The City of Toronto is enclosing the cherry blossom trees at Trinity Bellwoods Park with fences, and ramping up enforcement patrols during the bloom period, to ensure that residents practice physical distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“City enforcement officials and Toronto Police Services may patrol this area and other smaller sites of cherry blossoms in Toronto,” Magdalena Stec, senior communications coordinator for the city, told Daily Hive.
Stec said that further details will be made available over the next few days.
Some residents have already posted photos of the fences surrounding the cherry blossom trees in Trinity Bellwoods.
While one said it was great to see the park will not be closed for the cherry blossoms, they were uncertain of what the fencing actually enforces.
Great news: it looks like Trinity-Bellwoods Park will not be closed because of the cherry blossoms!
🤔 news: they’re putting fences close around the cherry blossoms so if anyone gathers to look at them… the trees will be protected? pic.twitter.com/cY0uucaMqe
— Valerie (@valerieinto) April 28, 2020
Another resident took to social media and said the city has “set up fencing around the Sakura cherry trees in Trinity Bellwoods Park. It is to ensure people don’t congregate around the annual blossoms.”
NO GO ZONE FOR BLOSSOMS
The City of Toronto has set up fencing around the Sakura cherry trees in Trinity Bellwoods Park. It is to ensure people don’t congregate around the annual blossoms.
Please stay home and help everyone stay healthy. Thank you. @cityoftoronto #sakura pic.twitter.com/afB8YEhRhl
— Phill Snel 💭🌎 (@PhillSnel) April 28, 2020
Another individual posted a photo of the blossoms already in bloom with the fences clearly visible.
View this post on Instagram
While fences are being placed in Trinity Bellwoods Park for the cherry blossoms, the park is not being closed, unlike High Park, which will only be showing the bloom virtually to residents this year.
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On April 22, Mayor John Tory announced the decision, saying it was a difficult one, but it will protect public health measures amid the pandemic.
Tory said the decision was based on the recommendations of the Medical Officer of Health.
“I know this closure will be tough for local residents who enjoy High Park year-round and those who look forward to seeing the cherry blossoms every year. 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 to further stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Tory in a statement at the time.
The park closure dates are weather-dependent and will be announced when the bloom period is determined.
The city said it is working on a virtual walk-through of the blossoming trees in High Park.
Residents will be able to experience this year’s cherry blossom season through multiple livestream events and videos, and the details will be announced soon