There was also “other damage and vandalism” that took place over the weekend that officers have been made aware of.

If anyone has any information about the vandalism, or if anyone can help identify the man on the video, please contact investigators at 416-808-1111 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

According to Toronto police, officers continue to conduct patrols of entryways, the park’s perimeter and onsite – including during the overnight hours — to ensure compliance with the park’s closure.

On Monday at 1:45 am, someone posted photos from the livestream video showing a man climbing the tree.

Mayor John Tory said the bahviour showed the individuals had “a couple crews loose,” when asked about the incident during a press conference on Monday.

He said he didn’t understand the need to “have a beer” in the cherry blossoms.

In response to the incident, the City of Toronto told Daily Hive in a statement that being in High Park is currently not permitted and “certainly climbing the cherry trees, even in normal circumstances, is never permitted.”

The City has closed High Park during the cherry blossom bloom period as a public health measure given the crowds the trees attract each spring.

“Toronto Public Health continues to ask people to stay home and, if out, to maintain physical distancing,” the city said.

High Park will reopen when the trees’ peak bloom period end, the timing of which is weather dependent

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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